Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Taru Jaroszynski, Policy and Scrutiny Officer - 020 85832540 or email  Taru.Jaroszynski@hounslow.gov.uk  Email: taru.jaroszynski@hounslow.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

11.

Welcome and Introductions

Minutes:

The Chair, Cllr Chaudhary opened the meeting and welcomed members of the panel, Cllr Bruce and the Children and Adult Services team to the meeting.

12.

Apologies for absence, declarations of interest or any other communications from Members

Minutes:

Apologies received from Robert Was and Cllr Alan Mitchell.

13.

Minutes of the meeting held on 15th November 2016 pdf icon PDF 242 KB

Minutes:

The minutes were agreed as an accurate record.

 

14.

Matters Arising

Minutes:

Under Item 6 in the minutes, Cllr Green asked for an update on the Good Shepard Project and potential funding sources. Ian Duke provided a brief overview of the work of the Community Partnership Unit to look at alternatively funding sources such as crowd funding and also provided a brief update on the Funding Fair.

15.

Educational Standards in Hounslow pdf icon PDF 254 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair introduced this item noting that the Panel had considered educational performance in previous years, with the last two reports in December 2014 and September 2015 focusing on school readiness. This was because in recent years educational attainment at schools had been strong in Hounslow, whereas school readiness had been lower.

Cllr Tom Bruce introduced his team and noted their hard work. Sean Hays, on behalf of Children and Adult Services, provided a presentation on the performance of children in the borough. This was benchmarked against performance in London and England.

 

Some highlights included:

  • School readiness was improving year-on-year and on some measures LBH was outperforming the averages for London;
  • Despite a new assessment framework for Key Stage 1, Hounslow was in the top 10 authorities;
  • Similarly there was an improvement trajectory at Key Stage 2 and LBH was performing above national levels;
  • New measures were also introduced at Key Stage 4 and hence the data was less robust, however, LBH is performing in the top third of all authorities in England;
  • Hounslow had five schools whose GCSE Progress 8 performance placed them in the top 200 schools in England;
  • There were also similarly good results at Key Stage 5 and in terms of SEN provision, LBH is a leading authority;

·       The percentage of all schools judged ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted was 93%, up from 87% in November 2015.

 

Sean Hayes identified the following areas for improvement:

·       Improving the percentage of children in the Early Years achieving a Good Level of Development (GLD) to above the London performance;

·       Closing the gap at the Early Years between pupils who are eligible for free school meals and those pupils who are not eligible;

·       Improving performance in reading at Key Stage 2;

·       Closing the performance gap in reading, writing and mathematics at Key Stage 2 between pupils who are eligible for free school meals and those pupils who are not eligible;

·       Improving the percentage of students achieving A* - C grades in GCSE English and Mathematics;

·       Closing the performance gap at GCSE between pupils who are eligible for free school meals and those pupils who are not eligible;

·       Improving the average point score per examination entry (APE) at A Level.

 

Following the presentation, several of the Panel Members thanked the team on the schools performance and emphasised the need to publicise and communicate these results.

 

Oher key points emerging from the discussion included:

  • The need to share the schools achievement through other fora such as the Youth Council and Councillors own newsletters;
  • The potential risk on performance if funding was reduced for the School Effectiveness Team;
  • The potentially poorer performance of schools in the West of the Borough and the need to focus on these schools;
  • The overemphasis on A-level results for certain children when it would be better to focus on alternative post-16 education.

 

Resolved:- To note the report.

 

16.

Secondary School Place Planning pdf icon PDF 317 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Sheena Poley gave a presentation on the School Expansion programme and its effectiveness in meeting local government’s statutory duty to provide high quality school places for all children despite the fact that local authorities do not have the power to open new schools or access sufficient funding to meet the needs of expanding schools.

 

The presentation and report provided an update on the progress and the ongoing challenges faced by the Borough in the face of significant population growth.

 

Sheena outlined the projections of school places and reminded the Panel that the borough is a net importer of students. She noted that most children are placed in one of the six schools where they have stated a preference.

 

The Primary School Expansion Programme was almost complete. The Secondary School Expansion Programme was more complex and should be met through the expansion of Academies and new Free Schools. The demand for SEN School places far outstripped demand and the Authority planned to seek funding for two new schools.

 

Sheena also noted a series of meetings with Members in November aimed at briefing Members on projects at a local Ward level.

 

(20:47 Cllr John Chatt arrived)

 

Following the presentation, the key points emerging from the question and discussions were:

  • The need to look at alternatives for SEN provision in light of the large demand and a reluctance to transport children out of the borough;
  • The likelihood that LBH would not receive the funding requested from Education Funding Agency(EFA) for two new SEN schools but may be able to access funding for one of these schools;
  • There were no clear reasons why more SEN school places were required but it may be due to population growth and the associated prevalence in a larger population or, better identification and diagnosis. It was noted that it was more difficult to predict the numbers of SEN places required. The situation in Hounslow appeared to mirror the national picture which shows a rise in the number of SEN places required;
  • The local authority needed to consider the alternative spaces for SEN schools as schools moved to new sites;
  • School Place Planning was a high profile issue for the borough. The issues involved emerged within a Call-In of two decisions in 2015-16 and the processes involved were reviewed by Scrutiny in October 2015 and it was important to commitment to learning from these lessons.

 

Resolved: The Panel noted: -

  • The report and presentation on the school expansion programme and the degree to which it was meeting the local authority statutory duty to provide high quality school places for all children.
  • That since the beginning of November, briefing sessions on school developments either in or near their wards using Area Forum membership have either taken place or are scheduled with Councillors.

 

Additional Item

The Chair noted that she would allow the response to Cllr Collins’ letter dated 25 November 2016 to be dealt with under this item.

Cllr Collins wrote to Cllr Bruce with regards to the Cabinet  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Task and Finish Group Feedback Report pdf icon PDF 241 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Taru Jaroszynski provided an overview of the work of the Task and Finish Group and focussed on the draft findings and recommendations that had emerged from the research and school visits. The Panel was asked to comment on these draft findings and recommendations and agree to a revised timeline for the group in order to submit a report on 23 February 2017.

 

Panel Members suggested using clearer and plainer language on some of the recommendations and findings

 

Resolved:

·         To note the progress of the Task and Finish Group and the reports from the school visits to date;

·         To note that the Findings and Recommendations would be subject to further development and brought back in a final form in the February meeting.

 

18.

Work Programme 2016-2017 : Any Updates or Revisions pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Minutes:

The Panel considered the work programme for the next meeting and resolved

  • To add the Task and Finish Group report to the next meeting

·       Next meeting agreed as set out in the work Programme and shall include:

o   (1) Local Safeguarding Children Board Annual Report and

o   (2) Outcomes for Looked after Children and care leavers

19.

Urgent Business

Any business which the Chair agrees to accept on grounds of urgency.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.

20.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting is 23rd February 2017.

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was scheduled for Thursday 23rd February 2017 at 7.00pm.