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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Civic Centre, High Road, Wood Green, N22 8LE

Contact: Rob Mack, Principal Scrutiny Officer 

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No. Item


Apologies for absence

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An apology for absence was received from Ms Naseer.


Items of Urgent Business

The Chair will consider the admission of any late items of urgent business (late items will be considered under the agenda item where they appear. New items will be dealt with as noted below).

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Declarations of interest

A member with a disclosable pecuniary interest or a prejudicial interest in a matter who attends a meeting of the authority at which the matter is considered:


(i) must disclose the interest at the start of the meeting or when the interest becomes apparent, and

(ii) may not participate in any discussion or vote on the matter and must withdraw from the meeting room.


A member who discloses at a meeting a disclosable pecuniary interest which is not registered in the Register of Members’ Interests or the subject of a pending notification must notify the Monitoring Officer of the interest within 28 days of the disclosure.


Disclosable pecuniary interests, personal interests and prejudicial interests are defined at Paragraphs 5-7 and Appendix A of the Members’ Code of Conduct.

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To consider any requests received in accordance with Part 4, Section B, Paragraph 29 of the Council’s Constitution.

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Minutes pdf icon PDF 154 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting of 8 March 2018.

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That the minutes of the meeting of 8 March 2018 be approved.


Terms of Reference and Membership pdf icon PDF 479 KB

To note the terms of reference and membership for the Panel.

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That the terms of reference, protocol for overview and scrutiny and policy areas and remits for each scrutiny panel be noted.


Service Overview and Performance Update pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To provide an overview of the Children and Young People’s Service and current priorities and performance levels. 



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The Panel received an overview of services for children and young people in Haringey from Ann Graham, the Director of Children’s Services.   This included the current structure of the service, the context within which it worked, some key facts and details on what the service currently did.  Areas of key importance for Members were highlighted.   Corporate parenting was a particularly relevant area. It was a responsibility for all Members and specific training would be offered on it. 


The Panel noted that vulnerable young people were at risk of becoming both victims and offenders.  Gill Gibson, Assistant Director for Early Help and Prevention, reported that research on the 20 most prolific offenders in Haringey had revealed that high percentages of them had experienced poor parenting, loss of a parent and domestic violence.  The average age of their first exclusion from school was 11.  Large percentages had also gone missing and become victims of crime, often violence.  Despite all the services that existed for children and young people, it had proven difficult to make inroads. 


In respect of Special Educational Needs (SEN), the Panel noted that Haringey had above average rates for prevalence.  However, exam achievement levels for children with SEN were above the London average.  The Panel also noted the range of support and interventions that were provided for children with disabilities.  Transition to adulthood was a particularly important stage and joint work was undertaken with adult services to ensure that this went smoothly.


Working in partnership was particularly important and there were a number of bodies that were especially significant, including:

·         The Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB);

·         The Health and Wellbeing Board;

·         The Community Safety Partnership;

·         The Youth Justice Partnership Board;

·         The Early Help Partnership Board; and

·         The Schools Forum.


The government’s “Working Together to Safeguard Children” was the key piece of guidance on joint safeguarding arrangements and a new version of this had recently been issued.  OFSTED was the regulator that was responsible for children’s services and had recently completed a Joint Targeted Area Inspection (JTAI) focussing on neglect in respect of Haringey, the results of which had been reported to the previous meeting of the Panel. 


Eveleen Riordan, the Assistant Director for Schools and Learning, reported that, in respect of Early Years, 74% of Haringey children achieved a good level of development in early years in 2017, which was in the London top quartile.  99% of nursery and 90% of all early years settings had been rated as good or outstanding.  100% of schools in Haringey were now rated as good or outstanding.  GCSE results had improved at a faster rate than the average for London and England.  Exclusion rates and mental health issues were higher than the rates for London and England. 


The Panel noted that there were a number of key challenges to be faced and these included:

·         Hearing and responding effectively to the views of children and young people;

·         Reducing demand for acute services;

·         Recruiting and retaining social workers and managers; and

·         Addressing the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Cabinet Member Questions - Children and Families and Communities

An opportunity to question the Cabinet Member for Children and Families, Councillor Elin Weston, and the Cabinet Member for Communities, Councillor Mark Blake, on developments within the parts of their portfolios that relate to the terms of reference of the Panel.


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Councillor Weston, the Cabinet Member for Children and Families, reported on key areas within her portfolio as follows:

·         It was highly likely that there would be an OFSTED inspection soon, which would be undertaken using the new format for this;

·         The budget was a major concern.  However, the priority needed to be ensuring that children were safe.  Work was taking place to establish the base level of cost of running a childrens’ service so that this could be factored into budget discussions;

·         New safeguarding arrangements were due to come into operation next year.  The LSCB would cease to exist and responsibility for safeguarding would be shared by the Council with the Police and Health Services;

·         She was keen to continue the work that was taking place with care leavers.  This was important as care leavers could be vulnerable. Recent legislative changes had changed the age for which the local authority had responsibility for them from 21 to 25;

·         There was need to better understand the reason why young people sometimes went missing;

·         She was keen to ensure that corporate parenting training was arranged for Members in order to promote greater understanding of their role.


Councillor Davies requested information regarding the SATs results achieved in Haringey schools during the summer and well as details of any school that had had their results annulled. She also requested a copy of the Freshwater report, which had been undertaken on human resource provision and support for schools that had been provided by the Council.  In addition, she stated that she felt that the Panel should include the apprenticeship levy within its work plan.  In response, Councillor Weston stated that the results of Harris Academy in Tottenham had been annulled.  Haringey SATs results could be shared with the Panel.  She was not familiar with the report referred to but was happy to look into it.


In answer to a question, she stated that budget savings proposals had not yet been finalised.  They would be submitted to the Panel in due course.  In respect of support to children from refugee families, she stated that she had recently met with representatives of Refugees Welcome Haringey.  It was hoped to arrange a fostering event that focussed on the refugee children.  Work was also being undertaken on support to children from families with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) and she was happy to provide an update on this in due course.


In answer to another question, Councillor Weston stated that there was an attainment gap which showed a strong correlation with poverty.   This generally showed a disparity between the east and west of the borough.  However, there was also a disparity between some minority ethnic groups.  There could also be specific disparities within individual electoral wards.   She was not aware of whether any work had been undertaken on the relationship between housing status and school attainment.  She agreed to check to see if anything had been done on this issue.  However, it could be an issue that schools  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Work Programme Development 2018-20 pdf icon PDF 225 KB

To consider potential issues for inclusion within the work plan for 2018-20.

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The Panel noted the process for the development of the work plan and considered potential issues for inclusion within it.  The following were raised;

·         School exclusions;

·         Mental health;

·         Services to schools; 

·         Youth services;

·         Support for young people; and

·         The impact of domestic violence on children.


It was noted that no final decision had yet been taken in respect of the Onside initiative for youth services in the borough and that a report to Cabinet was being drafted regarding it.


The Panel agreed to cancel the meeting of the Panel scheduled for 11 October.  This was because an additional meeting of the Panel had been included by error in the Council calendar for the year.  In addition, it was scheduled too soon to take into account the outcomes of the work planning process for the year.




That the Panel meeting on 11 October be cancelled.


New items of urgent business

To consider any items admitted at item 3 above.


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Dates of Future Meetings

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·         8 November 2018;

·         18 December 2018 (budget);

·         4 February 2019; and

·         7 March 2019.