Agenda and draft minutes

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Contact: C  Senior Governance Officer

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Susan Durant, Sean Gibbons, Nikki McDonald, John Hoare (Diocese of Sheffield Church of England) and Bernadette Nesbit (Diocese of Hallam Roman Catholic Church).



To consider the extent, if any, to which the public and press are to be excluded from the meeting.




Declarations of Interest, if any.


There were no declarations of interest made.



Minutes of the meeting held on 5th March 2019 pdf icon PDF 76 KB


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting be agreed as a correct record.   Clarification was also provided that reference in the apologies to “Hoare” was Mr John Hoare – Education Co-optee.


Public Statements

(A period not exceeding 20 minutes for statements from up to 5 members of the public on matters within the Panel’s remit, proposing action(s) which may be considered or contribute towards the future development of the Panel’s work programme).


There were no public statements made.



Inclusion Programme Overview- Including Elective Home Education, Inclusion, Attendance And Special Education Needs pdf icon PDF 353 KB

Additional documents:


Doncaster Caring/Doncaster Learning


The Panel was provided with a report and presentation that covered areas that included; the Inclusion Programme Overview (including Elective Home Education), Inclusion and Attendance and Special Education Needs (SEN).  The presentation provided covered the following areas;

·         Challenges

·         Strategic Response- Inclusion Programme Board

·         Progress- Attendance

·         Progress- Behaviour

·         SEND Inspection and Strategy

·         Next steps

The Chair requested that when acronyms were used in reports that a glossary be included as well.

A discussion took place that addressed the following areas:

Increased Movement in Elective Home Education - Concern was raised about the limited resources available against the rising numbers of children in Elective Home Education.  It was explained that resources were being managed against identified priorities and by targeting staff with those children who were vulnerable, it was also the case that staff were looking to learn more about new cases coming forward.   It was noted that as figures increase, it was becoming more challenging to ensure that cycles were as tight as they could be.  In respect of deprived areas, it was explained that there was more of a focus in some areas of the borough than others although recognised that other factors might have an influence.

It was reported that the Local Authority was working on a more proactive protocol that would help to identify children and young people at risk of Elective Home Education.  It was recognised that it was a difficult issue compounded by multiple-levels of different interactions and was about engaging with schools and families in a far more proactive way.

Monitoring Standards of Elective Home Education - Concern was raised around how the Council monitored the quality of education being provided at home and standard of exams undertaken when it did not possess any statutory responsibilities.  Assurances were provided that monitoring was taking place and around 40 to 60 interventions had been made during the year when children had been returned back to school.   It was stated that it was about developing the knowledge of those in the system from the point of starting school.  It was also recognised that there was still a number of gaps and loops to address but that there was a movement towards ensuring greater national accountability and enhancing the monitoring role of local authorities.

Reference was made to Lord Solely’s Home Education (Duty of Local Authorities) Bill, which it was felt articulated the need for an enhanced role of the local authority about the challenge element but had not amounted to anything and the situation remained that all local authorities would need to maintain a register around Elective Home Education.  It was added that the authority’s strategy relied on ensuring that its risk assessment was strong and that conversations have taken place with families at an earlier stage prior to the point when the service goes live.   It was noted that some families provided a higher offer of education at home and that good practice was being shared to benefit other families.

Reasons for Elective Home  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Education and Skills 2030 Framework for Consultation pdf icon PDF 494 KB

Additional documents:


A report provided an update on the draft Framework for Education and Skills in Doncaster, which was currently out for public consultation.  The document detailed the vision for the future Education and Skills System, the characteristics that such a system would exhibit, and the priority areas for action in order to realise that vision.

A presentation was provided which outlined the following areas;

  • Key Questions
  • Methodology
  • Key Strengths/Strong Foundations
  • Key Areas for Development
  • Findings from Consultation with Parents, Children, & Young People
  • The Vision for Consultation
  • Characteristics/Priority Themes for Consultation


A discussion took place which addressed the following areas;

Celebrating Achievements - Concern was raised by a Member of the Panel that more could be done to celebrate achievements and an example was used of a successful event that was held recently in Hexthorpe. It was explained that there were different level of tiers that could be used to promote achievements.  Members were informed that conversations were taking place with communications and there were a number of low cost solutions to be considered, for example, holding annual rewards sponsoring key roles such as Teacher, Students, Governors, or Community Supporter “Of The Year”.  It was continued that building community cohesion through the different events played a key part.

Job Opportunities - A Young Adviser asked about how job opportunities were being linked to young people and how were young people being made aware of what jobs were available.  It was explained that it was about connecting employers and industry more closely to schools and young people to create that change.

It was commented that it was important to consider the different sectors within the Borough such as engineering, rail, construction, development and creative industries.  It was noted that the biggest employer within the Borough was the health economy.  Members were informed of the intention to work more closely with employers and partners in those sectors with an aim to have proposals in place next year around how that will work, what was available, career pathways and what can be achieved.

Careers Advice (Start)/Bringing Together Business and Education (Opportunities Doncaster) – Members were informed that colleagues in opportunity areas had developed a Careers Advice platform (Start) to enable young people to identify what opportunities were available locally, create a profile and be able to register their interest.  It was also explained that there was a service that brings business and education together for Doncaster to showcase its best sectors (Opportunities Doncaster).  Members were advised that it would also connect young people with employers and educators in relation to their chosen career pathways. 

It was commented that Doncaster was on that journey but needed to improve by creating different opportunities within and outside of school and connecting young people better. It was viewed that Doncaster was one of best-placed authorities to undertake this.

Career Pathways – It was explained that career progression was important to both young people and adults and therefore having a clear career pathway was key.  It was added  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Children & Young People Overview & Scrutiny Work Plan Report - August 2019 Update pdf icon PDF 290 KB

Additional documents:


The Panel received a report updating Members on the Panels work plan for 2019/20.


A copy of the work plan was attached at Appendix A of the report taking account of issues agreed by OSMC at its meeting on the 27th June 2019.


A brief discussion took place around the Panel’s proposed Elective Home Education Review and the Panel agreed that the Chair pursue this further at his next briefing with the Director of Learning, Opportunities and Skills.


There was also a brief discussion around the Forward Plan.


RESOLVED that the Panel note the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Workplan 19/20 - September 2019 update.