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Shropshire Council
Shirehall
Abbey Foregate
Shrewsbury
Shropshire
SY2 6ND

Agenda and draft minutes

People Overview Committee
Wednesday, 14th March, 2018 10.00 am

Venue: Shrewsbury Room, Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY2 6ND. View directions

Contact: Tim Ward  Committee Officer

Items
No. Item

30.

Apologies and Substitutions

To receive apologies for absence from Members of the Committee

Minutes:

30.1    There were no apologies for absence

31.

Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

Members are reminded they must not participate in the discussion or vote on any matter in which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest and should leave the room prior to the commencement of the debate.

Minutes:

31.1    There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests.

32.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 72 KB

The minutes of the last meeting, held on 1 March 2018, are attached for confirmation.

Minutes:

32.1    The minutes of the meeting held on 1 March had been circulated.

 

32.2    RESOLVED

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the People Overview Committee held on 1 March 2018 be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

33.

Public Question Time

To receive any public questions or petitions from the public, notice of which has been given in accordance with Procedure Rule 14.  The deadline for this meeting is 10.00am on 13 March 2018

 

Minutes:

33.1    There were no questions from members of the public.

34.

Members' Question Time

To receive any questions of which Members of the Council have given notice.

 

Deadline for notification: 10.00am on 13 March 2018

Minutes:

34.1    There were no questions from Members.

35.

Proposals for the Future of Education Support for Schools pdf icon PDF 162 KB

Report to Follow

Minutes:

35.1    Members received the report of the Director of Children’s Services which set out proposed changes to the Education Improvement Service (EIS)

 

35.2    The Chairman informed Members that she had asked for this item to be on the agenda as she had real concerns about the effect of the proposed changes on schools

 

35.3    The Commissioner for Education Improvement and Efficiency reminded the meeting that the core purpose of the EIS was to ensure that every pupil had access to a good education and that the service had been very effective in contributing to an increased proportion of good and outstanding schools and improved outcomes for pupils from Early Years to key stage 4.  He advised Members that funding from the DfE for local authority school improvement services had reduced substantially and was no longer sufficient to meet the costs of the EIS

 

35.4    The Commissioner for Education Improvement and Efficiency advised the meeting that the proposed new structure would reduce the EIS to 9.1 fte posts from the current 17 fte posts and that it was proposed that associate head teachers would support Education Improvement Advisers in the monitoring of school performance.

 

35.6    In response to a query the Commissioner for Education Improvement and Efficiency confirmed that the Council would need to allocate £276,000 per annum for the core budget to maintain the service as it is currently structured.

 

35.7    A Member asked what work had been carried outlook at the impact of the changes and to mitigate their effect. The Commissioner for Education Improvement and Efficiency commented that a lot of work had been done to look at the impact of the changes but that it was impossible to measure at this stage.  He stated that there was a role for Governors in monitoring performance and holding head teachers to account where performance was not as good.

 

35.8    A Member asked whether there was any other solution to the problem.  The Commissioner for Education Improvement and Efficiency advised that a number of options had been considered.

 

35.9    It was proposed and seconded that the Cabinet be asked to find the addition funding of £276,000 in order to maintain the current structure to allow additional time to look at other sources of funding.  On being put to a vote the proposal was lost 3 votes for and 4 votes against

 

35.10  After further discussion it was RESOLVED:

 

            That the People Overview Committee

 

a.    support sustaining the Education Improvement Service solely through grant funding from central government and de-delegated funds from Shropshire Council maintained schools and

b.    as a result of above, to maintain a traded Education Improvement Service professional training development programme through to April 2019, at which point the Council will cease to deliver this traded service to Shropshire schools.

 

 

 

 

36.

The increasing numbers of pupil exclusions from maintained schools and academies and the LAs response to this issue pdf icon PDF 319 KB

Report to follow

Minutes:

36.1    The meeting considered the report of the Education Access Service Manager which provided details of the current position with regard to the level of fixed term and permanent exclusions in Shropshire and how this compared with national rates.

 

36.2    The Education Access Service Manager advised that nationally the rate of permanent exclusions had increased slightly and that this was mirrored in Shropshire. She advised Members that in 2016 -17 persistent disruptive behaviour was the top reason for a permanent exclusion followed by physical assault against a pupil and that so far in 2017 -18 the top reason was physical assault against an adult followed by drug and alcohol related causes and persistent disruptive behaviour.

 

36.3    A Member expressed concern that there seemed to be a priority placed on placing pupils in a mainstream educational setting when this was not always the best solution both for the pupil and other pupils in the school.  The Commissioner for Educational Improvement and Efficiency commented that the decision around the placement of pupil was always made in the best interests of the child concerned.

 

36.4    A Member expressed concern regarding the number of younger children being permanently excluded.  The Education Access Service Manager agreed that the increase was worrying especially at Key Stage 1

 

36.5    The Chair thanked Officers for the report and for the work that they were doing in support of excluded pupils.

37.

Terms of Reference for the inquiry into placements for looked about children pdf icon PDF 195 KB

The terms of reference for the inquiry into placements for looked about children are attached for confirmation.

Minutes:

37.1    The draft terms of reference for the inquiry into placements for looked after children had been circulated.

 

37.2    The Overview and Scrutiny Officer reminded Members that it had been agreed at the last meeting that a Task and Finish Group should be set up to look at placements for looked after children.

 

37.3    In response to a query the Overview and Scrutiny Officer advised the meeting that it was thought that the group would meet three or four times and would report back to the Committee in the autumn.  

 

37.4    RESOLVED:

 

            That the terms of reference for the inquiry into placements for looked after children be approved.

38.

Date of Next Meeting

Members are reminded that the next meeting of the People Overview Committee will be held on 9 May 2018 at 10.00am

Minutes:

38.1    Members were reminded that the next meeting of the People Overview Committee would be held on 9 May 2018 at 10.00am

 

 

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