Agenda and minutes

Children's Partnership Board
Wednesday, 16th December, 2015 4.00 pm

Venue: Ground Floor Committee Room - Loxley House, Station Street, Nottingham, NG2 3NG. View directions

Contact: Catherine Ziane-Pryor  Email:

No. Item




Phyllis Brackenbury

Malcolm Cowgill

John Yarham

Jean Sharp

Sally Seeley






MINUTES pdf icon PDF 283 KB

Of the meeting held on 30 September 2015 (for confirmation)


The minutes of the meeting held on 24 June 2015 were confirmed as true record and signed by the Chair.



Report of Director of Children’s Social Care

Additional documents:


John Rea, Engagement and Participation Lead, and Chloe Mullins, member of the Youth Cabinet, presented the report which informs members of the new updated participation strategy 2015-18 for children and young people and asked members of the Board for their feedback.


The Chair welcomed the strategy and any attempt to ensure that the language is accessible to children. Local authorities place a lot of resources with young people and yet their voice is not always heard.  As the City Council has invested a lot of funds in the Young Citizen programme, it was suggested that the possibility of harnessing the Strategy to help expand the Young Citizen Programme could be considered.


John Rea responded that the strategy submitted to the Board was a formal version and that a more child friendly and accessible version will be released shortly. Young people are keen to be involved in the Board but that some systems within the local authority, such as paperwork authorisation and bureaucracy, are not flexible enough to enable this.


Better communications including with Neighbourhood Development Officers and simpler City Council processes will enable better involvement of young people who offer a valuable resource to the City.




(1)  to affirm the Board’s commitment to the rights of children and young people to be involved in decisions which affect their lives;


(2)  for the Board to recognise that empowering the voice of the citizen is fundamental to good outcomes for children, young people and families;


(3)  to adopt the Participation Strategy and ask that all partners contribute to the successful delivery of the action plan;


(4)  to receive an annual update report on the Participation Strategy.




Report of the Joint Directors of Education

Additional documents:


Pat Fielding, Joint Director of Education, delivered a presentation to accompany the detailed report.


The report considered the academic attainment of children and young people within the City between the ages of four and 18 years old, including the performance of special educational needs (SEN) and children in care (CiC), updating the Board on the outcomes for children and young people during 2015 in the current priorities and actions to improve outcomes.


The following points were highlighted:


(a)  there has been an overall and continuing improvement in the achievement of children and young people within the city;


(b)  the attainment gap between advantaged and disadvantage pupils continues but is reducing in early years pupils, with the City Council ranking 136 out of 152 local authorities;


(c)  pupils often enter school with below the expected levels of communication but improve slowly as they progress through the school;


(d)  the attainment of disadvantaged pupils, gauged by those receiving free school meals, is better than the national average of disadvantaged pupils, with progress exceeding the national average in Key Stage 2;


(e)  the longer pupils remain within the same school the better their improvement;


(f)  the attainment of pupils aged 11 years old (Key Stage 4), ranks approximately 11% lower against other local authorities and educational partners;


(g)  some of the more vulnerable groups, including those with special educational needs, are progressing particularly well although secondary school age children in care are not progressing at the same rate;


(h)  it is known that a high proportion of high performing pupils moved out of the City to County secondary schools so the improvement of their attainment cannot be counted within City;


(i)  Nottingham remains the eighth most deprived educational area nationally.


Comments from Board members included:


(j)  despite tireless working to reverse the trend, the figures show desperation of the situation within the City;


(k)  it’s a concern that there may be duplication of initiatives as many schools continue to convert to academies and do not maintain the same level of communication with the Local Authority;


(l)  the focus on attendance has been particularly successful during the past few years and is an ideal example of how combined efforts can work successfully;


(m)  working to celebrate children’s achievement in maths and championing greatness of maths in schools while working to embed a positive culture around maths would help promote engagement and enthusiasm for the subject. The focus of the pupil improvement board on maths is welcomed;


(n)  recruitment of appropriate teaching staff is one of the biggest barriers for schools and academies within the City as the challenges which align with deprivation are not attractive;


(o)  the negative publicity of schools being placed in special measures by OFSTED hasn’t helped recruiting, which is an issue nationally;


(p)  improving partnership working and co-ordination between academies and the local authority would be beneficial to retaining and recruiting appropriate teachers;


(q)  all options should be considered to ensure that the City can provide a good offer which  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.



Presentation by David S Stewart OBE D.Litt.h.c DL


David Stewart, Special Schools Representative and Headteacher of Oakfield School, delivered a presentation on the recent Special Educational Needs (SEN) review.


The following points were highlighted:


(a)  the review was commissioned by the Leader of the City Council and is based on interviews and evidence from 60 individuals, schools and organisations. A total of 80 recommendations have been made;


(b)  to date the review has not been publicly released but has been made available to head teachers;


(c)  some of the main areas considered within the review included:


(i)  current lack of an overall vision and strategy for SEN;


(ii)  challenging the notion of ‘Early Intervention City’;


(iii)  the need for champions of SEN;


(iv)  traded services;


(v)  inter-departmental working;


(vi)  community educational psychology service;


(vii)  inclusive education service;


(viii)   special schools;


(d)  although since the completion of the review progress has been made in some areas, further progress is required:


(e)  early assessments were not always available and so sometimes inappropriate assessments are made of children;


(f)  traded services need to improve the information sharing and the Psychology Service needs to be refreshed to become a substantive service;


(g)  retrieving information from special schools had been a difficult challenge and had uncovered some areas of concerns regarding governing bodies;


(h)  the destination of young people needs to be better monitored and analysed to enable tracking of young people’s progress between the ages 16 to 19 years old, as nearly 50% are not in education employment or training (NEET);


(i)  large amounts of money are spent on educating young people with SEN but it is not clear what the outcomes are for these young people;


(j)  by law a dedicated Health Officer is to be named but this was not the case.  A medical officer has since been allocated for one day per week;


(k)  engagement between partners and families of young people needs to be strengthened and broadened to ensure that young people and their families have more of a voice when dealing with Adult Services;


(l)  80 recommendations have been made which are grouped into six headings. A focus group will consider and address recommendations within each heading.


The Chair and partners thanked David for a very honest and comprehensive report which will help direct future work to benefit the education of children of Nottingham City.


Alison Michalska, Corporate Director for Children and Adults, informed the Board that work is underway to model an ‘all age’ approach to disability to help a natural transition of services for young people entering adulthood.


RESOLVEDto note the report and record the thanks of the Board to David Stewart for his in-depth review.




Report of Independent Chair – Nottingham City Safeguarding Board

Additional documents:


Chris Cook, Independent Chair of the Nottingham City Safeguarding Children’s Board (NCSCB), presented the annual report for 2014/15.


It is noted that this week the Government has announced a review of Safeguarding Boards and although the nature of the review is not clear, it may be as a result of a recent Serious Case Review.


The key purpose of the Board is to secure the effective safeguarding arrangements for the children of Nottingham and to ensure effective co-ordination between all agencies responsible for safeguarding.


The annual report provides an assessment of how the work of the Safeguarding Board has impacted on the service quality and effectiveness and therefore influenced outcomes for children and young people.


The report identifies the strengths of NCSCB and also key areas for development and improvement, including the safeguarding performance throughout children’s journey through childhood.


The Children’s Partnership Board considered the annual report and did not propose any additions or amendments to it. No specific issues arising from the annual report were highlighted to be built into strategic commissioning.


RESOLVED to agree the NCSCB annual report.



Report of Corporate Director of Children and Adults

Additional documents:


Alison Michalska, Corporate Director of Children and Adults, presented the report which updated the board on the performance of the partnership in addressing the four priorities of the Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP), which are:


o  safeguarding and supporting children and families;

o  promoting the health and well-being of babies, children and young people;

o  supporting achievement and academic attainment;

o  empowering families to be strong and achieve economic well-being.


The report identified the performance measures against the outcomes within each priority and the key actions suggested to meet the objectives also included was a statistical chart which provides a comparison with the previous year, the statistical neighbour average, and the national average outturn. 


In addition the presentation was delivered summarising the actions undertaken to date by members of the Children’s Partnership Board to progress meeting the priorities, and the performance outcomes. These included:


Safeguarding and Supporting Children and Families


(a)  Nottingham City Safeguarding Children Board (NCSCB) Annual Report and Business Plan has been issued;


(b)  targets have been met regarding a reduction in the number of contacts,  assessments made within 45 days;


(c)  the number of Common Assessment Frameworks (CAFs) initiated has increased so far this year;


(d)  the number of Child Protection Plans issued is slightly above the target figure  but the number of Child protection cases has slightly decreased;


(e)  the number of Children in Care has slightly increased but remains low against those of other similar Authorities;


(f)  the proportion of care leavers in education, employment or training (EET) has improved due to an ongoing focus, although increased engagement by more partners would be welcomed;


(g)  an integrated inspection regime is potentially planned for the future;


(h)  the ‘Safe Families for Children’ pilot continues to progress well with 16 referrals to date and extra support provided to 7 families;


(i)  a Lifeline A & E pathway is in place to identify at an early stage where alcohol, drugs and substance abuse is effecting children and young people. A detailed workforce plan will be developed for 2016/17;


(j)  a Child Sexual Exploitation Co-ordinator in now in place;


(k)  the new Domestic and Sexual Violence Abuse (DSVA) Strategy has been completed;


(l)  the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) and Primary Care partners are gathering information on the most frequent reasons for children’s hospital admissions and attendances;


(m)  Paediatric emergency pathways specialist led training will be implemented from early 2016;


(n)  by June 2015 there was a 7% reduction in avoidable emergency admissions against the 2012/13 baseline;


(o)  the Home Safety Pilot Scheme has now been launched and will be evaluated in February;


Promoting the Health and Well-Being of Babies, Children and Young People


(p)  there will be a review of NUH Maternity Specialist Services;


(q)  there has been a 1% drop in take up of immunisations for Dtap/IPV/hiB, which is below the national target but partners are working together to improve take up rates;


(r)  the percentage of infants being breast fed at 6 to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.



Members of the Partnership should forward any suggestions or requests for any specific issues or topics for the Board to consider, to Dot Veitch, Children’s Partnership Support Officer at



RESOLVED to note:


(a)  the forward plan of proposed items for future agenda;


(b)  that members of the Partnership Board should forward any suggestions or requests for any specific issues or topics for the Board to consider, to Dot Veitch at