Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 2 and 3, Trafford Town Hall, Talbot Road, Stretford, M32 0TH.. View directions

No. Item



A maximum of 15 minutes will be allocated to public questions submitted in writing to Democratic Services ( by 4 p.m. 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.


No questions were received.



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.


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 149 KB

To receive and, if so determined, to agree as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 9th October 2018.



RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held 9 October 2018 be agreed as an accurate record and signed by the Chair.



To consider a report of the Director of Education, Standards, Performance and Quality Assurance.


The Director Education Standards, Quality and Performance went through the report that had been distributed with the agenda. This was a follow on from a piece of work that had been done by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee a few years prior and the Interim Director detailed the areas that had changed since that work had been done. The first section of the report covered the areas where children were struggling. The Committee were told about the graduated approach that the Council was taking within Children’s services and that a key part of this approach was reducing the gap in attainment.


The Committee were told that while the term disadvantaged had a broad definition generally within Children’s services it related to children who received Pupil Premium funding and free school meals. The pupil premium was given to schools and the Council had no say in how the schools spent this funding. A Committee Member asked whether there was any way that the Council held schools to account for how they spent these funds. The Interim Director stated that the Council did do some work with the schools they supported around pupil premiums. The Council discussed Pupil Premiums in the conversations that they had with academies but there was very little that they could do influence them or hold them to account.


The Director then went through the four Trafford early years priorities. Within the four priorities there were many pieces of work which would help to close the attainment gap including having highly detailed place based plans in place for the areas where there was low attainment and a health visitor review which would establish Early Help delivery and create links into the wider offer.


The Committee were shown some statistics which showed that by key stage two disadvantage children were doing better against national statistics but there was still a gap between them and their peers within Trafford. Tackling the ongoing gap in attainment was a main focus of the work in this area. By key stage four there had been a narrowing of the gap and by that point disadvantaged children who attended grammar schools achieved the same levels of attainment as their peers. At high schools Trafford had invested resources in narrowing the gap and there had been a reduction in the attainment gap during that time.


The Director informed the Committee that the Pupil Premium Network, which was a forum where schools discussed pupil premiums and to shared best practice, had been launched in October. It was hoped that this Network would help to ensure that pupil premiums were utilised correctly and that the forum would hold schools to account. A Member of the Committee enquired as to how the Network would work and they were told that one of the school improvement deputies had aligned the meetings with the deputy forum meetings. The Network then held additional reviews in between the meetings.


A Committee Member asked whether there was any evidence that schools were not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.



To consider a report and presentation of the Acting Director of Safeguarding.

Additional documents:


The Acting Director of Safeguarding went through the presentation which supported the report which had been circulated. The Committee were informed that Out of Borough Placements referred to children who were Trafford residents but needed to be placed outside of the borough.


Research into the impact of placements had found that the further away children were placed from their original home the worse their outcomes were, so Trafford always aimed to place children as close by as possible. The Committee were shown a breakdown of all of Trafford’s placements and their types including Foster Placements with the Council, placed with parents, residential inside and residential outside of borough. Out of 399 children 26 were placed outside of the borough. The Committee were shown the costs of all placements and they were told that there had been a slight increase in the costs since the last time this was reported to Scrutiny.


Because of the difference in price the Councils strategic priorities had been focused on increasing in house fostering within Trafford. This had included increasing the funding for foster carers to bring Trafford’s payments in line with those with other Greater Manchester Councils. The Council had also introduced foster carer plus which was a set of very experienced and resilient foster carers who would be able to provide respite for other foster carers and children on the edge of care. There were plans to introduce a specialist fostering scheme with a high level support and therapeutic approach to enable those carers to look after children who would otherwise require specialist residential care.


The Council had drawn down money from Greater Manchester through a project called no wrong door. The aim of the project was that no child would be seen as un-fosterable so that all young people were able to remain in a family setting.  Key element of the project was creating capacity to deal with Children in Crisis. The Committee were then told about the other work being done to reduce external placements and the role that commissioning played in supporting this work.


Following the presentation the Committee were given the opportunity to ask questions. One Member asked whether children who turned 16 in care had to make a transition. The Director responded that if they were already with a carer they did not have to change their placement however, the regulations relating to children older than 16 were not as robust as for younger children.


Another Member asked whether there were private fostered children in the area and what drove the placements of children to these services. The Director answered that Trafford did have some children placed with private agencies and that there were many factors that could result in children m=being placed with a private foster agency. One reason was if there was a sudden rise in demand and Trafford did not have places available. There were other factors such as the number of children that a foster carer could place and factors surrounding the child such  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.



To consider a report of the Director of All Age Commissioning (Trafford Council) and Director of Commissioning (Trafford CCG).


Associate Director of Commissioning explained the makeup of the Integrated Commissioning Unit (ICU) and their commissioning priorities. She then spoke about how commissioning was linked in with the other services being delivered by the Council. The Associate Director informed the Committee that the report provided an overview and that a more detailed update could be provided on any areas that the Committee were interested in. Trafford CCG had just published its ten year plan and children and young people’s services formed a key aspect of that plan.


The Committee were informed that the new provider of Community services within Trafford was to be MFT. Trafford CCG and MFT were currently going through due diligence prior to working out the details and finally awarding the contract. The Committee were told the governance arrangements for the transition and the process that would be followed to switch services from Pennine to MFT.


The Head of All Age Commissioning told the Committee that as she had not written the report she did not have the greatest depth of knowledge on all the services but she would do her best to answer the Committees questions. The Head of all age commissioning then went through the report. The report covered Children’s Mental Health (Wider Projects & Services), Children’s Mental Health (Healthy Young Minds), and Children’s Community Services. There were a number of services listed in each of these areas and the Head of all age Commissioning gave a brief overview of each one.


The Trafford were working on making the Rapid Assessment Interface Discharge (RAID) an all age service. This was an adult service which had great success and they were looking to expand this to include Children. There were also plans to expand the service to cover mental health in the same way as for physical health.


A new training offer for staff was being delivered to address a lack of confidence in their abilities to deal with children’s mental health issues. Feedback from the training provided showed that it had given staff members the confidence to support children with low level issues and stopped those children’s issues escalating.


There had been a number of issues in the transition from the old CAMHS model to the new Healthy Young Minds service model. The delays caused by these issues had added to the development of a long waiting list for the service. In response additional funds had been allocated as the new model was in place it was hoped that the waiting lists would be reduced quickly. A large part of the new service model was bringing parents into the process and the coproduction of services where possible.


Early help services had proven very popular and had attracted a large demand so waiting lists had developed for them. In response to the waiting lists some changes had been put in place including 42nd street moving to holding their first meeting over the phone rather than face to face. The team were looking at other ways to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.



To consider a report of the Early Years Manager.


Early Years Manager and Service Directory Lead went through a presentation which had been circulated and summarised the report which had been sent out with the agenda. The presentation covered what the Family Information Service was and it could be accessed.  The FIS had around 7500 contacts with people annually and they engaged with stakeholders from across the area including professionals and employers. The service received over 1700 enquiries each year via phone, email, and through the website. The Early Years Manager then gave breakdown of these interactions by the reason why people contacted the services.


The FIS covered council services and those of local providers and VCSE services in the area. The Committee were given an overview of how the FIS functioned with users able to adjust pages which were then moderated by the team before being updated upon the site. The Early Years Manager told the Committee about a Survey that had been conducted with 200 young people which asked them how engaged they felt with their EHCP. 56% of the children gave positive feedback about their annual EHCP review and around the same number said that they felt that they were listened to. The FIS were also involved in developing a parent guide to the SEND graduated approach and had created a SEND Local offer promotional video.


Following the presentation a Committee Member asked that given that the team only received around 5 office enquiries a day whether most interactions came through the website. The Early Years Manager answered that they had seen a large channel shift in recent years of how people accessed the service. The Committee Member then followed up by asking what the size of the team was. The Early Years Manger informed the Committee of the makeup of the team that supported the FIS.


The Chair asked if the Committee could be showed the video and the Early Years Manager displayed the video to the Committee. The video was accessed through a link on



1)    That the update be noted.