Agenda and minutes

Children, Family and Education Committee
Thursday, 16th June, 2016 7.30 pm

Venue: Secombe Theatre, 42 Cheam Rd, Sutton SM1 2SS

Contact: Amy Dumitrescu, Senior Business Support Officer (Democratic Services). Tel 020 8770 5833 Email  amy.dumitrescu@sutton.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome and introductions

Minutes:

The Chair, Councillor Wendy Mathys opened the meeting, and councillors and officers introduced themselves.

 

A minutes silence was observed in memory of MP Jo Cox.

2.

Apologies for absence and notification of substitutes

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Marian Radford and Councillor Nali Patel; Councillor Richard Broadbent and Councillor Edward Joyce attended as their respective substitutes.

Apologies were also received from Father Darren Miller.

3.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

5. School Places Update.

Councillor Jane Pascoe, Non Pecuniary, in that she is Chair of Governors at Stanley Park High School and on the Limes College Management Committee.

 

5.  School Places Update.

Councillor Edward Joyce, Non Pecuniary, in that he is a teacher at Wallington Grammar School for Boys.

 

5. School Places Update

Councillor Mary Burstow was absent for this item, as she was involved in the planning committee which make decisions in regards to the new school site.

 

4.

Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 323 KB

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 25 February 2016 were approved as a correct record, and signed by the chair, subject to the following amendments:

 

·         Front Page – Father Darren Miller and Andrew Theobald to be added to attendees list.

·         Item 70 – “Councillor Jane Pascoe and Andrew Theobald” specified in first paragraph.

·         Item 76 – “the leadership and management functions of” added to sentence and to resolution.

·         Item 79 – addition made to minutes of thanks to Angela Guest following her departure from the council after over 20 years of service.

 

5.

School Places Update pdf icon PDF 365 KB

This report provides an update on developments in preparation for a proposed new secondary school on the Sutton Hospital site and requests authority for funding to continue to take the project forward into detailed and technical design.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the following items:

 

·      An update on developments in preparation for a proposed new secondary school on the Sutton Hospital site and a request for authority for funding to continue to take the project forward into the detailed and technical design stage.

·      A briefing on the recent fire at Barrow Hedges Primary School

·      Setting out further capital requirement from Basic Need Grant to support provision for Special Educational Needs (SEN).

The Head of Information and Pupil Based Commissioning, Kieran Holliday, outlined the progress on the proposed new secondary school. The feasibility stage was complete, and following the initial consultation in May 2016, the project had moved to the preferred option – development Option B. Officers were working hard to resolve arising issues, and there were 3 free school applicants, and all were invited to the next stage, with a decision due in September 2016.

 

The Head of Information and Pupil Based Commissioning advised the Committee that Barrow Hedges School were close to completing their expansion, and commended the school for the evacuation that took place on the day of the fire. The damage was still being assessed and the school, insurance and contractors were liaising with the council regarding this. The Chair requested the Committees’ formal thanks be emailed to the school (post meeting note: this has now been completed).

 

Following a question from Councillor Pascoe requesting a detailed breakdown of what the £950,000 had been spent on, and the plans for the additional requested £1,400,000, the Head of Information and Pupil Based Commissioning undertook to provide a written summary of the costs. In summary, it was explained that the £950,000 was to progress the planning application, covering the lead consultants costs, surveys, the education consultancy and planning fees. It will also cover contractor services when the contractor is appointed. The additional costs will go beyond the planning application stage including more detailed designs and the tender of the project. 

 

Councillor Jane Pascoe requested the total capital expenditure expected up to the school opening. The HIPBC confirmed the estimate was £38,000,000, with the total increasing to £46,000,000 with the purchase of land included in the costs.

 

Councillor Steve Cook asked if the underground parking in the design would be possible. The HIPBC responded that at this stage this should be possible, the feasibility study would confirm this.

 

Councillor Holly Ramsey requested information on how the £16,700,000 shortfall would be made up. It was clarified that if the free school was approved the funding would be provided to offset some of that if not there would be a funding gap, however the government has a manifesto to provide 500 free schools, and the LA had a very strong case for approval. This decision would be in September 2016.

 

The HIPBC clarified the next steps which were that the preferred option was now in place, so there would now be further refinements, and the design team would be looking at further details such as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Future Funding and Delivery of Education Services pdf icon PDF 490 KB

The report sets out both the Business Case for a ‘spin out’ Joint Venture Company to deliver Statutory, DSG and non-statutory services to schools and education following the Children, Family and Education Committee decisions on 25 February 2016. The paper also sets out the Business Plan for such a ‘spin out’, setting out the financial issues and assumptions and taking account of the budget position with regard to education service provision as per the Council’s agreed budget as at April 1 2016.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Colin Stewart, Executive Head of Education and Early Intervention, presented an overview of the report, and provided the following clarifications in addition to the papers:

 

1)    It was clarified that in recommendation 2.1 “the teckal compliant entity”– this refers to model 3.

2)    There had been discussions with schools and governors about joining, and the vast majority of schools have been positive about considering the plan.

3)    Since the report was published, the Chair of the Schools Forum has asked London Borough of Sutton to do additional work on using the central DSG to fund services.

 

Councillor Mirhashem raised a question on 5.14, namelywas there anything we as a Local Authority could learn from other authorities who have undertaken similar projects. The Executive Head of Education and Early Intervention confirmed that some lessons had been learnt already, as a number of local authorities have already moved to similar entities. LBS had worked with neighbouring boroughs to gather information.

 

Councillor Mary Burstow was welcomed to the meeting after being absent for the first item due to her declaration of interest (see above).

 

Councillor Steve Cook asked about the sustainability of the joint venture company, and at what point it could be assessed as to the success of the venture, and what would the equity situation be for schools joining.

 

The Executive Head of Education and Early Intervention responded that by April 2017 we would expect the month to month position to start to move towards a cost neutral position, and this would be the first point at which we could start to assess if the project was on track with the business plan. Following that, it would be measured for the remainder of the academic year, and re-assessed in September 2017. This would be regularly reviewed, as there would be regular changes which we would need to be reactive to.

  

The Head of Transformation   William Clapp, responded in regards to equity, stating the objective is to break even. The proposal is that the Local Authority would take the majority share hold as 75-80% of the company income will come from the LA.

 

Following questions from Councillor Broadbent, Officers confirmed that the savings can be made in the next year, and also that the support to SACRE would not be affected by the changes. Councillor Mary Burstow requested that the chair of SACRE be written to confirming there would be no change in funding. The Executive Head of Education and Early Intervention confirmed there were no plans to change the rate of pay to SACRE services and he would write to the Chair to confirm this.

  

Concern was raised by Councillor Holly Ramsey on the level of consultation that had taken place with schools. The Executive Head of Education and Early Intervention responded that there have been a number of sessions over time, with input to headteachers’ meetings, and schools had been invited to meetings about the proposals and asked to respond to questions and issues  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Future Provision of Youth and Adolescent Services pdf icon PDF 627 KB

As part of the savings programme within Children’s Services, there has been an ongoing review of the provision of Youth and Adolescent Services. This report sets out three key aspects of the service review for Children, Family and Education Committee to consider.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Colin Stewart, Executive Head of Education and Early Intervention, summarised the report and clarified the following:

 

1)    Transformation funding at 2.13 in the report – since the initial work the Local Authority has received transformation funding from government, and would now be asking for committee approval to go forward with that.

2)    2.4 – officers continue to work at identifying alternative savings for the £56,000 and officers are very close to that figure.

 

Councillor Richard Broadbent queried what would happen if the model didn’t work. The Executive Head of Education and Early Intervention stated the estimation for going live would be the end of October/early November 2016, and a first view on its achievements would be done in March 2017, with some other assessments at the end of the academic year.

 

Councillor Edward Joyce asked that as mentioned in the report why there were issues with staff morale. The Executive Head of Education and Early Intervention responded that there were a number of issues currently affecting staff, including the potential fundamental changes to the ways that they work. He assured the Committee that staff would be supported through the process.

 

Councillor Miguel Javelot raised concerns over how realistic the targets were set for youth workers. The Executive Head of Education and Early Intervention advised that work had been completed with the staff, who were very talented and able to adapt. The practicalities needed to still be looked at, but officers were continuing to work with staff to achieve this.

 

Councillor Richard Broadbent queried the wording on recommendation 2.3, and the Executive Head of Education and Early Intervention suggested it be amended to state “to agree to request”. This was agreed.

 

Councillor Richard Broadbent asked how paragraph 6.1 could be achieved. The Executive Head of Education and Early Intervention advised the schools forum had agreed to the principle of it, and the LA had agreed to work with the forum on the details.

 

Councillor Wendy Mathys asked if there were any examples of other Local authorities who had achieved similar projects. The Smarter Council Senior Project Manager responded that it has been done in several different ways, and although the structuring varies, there are several used in similar ways in other councils, many of which are now quite established.

 

Councillor Arthur Hookway requested that his thanks be recorded to officers on the excellent work completed in finding an alternative to reducing to statutory only services.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.1      The Children, Family and Education Committee is recommended to:

 

1.    Note the update in relation to the closure of universal (open access) services.

2.    Agree to the development of a new Targeted Youth service 

3.    Agree to request £121k initial costs to be funded from the transitional grant to support transformation.

4.    Agree to the future provision of services in two areas which are not statutory but which are not part of the new Targeted Youth Service business case at an additional cost of £56K, specifically;

 

(i)     The provision of support  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Exclusion of press and public

The following motion should be moved, seconded and approved if the committee wishes to exclude the press and public to deal with reports revealing exempt information:

 

“That the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.”

 

9.

Any urgent items brought forward at the direction of the chair

Minutes:

There was no urgent business. It was noted that SACRE had a new curriculum which is available to view on the web site.

 

10.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will take place on 29 September 2016.

Minutes:

The next meeting will be held on 29 September 2016 at 7.30pm in the Civic Offices.