Agenda and minutes

Children, Education and Skills Sub Committee - Thursday, 23rd January, 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: 0.01 Chamber - Quadrant, The Silverlink North, Cobalt Business Park, North Tyneside, NE27 0BY. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 

No. Item


Appointment of substitutes

To be informed of the appointment of any substitute members for the meeting.



There were no substitute members.


To receive any declarations of interest

You are invited to declare any registerable and/or non-registerable interests in matters appearing on the agenda, and the nature of that interest.


You are also requested to complete the Declarations of Interests card available at the meeting and return it to the Democratic Services Officer before leaving the meeting.


You are also invited to disclose any dispensation from the requirement to declare any registerable and/or non-registerable interests that have been granted to you in respect of any matters appearing on the agenda.



Councillor E Parker-Leonard declared a registerable personal interest in Item 6 The attainment of looked after children, as she was a foster carer with another local authority.


Councillor S Phillips declared a registerable personal interest in Item 6 The attainment of looked after children, as he was a school governor


Minutes pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 21 November 2019.


Resolved that subject to the amendments below, the minutes of the previous meeting held on 21 November 2019 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair:


Paragraph 6 be replaced by: In 2018, approximately 55% of children had plans completed in time within the 20 week assessment process timescale.


Paragraph 7 be replaced by: Members sought clarification on the average length of time it took to complete a plan.


Paragraph 10 be replaced by: It was agreed to note the contents of the report and it was noted that on average, an EHC Needs Assessment took 27 weeks to complete. 





Changes to Local Safeguarding Arrangements pdf icon PDF 114 KB

To update the Sub-Committee on the implementation of the new arrangements for safeguarding as required by the Children and Social Work Act and revised statutory guidance Working Together 2018




The Sub-committee received a report from the Independent Advisor to the North Tyneside Children Partnership on the implementation of the new arrangements for Safeguarding as required by the Children and Social Work Act and revised statutory guidance “Working Together” 2018.


These arrangements replaced the requirement for a statutory Board and Independent Chair. Responsibility and accountability for the delivery of the requirements of the statutory guidance, now rested with what were termed the three Statutory Partners who were the Local Authority, the Chief Constable and the Clinical Commissioning Group.


The retention of a form of partnership was identified through consultation as being important. In order to reflect past learning, a new partnership had been formed (North Tyneside Children Partnership) which looked to combine the strengths of the previous Children Young People’s Partnership and the Local Safeguarding Children Board.  This would provide a focus on overall outcomes for children and young people in the borough and integrate assurance and learning to ensure that all priorities and outcomes were widely owned. This partnership would also develop an approach to learning and assurance that ensured there was a focus on joint working to protect children and promote their welfare in order that the Statutory Partners could meet their statutory requirements.


The new partnership was directly accountable to the North Tyneside Strategic Partnership and would develop effective lines of reporting and sharing with other partnerships. The Statutory Partners had established regular meetings to provide a lead for implementation and a work plan would address key delivery and development issues. This included the need to produce a report within twelve months outlining progress, learning and impact. This report would also itemise further changes that might be needed.


There was a requirement for the provision of independent scrutiny, but the guidance was not specific as to what form this should take. For the interim period, a role of Independent Advisor had been created to provide the statutory partners and the partnership with support and advice. This role was also responsible for the development and operation of the means to look into the effectiveness of practice and how joint working arrangements were acting on learning.


The new partnership would continue to benefit from the arrangements in place to provide children and young people with an opportunity to be heard and to influence priorities and outcomes. In terms of safeguarding arrangements, it was the intention to develop a particular approach that reflected the need to recognise and learn from the experiences of children who were vulnerable and who had experienced harm, neglect, abuse and exploitation. This would draw on wider learning that was emerging and was often referred to as “lived experience”. If successful, this would add a new perspective to the understanding of abuse and therefore how joint working arrangements could be developed to reflect this. There were parallels with the approaches to Children who were Looked After and the wider intention to ensure that the new arrangements were focused on joint working practice.


Following the implementation of  ...  view the full minutes text for item CES27


The Attainment of Looked After Children pdf icon PDF 262 KB

To receive an overview of the educational outcomes and progress of the children in the care of North Tyneside Council


The Sub-Committee received an overview of the educational outcomes and progress of the children in the care of North Tyneside Council.


The Council as Corporate Parents had a statutory duty to promote the education of looked after children in the care of North Tyneside Council. They also had an extended remit to provide advice and information to schools and families relating to the education of previously looked after children (who had achieved permanence through adoption, special guardianship or a child arrangements order).


The Virtual School sat within the Raising the Health and Education of Looked After Children Team (RHELAC) and together with health colleagues closely monitored the holistic needs of looked after children. The Virtual School had a small team of teachers that provided support, mainly in schools, to help pupils fill gaps in their knowledge and give them a boost in preparation for exams and assessments. Over the last few years psychological support had been developed through educational psychologists and counsellors to help pupils manage their mental health needs that could sometimes be a barrier to learning.


The Virtual School Head managed the Pupil Premium Plus for looked after children and this partly funded the support available within the team and the funding was used to provide ICT equipment, fund extra tuition or fund educational visits. Schools also received a direct allocation of £1200 per looked after child each year to provide additional support in school.


The Virtual School closely monitored the progress and attendance of looked after children through their Personal Education Plans and the termly data collection from schools. The Virtual School had a performance officer who analysed the presenting data and identified any gaps in provision and held schools to account when pupils did not appear to be making enough progress.


The looked after children in the early years foundation stage OC2 cohort (in care for more than twelve months) outperformed both looked after children nationally and their non-looked after peers in North Tyneside.


Whilst there were only four children in this cohort, they all passed their Phonics test. They also had a higher average point score than the other cohorts. This was the second year 100% of the OC2 cohort had passed their Phonics Check. The Team had invested in a Reading Recovery teacher who had supported the pupils that met the criteria and provided intensive support in reading and writing. This enabled the pupils to make accelerated progress and catch up with their peers.  The evidence base around Reading Recovery was very strong and the Council would continue to use this approach. 


The seven pupils in the Key Stage 1 cohort also out-performed their non-looked after peers in Reading, Maths and Science but three did not meet the expected standard in writing which had impacted on the Reading, Writing, Maths (RWM) achievement. Looked after children nationally had lower writing scores and writing had been an area of focus for many years. This was a combination of poor fine motor skills from neglect in their  ...  view the full minutes text for item CES28