Agenda and draft minutes

People Committee
Thursday, 1st July, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

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


No. Item


Welcome and Introductions


The Chair Councillor Marian James welcomed those present and those watching on the live stream.


The Chair also welcomed Bec Allot - Executive Head - Cheam Academies Network (Oaks), Steve Hume - Executive Head - Willow Learning Trust (Glenthorne), Simon Barber - Head of Carshalton Boys Sports College and Helen Latham - Director of Finance and Operations, Girls Learning Trust (Carshalton Girls).


Apologies for absence


There were no apologies for absence.


Declarations of interest


For item 7 Councillor Chris Williams declared he is on the governing board of Sherwood Park School.


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 25 March 2021.





1.    the minutes of the meeting held on 25 March 2021 be agreed as an accurate record.


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.


Pupil Place Planning Report pdf icon PDF 171 KB

The London Borough of Sutton, in partnership with schools from across the Borough, works collectively to ensure the best possible outcomes for young people and to ensure a sufficiency of school places for pupils in the Borough.

Additional documents:


Kieran Holliday, Head of Pupil Based Commissioning and Jack Cutler Schools Commissioning and Capital Lead presented the report.


The Head Teachers explained the reasons why they had expressed concern about a risk of over capacity of school places and falling rolls. The Head teachers suggested a new school in the borough would not be an efficient use of money, explaining that ‘bulge’ classes could support expected pupil numbers. It was suggested provision within existing schools may be preferable due to predicted falling school rolls within the next four or five years. The Head teachers drew attention to the impacts of falling rolls on schools in other boroughs and future risks that a new school may create for existing schools in the Sutton borough. Members and officers noted that issues in neighbouring boroughs should not affect plans for school place provision for children in the Sutton borough.



Kieran Holliday confirmed that there was sufficient unallocated capital budget within the Basic Needs Grant to support the funding requests from the school to provide ‘bulge’ classes.


The Head Teachers confirmed that the bulge classes would be additional classes and not larger classes at the schools.


Jack Cutler explained that the Head Teachers of the schools which had offered bulge classes had signed a memorandum of understanding and that the council felt this gave sufficient commitment. The Head Teachers confirmed that the memorandum of understanding had been signed by their governing bodies and it was a commitment to the Local Authority for the future.


Members asked about the impact of the Hong Kong resettlement scheme on school places in the borough. Kieran Holliday explained that the Schools Admissions team had observed a small number of applications from people using the scheme however, an increase in numbers was expected as Covid issues reduced, Kieran Holliday further added that the council were working with a community group to help gain further intelligence. It was added that support to understand the admission process was being provided via the community group and that the mid term admission process would be followed.


Kieran Holliday explained negotiation with TfL regarding bus provision on routes to schools offering additional places would commence when plans have been formalised.


Members asked about the option of building Free School 2 only. It was suggested that if only building Free School 2 were built the site may allow additional flexibility for design, the Planning team would work with the DfE to aim to develop a good design.


Members discussed provision for children with special educational needs including autism, drawing attention that mainstream settings were not appropriate for all children with SEN and that specialist schools were also required.


Kieran Holliday informed Members that discussions with the Greenshaw Trust had included confirmation that they would proceed with Free School 2 only if that option was preferred by the DfE, but that the final decision would be made by the DfE.




1.    the developments set out in the report be noted.



Delivering Ambitious for Sutton: People Committee pdf icon PDF 210 KB

The People committee plays a key role in shaping and delivering the council’s corporate plan priorities. This report outlines these key priorities and the wider political and legislative developments for the year ahead. This includes national context (including the impact of Covid-19) and policy and legislative changes at the national level.

Additional documents:


Nick Ireland, Strategic Director People, Luke Addams, Assistant Director Adult Social Care, Jonathan Williams, Assistant Director, People Services Directorate (Children's Social Care and Safeguarding) and Fiona Phelps, Assistant Director, Education and SEND introduced the report.


Fiona Phelps drew attention to the DfE SEND Review consultation that would take place later this year, and encouraged members to take part.


Luke Addams explained the new processes in place following changes to the law affecting the previous Deprivation of Safeguard Liberties (DOLS).


Fiona Phelps explained that summer schools were being provided by the majority of schools in the borough to support children moving from year 6 to 7 this year. The links between the primary and secondary schools and the SENCO clusters would help ensure that those children with most need would be encouraged to attend. Fiona Phelps further explained the process for bids by schools for the special needs capital fund, and the allocation of grants.


Jonathan Williams and Luke Addams explained work in progress to support recruitment and retention of staff in adult and children’s social care teams.


As part of the ‘performance’ discussion Tom Magill, Data and Insights Team Manager confirmed the detailed data relating to supported employment was available. Fiona Phelps explained that the timescales for advice provided for EHC needs assessments had been removed from reporting, as at present the provision of advice was not impacting the completion of assessments. This data was tracked internally, and any service not providing information in a timely manner was addressed. Information about timescales of advice provided could be provided to members if required.


Councillor Jane Pascoe abstained from the vote for recommendation 2.5, to note and agree the key performance indicators for the committee over the next year.




1.    the role of the People Committee in discharging the Council’s Ambitious for Sutton objectives be noted.


2.    the wider policy and legislative context for the committee be noted.


3.    the key priority areas for the committee over the next year be  noted.


4.    the financial context for the committee over the next year be noted.


5.    the key performance indicators for the committee over the next year be noted and agreed.


The meeting adjourned at 21.09pm


The meeting reconvened at 21.12pm


Corporate Parenting pdf icon PDF 255 KB

This report summarises the activities across the local area partnership to deliver positive outcomes for Children Looked After and Care Leavers. 


Additional documents:



Jonathan Williams, Assistant Director, People Services Directorate (Children's Social Care and Safeguarding), Michael Taylor, Head of Service - Corporate Parenting, Sarah Galvin, Sutton CCG,Designated Nurse for Child Protection and Looked after Children, Sutton, NHS South West London CCG, Kate Leyshon, Head Teacher Virtual School, Sam Barker, Assistant Director Customers, Transformation and Strategy, Debbie Owen, Head of Service Quality Assurance, Practice, Performance  and Helen Davies, Head of Service - Housing Advice, Information & Assessment, Encompass presented the report.


The Chair drew attention to members of the importance of their role as a corporate parent.  The Chair further added that she was Chair of the Corporate Parent Forum and that Councillors Jenny Batt and Lily Bande were members of the forum.


Michael Taylor explained the funding arrangements for provision for unaccompanied child asylum seekers, and the process when the young person reaches age 18.


Michael Taylor explained that work was in progress to increase the numbers of foster carers, and the range of placements available, and that included boarding school bursaries as appropriate.


The meeting adjourned at 21.43


The meeting reconvened at 21.49




1.    the update on provision of services in delivering the priorities of the Corporate Parenting Strategy be noted.