Agenda and minutes

Children and Young People's Scrutiny Panel
Thursday, 18th November, 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: Woodside Room George Meehan House - Outside Venue

Contact: Rob Mack, Principal Scrutiny Officer 

Note: To watch, click the link on the agenda front sheet 

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 agenda item 1 in respect of filming at the meeting.  Members noted the information contained therein.


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Ms Jhunjhunwala (parent governor representative).


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.


The Panel received a deputation regarding the recent joint OFSTED/Care Quality Commission (CQC) area inspection of Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) services.  Amanda Bernard spoke on behalf of the deputation.   She stated that parents and carers wished to have their say on the response to the joint inspection.  They were often asked what they co-production meant to them but they did not think the onus should just be on parent and carers to respond.  They had always wanted to work jointly and in co-production with the Council.  They felt that they had been heard but not listened to.  Parents and carers met frequently with officers who were referred to as professionals but they were also professionals in caring for their children.  Only seventy days had been allowed to prepare a plan to resolve long standing issues in response to the joint inspection.   The adversarial culture that existed had come about in response to the manner in which parents and carers had been treated.  Although there had been some advocates for them within the Council, they had proven to be ineffectual. 


SEND covered a wide range of different children and young people but the outcomes of consultations were normally based only on the views of the people who had responded first on-line.   Some parents and carers did not have access to the internet though and were therefore unable to respond.  Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans covered a range of interdependent issues.  Attention also needed to be given to what happened when young people transitioned to adult services.  


The joint inspection had highlighted what parents and carers had been saying for a long time.  In responding, it was important that parents and carers were represented on bodies such as scrutiny panels as they represented a significant group of people.  The needs of the Council ought not to outweigh those of families of children and young people with SEND.   Provision also needed to be made for those whose first language was not English.  In addition, there needed to be some semblance of truth and reconciliation.


The Chair thanked the deputation for their contribution and highlighting the issues they felt needed addressing.  She felt that it was important that parents and carers were listened and responded to appropriately. 


In response to a question, Ms Bernard stated that co-production meant what it said.  It was about parents and carers not being told what to do but working together with the Council.  The time frame in which parents and carers were given to respond to consultations was important.  A range of events had been arranged as part of the response to the joint inspection.  Many parents and carers had been given little or no notice of these.  A minimum of 21 days notice needed to be provided.  It should be possible to engage with all the families on the SEND register and not just rely on on-line feedback.  She felt that if comprehensive consultation could be undertaken on proposed CPZ schemes, including door-to-door engagement,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 274 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting of 23 September 2021.




That the minutes of the meeting of 23 September 2021 be approved.


Whittington Health Estates and Services Reconfiguration - Implementation pdf icon PDF 339 KB

To receive an update from Whittington Health on progress with the reconfiguration of their services within Haringey.


Jonathan Gardner, Director of Strategy and Corporate Affairs at Whittington Health, reported on progress with the reconfiguration of their estates and services in Haringey and, in particular, the move of children’s services to Tynemouth Road Health Centre.  A full consultation had been undertaken on the proposed changes.  Since approval of the changes, the investment for them had increased from £1 million to £1.8 million.  There had been general support for the principle of bringing children’s services together at the Centre but there had also been some concerns raised.  Those responding to the proposals had stated that they wished to be given the opportunity to shape the design of the changes to the Centre.  A range of means had been used to engage with the community and obtain their feedback and their input had been incorporated.  A Changing Places toilet had been recently installed and their suggestions regarding the colour of the waiting areas had been incorporated.


In response to concerns, there would be increased parking facilities for users of the centre, with eight places made available.  Most of these would be for Blue Badge holders.  There would also be additional places available just outside of the centre.  They had encouraged staff to reduce the use of parking spaces by them through promotion of initiatives such as the Cycle to Work scheme and Travelcard loans.  They had also worked with the Council to improve access and a review of pavements nearby was taking place.  They were liaising with the Council on action to address pollution in the area.  Much of this was outside of the direct control of Whittington Health but they were doing what they could through measures such as the use of electric vehicles by district nurses.  The building work at Centre had started and it was likely to be completed early in the new year. 


Panel Members expressed disappointment at the progress report.  A clear, costed plan for parking had been requested as part of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s response to the proposals.  In addition, engagement needed to take place with the Council’s Highways Service regarding safe crossings as the roads nearby the Centre were very busy.  There also needed to be a greater commitment to addressing pollution in the area.  Evidence was required that they had listened to those who had responded to the consultation and taken action in response.  The aspiration needed to be for the Centre to be the safest location for children and families to receive services.


Mr Gardner responded that Whittington Health had more than doubled car parking capacity and changed their policy on staff parking.  He was confident that they now had more than enough capacity for patients.  They had tried to engage with the Highways Service regarding crossings and had been told that changes were included in plans for the area.  They would do all that was within their powers to address pollution in the area, including expanding their fleet of electric cars and making buildings net zero.  The engagement  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.


Summary of Area SEND Inspection pdf icon PDF 742 KB

To report on the outcome of the recent area inspection of SEND services in Haringey and action to be taken in response to it.


Jackie DiFolco, Assistant Director for Early Help, Prevention and SEND, summarised the outcome of the recent joint area inspection of SEND within Haringey that was undertaken by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission.  The inspection had focussed on how well SEND was identified, outcomes were improved and needs met.  It had highlighted some areas of strength as well as areas where action was required.   The authority was required to address:

·         The poor quality of EHC plans and the annual review process;

·         The lack of partnership working and poor communication and co-production with parents, children and young people;

·         Unacceptable waiting times for Autism Spectrum assessments and insufficient support whilst people were waiting.


These areas had already been a part of a wider improvement plan that was currently being worked upon.  A written statement of action was required to be produced within 70 days.  She reported on the work that was taking place with parents, carers and partners to develop a new SEND strategy and outlined the priorities that had been identified for this and the actions that had already been taken in response.  There was a strong focus on outcomes so that the authority knew it was making a difference and that these were measurable through key performance indicators, based on what families told them and what they saw. She felt that the actions were realistic and needed to be implemented with appropriate pace so that drift and delay could be avoided. To truly make the difference, there needed to be shared ownership and accountability with families and partners.


The written statement of action was being drafted based on priorities within SEND Strategy.  Two workshops would be co-led with parent and carer representatives and partners on the 29 and 30 November and would cover the three key areas from the inspection.  They would be co-led with parents and carers.  The size of the workshops had been deliberately kept small in order to ensure meaningful discussion, however invitations had been circulated widely.  The SEND Executive Board were accountable for delivery of the written statement of action, in particular, ensuring the timescales were realistic and outcomes achievable.  Progress against the delivery of the plan would be reported through various governance arrangements, such as the Start Well Board and Health and Well Being Board.


The Panel were of the view that the plan was very well thought through and pleased that acknowledgement had been made that EHC Plans needed to be improved.  A further report was requested in due course that specifically covered the development of a new parent carer forum.  It was also requested that parent carer representatives be invited to the meeting where this report is discussed so that the Panel was also able to listen to their perspective.  It was noted that many of the areas that were highlighted within the joint inspection report were the same as those that had been picked up by the earlier Scrutiny Review on SEND. 


Ms DiFolco reported the joint inspection had taken  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.


Cabinet Member Questions - Children, Education and Families

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

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




That written responses to the questions that were submitted to the Cabinet Member in advance of the meeting be circulated to the Panel.


Children's Social Care; Annual Report pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To consider and comment on the Annual Report for Children’s Social Care. 






That, in view of the late hour, this item be deferred to the next meeting of the Panel. 


Work Programme Update pdf icon PDF 293 KB

To consider the future work plan for the Panel.

Additional documents:


It was noted that the review of child poverty would seek to identify the current levels of child poverty within the borough and how these have developed since the start of the current Borough Plan.  In addition, it would also consider interventions that may be the most effective in responding to the current challenges presented by child poverty and how these may be incorporated strategically within the updated Borough Plan to develop a coordinated approach to the issue.   The proposed items for the new scheduled meeting of the Panel on 4 January 2022 were also noted.