Agenda item

Committee's Work Plan

 To discuss the future work plan items.


27.1  The Committee discussed the work plan in detail and members were asked to email any additional items for inclusion to the clerk. 


27.2  The Committee agreed that IT should be included on the agenda, given the impact it had on frontline staff and the concerns raised during the Ofsted inspection. The DCS advised the Committee that he had recently had a meeting with his corporate colleagues and had explained that there were considerable issues with the current IT infrastructure. 


27.3  As a result, it had been agreed that Liquid Logic would be appointed to host the children’s services electronic file system.  It was noted that they hosted the same system for neighbouring authorities, as it proved a stable service for frontline staff.    The Committee were advised that children services would struggle to progress at any pace, until the IT system was stabilised.  The details were being explored and it was agreed that an update report would be provided to the November meeting.  (Action – CS)


27.4  Cllr Evans referred to his earlier request for Early Intervention/Help to be included on the work plan and he asked for examples used in other Authorities as a comparison.   The DCS explained that the current service model had not broken down and it could always be improved.  It was noted that Gloucestershire undertook regular peer reviews with Cornwall who were an outstanding Authority. 


27.5  The Head of Quality & Safeguarding explained that Cornwall had some of the highest indicators of deprivation and difficulty, yet they were also one of the lowest funded children services nationally.  He noted they were in a very unusual position, as they were one of the most efficient and highly performing authorities nationally, as they had constructed an early help system that was front loaded and the emphasis strategically was on early health, early intervention and prevention. 


27.6  It was noted that Cornwall’s model involved early help teams, who worked intensively with families depending on the level of need or risk and the help remained continuous for the family for the duration of the episode.  The Head of Quality & Safeguarding recognised it appeared to be a very economical model, even though their system was under increasing pressure and agreed to being an update report to the Committee’s March 2023 meeting.  (Action -RE & CS)


27.7  It was also requested that the Bright Spots Survey Results be presented at the March meeting for discussion.


27.8  During the discussion, members questioned primary school exclusions, as it appeared the figures had increased significantly.  The DoE explains there had been a drop in the number of secondary school exclusion but the service had seen a rise in the primary sector.  She felt this was part of a complex picture around special educational needs and the capacity of special needs places.  The DoE explained that alternative provision, the inclusion of special educational needs and primary exclusions could be dealt with jointly as they interlinked.  It was agreed that a member briefing session be arranged sooner rather than later to discuss the current issues. 


27.9  It was also noted that the SEN green paper would be presented in July and that may answer some of the committee’s concerns.  The DoE also added that academisation need to be discussed in order to give a wider context for members, it was agreed that the committee clerk would discuss the issues with the DoE, Chair and Vice-Chair in order to develop a briefing session.  Member were asked to submit their suggestions to the clerk via email





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