Agenda and draft minutes

Children and Young People's Scrutiny Panel
Tuesday, 15th March, 2022 6.30 pm

Venue: Woodside Room - George Meehan House, 294 High Road, N22 8JZ. View directions

Contact: Rob Mack, Principal Scrutiny Officer 

Items
No. Item

47.

FILMING AT MEETINGS

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.

Minutes:

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

48.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Dixon and James and from the Cabinet Member for Early Years, Children and Families.

49.

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).

Minutes:

None.

50.

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.

Minutes:

None.

51.

Deputations/Petitions/Presentations/Questions

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

Minutes:

None.

52.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 268 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting of 4 January 2022.

Minutes:

AGREED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of 4 January 2022 be approved.

 

53.

CABINET MEMBER QUESTIONS - Early Years, Children and Families

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

Early Years, Children and Families, on developments within her portfolio.

Minutes:

The Panel noted that Councillor Zena Brabazon, the Cabinet Member for Early Years, Children and Families, was unable to attend the meeting.  She had asked Ann Graham, Director of Children’s Services, to provide an update on four particular key areas of development within her portfolio:

·         The Wood Green Youth Hub was still on track to be completed in the summer.  The design for the Hub had been co-produced by the architect with young people;

·         An Early Years strategy for the borough had been developed and was now being consulted on.  It had been co-produced with those working in the sector;

·         The schools capital programme was proceeding.  It had been begun three years ago and had enabled work to take place to schools that were in disrepair;

·         There had been a well-attended meeting of parents and carers of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) with the Leader of the Council and senior officers to discuss long standing issues in order to improve relationships. Further meetings were now planned. 

 

Answers had been circulated before the meeting to questions submitted by Panel Members to the Cabinet Member.  Concern was expressed by the Panel at the answer that had been submitted to the question regarding the contract with Isos and its outcome.  Some school governing body Chairs were dissatisfied with the progress that had been made.   It was felt that greater clarity and a strategy on how the local authority was intending to respond to the drop in school rolls was required. Ms Graham agreed to provide further information to the Panel regarding this issue.  The work by Isos was being undertaken in phases and parts of it had not been completed yet.  A further report would be drafted later in the year. 

 

Panel Members requested an update from the Cabinet Member on the new School Streets and how they were working.  In addition, it was felt that feedback from schools and parents would also be useful. 

 

In answer to a question, Ms Graham stated that there had been space for about thirty parents and carers to attend the recent SEND meeting in person plus a similar number to attend on-line.  She agreed to provide further detail to Panel Members on attendance.  The concerns that had been raised at the meeting covered a number of areas, including schools and the voice of parents not being clearly heard.  It was also felt that the schools that children went to were not always a good fit for them.   In addition, some parents had not been happy with the place that they had been allocated and there were concerns about waiting times for Education, Health and Care plans and regarding transitions.  The matters that had been raised would be documented in the action plan.  The next steps would be a series of themed meetings.  The precise number of these had not yet been determined.

 

AGREED:

 

1.    That the Director of Children’s Services be requested to provide further information to the  Panel regarding this Isos contract  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.

54.

Mental Health and Well-Being of Children and Young People

To report on the mental health and well-being of children and young people in Haringey and, in particular, the impact of the pandemic and action taken to mitigate this.

Minutes:

Tim Miller, Joint Assistant Director for Vulnerable Adults and Children (Haringey Council and NHS North Central London CCG), reported on mental health and well-being of children and young people in the borough.  Mental health services included the NHS, Council and voluntary sector and they were now working in a “whole system” way.  Mental health needs arose from social needs, deprivation and difficulties in people’s lives.  Services were critical to supporting the local population and particularly children and young people. It was known that Covid had had a huge impact, although the picture from data was complex. 

 

Vivienne Okoh from Haringey CCG outlined the i-Thrive model, which was a national programme.  Services had a skills mix so they were best able to meet the needs of young people.   There were four parts to the model:

·         Getting advice. There was a limited universal offer with small targeted services provided in schools and the community;

·         Getting help. There was embedded support to schools and two specialist services;

·         Getting more help.  There were dedicated specialist mental health services, supported by some north central London (NCL) services; and

·         Getting risk support.  These services had grown significantly during Covid as part of NCL transformation and were NHS only offers.  They included A&E diversion and a 24/7 crisis service.  These aimed to manage risk and keep young children in the community.

 

Jeanne Faulet-Expitini from BEH Mental Health Trust reported that there had been a large increase in referrals during the Covid pandemic.  Referrals came from a number of sources, including GPs, schools and social care services.  Most referrals had been for anxiety and low mood.  There were particular differences between boys and girls, with boys typically presenting earlier.

 

Recruitment and retention was a major challenge and a national issue.  NCL CCG and providers were working as partners on solutions, including the creation of new roles to develop a sustainable workforce. There was also an opportunity to strengthen partnership and inter-agency working as the I-Thrive model was embedded.

 

Tina Read from BEH Mental Health Trust reported that the prime areas of investment had been concerned with crisis and a number of services had been developed.  A 24/7 crisis line had been set up as well as an out of hours nurse led service.  In addition, Diversion Hubs had been established.  These aimed to see young people within four hours and prevent the need for them to go to hospital, which could be very distressing.  Trailblazer was also being expanded to the west of the borough.  The recommendations of the SEND inspection were currently being addressed by services.  Waiting times for autism assessments were long throughout the NCL area and solutions to this were being worked on.  An online platform on ADHD was shortly being rolled out.  Significant service redesigns were taking place across BEH in order to remove unwarranted variations. 

 

Ms Okoh reported that Haringey Borough Partnership had agreed the adoption of the Thrive Framework to provide a needs led, common framework to support emotional and mental  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.

55.

Haringey SEND Strategy 2022-2025 and Area SEND Inspection pdf icon PDF 251 KB

To report on the outcome of the consultation on the Special, Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Strategy for Haringey for 2022 to 2025 and the written statement of action in response to the findings and recommendations from the local area inspection of SEND services. 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Jackie Difolco, Assistant Director for Early Help and Prevention, reported on the outcome of the public consultation which informed the SEND strategy for the next three years and which also reflected the written statement of action in response to the OFSTED inspection of SEND. 

 

A number of informal engagement sessions had taken place with parents and carers at the Markfield Centre regarding the five priorities in the strategy.  Presentations were also made to boards of partners as well and there was a public consultation.   The SEND strategy and the Written Statement of Action in response to the OFSTED inspection were aligned so that they complemented each other.   Nearly 100 responses had been received to the consultation from parents, carers and practitioners.   Over 80% had believed that Priority 1 was the most important and almost all were in favour of the strategy being adopted.  However, many questioned the capacity of the SEND Partnership to deliver the strategy and there was also dissatisfaction with the Council’s SEND service.  In addition, there were concerns regarding transitions and post 16. A key element of the strategy was that the community needed to be at its heart.

 

The SEND Executive had approved the final strategy.  All of the feedback from the consultation had been included in the final draft as well as the findings of the SEND evaluations, the OFTSTED inspections and the Amaze report on parental participation.  Additional funding had been made available to the SEND service in the Council’s budget and there was to be an uplift in the High Needs Block of Dedicated Schools Grant.  In addition, the CCG had made funding available to reduce the waiting time for autism assessments.   Work to deliver the strategy was already taking place.  Annual reports on progress would be produced and the strategy would be published on the Local Offer webpage.

 

In respect of the OFSTED inspection, there had been three issues that had been identified as requiring to be addressed in the Written Statement of Action:

1.    The poor quality of EHC plans and the annual review process especially as children and young people prepare for adulthood;

2.    The lack of partnership working and poor communication and co-production with parents, children and young people. This includes communication through the local offer; and

3.    Unacceptable waiting times for Autism Spectrum assessment and insufficient support whilst waiting for a diagnosis.

 

A number of actions to address these had already been taken.  The WSOA had been developed using the same principles as the SEND strategy.  Feedback from a number of sources had been incorporated and six workshops had taken place with parents, carers and partners.  The WSOA was in excess of 30 pages long but a summary had been developed and published on the local offer website.  In addition, the website now also contained a wide range of additional information.  Progress with the implementation of the WSOA was monitored through key performance indicators covering a number of areas and hard and soft outcomes.  These included waiting times  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.

56.

Work Programme Update pdf icon PDF 293 KB

To note the work that the Panel has undertaken in 2021-22 and identify potential items for the first meeting of 2022/23. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel agreed that SEND transport and support for refugee children would be prioritised for the first meeting of the new administration.  The Panel were also of the view that SEND should continue to be the focus of particular attention by the Panel.

 

AGREED:

 

That the first meeting of the Panel of the new administration prioritise the following issues as substantive items:

·         SEND transport; and

·         Support for refugee children.

57.

Vote of Thanks

Minutes:

 

It being the last meeting of the Panel for the current Municipal Year, the Chair was thanked by the Panel for her work as Chair.  The Chair thanked Members and officers for their kind assistance and co-operation.