Agenda and minutes

Children and Young People's Scrutiny Panel
Monday, 4th July, 2022 6.30 pm

Venue: Space 1, Level 2, 40, Cumberland Road, N22 7SG

Contact: Rob Mack, Principal Scrutiny Officer 

No. Item



Please note that this meeting may be filmed or recorded by the Council for live or subsequent broadcast via the Council’s internet site or by anyone attending the meeting using any communication method. Although we ask members of the public recording, filming or reporting on the meeting not to include the public seating areas, members of the public attending the meeting should be aware that we cannot guarantee that they will not be filmed or recorded by others attending the meeting. Members of the public participating in the meeting (e.g. making deputations, asking questions, making oral protests) should be aware that they are likely to be filmed, recorded or reported on. 


By entering the meeting room and using the public seating area, you are consenting to being filmed and to the possible use of those images and sound recordings.


The chair of the meeting has the discretion to terminate or suspend filming or recording, if in his or her opinion continuation of the filming, recording or reporting would disrupt or prejudice the proceedings, infringe the rights of any individual or may lead to the breach of a legal obligation by the Council.


The Chair referred Members present to item 1 as shown on the agenda in respect of filming at the meeting.  Members noted the information contained therein.


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Buxton, Ms Jhunjhunwala and Ms Keever.


Items of Urgent Business

The Chair will consider the admission of any late items of urgent business (late items will be considered under the agenda item where they appear. New items will be dealt with as noted below).




Declarations of interest

A member with a disclosable pecuniary interest or a prejudicial interest in a matter who attends a meeting of the authority at which the matter is considered:


(i) must disclose the interest at the start of the meeting or when the interest becomes apparent, and

(ii) may not participate in any discussion or vote on the matter and must withdraw from the meeting room.


A member who discloses at a meeting a disclosable pecuniary interest which is not registered in the Register of Members’ Interests or the subject of a pending notification must notify the Monitoring Officer of the interest within 28 days of the disclosure.


Disclosable pecuniary interests, personal interests and prejudicial interests are defined at Paragraphs 5-7 and Appendix A of the Members’ Code of Conduct.





To consider any requests received in accordance with Part 4, Section B, Paragraph 29 of the Council’s Constitution.




Minutes pdf icon PDF 260 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting of 15 March 2022.




That the minutes of the meeting of 15th March 2022 be approved.


Terms of Reference and Membership pdf icon PDF 197 KB

To note the terms of reference and membership of the Panel.

Additional documents:


The Panel were of the view that all Panel Members, including co-optees, should feel included and not subject to any limitation on the areas of discussion that they were able to contribute to.   The Chair stated that the contribution of the statutory co-opted Members was valued and there was no restriction on the areas that they were able to contribute to at Panel meetings.




That the following be noted:

·         The terms of reference and protocols for the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and its Panels and non-voting co-opted Members on Scrutiny Panels; and

·         The policy areas/remits and membership for each Scrutiny Panel for



Appointment of Non Voting Co-opted Member pdf icon PDF 376 KB

To approve the appointment of a non-voting co-opted member to the Panel.


The Panel noted that there was a distinction between voting and non-voting co-opted Members.  There was a requirement that all scrutiny bodies concerned with education included church and parent governor representatives and these had a statutory right to vote on education issues.  Church representatives were appointed by the relevant diocesan authorities whilst parent governor representatives were appointed through a separate and prescribed election process that was administered by Haringey Education Partnership.


All scrutiny bodies could also appoint up to three non-voting co-opted Members and it was the appointment of such a co-opted Member that the report concerned.  The Panel had previously indicated its wish to appoint an individual to provide specific input on matters relating to Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).   To this end, Haringey SEND Parent Carers Forum had been contacted and invited to nominate a suitable person to be co-opted onto the Panel. 


It was noted that, in practice, voting was very rarely an issue at Panel meetings as decisions were generally reached by consensus.                                               




That a representative from Haringey SEND Parent Carer Forum be appointed as a non-voting co-opted Member of the Panel for the 2022/23 Municipal Year.


Cabinet Member Questions: Children, Schools and Families

An opportunity to question Councillor Zena Brabazon, the Cabinet Member for

Children, Schools and Families, on developments within her portfolio.


Councillor Zena Brabazon, the Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Families, reported that the statutory guidance on the respective roles of the Director and of the relevant Cabinet Member for Children’s Services had not changed since 2004.  They were accountable for a range of services including corporate parenting, safeguarding of children and children in need.  In addition, there was also accountability for the quality and provision of education.  The overall framework was governed by the Children Act of 2004. 


There had been great changes to the education landscape in recent years, with the advent of free schools and acceleration in the growth of academies.  These had resulted in fragmentation and the development of a “two tier” system, which had impacted on maintenance of Council maintained schools.  There was now a £90 million capital programme in Haringey to refurbish them.  In addition, a working group had been set up with schools to explore closer collaboration. Schools had autonomy but were not islands and there were strategic issues that needed to be explored with them.  Children’s social care would nevertheless always be the Council’s top priority though. 


Keeping abreast of legislation was another important priority.  There was currently a consultation on the government’s Green Paper on SEND and this was due to finish on 22 July.   Concerns had been expressed by the SEND Parent Carer Forum at what is being proposed.  The proposed changes were likely to take many years to be implemented, if they proceeded.  She felt that the Council’s provision for SEND had made considerable progress recently.  The recent OFSTED inspection of SEND had identified three areas of weakness and, whilst these were significant, this was less than had been identified in inspections in other areas. 


She had particular concerns regarding youth justice and anti-social behaviour.  An extensive summer activity programme was planned for children and young people and was available to view on the Council’s website.


The Panel raised the issue of the Domestic Abuse Act, which required children and young people to be identified as victims and appropriate provision made for them. They requested information on the preparations that had been made in Haringey.  It was noted that the Children and Young People’s Service worked closely with the Violence Against Women and Girls team and agreed that a full report would be made to a future meeting of the Panel on this issue.


In answer to a question regarding how schools addressed the needs of children before a formal diagnosis of SEND, the Cabinet Member stated that she would like children to be diagnosed as soon as possible.  However, sometimes it was felt better to wait if children were in early years settings.  The lack of a diagnosis did not necessarily mean that there was no support plan.  Some of the timescales for diagnosis had reduced but sometimes the needs of children were very complex.   The resources required to support children were also not always available.   She felt that there was a need to identify needs at an  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Haringey Travel Assistance Policy (consultation update} pdf icon PDF 703 KB

To report on the consultation that is taking place on the Haringey Travel Assistance Policy.                                                                               (TO FOLLOW)


Ms Difolco reported that, following a challenging start to the previous school year, an informal learning review was set up to look at SEND transport.  This had identified some areas of learning, which resulted in the development of proposals to improve the service.  A new Travel Assistance policy had been drafted in response and was currently subject to consultation.  It contained separate policies for pre and post 16 children and young people. 


There were a number of changes contained in the new policy.  These included:

·         Consideration of sustainability;

·         Introduction of behavioural standards; 

·         A detailed explanation of the decision making process for transport;

·         Standardisation of disputes and appeals processes, in accordance with Statutory Guidance;

·         Cut off dates for applications to reduce disruption to the service and inform effective planning;

·         Personal travel budgets had been developed further and rates increased so they were in line with those offered by other boroughs; and

·         Clarity around breakfast and after school clubs and times when transport could be provided.


A comprehensive programme of opportunities for people to respond to the consultation had been provided and 69 formal responses had been received so far. The majority of these had come from parents and carers.  The top priority from those who had responded was to improve communication with parents. 


Procurement for was currently underway.  Preliminary routes would shared with schools by 1 July and trial runs conducted with new providers by mid-August.  Additional investment had been provided for the SEND Transport Team and this included a Parent Liaison Officer.  In addition, software was being developed to support communication and tracking through an app for parents and carers.


In answer to a question, Ms Difolco reported that Personal Travel Budgets were separate from Direct Payments.  There were eligibility criteria for travel assistance and consultation took place with parents and carers to determine the most appropriate mode of transport.  Children and young people with complex needs would not normally be given a Personal Travel Budget.   They were generally provided when a parent or carer had indicated they would be interested in having one.  A flat rate was paid which was comparable to amounts offered by other London boroughs but did not provide an incentive for parents and carers and had a low take up. This is in the process of being reviewed.  It was agreed that a link to the draft policy and the page relating to Personal Travel Budgets would be circulated to Panel Members.


In answer to another question, she stated that approximately 630 children and young people received travel assistance.  The consultation had specifically targeted parents and carers of children with SEND but details had also been sent to every household in the borough through Haringey People.  In addition, it had also been publicised via the SEND newsletter, which had over 2,000 subscribers. 


The Panel commented that the response rate had so far been comparatively low, although the consultation still had some time to run.   Ms Difolco stated that she was open to suggestions on how  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Support to Refugee Children pdf icon PDF 144 KB

To report on support for refugee children arriving in the borough.   (TO FOLLOW)

Additional documents:


Beverley Hendricks, Assistant Director for Social Care, reported on the support provided for refugee children from Afghanistan and the Ukraine.  Provision for these had been merged and was provided by Children’s Social Care and by Connected Communities. It was focussed on providing for the basic needs of children and young people, including food, shelter and healthcare.  15 refugees from Afghanistan had so far been assisted.  530 had come from the Ukraine and there were currently 265 sponsors, involving 259 properties.  147 of those from the Ukraine were children and 63 of these now had visas.  Safeguarding checks were undertaken on all sponsors and they were matched to refugees following their completion.  Work was also being undertaken to register refugees with GPs and with education services.


In answer to a question regarding safeguarding checks, Ms Hendricks reported that there had been some concerns expressed when refugees had started to arrive.  A series of checks were now undertaken.  A suitability of accommodation was undertaken by housing colleagues prior to the arrival of individuals.  Following this, DBS and health checks were undertaken.  There were two dedicated social workers who were responsible for these issues.  Safeguarding guidelines were also shared with all partners. 


Cllr Mason raised the issue of a family who had originally been placed in Haringey but had needed to move.  They had been resettled in south London rather than remaining in the borough with another host family.  Ms Hendricks agreed to look into this case and respond separately to Cllr Mason. In response to a question regarding promotion of psycho/social needs, Ms Hendricks agreed to ensure that the Welcome Packs supplied to refugees referred to the full range of services provided by food banks.


In answer to another question, Ms Hendricks stated that the Welcome Hub was part of a strategic group that was led by Council officers and also involved the Migrant Trust.  She agreed to circulate details of it to the Panel.  She reported that there had not been any significant increase in unaccompanied minors.  One had arrived from the Ukraine though.  Revised government guidance had stated that they should be dealt with in the same way as other unaccompanied minors. 




1.    That the Assistant Director (Social Care) be requested to look into the specific case raised by Councillor Mason regarding the resettlement of a refugee family in south London following an unsuccessful placement in Haringey;


2.    That Welcome Packs given to new arrived refugees include reference to psycho/social needs and the full range of services provided by food banks; and


3.    That details of the Welcome Hub be circulated to the Panel.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 283 KB

To note the arrangements for developing a work plan for the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and its panels for 2022-24 and agree provisional items for the next meeting of the Panel.


The Panel noted that a comprehensive work planning process would be taking place for overview and scrutiny and that this would include the Children and Young People’s Panel.  Consultation with stakeholders, including residents, on priorities would be an integral part of this.  There would be on-line survey and an in-person Scrutiny Café event, which was scheduled to take place on 9 September. 


The next meeting of the Panel was scheduled to take place before the work planning process had been completed so it was necessary for the Panel to identify potential items ahead of it.   Some items had already been identified by the Panel at previous meetings, as outlined in the report. 


The Panel made the following suggestions for potential items for the next meeting:

·         Domestic abuse and safeguarding; and

·         Stop and Search.


In addition, it was noted that the Annual Youth Justice Plan and an update on the financial position of the budget for Children and Young People’s Services were due to be considered at the meeting.   The report Youth Justice report would include information on the effectiveness of interventions.  The following suggestions were made as items for future consideration by the Panel:

·         Housing and children; and

·         Tracking racial incidents in schools.




That the agenda items for the next meeting of the Panel be finalised by the Chair in consultation with officers from the Children and Young People’s Service/


Dates of Future Meetings

·         6 September 2022;

·         7 November 2022;

·         3 January 2023; and

·         20 March 2023.



·         6 September 2022;

·         7 November 2022;

·         3 January 2023; and

·         20 March 2023.