Our Current Investigations
21/06/2016 – School Calendar
Following a recommendation from a member of the public, the Committee looked into the reasons for the variations in term dates between different schools within Manchester, as well as with those in neighbouring authorities. The Committee considered the legislative framework and the current approach to setting term dates and discussed what action could be taken. The Committee recommended a number of actions to better align school calendars from 2018/2019 and requested a progress report on this within 12 months.
End of Year Summary 2015/16
Over the previous year the Young People and Children Scrutiny Committee has continued to focus on scrutinising the actions being taken to improve children’s services. The Post-Ofsted Improvement Plan has been a standing item on the agenda throughout the year and the Committee has considered a number of aspects including social work caseloads, the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and the investment to reduce the number of Looked After Children (LAC). Members re-established the Ofsted Subgroup, which complemented the Committee’s work by considering aspects of the Post-Ofsted Improvement Plan in more detail. The Ofsted Subgroup also considers Ofsted Inspection Reports for schools, children’s centres and daycare providers and carries out visits to schools with the aim of sharing good practice. Their meeting papers can be accessed here.
The Committee has scrutinised many issues over the year including school admissions, attendance and attainment, early year’s provision and children’s health. In May 2015 the Committee established a Youth and Play Task and Finish Group which reviewed youth and play provision across the city and scrutinised proposals for an independent Youth and Play Trust to be established. The proposals which the Group contributed to were accepted by Executive in February 2016. The Final Report of the Youth and Play Task and Finish Group can be accessed here.
In July 2015, the Committee welcomed representatives from the Manchester Youth Council who outlined their proposals to help raise awareness of the need for early help and support for young people experiencing mental health problems. Members welcomed the representatives and requested that the relevant Council Officers support the proposals.
The Committee scrutinised the Children’s Rights and Advocacy Service in June and July 2015. Members raised a number of concerns and whilst they endorsed officer’s recommendation to Executive that the service be externally commissioned; this was not done until after their concerns had been addressed.
In February 2016, the Committee welcomed representatives from the NHS and the Health Scrutiny Committee as they considered the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment of Children and Young People in Manchester. Members made a number of recommendations including that academies contribute financially to health services provided in schools, encouraging new ways to promote breastfeeding, encouraging primary schools not offering fluoridated milk and fluoride varnish applications to do so, and requesting that consideration be given to the fluoridation of drinking water.
15/12/2015 – Youth and Play Trust
In May 2015, the Committee established a Youth and Play Task and Finish Group which considered youth and play provision across the city and proposals for the establishment of an Independent Youth and Play Trust. At its December 2015 meeting the wider Committee considered a report on the proposals. Having considered the views of the Youth and Play Task and Finish Group and external witnesses from the voluntary and community youth sector, the Committee was broadly supportive of the proposals. The Committee agreed to monitor progress in implementing these proposals, including the transition arrangements for the current youth hubs within the city.
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 Teacher Representative posts. One nomination was received for the Primary Sector post from Ms June Gudgeon (St Agnes’ Primary School) and she will be appointed. Two nominations were received for the Secondary Sector post and an election was held, the results of which were as follows: Mr Liam Duffy (Loreto High School): 81 votes, Mr Stephen Gabriel (St Peter’s RC High School): 68 votes, Total electorate: 810, Total votes cast:149 (received by the deadline).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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 Children and Young People 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.