Our Current Investigations
21/07/2015 Manchester Youth Council
At the July meeting the Committee welcomed representatives from the Manchester Youth Council. The members of the Youth Council presented a report that they had written which outlined a number of proposals to help raise awareness of the need for early help and support for young people experiencing mental health problems. The Youth Council had agreed to campaign on this issue as they recognised that this is an important issue that affects a large number of young people. They described that finding information and advice on services that is available is often difficult and that they had succeeded in making an advice booklet available in schools and youth clubs. The Committee also watched a video that had been written and produced by the Youth Council called 'Peace of Mind'. This video had been made to highlight the issue of anxiety and emotional wellbeing amongst young people. The Committee heard that the video is being made available to schools and other youth services.
The Committee congratulated the Members of the Youth Council for attending the meeting and agreed that they supported the proposals suggested in the report.
YPCS- April 2015- End of Year Summary 2014/2015
During 2014/2015, the Young People and Children Scrutiny Committee examined a wide range of issues affecting children and young people in Manchester. This has included educational matters including the sufficiency of school places in Manchester, attainment and attendance levels, exclusions and Pupil Referral Units, Council policies and arrangements (including free school travel, meals, and clothing grants; and school crossing patrols), school admissions criteria, early years, youth and play commissioning, special educational needs and school improvement. It has also included social care matters including updates on social workers, looked after children, and multi-systemic therapy.
The Committee were deeply disappointed to find in September 2014 that Manchester City Council’s Children’s Services were judged ‘inadequate’ following an Ofsted Inspection. Lots of changes were made in response to this and an ‘Improvement Plan’ including targets and timescales was agreed. The Committee has closely monitored the Council’s progress against this and will continue to do so. The remit of the Ofsted Subgroup was also widened to include Ofsted Inspections of the Council and they have scrutinised the Improvement Plan in further detail and will continue to do so.
The Committee has also this year scrutinised the budget proposals for the Children and Families Directorate in considerable detail over a number of meetings. The Committee’s views were taken into account by Executive when proposing the Council’s budget for 2015/16.
21/10/14 - Parent Governor Representatives
The Committee has a number of elected co-opted members who support councillors to scrutinise local education issues. Nominations have recently been requested for the three Parent Governor Representative posts. The Committee received three nominations from Ms Eve Holt (Manley Park Primary School), Ms Carrin Wibier (Claremont Primary School) and Mr Abdigafar Muse (Plymouth Grove Primary School). In October, the Committee welcomed Ms Eve Holt, who is an existing member, and the two new members, Ms Carrin Wibier and Mr Abdigafar Muse, who have been appointed for the next two years
23/09/14 - Ofsted
In September the Committee received a report on the recent Ofsted inspection which had judged children’s services in Manchester to be “inadequate”. The Committee was deeply concerned by this report and challenged officers on the reasons for the failings and the steps needed to tackle them. The Committee decided to include this issue as a standing item at future Committee meetings to closely monitor and challenge progress made in responding to the concerns raised in the report. Members also decided to expand the remit of the Committee’s Ofsted Subgroup in order to consider the safeguarding arrangements in more detail.
31/07/14 – Early Years
In July the Committee received a report on proposals for the management and organisation of Manchester’s Sure Start Children’s Centres, including the responses to a consultation exercise. The Committee was asked to comment on the proposals before the report was submitted to the Executive for a final decision. Members were reassured to hear that spending on universal services for under-fives was not being reduced and, overall, supported the recommendations in the report. However, they were concerned that the information in the report did not fully reflect all the responses from the consultation exercise. The Committee asked for more information on the consultation exercise to be provided to the Executive to ensure that the views expressed by Manchester residents were fully taken into account when taking the decision. The Executive considered the Committee’s comments and the additional information provided and agreed to implement the proposals.
8/04/2014 - 2013/14
During the year, the Young People and Children Scrutiny Committee has continued to examine a wide range of issues which affect children and young people in Manchester. As Council services undergo significant change, the Committee has considered proposed changes in a number of areas, including Looked After Children Commissioning and Early Years services, and has agreed to continue to monitor the implementation of these proposals. Members discussed in detail the introduction of Multi-Systemic Therapy, identifying areas of concern and agreed with council officers how the effectiveness of the therapy would be monitored.
The Committee was consulted on the development of a new strategy on school governance and made a number of recommendations, including amendments to the job description and person specification for school governors. The Committee has also looked at a range of safeguarding issues, including child trafficking, female genital mutilation and improvements to social work practice in Manchester .
The Ofsted Subgroup has continued to consider Ofsted inspection reports for Manchester schools and its remit has been widened to include Ofsted inspections of children’s centres and daycare providers and of local authority arrangements for supporting school improvement.
To find out more information have a look at our full work programme. This includes what topics we will be looking at, what specific issues we will be considering and who we will be hearing from. Please bear in mind that the programme is continually updated, and so dates and agenda items may change from those listed in the programme.
If there's an issue you want to contribute to, let us know. You can either send a written contribution to email@example.com or you can attend a meeting and ask the Chair if you can speak. You can also suggest a topic for us to look into by filling in our 'suggestions form.'
If you want to speak to somebody about contributing to the committee, please call our scrutiny support officer on 0161 234 3071 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Role of the Committee
"As members of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee, we challenge the Council and other public services to make sure that they give young people in Manchester every chance to live happy, fulfilling and successful lives. We have discussions with these organisations and use our experience of representing children and parents in our wards to recommend to them how they can ensure their services meet your needs.
Our areas of interest include education, looked after children, social care for children, provision for under 5's, disabled children, special educational needs and activities and facilities for young people.
Through this page you'll be able to keep in touch with what we've been doing and find out what we'll be investigating over the next few months and how you can get involved" - Councillor Julie Reid, Chair of the Young People and Children Scrutiny Committee.
Find Out More
- You can read our agenda, minutes and reports here, as well as find future meeting dates.
- You can find out who's a member of the Committee here.