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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD. View directions

Contact: Zoe Lewis  020 7527 3486

Note: This meeting may not be webcast due to a technical fault. 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Councillor Ozdemir, Zaleera Wallace and Jon Stansfield.


Declaration of Substitute Members


There were no declarations of substitute members.


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.


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 294 KB




That the minutes of the meeting held on 28 March 2022 be confirmed as an accurate record of proceedings and the Chair be authorised to sign them subject to the following amendment:


Item 9 – bullet point 9 – The words ‘and changed the nature of that cohort which meant it was likely that outcomes for this group would improve’ be deleted from the last sentence.


Chair's Report


There was no chair’s report.


Items for Call In (if any)




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.





Membership, Terms of Reference and Dates of Meetings pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Additional documents:




That the report be noted.


Scrutiny Topic and Draft Work Programme pdf icon PDF 106 KB


The chair suggested that officers be asked to provide a report back on each of the previous scrutiny reviews that had taken place since 2017.


The chair confirmed that the committee had agreed to undertake a scrutiny view on Making Children Visible. Within this topic there would be mini-scrutinies on those who were not in education, employment or education (NEET), attendance and the voice of the child/family.



1) That the work programme be noted.

2) That officers be asked to provide a report back on each of the previous scrutiny reviews that had taken place since 2017.

3) That the subject of the committee’s scrutiny review for 2022/23 be Making Children Visible. 


SEND Transitions Scrutiny Report pdf icon PDF 2 MB


The chair thanked officers for those involved in the scrutiny.



That the scrutiny report be approved.


Quarter 4 Performance Report

Additional documents:


Jon Abbey, Corporate Director of Children’s Services introduced the report.


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

·       The Quarter 4 report provided a summary over the year.

·       There was encouraging data regarding youth offending. An inspection of this area was expected.

·       Attendance data had been affected by the Covid pandemic.

·       Islington should be compared against the London figures rather than the national figures.

·       In response to a member’s question, officers advised that a large number of those the youth offending service worked with had Special Educational Needs (SEN). An educational psychologist had been recruited and worked with the Youth Justice Service three days a week. Work included assessing young people and applying for Education Health Care Plans (EHCPs) where appropriate. Those on remand and in secure units were also visited. There was a SEN protocol in place. Social, Emotional, Mental Health (SEMH) was the second largest area of need behind autism and increasingly young people had a dual diagnosis of Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). There were concerns about overrepresentation among those in the youth justice system.

·       A member commented that it was positive that the not in education, employment or training (NEET) figure had reduced and asked what work would be undertaken during the school holidays. Officers stated that the Risk of NEET Indicator (RONI) was being used to prevent children and young people from becoming NEET. Summerversity would take place in the holidays. There was also a Holiday Activity Fund, a number of different holiday activities were planned and work was taking place to help young people understand the employment opportunities available to them. Upward Bound was a project run through London Metropolitan University. Work was also taking place with the Arts Council to engage cultural partners and provide opportunities.

·       A member asked how opportunities including Summerversity were offered to children not in school. An officer stated that as well as brochures being distributed in schools, they were also sent to those who worked with vulnerable children and these children were prioritised for opportunities.

·       A member asked if reoffending was a particular problem in any specific areas of the borough and was advised that it was not and there was a general reduction in reoffending rates. In response to a question about preventative measures, an officer advised that a multi-agency plan was in place for these children. This included support in confidence and self-esteem building, help writing CVs, speech and language therapy and emotional support.

·       In relation to questions about attendance, officers advised that attendance was high in primary school but lower in secondary school. The Secretary of State had set a challenge of 100% attendance from September 2022 and the government was expecting each local authority to have a plan for provision in place by 2023. Islington’s plan would be in place by September 2022. Islington’s attendance figures had gone from the bottom quartile of all local authority figures to the top quartile in recent years. There were sensitive arrangements in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.


Draft Education Plan and Draft SEN Strategy

Additional documents:


Jon Abbey, Corporate Director of Children’s Services introduced the item. He stated that the documents were mindful of the manifesto commitments and young people would be at the centre. The documents would be brought back to the Committee in the Autumn.


Sarah Callaghan, Director of Learning and Culture gave a presentation on the draft Education Plan.


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

·       There were nine key pillars, each with an ambition statement and in the document there was contextual information about each one.

·       Key priorities would be delivered through collaboration.

·       The chair stated that it was important to ensure that outcomes were measurable as some of the ambitions were targets and aspirations rather than actions.

·       The council always aimed to work with all schools including Academies. This included in relation to attendance. Secondary headteachers were meeting each other and relationships were being improved.

·       In response to a member’s comments that there were some outstanding secondary schools in Islington but perceptions of parents could be improved, an officer stated that social media should be used more and every school should be challenged to be the best it could be. It was important to maximise information, advice and guidance to parents and promote equity and excellence. In relation to place planning, there was a need to ensure Islington schools were competitive and parents had choice. Good relationships were being built with schools. The chair stated that historical perceptions may no longer be accurate and it was important to help change the narrative and the way people spoke about Islington’s offer.

·       In response to a member’s question about innovation, an officer advised that innovation was the opportunity to build on strengths, drive educational excellence and have high aspirations for every young person regardless of their starting point.


Candy Holder, Head of Pupil Services gave a presentation on the draft SEN Strategy.


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

·       The strategy built on work already achieved to improve outcomes for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

·       The strategy was jointly developed with children and young people, parents and carers, schools and partners. It supported the inclusion of all children and young people in Islington.

·       The strategy outlined a programme of work for the next three years involving a wide range of services and providers, with schools and education settings being partners in ensuring transformation.

·       There were four main ambitions: 1) Fully inclusive education for all; 2) Right support in the right place at the right time for parents and carers; 3) Equity and excellent education provision; and 4) All young people are well prepared for adulthood.

·       Many of the recommendations in the committee’s SEND Transition review had informed the draft SEN Strategy.

·       The chair stated that the committee had struggled to hear from parents from ethnic minorities and those with English as an additional language so it was important their views were captured in the strategy work.

·       A member commented  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.