Agenda and minutes

Children,Young People and Families Scrutiny Panel - Wednesday, 16th January, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 3 - Civic Centre, St Peter's Square, Wolverhampton WV1 1SH

Contact: Earl Piggott-Smith  Tel: 01902 551251 or Email:

No. Item




Apologies were received from the following members of the panel:


Cllr Obaida Ahmed

Cllr Beverley Momenabadi

Cllr Simon Bennett

Cllr Clare Simm

Cllr Rita Potter



Declarations of interest


There were no declarations of interest recorded.



Minutes of the previous meeting ( 14. 11.18 ) pdf icon PDF 107 KB

[To approve the minutes of the previous meeting as a correct record]


Minute 11 – Secondary Expansion Programme 2019-20 and Primary School Provision


The panel agreed to amend the minutes to include a note that the Head of School Organisation had given an assurance that there were sufficient resources within the Council to deliver the secondary school expansion programme.


That the minutes of the meeting held on 14 November 2018, subject to the agreed changes, be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.



Matters arising

[To consider any matters arising from the minutes]


There were no matters arising from the minutes.




Update on SEND Transformation pdf icon PDF 168 KB

[To receive an update from the Head of SEND]


Adrian Leach, Head of SEND, introduced the report which gave an update on developments in the provision and services for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) since the summer 2018. 


The Head of SEND advised the panel of the legislative responsibilities that require local authorities, education providers and health services to transform the way they work with children and young people with SEND and their families. The Head of SEND outlined the governance structure and the work being done to build strong partnerships.


The Head of SEND outlined the performance measures that will show the effectiveness of the SEND Strategy delivery and the work done to respond to the findings of the Joint Area SEND Inspection, which identified areas for improvement.


The Head of SEND outlined the range of work done to refresh, refocus and update the SEND Strategy for Wolverhampton and invited members to comment on the progress.


The Head of SEND advised the panel that the recommendations from a review of short break provision will be completed in March 2018.


The panel discussed the opportunities for young people to be involved in developing the strategy. The Head of SEND welcomed the involvement of Youth Council to contribute ideas to help improve the offer to children and young people needing emotional support.


The Head of SEND also advised the panel of work planned to involve different groups in the development of the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment(JSNA) and it would be helpful to involve youth council members in the consultation about the transition to different support services. Further work needed to improve autistic diagnostic support that is available.


The panel discussed the exclusion from school of children and young people with Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). The Head of SEND advised that a report on the number of temporary and permanent school exclusions for children with EHCP will be presented to Children and Families Together Board.


The Head of SEND advised the panel of the work being done in preparation for a future inspection of the service. The inspection is done over a five-day period and will involve taking evidence from across the different partner organisations and also from parents and children.


The Head of SEND outlined the risks detailed in the report and the work being done to reduce them.



Councillor Lynne Moran, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, commented on the work done to break down silos between the different agencies involved. The Cabinet Member commented on the high quality of work delivered by people working in GEM centre and praised their commitment to improving the lives of children and young people referred to them.


The Cabinet Member praised the leadership and people working in the SEND service for their efforts to transform the service.


The panel queried details of the outcome measures for the SEND Strategy that will be used to assess the impact and progress. The Head of SEND advised that a report with baseline measures will be presented  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Children's Services Practice Week Overall Report November 2018 pdf icon PDF 486 KB


Emma Bennett, Director for Children’s Services, presented the findings of the practice week, that was held in November 2018. The Director outlined the aim of practice week and the findings. The Director outlined the areas that needed to improve and the next steps. A key change to the next audit will be that the next planned practice week will take place over a longer period


The Director explained the objectives of new format of auditing and invited panel members views on this. The panel were advised that the last case auditwas completed in September 2018 and the approach was based on how Ofsted would do their inspections.  In total 96 case files were audited, and 35 practice observations took place.


The Director commented on the benefits of the approach in helping to improve practice and providing real time feedback.


The panel thanked the Director for the report and the positive findings from the practice week.



            The panel agree that the new format has achieved its stated objectives and would like to thank all those involved for the work done and progress made to improve the quality of services to children and young people.


Wolverhampton Safeguarding Children and Adults Board pdf icon PDF 70 KB

[Report  will be sent to follow]

Additional documents:


Emma Bennett, Director for Children's Services, introduced the report and explained the reasons for publishing the safeguarding statement. The panel was advised that this was presented as pre-decision scrutiny and the comments would be included in the report to Cabinet meeting on 20 March 2019. The panel were invited to give responses to questions detailed in the report asking for comments on their preference between the different versions.


The panel preferred the shorter version of the draft with images included. The panel would like the standards listed at the start, and also links rather than explanations.


The Director for Children's Service agreed to note the comments of the panel.



            The panel comments on the draft document to be considered in the report to be presented to Cabinet on 20 March 2019.


Children Young People and Families Scrutiny Panel 2017/18 Draft Work Programme pdf icon PDF 63 KB

[Earl Piggott-Smith, Scrutiny Officer, to present report]


Earl Piggott-Smith, Scrutiny Officer, presented the draft work programme for comments. The Scrutiny Officer advised the panel that a report on the Youth Justice Plan 2019/20 had been added to the agenda for the meeting on 19.6.19. The members of Adult and Safer City Panel would be invited to attend the meeting.


The panel agreed that the issue of home education should be added to the work programme.



            The panel agreed to add Youth Justice Plan and Home Education as future topics for the panel to consider.



The meeting closed at 7.30pm