Agenda and draft minutes

People Committee
Thursday, 14th March, 2019 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Cathy Hayward, Committee Services Officer  Tel.: 020 8770 4990, Email:


Note No. Item


Welcome and introductions


The Chair, Councillor Marian James, welcomed those present.


Apologies for absence


There were no apologies for absence.


Declarations of interest


8. Update on the Implementation of the SEND Written Statement of Action.

Councillor Elliot Colburn, Pecuniary, employment by the South West London Care Partnership.


9. People Committee Performance Report.

Councillor Elliot Colburn, Pecuniary, employment by the South West London Care Partnership.



Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 96 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2019.


RESOLVED: that the minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2018 be agreed as an accurate record with the amendment to list of attendees to include Rev’d Kevin Lewis and Andrew Theobald.



Pupil Place Planning Update pdf icon PDF 188 KB

This report provides an update on the 2019 place planning round as well as an update on the school expansion programme and the 2019/20 capital maintenance programme.


Additional documents:


Kieran Holliday, Head of Pupil Based Commissioning, presented the report.


Members heard that the delays to the works to Hackbridge School would not create additional costs to the school. It was however, expected that there would be additional costs to the Local Authority, as the costs for completing the remainder of the works was now expected to be higher than previously. The exact additional costs were not known but could be provided to Members once determined. It was clarified that some of the additional costs may be covered by the bond in place.


The original contractor chosen to complete the works at Hackbridge School, Lakehouse, was procured using the London Construction Framework. All contractors in the framework had been subject to the necessary due diligence checks, and as the bid from Lakehouse was the best price from the bids received, there had been little option for the Local Authority in making the appointment. Not choosing Lakehouse following their bid would have opened the Local Authority to legal challenge. Following the Local Authority terminating the contract with Lakehouse, Officers had acted quickly to appoint a new contractor, who has experience of PassivHaus construction.


Members noted that on offer day for secondary school places there were 52 Sutton pupils unplaced and although this was not unusual it was acknowledged that this would be distressing for pupils and their families. Eleven other London boroughs also had unplaced pupils on national offer day. It is expected, based on past experience, that by September all pupils will have places.    


Members asked about the need for a third secondary school. It was noted that there is provision for an additional secondary school in the Local Plan but that it was felt that current data, in Sutton and across London suggests, a third school would not be needed. With respect to the next academic year, known risks exist regarding the number of places which would be available in 2020, and that the ability to open a temporary school would in part depend on the progress the DfE make on the planning application for the new school on the Rosehill site.


The Head of Pupil Based Commissioning stated he would be attending a meeting shortly regarding options for a temporary school and would report back to Members. It was noted that arrangements for provision of free schools was not under the control of the Local Authority but that the Local Authority retains the statutory duty to ensure a sufficiency of school places.



1.    The latest primary (reception) applications for the 2019 planning round be noted.

2.    The latest position on the provision of secondary school places for the 2019 planning round be noted.

3.    The update on the delivery of the expansion of Hackbridge Primary School be noted.

4.    The latest position with respect to Free School projects in the Borough be noted.

5.    The capital maintenance programme 2019-20 be approved and expenditure of up to the sum of the grant allocation (outlined in paragraph 4.19)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.



Changes to the Registration of Spencer Nursery School pdf icon PDF 156 KB

This report provides an update following a period of representations, on a proposal to determine two related proposals; (i) discontinue Spencer Nursery School (ii) make prescribed alterations to Hackbridge Primary School.  


Additional documents:


Kieran Holliday, Head of Pupil Based Commissioning presented the report.


There were no further questions from members of the Committee.




1.    Spencer Nursery School be formally closed / discontinued as a maintained nursery school with effect from 31 March 2020 subject to Hackbridge primary school becoming an Academy.

2.    The prescribed alterations that change the age range of Hackbridge Primary School from 3 to 11 years to 2 to 11 years with effect from 31 March 2020 subject to Hackbridge primary school becoming an Academy be agreed.

3.    The school be expanded by 36 full time equivalent early years places to be provided on the Spencer Nursery Site with effect from 31 March 2020 subject to Hackbridge primary school becoming an Academy.

4.    Authority be delegated to the Strategic Director for People, in consultation with the Chair of the People Committee, to bring forward the implementation date from that published on the statutory notice should it be necessary.


Rev’d Kevin Lewis left the meeting at 7.30pm.


Sutton Joint Carers Strategy 2019-23 pdf icon PDF 152 KB

This report sets out the engagement that shaped the strategy’s vision and principles, as well as summarising the proposed direction of travel, as identified through engagement with carers and key partners.


Additional documents:


Jessica Crowe, Assistant Director - Customers, Commissioning and Governance and Fay Austin, Commissioning Manager presented the report.


Ken Fish and Marilynne Burbage, carers, explained the input of carers to the report, and why they endorsed the need for a carers’ strategy. The carers explained that they had not attended to represent the views of all carers but set out their personal view that the strategy had some omissions at the moment and that they therefore could not endorse the strategy as currently set out. It was acknowledged that the strategy and plan set the broad direction of travel and further details and improvements would be developed through the steering group that would be set up. 


The carers suggested that the consultation was poorly timed as it was run over the Christmas/ New Year period.  The Assistant Director - Customers, Commissioning and Governance explained that the consultation, which ran from December to February, was the formal part of the process and that the informal part of the consultation and engagement had been completed over a longer period of time.  


A statement was provided by a carer which outlined the role of carers and explained that support is required from all partners to allow carers to carry out their role.


The role of LGBT carers has been identified as a need in the delivery plan, and the Council would seek to learn from the work undertaken across London.


Members inquired about the engagement tools used to develop the strategy noting that online methods created issues for some older carers.  The Assistant Director - Customers, Commissioning and Governance explained that various methods of engagement had been used and that data about these methods could be provided to Members.


Nick Ireland, Strategic Director, People Directorate outlined that the time from a carer being identified to receiving support varies, for a range of reasons, which included the needs of the carer and the type of support required. It was also noted  there is a statutory requirement to complete carer’s assessments which is reported in the performance data.


Melanie Walles, Young Carers Service Manager, Sutton Carers Centre explained that the Council commissions the Carers Centre to meet the needs of young carers and they have worked with schools to support them in identifying, understanding the needs and provide information about support available to young carers. 


As employers both Sutton Council and the CCG have policies in place to support carers, and that both organisations aimed to lead by example. It was mentioned that Councillor Chris Williams is Lead Member for Young Carers and Councillor Marlene Heron is Lead Member for Adult Carers.



1.    Sutton’s Joint Carers Strategy 2019 - 2023 be approved.

2.    It should be noted that a number of carers support services will be reviewed and recommissioned in line with Making Informed Choices Outcome Based Commissioning Review, to come back to relevant Committee(s) in due course.

3.    The Draft Delivery Plan be approved, noting that the draft delivery plan will be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.


Update on the Implementation of the SEND Written Statement of Action pdf icon PDF 477 KB

The Written Statement of Action (WSOA) identifies a total of 27 actions which will lead to improvement of the Local Area to identify and meet needs and improve outcomes for the children and young people with Special Educational Needs and / or Disabilities (SEND) in Sutton.

Additional documents:


Fiona Phelps, Assistant Director, Education and SEND presented the report.


The Chair commended the Assistant Director, Education and SEND and officers involved for the work that has been completed to date.


Members discussed the role of the Council in ensuring that schools met their obligations to pupils with SEND, and stated that in discussion with parents they had become aware of concerns about provision and offers being made by some schools. The Assistant Director, Education and SEND explained that the Local Authority is aware that there is still work to be done in this respect, and that the Local Area, including some schools, is still developing a full understanding of the requirements.


It was stated that the influence the Local Authority is able to have on schools which are academies, has some limitations.  Meetings have been held with school head teachers which aim to support schools and the LA work more effectively together, and for schools to be able to share their good practice more widely.  


Members reported they have been aware of issues parents have faced as pupils join reception classes.  It was noted that if parents remained unhappy with provisions and offers from schools they were able to use the school’s complaints procedure and could, ultimately, contact Ofsted.  However, it is suggested that a mediation process may be able to address parents’ concerns more satisfactorily.


The Assistant Director, Education and SEND explained a current aim is that improving the Local Offer would result in more parents of children with EHCPs wishing to take up educational provision within the borough. It was recognised that Sutton is a small borough and therefore, some very specialist provision was not available within the borough, and also that parents may choose mainstream provision just outside the borough boundaries.  It was noted that progress in out of borough provision can be more difficult to monitor and review, and links with the child or young person’s community in Sutton can be reduced, both of which can impact on effective ‘preparation for adulthood’.  There is an aim for year on year increase in the percentage of children and young people with EHCPs being educated in Sutton provision.


Cognus have been involved in working with schools, supporting schools with greater understanding of, and practice aligned to, the Children and Families Act and enhancing joint working practice between partners. It was noted that concerns about communications were being addressed.


The Education Bulletin has been well received and is improving communication and joint understanding in the Local Area.


Both new request and advice forms have been developed to ensure requesting support is simplified and the advice provided improved.  The next step is to develop the new EHC Plan template.


Members noted that the Joint Commissioning Strategy provided a high level plan and that it is supported by a more detailed plan.


All support, provision and services for children and young people with SEND in the Local Area should be included in the Local Offer website, including those for Looked  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.


People Committee Performance Report pdf icon PDF 100 KB

This report outlines the indicators for Children’s, Adults’ and Education Services performance reporting in 2018/19. Performance is measured against the indicators and targets agreed at June’s committee meeting and can be found on Pentana.



Additional documents:


Toby Meller, Data & Intelligence Manager (Interim) presented the report.


Members discussed the indicators in the report showing as red or amber.




1.    The monthly performance data be noted.

2.    The targets for 2019/20 reporting be noted.


Any urgent business

To consider any items which, in the view of the Chair, should be dealt with as a matter of urgency because of special circumstances (in accordance with S100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972).


There was no urgent business.