Contact: Alexander Murray Governance Officer
To receive and, if so determined, to approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 15 June 2020 and 1 July 2020.
Councillor Winstanley noted that he was not listed as being in attendance at the meeting on the 1st July and asked that this be amended.
RESOLVED: That, following the above amendments, the minutes of the meeting held 1 July 2020 and 15 June 2020 be agreed as an accurate record.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members to give notice of any interest and the nature of that interest relating to any item on the agenda in accordance with the adopted Code of Conduct.
QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC
A maximum of 15 minutes will be allocated to public questions submitted in writing to Democratic Services (email@example.com) by 4Pm on the working day prior to the meeting. Questions must be relevant to items appearing on the agenda and will be submitted in the order in which they were received.
The Chair of the Committee read out questions that had been submitted from a Trafford Resident for the meeting. The questions were in relation to item six on the agenda. The questions posed were;
“Does there need to be a more granular focus in the plans?
Given BAME students are disproportionally represented in SEND stats and exclusion, does there need to be more detail in terms of students ethnic background and postcodes so that limited resources can be razor sharp on those students who are more likely to require targeted intervention and support? Other minority groups such as those with English as an additional language, children in care, and children from gypsy traveller communities, young offenders, may also benefit from a specific focus. The plans are very generic. Does there need to be a focus on families, who have not historically engaged well with services and a rethink of how, when and where the engagement occurs, who is in control?
The vision and ambitions set out in the documents are quite general and I am not sure how we will know things have improved/changed, how will this be measured? How will you know it is working?
Is there enough health representation on the Partnership Board, do we have a DMO/DCO?
How will all this be communicated throughout the Children’s Workforce so that they know what the expectations are on them as partners with families?
How does this document link into the JSNA, Trafford Together Locality Plan and the Social Care Children’s improvement plan?”
The executive Member for Children’s services gave a response to each of the questions posed. In response to the first question around BAME the Executive Member for Children’s Services answered that the Council was aware of the work that needed to be done around the BAME community although it was in the early stages. An educational psychologist had set up a group to develop an understanding of how to engage with BAME children in a way that did not re-enforce inequalities.
In response to the question about the vision the Executive Member for Children’s Services pointed out that there were detailed sets of plans and task and finish groups in place to ensure the vision was delivered. While the vision was general the plans and Task and Finish groups went into more detail including how success was to be measured.
There was health representation on the Partnership Board with the Councils DCO and paediatrician as part of the membership for the last year. Regular meetings were also held with the EHC managers so their views were heard.
The expectations that the Council had of staff were communicated through the communications and engagement group who then disseminated the information to the rest of the workforce and the wider partnership. The Executive would continue to monitor this going forward to make sure that the mechanisms set in place were adequate.
In response to the question about how the plans linked into other Boards and Plans the Executive Member for ... view the full minutes text for item 23.
To receive a response from the Executive.
The Executive Member for Children’s services gave a brief introduction to the report that had been circulated to the give the Committee opportunity to ask questions. The Executive Member for Children’s Services apologised for the time it had taken for the response to come to the Committee. The Trask and finish report originally came to the executive in September 2019 with an original response ready by February 2020 but due to COVID 19 that had been delayed until now. The Executive Member for Children’s Services thanked the group who created the report for bringing their findings to the Executive’s attention. The Committee were informed that there had been a large number of improvements since the report was made and the Executive supported the additional work to be done by the Task and finish group as outlined in the report.
Councillor Thompson welcomed the Council’s commitment to looking at the quality as well as the quantity of the EHCPs. Councillor Thompson asked how they would ensure that the random sample provided to the Task and Finish group was random and representative and whether the sample would be anonymised or if permission would be sought to provide names in line with GDPR.
The Executive Member for Children’s Services responded that the request was for anonymised plans and the service had agreed to share them with the Task and Finish Group as long as it met GDPR requirements. The Executive Member for Children’s Services welcomed the Committee reviewing the plans to provide additional assurance as to their quality. The detail of how the plans would be selected and shared had not been worked out yet but it would be agreed between the Task and Finish group and officers. Councillor Western added that the group would be happy receiving an anonymised sample containing both highly detailed plans and low detailed plans. The Task and Finish group would also like to see the outcomes from the EHCPS. The Corporate Director of Governance and Community Strategy Added that for the quality assurance it would normally be anonymised unless there was a reason that having the names would aid in providing assurance.
The Corporate Director of Children’s Services stated providing assurance was a complex question. It was part of the EHCP manager’s job to review the plans on a regular basis and the Director of Children’s Services supported the task and finish group in providing additional assurance. However, the service was looking at providing external assurance through a multi-agency response. The Executive Member for Children’s Services informed the Committee that the data could be randomised by taking a random sample of cases using the case ID number.
Councillor Dillon asked about section 2.5 around the legal test that was done and the anxiety of parents whose children were in years 6 and 7 when applying for support for their children. The Executive Member for Children’s services responded that there was not anyone at the meeting who could provide an answer to that question but that an answer ... view the full minutes text for item 24.
To receive an update of the position in Trafford and to discuss the boroughs continued response to COVID 19.
The Director of Public Health Stated that Trafford had been steady around 3 cases per day and then from the 17th July Trafford started to see an increase in the number of cases. The increase was among the younger population including people in their late teens and early twenties with only a couple of cases among people over forty. The teenager numbers had started to reduce but there were still higher levels overall with the highest infection group shifting to people in their thirties and children.
3% of people tested were positive in Trafford up from 1%, which was the national average. Trafford did have a good level of testing compared to other areas and additional testing sites were available. The Director for Public Health told the Committee that there was an app which tracked testing and a link to the app would be shared with the Committee. Despite the increase Trafford was still below the 50 cases per 100,000 people per week and 5% positive rate. While Trafford’s overall numbers were low they were still a concern and were higher than had been projected by national modelling.
The Chair noted that Trafford had been listed in the top 5 areas of concern and the Director of Public Health responded that while Trafford were in the top areas of concern this was due to having an increase from a low base rate. The actual numbers were still relatively low and were not near the levels of the other areas of concern.
Councillor Coggins asked about the exceedance report being in the red zone and what this meant. The director of Public Health responded that the monitoring was based on models on the number of new cases projected. Trafford had been doing well and had gone into red in the last two weeks as they were exceeding the number of cases projected. Leicester, for example, was now green on the exceedance indicator despite them having more cases than Trafford as their numbers were high but reducing. 8 out of 10 of the Greater Manchester Authorities were red on the exceedance indicator and the North West was showing the most areas for concern across the Country. The Director of Public Health added that the demographic spread of cases within Trafford was very different to the other areas of concern.
Councillor Coggins asked whether there was a breakdown of tests by age. ER responded that Trafford did not have that data at the moment but they were asking for that information to be provided. Trafford were testing around 131 people per hundred thousand population per day which was around 2000 people per week.
Councillor Western noted that the increase around younger people linked closely to the reopening of pubs in the area. The Councillor asked if it would be likely that there would be a spike when young people go to university and schools re-opened. The Director of Public Health responded that it was not likely that there would be an increase ... view the full minutes text for item 25.
SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION
To receive an update from the Executive Member for Children’s Services and to discuss Trafford’s position in relation to COVID 19.
The Executive Member for Children’s Services informed the Committee that schools had broken up for the summer and around 7000 children had gone to school before the break up. There was not an expectation from the Council that schools would provide activities over the summer, however a number of providers including some schools were offering activities. The virtual school was offering support to vulnerable children over the summer holidays. The Schools had been working on plans to bring pupils back in September and the Council had been supporting the schools in this, for example by aiding in the completion of risk assessments. This was particularly challenging in schools that had a limited amount of space available.
The Public Health team had been supporting schools around the implementation of health and safety measures within schools, including what to do if there were any localised outbreaks. The Council noted that there was a lot of anxiety amongst children and parents about returning to school and it was a key priority to address that anxiety and provide assurance that it was safe to return to school. Schools had been communicating to parents and children as to what to expect when they go back. There were a range of tools being used to do this with some schools providing pupils with a virtual tour of the school so that children and parents could see what it would look like and how the one way system would work.
There had been a lot of discussions around catching up on lost learning. The first part of this work was ensuring that children and parents felt supported in going back to school so they were able to start learning again. There were a number of emotional and social aspects of the return to school but there were also some practical steps being put in place around specific areas of focus. Ashton on Mersey were leading on a collaborative programme which promoted projects around maths, as that was an area where it was expected children would need specific support.
The catch up funding would not be available until the autumn and would be provided in three tranches. The funding would equate to around £80 per pupil and would only be able to be used on specific things, for example tuition for pupils. The Council were working with TFGM on the transport needed to facilitate children going back to school. This issue was specific to Trafford as pupils tended to travel further for school than in other areas. The Council were also working with SEND pupils including circulation of a survey in order to ascertain what their transport needs would be.
The Corporate Director of Children’s Services also provided a brief update of the work ongoing. The Corporate Director of Children’s Services had visited some of the Schools in the borough and met with some of the young people and staff. The reality of what the schools looked like in the COVID 19 setting was something that needed to ... view the full minutes text for item 26.
To consider the attached report.
The Committee were asked whether they had any questions, to note the report and agree the recommendations. No questions were raised and the report was noted.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted and recommendations agreed.
ITEMS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS
To suggest and agree items, relating to the COVID 19 Pandemic, to be on the agenda for future meetings of the Committee.
Councillor Coggins requested that active transport be considered by the Committee at their meeting in September. The Chair confirmed that the Committee meeting on the 19th August would be going ahead and that finance would be the main item on the agenda for that meeting. Councillor Barclay requested that the Committee put homelessness on the list of agenda items for future meeting.
1) That active transport was to go on the agenda for the meeting in September.
2) That homelessness was to be added as an item for a future meeting.