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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Rob Mack, Principal Scrutiny Officer 

Webcast: View the webcast (video) will remain online for 12 months

No. Item



Please note that this meeting may be filmed or recorded by the Council for live or subsequent broadcast via the Council’s internet site or by anyone attending the meeting using any communication method. Although we ask members of the public recording, filming or reporting on the meeting not to include the public seating areas, members of the public attending the meeting should be aware that we cannot guarantee that they will not be filmed or recorded by others attending the meeting. Members of the public participating in the meeting (e.g. making deputations, asking questions, making oral protests) should be aware that they are likely to be filmed, recorded or reported on. 


By entering the meeting room and using the public seating area, you are consenting to being filmed and to the possible use of those images and sound recordings.


The chair of the meeting has the discretion to terminate or suspend filming or recording, if in his or her opinion continuation of the filming, recording or reporting would disrupt or prejudice the proceedings, infringe the rights of any individual or may lead to the breach of a legal obligation by the Council.

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The Chair referred Members present to agenda Item 1 as shown on the agenda in respect of filming at this meeting, and Members noted the information contained therein’.


Apologies for absence

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Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Dixon and Cllr Moyeed. Cllr Hinchcliffe was attending the meeting as a substitute for Cllr Dixon.



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 112 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting of 6 September 2018 (attached).

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In relation to item 7 (Service Overview & Performance Update) of the minutes of the previous meeting, Cllr Davies asked about unusual patterns in the recent SATs results. Eveleen Riordan, Assistant Director for Schools and Learning said that some initial analysis had been done and discussions were ongoing with the Haringey Education Partnership which will be prioritising schools where there are concerns. Asked whether there was a report about the school that had its SATs results annulled, Eveleen Riordan said that the Harris Federation had commissioned an independent inquiry. The Council would ask the Harris Federation to share their findings. (ACTION – Eveleen Riordan)

AGREED: That the minutes of the Children & Young People’s Scrutiny Panel meeting held on 6th September 2018 be approved as an accurate record.



Cabinet Member Questions - Children and Families

An opportunity to question the Cabinet Member for Children and Families,

Councillor Elin Weston, on developments within her portfolio.

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Cllr Elin Weston, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families, responded to questions on the following issues:

·         With regards to reported financial difficulties at the Octagon AP Academy, Haringey Council’s current contract with the Octagon is due to end in August 2019 and so a review of how that contract has performed and options for the future is already underway, though this is not due to any specific concerns. This review was expected to be completed rapidly and officers have liaising with the new head of the Octagon, Connery Wiltshire. The Panel recommended that the Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families should write to the TBAP Multi-Academy Trust expressing concerns about possible disruption to the education of pupils and a willingness of the local authority to explore taking provision of the services back in-house if TBAP is unable to provide adequate services themselves. Cllr Weston agreed to write a letter on this basis and also suggested that she provide the Panel with an update on the contract review in February 2019.

·         That no update regarding the Ofsted inspection was available but the report was expected to be published in the first half of December.


AGREED: That Cllr Weston should write to TBAP Multi-Academy Trust on the terms outlined above and provide an update on the contract review to the Panel in February 2019.



Priority 1 Budget Position (Quarter 1 2018/19) pdf icon PDF 201 KB

To receive an update on financial performance in quarter one relating to Corporate Plan Priority 1.

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Paul Durrant, Senior Business Partner, introduced the report on the budget position for Priority 1 of the Corporate Plan for Quarter 1 of 2018/19. On the Revenue Budget there was a projected overspend of just under £4.9m. The largest cause of this was on Safeguarding and Social Care where there was a projected overspend of £3.6m. Of this:

  • £2.3m was attributed to Local After Children (LAC) External Placements. Although the overall number of children in care had not risen, the number of high cost placements had gone up. Pressures on the budget to make savings had also been a contributory factor.
  • £0.8m was attributed to The Young Adult Service, mainly due to the new duty on local authorities to support care leavers up to the age of 25 rather than 21.
  • £0.6m was due to the use of agency staff which are generally more expensive than permanent employees.
  • £0.4m was due to costs associated with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) cases.
  • There was one area of underspend, forecast to be £0.4m, due to lower than expected numbers of in-house foster carers.

The next most significant cause was on Prevention and Early Intervention where there was a projected overspend of £1.2m. Of this:

·         £0.2m was attributed to Children Centres as the service has been unable to achieve the income generation through fees that had been expected.

·         £0.6m was attributed to the Special Education Needs Service, mainly due to the statutory duty to provide transport for those over 19 years old.

·         £0.3m was attributed to the Family Support service, mainly due to an increase in demand for respite.

·         £0.2m was attributed to the Inclusion Service, mainly due to an unachievable savings target.

In response to questions from the Panel, Cllr Weston, Sarah Alexander, Ann Graham and Paul Durrant said:

  • While the agency staff rate was higher than was desirable, Haringey was not unique in this respect as it is a national issue and some boroughs have higher rates. A lot of work had been done with Haringey’s recruitment partners, Hays, to try and improve recruitment and retention. However, some people are choosing to use agencies as a method of working. Also, some positions are hard to recruit to and are particularly affected by caseload levels. Officers are doing what they can to make Haringey an attractive place to work and to persuade agency staff to become permanent members of staff, including through golden handshakes, but there was more that could be done such as raising the quality of practice.
  • On the External Placements budget, there were a total of 40 young people in residential care at present with a range of placements used across the country, sometimes because specialist support is required which is only available in certain areas and sometimes because of safety concerns. However, the Council tries to keep children within the M25 area where possible. The average weekly cost of residential care placements for children was currently estimated to be £3,500.
  • In relation to the overall overspend  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.


Haringey Local Safeguarding Children Board: The Transition to New Safeguarding Partnership Arrangements pdf icon PDF 244 KB

To provide an overview of Haringey’s Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB), current arrangements and future changes.

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Sarah Alexander, Assistant Director for Safeguarding and Social Care, introduced the report on the Haringey Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) which is the multi-agency partnership board that looks at safeguarding at a strategic level. New arrangements for the LSCB were being implemented on the basis of the new Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 guidance. The new guidance incorporated recommendations from the 2016 Alan Wood Review which had concluded that there were deficiencies in the LSCB system. The new arrangements will involve three statutory safeguarding partners – the CCG, the Borough Commander and the local authority. The statutory partners are required to set out their local arrangements by 29th September 2019 so a lot of transition work was ongoing to achieve this.

In response to questions from the panel, Sarah Alexander and Ann Graham, Director of Children’s Services, said that:

·         the Council will be an equal partner with the other two statutory partners under the new arrangements, so accountability is moving from the Council alone to a shared responsibility.

·         arrangements for the Designated Officer (previously known as the Local Authority Designated Officer or ’LADO’) will remain the same and stay within the local authority.

·         the new partnership will have to set out their arrangements for auditing.

·         the day to day arrangements will not change during the transition period – the main changes are to the strategic approach which are aimed at improving accountability.


AGREED: That the report be noted.



Joint Targeted Area Inspection (JTAI) Action Plan - Update pdf icon PDF 238 KB

To consider an update of the work carried out since the JTAI inspection held in December 2017.

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Sarah Alexander introduced the report on the December 2017 Joint Targeted Area Inspection (JTAI) the subject of which was the response of statutory safeguarding partners to children aged 7 to 15 who had been neglected. The inspectors provided a non-judgment inspection finding, highlighting areas where improvements could be made. Partners were then required to respond to the findings including through the publication of an action plan. This plan had led to improvements in areas such as the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and in training for partners.

Asked whether there was data on neglected children by ward, Sarah Alexander confirmed that neglect was a bigger issue in the east of the Borough. Ann Graham said that it may be possible to produce some data but it would most likely illustrate levels of poverty, which is closely related to neglect. (ACTION POINT: Ann Graham/Sarah Alexander)

AGREED: That the report be noted.



Work Programme Update pdf icon PDF 184 KB

To consider further the Panel’s workplan for 2018-20.

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Dominic O’Brien, Principal Scrutiny Officer, set out the background of the Work Programme for the Panel which had been assembled following the ‘Scrutiny Café’ stakeholder event in September and included several possible scrutiny review projects and a number of one-off items for the panel meetings in 2018/19 and 2019/20.

After a short discussion the panel proposed to conduct their first scrutiny review on children with special education needs. This would be likely to examine the journey of getting help from the local authority including the assessment, diagnosis and services provided, including looking at blockages in the system and the support available for families going through the process. However, the full details of the terms of reference would be developed in discussions between the Chair and the panel scrutiny officer, in consultation with the other panel members.

The panel also proposed to carry out a scrutiny review on alternative provision.

AGREED: That scrutiny reviews on Special Educational Needs and on alternative provision be added to the panel’s Work Programme.



New items of urgent business

To consider any items admitted at item 3 above.


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Dates of Future Meetings

·         18 December 2018;

·         4 February 2019; and

·         7 March 2019.

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The next meetings of the Children & Young People’s scrutiny panel are scheduled to take place on:


  • 18th December 2018
  • 4th February 2019
  • 19th March 2019