Kush Patel, Children’s Innovation Lead,
introduced the report and gave brief update on the HeadStart
sustainability plan and progress to date. The Children’s
Innovation Lead outlined the reach figures for the programme and
the success of work done to engage parents and the wider community.
The programme has exceeded its original forecast for number of
young people it has engaged. The Children’s Innovation Lead
advised the panel that the programme is moving from learning to the
embedding stage. The development of sustainability plans is being
supported by the National Children’s Board (NCB).
The Children’s Innovation Lead detailed
changes to the governance structure of the programme and gave a
presentation on the four priority themes. The panel were updated on
progress against each of the theme areas. The panel were invited to
comment on the report. The panel queried plans to both recruit and
retain existing parenting champions detailed in the report. Andrew
Wolverson, Head of Service People, advised the panel that there is
a dedicated parent champion co-ordinator to support this work,
which also supported by the Adult Education Service. The
co-ordinator manages 40 volunteers and there is commitment from the
Council to maintain and grow the number of volunteers because of
the benefits of encouraging parents to talk.
The panel queried decision making process
about future plans for projects funded by HeadStart and in
particular the risk of job losses when the funding ends in 2021.
The Head of Service People responded that the specific project had
achieved the target set at the point. The project ended earlier
than planned in order to meet the timeline for inclusion in the
national evaluation programme, this meant activities had to be
brought forward to meet the deadline. The evaluation of the
programme is done by Manchester University. The staff involved in
the projects were not employed by the HeadStart programme and the
aim was to be a test and learn programme and some projects would be
ended early if they were not having the expected impact.
The panel discussed the help offered to young
people to get them work ready and the involvement of schools. The
Children’s Innovation Lead advised the panel that the
programme has been successful in getting schools involved.
The panel were advised the panel that the
programme board will be using the expertise of the NCB to review
the constitution and to develop plan for sustainability of
successful projects. The NCB are looking at arranging a showcase
event to promote the impact and lessons learnt from the
The panel queried the efforts to improve the
skills of the workforce and whether to extend co-production to give
young people a more active role in the development of the future
work and direction of the programme.
Head of Service People commented on work done
to map what support services are available to young people.
The panel queried the reasons for originally
selecting the areas chosen to be included in the programme. The
Head of Service People explained the criteria that was used and
explained further work is ongoing to identify gaps in provision.
The work is part of the action plan which CYP Emotional Mental
Health and Wellbeing Partnership Board which is aimed at getting a
better understanding of the needs of young people.
The panel agreed to note the progress of the HeadStart
The panel comments on the future plans as the programme moves from
‘test and learn’ to ‘learn and embed’ to be
considered by the HeadStart Partnership.