- Download the Agenda (Download Agenda. 53.51 KB)
- Download the Supplementary Agenda (Download Agenda. 39.29 KB)
- Download the Report - Children and Young People's Plan (Download Report. 31.61 KB)
- Download the Report - Work Programme (Download Report. 15.22 KB)
- Download the Report - Member Involvement in Governance (Download Report. 70.49 KB)
Minutes: Read the Minutes
- Councillor Cox - In the Chair
- Councillors S. Ali, Bhatti, Carmody, Cooper, Fisher, Harrison, Judge and Keller
Co-opted Voting Members:
- Rev. Fr. T Hopkins - Diocese of Salford
- Mr. D. Arnold - Representative of the Jewish Community
- Mrs J. Wilson - Elected Parent Governor (Primary)
- Mrs J. Reid - Elected Parent Governor (Secondary)
Co-opted Non-Voting Members:
- Mr S. Marciniak - Teacher Representative (Primary)
Present by Invitation:
- Councillor Sheila Newman, Executive Member for Children's Services.
- Councillor A. Khan, Assistant Executive Member for Children's Services
- Councillor Andrews
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 22 May 2007.
CYP/07/24 Review of the Children and Young People's Plan
The Director of Children's Services submitted the annual review of the Children and Young People's Plan.
The Director introduced the report and commented on the priorities for 2007/08.
Members stated that they felt that the priorities understated some key difficulties facing the city, these included problems stemming from drug and alcohol abuse, bullying, young people not in education, employment or training (NEET), and the performance of some BME groups of young people (eg the Somali community). A member queried the impact of the proposed Academy programme in relation to reported evidence that Academies had fewer children on free school meals when compared with other secondary schools. Members also highlighted the need to support young carers and agreed that discreet 'young carer' badges in school might help identify and support these vulnerable people. The Executive Member for Children's Services agreed that badges had some potential in assisting young carers, and in turn improve attendance and outcomes for those concerned. The reference in the report to the expansion of the voluntary and community sector Children's Board role to a 2 day a month resourced post was welcomed.
The Plan was divided into 5 sections each one focusing on how Manchester would deliver the five outcomes for children under the Every Child Matters Agenda. The Committee considered each section in turn.
1. Be Healthy
Members suggested the following developments to the Plan: -
- Members suggested that the recently announced vaccinations for cervical cancer should be pursued with the Health Service to get access to schools.
- With reference to sexual health, members commented that as well as addressing cures, prevention in the form of encouraging self-esteem would have a valuable impact.
- Access to dental health was proving difficult for many families in the city, particularly where practices were imposing private-sector fees for parents in return for free treatment for children. The Director of Children's Services undertook to report back on how this might be addressed.
The Director of Children's Services responded that self-worth could be encouraged in Physical, Health and Sexual Education lessons in conjunction with factual sexual education, as pregnancy amongst young girls was often linked to low aspirations.
Members suggested that mental and sexual health issues affecting young people presented an opportunity for effective joint scrutiny with the Health and Well Being Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The Chair agreed to liaise with the Chair of the Health and Well Being Scrutiny Committee.
2. Stay Safe
Members highlighted the following threats to young people's safety: -
- Gun crime amongst groups both in Moss Side and surrounding areas across the City ·
- Losing experienced foster carers to private practices due to uncompetitive wages in the public sector. ·
- A reduction in the number of accident prevention initiatives, e.g. road safety awareness in schools. ·
- Families brought together by forced marriages, where assistance and intervention was often unwelcome ·
It was agreed to note these additional threats and to request reports where appropriate. Members noted that a report would be brought back to the Committee focusing on the number of placements of Looked After Children outside of the city, and what was being done to invest in the quality of Manchester's provision of placements.
A number of questions were raised in relation to the provision of foster care in the City - particularly in relation to the numbers involved, the quality of their support and the costs. It was suggested that Manchester Foster Care Association be invited to a future meeting to provide a voluntary sector perspective. Post adoption support should also be investigated. The NSPCC should also be invited to address the Committee and outline the work undertaken by them in relation to bullying.
3. Enjoy / Achieve
Members re-emphasised their concerns in relation to attendance and Hard to Place Protocol.
Members also expressed concern in relation to the high number of permanent exclusions of both dual heritage (Caribbean background) and Black Caribbean pupils. The Director of Children's Services undertook to bring additional information back to the Committee on this issue.
In relation to play, Members suggested that school trips and providing challenging experiences through facilities such as Ghyll Head were important to engage children in their school studies, as was encouraging children to play and providing suitable facilities for this. It was requested that future amended versions of the Plan should strengthen reference to this, and at a future meeting examples of good practice should be scrutinised. There is a need to test the suggested links between enjoying learning and improved attainment rates.
4. Making a Positive Contribution
The Director of Children's Services commented that there was now a purposeful strategic approach to engaging with children and young people, which incorporated the Children and Young People's Engagement Strategy and the Children and Young People's Engagement Board. Children had an active role in the recruitment of senior officers in the Children and Families Division and plans were also in action to re-establish the Manchester Young People's Council (MYPC).
The Chair of the Committee highlighted the important role of the Committee's November engagement event and the benefits that could be realised through engaging with young people in ward co-ordination, as well as gathering the views of young people on the Committee Agenda. He referred to a recent Young Peoples' Ward Coordination event in Ancoats which might be widely replicated.
5. Achieving Economic Well-Being
Members stated that the Higher Futures 4 U project would have a greater impact if it supported awareness of opportunities in colleges as well as with universities and employers. It was also felt that some standardisation of what levels of attainment are considered to be gifted and talented as this currently differs from school to school.
The Director of Children's Services informed the Committee that access to employment was a growing problem. It was noted that the Committee would later in the year be scrutinising problems faced by 14-19 year olds across the city in relation to leisure and advice needs, and would as part of this also consider the levels of young people not in employment, education or training (NEETS).
Service Efficiency, Effectiveness and Performance
The Director of Children's Services stated that this area of the Plan addressed the level of resources available to deliver the five Every Child Matters outcomes. This included for example, resources for investing in placements for looked after children as an alternative to buying external placements. This section was noted. The Director then responded to points raised by members.
1. To request that Members' comments be taken into account in the revised Children and Young People's Plan
2. To request a report back on difficulties faced by young carers and on the support that can be offered to them.
3. To agree to scrutinise in greater detail at the July and September meetings issues raised in the Stay Safe Section with particular emphasis on Looked After Children. This would include young peoples' perspectives; the current situation re LAC - numbers and trends; fostering; out of city placements and links to new children's homes; post adoption support; leaving care. An invitation would be made to the Foster Carers' Association and to Barnardos to attend.
4. To receive further information in relation to: -
Access to dental health ·
The high number of exclusions of dual heritage (Caribbean background) and Black Caribbean pupils ·
Access to road safety education for young people · The vaccinations for young girls to help prevent cervical cancer
[Councillor Carmody declared a personal interest as Trustee of the Foster Carers Association]
[Councillor Cox declared a personal interest as Chair of the Ghyll Head Management Committee]
[Councillor Andrews spoke to this item as a member of the public and declared an interest as a School Governor and member of the Adoption Panel]
CYP/07/25 Member Involvement in Children's Services Governance
A Report of the Director of Children's Services was submitted identifying options for elected member involvement in the revised inter-agency governance of Children's Services.
The Director of Children's Services informed the Committee that an audit trail demonstrating where Executive Members had been involved would be crucial, and that any changes to member involvement or devolvement of Executive Member responsibility would need approval by the Executive.
The Executive Member for Children's Services also highlighted that ward co-ordination was an established mechanism for elected member involvement in governance arrangements.
In response to the specific issue of member involvement in district panels it was suggested that there should be quarterly meetings between district managers and ward councillors where members would be able to add their local knowledge to issues regarding previous or future decisions of the panel.
Due to the numbers of ward councillors involved consideration needed to be given to ensure that the meetings did not become too large and that specific communications tools should be introduced to ensure meetings were properly prepared and that elected members remained informed.
To welcome the clarity provided in the report about elected member involvement at various levels within the Children's Services inter agency governance structure; and in particular to welcome the suggestion of regular meetings between Ward Councillors and District Managers as a first step in ensuring that elected members' local knowledge is properly recognised.
CYP/07/26 Work Programme 2007/08
The draft Work Programme for 2007/08 was submitted.
Members requested that the report relating to Academies: Leadership and Governance Models be brought forward so that the report is considered at the same time as it is by the Executive.
A member also requested that the meeting of the Committee in December considering health themes should cover the impact of obesity and anorexia in Manchester schoolchildren. A member has submitted a request that consideration is given to scrutinising the role of voluntary and faith work with children and young people in the City.
To note the report with the requested amendments.
CYP/07/27 Information and Scanning Report
A report of the Head of Democratic Services was submitted providing information on relevant issues within the Committee's remit.
To note the Information and Scanning Report