Venue: Council Chamber
Contact: Christine Rothwell Senior Governance Officer
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Bob Anderson, Steve Cox, Laura Bluff and young advisors.
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.
RESOLVED: The minutes of the meetings held on the held on the 16th September 2021 were agreed as a true record.
(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.
The Panel received a report, providing the Panel with an overview of developments in Education and Skills during the academic year 2020-2021 and further developments during the Autumn Term 2021.
The report included the Education and Skills Strategy 2030 and the development of a Talent and Innovation Eco-system. Information was also provided on the emerging strength of the school system in meeting the significant challenges of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
This report focused specifically on;
· School attendance during the Covid-19 pandemic.
· Developments in Speech and Language Therapy.
· The continuing work to further develop good inclusion practices within schools and reduce exclusions. This included developments in alternative provision.
· The Education and Skills Strategy 2030 and the development of a Talent and innovation Ecosystem (TIE).
· School Organisation.
The Co-optee in attendance commented how the progress of the Education and Skills Strategy 2030 and Talent and Innovation Eco-system was commendable. Positive feedback was provided around how the Co-optee felt that the proposals would benefit the whole of Doncaster going forward.
It was enquired how on a practical level, what summary data and statistics would Members receive in order to monitor progress. Members heard that the strategy included 5 priorities each containing clear performance indicators. It was continued that in addition to assessments and standards, there were further indicators that would show what impact and difference had been made regardless of what stage the individual was in, for example, achievement and progression into work and access to learning activities. The Assistant Director for Education, Skills, Culture and Heritage noted that a clear set of metrics would be made available next year once the plans had been developed and that information would form part of the performance reporting. It was viewed that some of the impact was already been demonstrated.
The Director of Learning, Opportunities and Skills also spoke about the importance of soft outcomes and measuring in terms of what difference can be seen as well as the long-term impact.
Elective Home Education (EHE) - In relation to the 25% decrease of electively home educated children within the Borough (since the start of the 2019-2020 academic year), Members heard that this had been achieved through a system response from the Council working with schools and parents directly. Members were told how wraparound support was provided through alleviating concerns about going into schools. It was also explained what learning a child at home experienced and what the expectations were.
It was recognised that Elective Home Education had increased significantly across the nation during the pandemic, before then showing a reducing trend. It was noted that through an annual conversation held with Ofsted, they had seen the demonstrable impact made.
In terms of achievement around Elective Home Education, it was explained that this varied depending on the quality of delivery. It was outlined that in terms of monitoring quality, young people sat their exams through the schools and adverse effects on Elective Home Education were not being seen. It was considered important to make ... view the full minutes text for item 13.
The Senior Governance Officer presented the Overview and Scrutiny Work Plan report for the 2021/2022 municipal year.
There was a brief discussion around outstanding and future areas on the workplan. It was acknowledged that there was a still an outstanding meeting to be held with Headteachers in relation to front door referrals and it was also requested that there be an additional meeting with families and the SENCO group in relation to the SEND theme.
The updated Overview and Scrutiny Work Plan for 2021/2022 be noted with the following meetings in particular;
a. SEND – that there be an additional meeting arranged with families and the SENCO group.
b. Front Door Referrals – that a meeting with headteachers in relation to consider front door referrals is still to be arranged.
c. That the Council’s Forward Plan of Key Decisions be noted.