Agenda and draft minutes

Children, Family and Education Committee
Wednesday, 14th March, 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: Civic Offices - St Nicholas Way, Sutton, SM1 1EA. View directions

Contact: Sharon Major, Committee Services Officer  Tel.: 020 8770 4990, Email:

Link: Audio Recording

No. Item


Welcome and introductions


The Chair, Councillor Wendy Mathys, welcomed those present.  



Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from  Councillor Burstow and Councillor Pascoe.  Councillor Mirhashem was also absent.


The Chair announced that item 9 LEASE OF WALLINGTON TOWN HALL AND SUTTON COLLEGE is deferred until a later date (likely to be June as part of the new People Committee). This is to allow further briefing to take place.


Declarations of interests


5. Hearing Impairment Bases at Overton Grange and Rushy Meadow.

Councillor Steve Cook, Non Pecuniary, advised his wife Pauline Cook is a governor at Rushy Meadow School.


6. Proposed changes to SEND transport in the London Borough of Sutton.

Andrew Theobald, Non Pecuniary, declared that he is the Chair of Board of Trustees for Sutton Community Transport.



Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 4 January 2018.



RESOLVED THAT: the minutes of the meeting held on 4 January 2018 be approved as an accurate record, and signed by the Chair, subject to the following discussion


Mr Theobald referred to minute 23 and requested that it be recorded that he wished to request Members of this committee should be sent copies of Ofsted reports. Kieran Holliday, Head of Pupil Place Commissioning suggested that he could arrange for a link to be created for Members to show the latest Ofsted reports on all the Schools in the borough. The chair confirmed that the minutes of this meeting will reflect the link will be provided for ease of access of the reports, and that the link will be circulated to Members of the committee. The Chair confirmed that the Council are not always aware of when schools are inspected but that she felt this would address the point raised.


Mr Theobald also raised that on Minute 26 regarding SEN needs that in the original draft minutes his name and the name of the parent was misspelled.  The Chair confirmed this had already been amended and is correct on the latest version of the minutes on the website and apologised that this was originally incorrect.  


Mr Theobald further advised he believed his request for his record of voting in the minutes is incorrect. He believed he had asked for all his individual votes to be recorded not just his abstentions.  He advised he had voted as follows:  26.1 Abstained, 26.2a Against,  26.2b Abstained, 26.2c, 26.2d and 26.2e In favour. The Clerk agreed to check this post the meeting.



Hearing Impairment Bases at Overton Grange and Rushy Meadow pdf icon PDF 143 KB

This report summarises the results of consultation undertaken on the future provision for children with Hearing Impairment (HI) at bases currently located at Overton Grange High School (Academy) and Rushy Meadow Primary School (Academy).

Additional documents:


The Chair highlighted that previously there had been strong opposition when this item was initially discussed at the previous CFE meeting and therefore prior to formal  consultation a third possible option was negotiated by Officers namely to keep open sufficient spaces at HI Bases in line with need. The chair wanted to thank  parents’ and members of the public for attending the previous CFE Committee Meeting and consultation meetings to share their views, which helped to develop a way forward based on this new option.


Kieran Holliday Head of Pupil based commissioning reminded members the reason this is being reviewed is that the Local Authority are over spending on high needs.  At the end of this financial year there will be a debt of £1m on our budget.  Whilst the Local Authority want the best for pupils the budget deficit must be addressed.  In order to address this there is a need to make sure services are provided efficiently and cost effectively.


Adrian WIlliams Interim Head of Education, summarised the results of the consultation and highlighted that this is a good example where Officers consulted with members of the community and Head teachers and as part of that process were able to offer a third option.


Members sought clarification to ascertain whether most respondents to the consultation were now happy with the proposed third option and asked whether, if there were to be more applications in future, if available  places can be increased again should there be a need. Officers confirmed this and responded to the questions and comments raised by members accordingly.


Members queried Appendix A in particular regarding children who are placed out of the borough. It was confirmed that would only be the case where the child’s needs could not be met by provision within the borough, and that these placements are assessed regularly. It was also confirmed that in respect of any savings made from reducing these places funds will be returned the high needs block of funds and used for children with special needs.


The Chair then moved to voting,   Mr Theobald propose a motion to amend recommendation 2 to add in at the end of the sentence “in line with existing need”. Councillor Javelot seconded this amendment. Following a query from the floor the resolution was further amended by Councillor Cook who motioned that the resolution should be amended to reflect that the first review at Rushy Meadow School will be in two years’ time and in one years’ time for Overton School.  This was seconded by Councillor Marian James


RESOLVED THAT: the Children, Family and Education Committee


  1. It be approved that both the bases for Hearing Impaired children should remain open with a reduced number of places.
  2. It was noted that the number of commissioned places will be reviewed and adapted annually for Overton Grange and in two years’ time for Rushy Meadow  in line with existing need



Proposed changes to SEND transport in the London Borough of Sutton pdf icon PDF 146 KB

At the meeting on 20 January 2018, Committee were asked to consider a change to the policy on the provision of SEND transport for young adults post age 19, this report is an update on the proposed provision and includes recommendations taking into consideration recent the consultation.



Additional documents:


The report was presented Kieran Holliday Head of Pupil Based Commissioning. He reminded members that at the previous meeting in January, the Committee were asked to consider a change to the policy on provision for post 19 SEN transport provision. Members asked officers to consult to seek views on the proposals.The discussion summarised the consultation responses that were received and the recommended next steps.  


Members requested clarification on numbers of responses and attendance at the additionalconsultation meetings .  Clarification was also requested regarding the basis of transport provided for children with special education needs.  More detail was also requested regarding the format and costs of the proposed independent travel training. Officers responded to the questions and comments raised by members.  Members were advised that for post 16,  the travel policy will be in place by the end of May and expectation is the general policy will be reviewed at the same time and in place by September.  Following this the policy will be reviewed annually. The Chair motioned that  committee should receive a report to review the outcome of these proposals within 12 months of this meeting. This was seconded by Councillor Cook.  Officers confirmed an update on the review could be provided in 12 months time. This is confirmed in resolution 3  below

RESOLVED THAT: the Children, Family and Education Committee


  1. It be agreed that the Council’s post 16 SEN transport policy be amended,  to cease SEND transport provision for Post 19 students from the academic year 2018/19 where it is appropriate to do so, following consideration of need on a case by case basis.
  2. Following the consultation undertaken, it be agreed to continue to take forward the actions agreed on 4 January 2018 as set out in paragraph 1.1 above and to introduce these changes for the 2018/19 academic year.
  3. It be agreed that this committee receive a report within 12 months to review the outcome of these proposals


Co-Opted Member, Andrew Theobald requested that his vote be recorded . Mr Theobald abstained from voting



Update presentation from Cognus Ltd (previously SES Ltd)


The Presentation was delivered by Bob Harrison Services Manager, Cognus Ltd supported by Tracey Burley, Managing Director of Cognus Ltd. The presentation is published with the minutes showing the areas that were discussed. .


Members made several enquiries and observations, and congratulated the Cognus team on the work done so far.   In respect of meetings with Head teachers it was confirmed that all Sutton schools had been proactively invited to meet with the Cognus team and of those 37 schools had so far taken up the offer to meet and discuss their requirements. Meetings have also taken place with Chairs of governors, Councillors and the Shareholding board, as well as regularly supporting Children in particular work on reviewing care plans.


Clarification was requested regarding where responsibility lies in respect of supporting school improvement.  Kieran Holliday Head of Pupil based commissioning advised that since the reductions in funding from government where the council previously had school improvement advisors there is currently not that same function in Cognus.   He advised that currently successful schools in the borough are supporting other schools. It was also confirmed that it is the role of the local authority to provide improvement in schools where the schools go into certain categories and it was clarified that where the Local Authority has concerns for school they will liaise with them to help identify where it is possible to make improvements.   


Councillor Mathys suggested that an update from Cognus be brought back to committee on  an annual basis  work needs to be done to clarify what information will come to this committee to highlight how Cognus are providing support to Children.  


Members asked for commercial information on the level of business Cognus are currently undertaking.  Bob Harrison Services Manager advised Cognus are working with 100% of Sutton schools.  He confirmed Cognus are also providing services to Merton, Croydon, Wandsworth and Southwark.



Pupil Place Planning Update pdf icon PDF 140 KB

This reports provides an update on primary and secondary pupil place planning in the Borough.

Additional documents:


Kieran Holliday, Head of Pupil Based Commissioning, presented the report and provided an update on place applications for this year.  He also provided an update on the new school and covered the proposed schools capital maintenance programme 2018-19


In respect of secondary applications, the Committee were advised there is a good fit of places needed and offered. After the second round of offers there are currently 7 unplaced pupils in the borough and there was a good outcome in terms of being able to offer parents schools in their top 3 preferences.


In respect of the new secondary school at Harris a full contract for main work on site has been agreed and the expected delivery date is still June 2019.  Work on Cumbrian house has also started with an expected completion date in July. The committee were advised that there was a reduction in Primary applications received this year which is not in accordance with projections, and work is being undertaken to investigate why this is.


Regarding capital and maintenance programme for maintained schools Members were advised that confirmation of the grant allocation may not come out until April.  Schools are asked to put forward any improvement requirements and requests are set out in appendix A.


It was confirmed that the cost of proposed roof repairs will be reassessed once estimates for work have been received.  It was stated that proposed work to the STARS access road is included under Health and Safety criteria, it was confirmed that this was accepted by the asset management panel.


 Mr Theobald suggested that bearing in mind expansions of provision he would like a review of the proportionality of school places in the Borough. Kieran Holliday Head of Pupil based commissioning agreed to look into this and advise him accordingly outside this committee.


RESOLVED THAT: the Children, Family and Education Committee


1.    The update on primary and secondary applications for 2018 was noted.

2.    The update on the delivery of the new Harris Academy Sutton Secondary School was noted



Any urgent items brought forward at the direction of the chair


The Chair advised that Adrian Williams and Richard Nash will be moving on from their  current roles and she wished to record the thanks of the Committee for their contribution and work.  The Chair also advised the committee that the Vice Chair Councillor Hookway is leaving and she gave thanks for all his work on this committee and on a number of other committees.  The Chair congratulated Jonathan Williams on his new role as assistant Director of Safeguarding. The Chair confirmed that this committee will form part of the new People Committee.

The meeting ended at  9.45.