Agenda and minutes

Children,Young People and Families Scrutiny Panel - Tuesday, 5th January, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Microsoft Teams Meeting

Contact: Earl Piggott-Smith  Tel: 01902 551251 or Email: earl.piggott-smith@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome and Introductions

[The Chair to welcome everyone to the meeting. The Scrutiny Officer will then read out a list of those invited to the meeting to confirm who is in attendance.]

Minutes:

Cllr Rita Potter, Chair, welcomed everyone to the virtual meeting and advised it was being live streamed to the press and public. Cllr Potter advised that she was not expecting any exempt or restricted items on the agenda. A recording of the meeting would be available for viewing on the Council’s website at a future date.

 

2.

Meeting procedures to be followed

[The Chair will explain how the meeting will proceed, how questions are to be asked and any matters of meeting etiquette.]

Minutes:

Cllr Potter explained the protocol to be followed during the meeting for asking questions and reminded everyone that microphones should be muted and cameras off, unless they have been invited to speak.

Earl Piggott-Smith, Scrutiny Officer, confirmed the list of people in attendance at the meeting.

 

3.

Apologies

Minutes:

Councillor Beverley Momenabadi declared a non-pecuniary interest in Agenda 5 as a Governor of Bilston Primary School.

 

4.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest recorded.

 

The following members of the panel declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item x

5.

The Vision for School Organisation in Wolverhampton 2020-2022 pdf icon PDF 570 KB

The Panel is asked to note the following:

 

This item is being considered as pre-decision scrutiny and will therefore not be available to call-in once a decision is made by the Executive.

 

[Bill Hague, Head of Business and Support, to present report]

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Dr Michael Hardacre, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, introduced the report and explained that the Local Authority has a duty to provide a sufficient number of appropriate places for all the children who wish to be educated in Wolverhampton. The Cabinet Member commented on the challenges to achieving this as a result of legislative changes which have led to the introduction of free schools, academies schools over the years. As a result, the Local Authority has had to adopt a much more subtle process of negotiation and consultation with the various educational providers working in the City. The Cabinet Member commented on the difficulty in preparing the report and praised the contributions which have required a whole department effort to complete.

 

The Cabinet Member highlighted the importance of having correct data to inform planning decisions and the document gives the framework needed to ensure that childrenof all ages and abilities have a school place available to them whilst at the same time helping to maintain a healthy school environment. The Cabinet Member commented on the predicted increase in the demand for school places in the future and work being planned to meet the need for places as detailed in the document.

 

The Cabinet Member commented on the work done to consult with a wide range of organisations in the preparation of the document that was considered to be fit for purpose to ensure that over the next few years that the Local Authority has the right number of spaces in the right places.

 

Bill Hague, Head of School Business and Support, introduced the report and briefed the panel on the key points of the report and the main findings from the responses to the consultation. The Head of School Business and Support advised that the document is the latest iteration of the school place planning strategy for the City.

 

The document was being presented for pre-decision scrutiny and comment before the report is presented to Cabinet for approval at a meeting on 20 January 2021.

 

Cabinet will be asked to note the outcomes of the external consultation and the impact of demographic uplift on the demand for future school places and the need to identify and develop appropriate solutions to meet anticipated demand. The consultation started on the 18 March 2020 to gather views from key partners.

 

The Head of School Business and Support advised the panel that the Council is not in full control of all the factors in meeting the demand for school places and commented on the role of Regional Schools Commissioner in the process.

 

The Head of School Business and Support commented that the strategy also covers the closure of schools as well. The Head of Business Support commented that the strategy will help to deliver an inclusive education system in the City and expressed the commitment to meet the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities

 

The consultation received 52 responses which was much higher than the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.