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Agenda and draft minutes

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No. Item


Apologies for Absence

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Apologies were received from Councillor Woolf.


Declaration of Substitute Members

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Councillor Bossman-Quarshie substituted for Councillor Woolf.


Declarations of Interest

If you have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest* in an item of business:

§  if it is not yet on the council’s register, you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent;

§  you may choose to declare a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest that is already in the register in the interests of openness and transparency. 

In both the above cases, you must leave the room without participating in discussion of the item.


If you have a personal interest in an item of business and you intend to speak or vote on the item you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent but you may participate in the discussion and vote on the item.


*(a) Employment, etc - Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.

(b) Sponsorship - Any payment or other financial benefit in respect of your expenses in carrying out duties as a member, or of your election; including from a trade union.

(c) Contracts - Any current contract for goods, services or works, between you or your partner (or a body in which one of you has a beneficial interest) and the council.

(d) Land - Any beneficial interest in land which is within the council’s area.

(e) Licences- Any licence to occupy land in the council’s area for a month or longer.

(f) Corporate tenancies - Any tenancy between the council and a body in which you or your partner have a beneficial interest.

 (g) Securities - Any beneficial interest in securities of a body which has a place of business or land in the council’s area, if the total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body or of any one class of its issued share capital. 


This applies to all members present at the meeting.

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There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 278 KB

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That the minutes of the meeting held on 20 September 2021 be confirmed as an accurate record of proceedings and the Chair be authorised to sign them.


Chair's Report

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The Chair updated the Committee as follows:

·         A number of evidence sessions had taken place. A session at New River College had been interesting and insightful and had yielded some ideas for policy changes that could be recommended. Useful meetings had taken place with parents of children with SEND and a Youth Councillor.

·         A visit to the Bridge had been arranged and virtual meetings with SENCOs, headteachers and SEND governors had been confirmed. A meeting would take place with the Parent Carers Forum Co-Chair and a virtual meeting with an Educational Psychologist, Head of Virtual School and Service Manager from Independent Futures would be arranged. In addition, a visit to a mainstream school would take place and work was taking place on surveys to be sent to parents, carers, headteachers and SENCOs before Christmas.

·         The next meeting was due to take place on Tuesday 23 November but had now been rescheduled for Monday 6 December and would take place in Committee Room 1.

·         Claire Ballak had resigned from the committee. The Chair thanked her for her service and advised that work would take place to recruit another co-opted member to the committee.

·         A Commons Petitions Committee report called on the government to urgently put support in place for parents who missed out during lockdown. The committee urged the government to publish a "dedicated Covid-19 recovery strategy for new parents” and called for a number of measures to be introduced including: 1) funding for local authorities to arrange in-person visits to new parents by councils, voluntary organisations or health visiting staff by the end of the year; and 2) a review into the funding, affordability and provision of childcare, and the sustainability of the childcare sector.

·         There had been an increase in mental health referrals with record numbers of children and young people seeking access to NHS mental health services. NHS Digital data showed that while the mental health crisis was affecting people of all ages, it was under-18s who were suffering the most. The Royal College of Psychiatrists’ analysis had found that:

1)       80,226 more children and young people were referred to Child and Young People mental health services between April and December last year, up by 28% on 2019.

2)       18,269 children and young people needed urgent or emergency crisis care which was an increase of 18% on 2019.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists had called for the additional £500 million in the Government’s mental health recovery plan to urgently reach the frontline so that people could get the support they required.

Dr Dubicka, chair of the child and adolescent faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “Our children and young people are bearing the brunt of the mental health crisis caused by the pandemic and are at risk of lifelong mental illness.  As a frontline psychiatrist I’ve seen the devastating effect that school closures, disrupted friendships and the uncertainty caused by the pandemic have had on the mental health of our children and young people.”

·         Nationally  ...  view the full minutes text for item 287.


Items for Call In (if any)

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Public Questions

For members of the public to ask questions relating to any subject on the meeting agenda under Procedure Rule 70.5. Alternatively, the Chair may opt to accept questions from the public during the discussion on each agenda item.


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SEND Scrutiny Review - Witness Evidence

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Charisse Monero, Assistant Director – Commissioning gave a presentation on Progression to Adulthood.


In the presentation the following main points were made:

·         The Progression to Adulthood (PTA) Strategy was developed in 2019/2020 and was a joint strategy between Children’s Services and Adult Social Services. The Strategy set out a range of needs, aims and aspirations to support and improve how young people with SEND were enabled to progress into adulthood. This included goals and aspirations, information, health and wellbeing, housing, and data and commissioning.

·         A Programme Board had been established to oversee the strategic direction, delivery and implementation of the PTA programme.

·         The progression to adulthood programme of work responded to the strategy and aimed to be focused around the key national preparing for adulthood outcomes, with key workstreams being: 1) Health and wellbeing; 2) Independent living; 3) Community inclusion; and 4) Goals and aspirations (education, training and employment)

·         The PTA service was being developed to make it meaningful and ensure it had an impact on those making the transition.

·         Overall good progress had been made in ensuring young people making the transition were supported.

·         Funding was identified to pilot a progression to adulthood team and a pilot team had been set up to proactively undertake care act assessment and provide transition support for young people with: 1) Social emotional and mental health needs; 2) Autistic spectrum conditions; 3) Sensory needs; 4) Complex health needs.

·         The pilot started in December 2020/January 2021 and was funded for a year.  A mid-point review and evaluation had been commissioned to consider impact, through undertaking discussions with the PTA team, engaging with wider social work and health practitioners and obtaining the views from young people and families. So far the team had worked with 80 young adults with a complex range of social care and mental health needs.

·         Collaborative working had been strengthened across Children’s Services and Adult Social Care to ensure young people that would otherwise ‘fall through the gaps’ were being supported.

·         The team had enabled timely assessments for young people with complex Mental Health needs, preventing escalation, and higher costs in the future.

·         The team built confidence of young people, enabled stability and supported employment outcomes.

·         10 cases had been sampled to understand impact.  These had identified positive working relationships with young people and their new practitioners/social workers. The team had undertaken mental health capacity assessments, and deprivation of liberty safeguards and ensured there was a full range of PTA outcomes for young people including housing, education/training/employment, health and community inclusion.

·         Young people and their families had stated that: 1) the team had helped with education independence, helped to work on cv and guide towards employment and college; 2) assessment of need was very good; 3) having someone to turn to and pick up pieces was really important and; 4) parents found carer assessment really helpful.

·         Areas for development were: 1) assessments as there was some frustration at the number of assessments; 2) strengthening joint working between services and collaborating earlier  ...  view the full minutes text for item 290.


SACRE Annual Report pdf icon PDF 522 KB

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Anthony Doudle, presented the SACRE Annual Report.


In the presentation and discussion the following main points were made:

·         SACRE was Islington Council’s statutory function to deliver Religious Education (RE) in Islington. RE was a compulsory element of the curriculum, however unlike other subjects, there were no national guidelines and guidelines were instead determined by the local authority.

·         Covid had impacted on the ability of SACRE and schools to deliver RE. During the first lockdown the national curriculum was suspended and there was a focus on childcare. In the first three weeks, the School Improvement Team provided 18,000 printed home learning packs which included RE materials.

·         When some years returned to school, there was a focus on Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. In September 2020, when there was a full return to schools there were social distancing restrictions and bubbles. Assemblies and school trips were restricted. Schools had responded well to delivering collective worship, which was a moment in the day to reflect on a word, phrase or story, virtually.

·         SACRE provided an agreed syllabus and scheme of work. 40% schools in Islington were not required to follow this as they were Academies, Church of England or Catholic Schools.

·         The 2021 GCSEs were currently being quality assured and would be available in early 2022.

·         One role of SACRE was to assess the quality of RE provision in schools. The majority of schools in Islington were rated good.

·         There had been no complaints about RE and no requests for withdrawal.

·         There had been two Freedom of Information requests and these had been responded to within the statutory time frame.

·         The agreed syllabus was last set in 2017 and would be reviewed in time for the new agreed syllabus for the next five years to start in September 2022. The officer suggested that collective worship could be reviewed as part of this with discussions with schools taking place and additional guidance provided.

·         During the pandemic there had been two virtual SACRE meetings. Another meeting had been postponed to the Autumn term.

·         In response to a member’s question about SACREs work regarding Relationships and Sex Education, the officer stated that SACRE worked with families and young people to provide reassurance and ensure that issues of faith, science and relationships were clear. It was important to show parents the content of the Relationship And Sex Education curriculum.

·         Work would take place with governors to help them understood their statutory role in ensuring the Equality Act was evidenced in the curriculum.

·         A member asked about how collective worship in schools was inspected and the officer stated as every local authority had a different agreed syllabus, it was likely that inspectors would speak to pupils in relation to difference, diversity, whether they went on educational trips to places of faith and inspectors would also look at PSHE before making comments.

·         In response to a member’s question the officer stated that pupils did not learn about faiths independently but through the agreed syllabus, they would work through a learning  ...  view the full minutes text for item 291.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 141 KB

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That the work programme be noted.