Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Virtual meeting: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjwbIOW5x0NSe38sgFU8bKg

Contact: Fabiola Fuschi 

Items
No. Item

11.

ATTENDANCES

To note attendances, including officers, and any apologies for absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence received

12.

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.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received

13.

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

A maximum of 15 minutes will be allocated to public questions submitted in writing to Democratic Services (democratic.services@trafford.gov.uk) by 4pm on the working day prior to the meeting. Questions must be within the remit of the Committee or be relevant to items appearing on the agenda and will be submitted in the order in which they were received

Minutes:

There were no public questions received

14.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 213 KB

The minutes of the meeting held on the 4th February 2021 are attached for approval

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 4th Feb 2021 be approved as a correct record

15.

SCHOOL PLACES pdf icon PDF 388 KB

Report to follow

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Director of Education which sought to inform of how the Council coordinated school place planning with new development. The report also provided additional information about the role of strategic planning and a high level overview by school place planning area.

The Committee had requested additional information on this point at its last meeting when a report on school places had been presented.

 

The report author, the Lead Member for Education, the Corporate Director Place and the Head of Early Years, School Places and Access were in attendance to present the information and address the questions and comments of the Committee.

 

Officers informed of the key strategic priorities for school places and provided examples of how school basic need funding had been utilised to expand 29 schools, providing additional 3,681 school places for the Borough. Trafford Council had been commended by the Department for Education (DfE) for its effective and efficient use of basic need funding. 

 

Officers illustrated how the DfE’s methodology to determine the number of additional school places needed was different from the local authority’s calculation which only considered the number of pupils who resided in the area. This led to a significant discrepancy between the figures reported by the DfE and those indicated by Trafford Council in its local sufficiency assessment.

 

Officers informed of how the number of pupils who wanted to attend schools in Trafford and who resided out of the area was higher in secondary schools. The reason for this higher demand was the selective education system which featured in the Borough. Officers also indicated that school places for 2021/22 had been provided. Consequently, the Council’s statutory duties had been met. Officers noted that the challenge would be to achieve a balance between a sufficient numbers of school places and overprovision as places could only be provided in multiple of 30.

 

Officers outlined the role of Strategic Planning and the system in place to process planning applications in relation to education contributions. Officers provided data on School Place Planning Areas which showed the number and

type of schools, supply of places and type of places and the pupil yield calculation from the Strategic Housing and Land Availability Assessment. This information helped officer to estimate future demand for school places.

 

Members sought clarification on a number of matters such as apparent discrepancy between education contribution seen at Planning Committee and content of today’s report, efficacy of pupil yield formula and suitability for today’s demand, sufficient spaces in primary schools for local pupils during the next five academic years and plans for new schools in Sale.

 

Officers responded that there were many schools in Trafford which had potential for expansion. Birth rate in Trafford was declining. The calculation on pupil yield was done with reference to new development. The Council focused on protecting local pupils but this was complicated where schools were their own admission authority and there was only one secondary school where the Council was the admission  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

ADOPTION AND FOSTERING pdf icon PDF 405 KB

Report to follow

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report of the Strategic Lead Children in Care which informed of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on foster care in Trafford.

 

The report author, the Director of Early Help and Children’s Social Care and the Executive Member for Children’s Services were in attendance to present the information and address questions and comments of the Committee.  

 

Officers explained how hard had been for foster parents as well as other families, to meet the additional requirements linked to the pandemic and to continue to support children and young people in their care. The Committee joined officers in thanking foster families for their continuous dedication and support.

 

Officers informed of the figures concerning fostering households in Trafford and how they had been supported during this challenging period via three main strategies looking at listening, informing and peer support. Through means such as newsletters, social media and training support group, officers had ensured that the challenges posed to the emotional health of children and their foster families was addressed through therapeutic training response. A multi-agency response was also in place to meet the needs for practical support.

 

Officers informed of the additional support provided to those foster carers who were particularly vulnerable and a risk assessment tool had been used to identify them.

 

Members sought and received clarification on matters such as exit interview for carers who wished to end their role, the importance of peer support and mentoring to build fostering communities. Members learned that the service was working hard to develop this support scheme for foster carers. Members also asked that foster carer representatives be invited at a future meeting of the Committee to listen to their views and experiences on related matters.

 

The Executive Member for Children’s Services informed that a listening exercise to better support foster carers and modernise the service was ongoing. This was a piece of work shared across Greater Manchester. Input and feedback from ex foster carers would form part of the service review.

 

RESOLVED: -

1.    That the report be noted;

2.    That the foster carer representatives be invited to join a future meeting of the Committee to learn about their view and experiences on related matters.

17.

REPORT OF THE TASK AND FINISH GROUP ON SEND AND SCHOOL EXCLUSION pdf icon PDF 326 KB

For approval

Minutes:

The Committee received a report of the Task and Finish Group on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and School Exclusion.

 

The Chair of the Committee who also chaired the Task and Finish Group presented the recommendations. The Executive Member for Children’s Services thanked the Committee for the work undertaken on this matter and was keen to work through the content of the report and its recommendations. The report would be presented at the next meeting of the Executive in June 2021.

 

The Chair of the Committee thanked Members and Officers for their work and contribution on this issue.

 

RESOLVED: -

1.    That the content of the report be noted;

2.    That the recommendations be endorsed;

3.    That the report be sent to the Executive for a response.

18.

URGENT BUSINESS (IF ANY)

Any other item or items which by reason of:-

 

(a)       Regulation 11 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, the Chairman of the meeting, with the agreement of the relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committee Chairman, is of the opinion should be considered at this meeting as a matter of urgency as it relates to a key decision; or

 

(b)       special circumstances (to be specified) the Chairman of the meeting is of the opinion should be considered at this meeting as a matter of urgency.

 

19.

EXCLUSION RESOLUTION

Motion   (Which may be amended as Members think fit):

 

            That the public be excluded from this meeting during consideration of the remaining items on the agenda, because of the likelihood of disclosure of “exempt information” which falls within one or more descriptive category or categories of the Local Government Act 1972, Schedule 12A, as amended by The Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006, and specified on the agenda item or report relating to each such item respectively.