Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Bath. View directions

Contact: Mark Durnford  Email: 01225 394458


No. Item



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The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.




The Chair will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as set out under Note 5.


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The Chairman drew attention to the emergency evacuation procedure.




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Councillors Andy Wait and Gerry Curran had sent their apologies to the Panel.



At this point in the meeting declarations of interest are received from Members in any of the agenda items under consideration at the meeting. Members are asked to indicate:


(a) The agenda item number in which they have an interest to declare.

(b) The nature of their interest.

(c) Whether their interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an other interest, (as defined in Part 4.4 Appendix B of the Code of Conduct and Rules for Registration of Interests)


Any Member who needs to clarify any matters relating to the declaration of interests is recommended to seek advice from the Council’s Monitoring Officeror a member of his staff before the meeting to expedite dealing with the item during the meeting.


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There were none.



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There was none.



At the time of publication no notifications had been received.


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There were none.


MINUTES: 19th October 2022 pdf icon PDF 788 KB

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The Panel confirmed the minutes of the previous meeting as a true record and they were duly signed by the Chairman.


Cabinet Member Update

The Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Communities will update the Panel on any relevant issues. Panel members may ask questions on the update provided.


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Councillor Dine Romero, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Communities addressed the Panel and had circulated an update prior to the meeting. A copy of the update will be attached as an online appendix to these minutes.


In addition, she informed them that she had attended an Inequalities Summit on 7th November at Bath College. She said that discussions took place regarding the local and national picture and the factors involved. She added that there was an agreed view of the need to grasp and address these issues.


She highlighted to the Panel that she had attended the Youth Connect South West Awards evening on 2nd November. She said that the awards showcased the outstanding personal effort by young people through another tough year and that it was wonderful to see them and their families celebrate their achievements. She added that Youth Connect South West spun out from the Local Authority as a Staff Mutual 3 years ago and it was evident that they have gone from strength to strength.


Councillor Liz Hardman commented that cuts to resources are expected to be made in the upcoming budget and that she hoped that certain elements could be ringfenced for Children & Young People. She also asked if there was anyway in which the budget could be increased to enable statutory duties to be met.


Councillor Romero replied that this was an important point to raise and that she too was troubled by the current situation. She said though that many elements in relation to finances were out of their control as more children were coming into the care of the Council and that increases were being seen in Passenger Transport for assisting children to get to and from school.


She assured the Panel that she would do all she could to protect the most vulnerable people across the Council.


Kevin Burnett commented that Teaching Unions feel that we are now in a time of crisis and would urge the Council to do all it could to limit the cuts that are to be made.


Councillor Romero replied that she and officers have met with leaders of Multi Academy Trusts and have discussed financial matters, including the rising energy costs. She added that where possible they will lobby the Government to seek extra funding.


Kevin Burnett said that the Government’s investment in Early Years training was welcome as without it the impact of Covid-19 will be compounded. However, Kevin Burnett added that there was a woeful lack of funding for Early Years and this money wouldn’t help that problem.


Councillor Romero replied that the majority of funding will not be for statutory services and that preventative services would not be covered.


The Director of Education & Safeguarding added that he was not yet fully aware of the funding details, but said that it would be for staff training and not be an increase in the funding rate per child. He said that he would provide further information to the Panel in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 58.

Cabinet Member Briefing (Cllr Romero) Nov 2022 pdf icon PDF 357 KB

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The Panel will receive an update from the B&NES, Swindon & Wiltshire Integrated Care Board (BSW ICB) on current issues.

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Laura Ambler, Place Director for Bath and North East Somerset, BSW ICB addressed the Panel, a copy of the update will be available as an online appendix to these minutes, a summary is set out below.


Delegation of accountability for commissioning of pharmaceutical services, general ophthalmic services and dental services to BSW ICB from April 2023.


For BSW this covers: 147community pharmacies, 83 ophthalmic services contracts and 126 dental services contracts.


To support the transition of commissioning services for these groups and to provide stability, a new Commissioning Hub called the Southwest Collaborative Commissioning Hub is being formed which will provide the daily operational commissioning support for Prescription Ordering Direct services from April 23 for two years. The Commissioning Hub will be staffed by the existing NHSE commissioners for these services.


BSW ICB with NHS England and Improvement has carried out a pre-delegation assessment to determine readiness to assume responsibility for these services and to set out the minimum criteria BSW ICB will be expected to meet prior to delegation.


This has now been signed off by the NHS England National Moderation Panel, and this will now make the appropriate recommendations to the NHSE National Board for final approval on 1st December 2022.


The benefits for local people of BSW ICB taking on responsibility for commissioning these additional services include improved care quality, reduced health inequalities, improved health prevention, improved use of resources and clinical leadership in place to lead and collaboratively work to identify and oversee clinical improvements in services.


Temporary ward at St Martin’s Hospital for recovering patients to provide extra winter capacity.


A temporary ward has opened at St Martin’s Hospital in Bath to support people who are well enough to leave hospital but not ready to go home. The ward has opened to help relieve pressure on local acute hospitals and free up beds for the most ill patients.


The community ward, which also opened to help provide extra capacity to the local health and care system during the winter of 2021-22, has twenty three beds and offers a peaceful and relaxed environment in which patients can take time to recover before being discharged to home or to a care home.


Bid submitted to Barnardo’s Health Equity Collaboration.


BSW ICS has submitted a bid for the Barnardo’s Health Equity Collaboration to design a Children and Young People’s Health Equity Framework, with support from children and young people, and VCSE partners in the ICS region.

This will gather the right information to focus resource on the development of emotionally, mentally and physically healthy children.


Barnardo’s and the Institute of Health Equity will lend their expertise in developing supporting interventions to take evidence-based action on equity indicators over a three year programme.


Winter planning and virtual wards.


We are monitoring the impact of our capacity improvement plans at both a System and Place level and will take the learning into the development of our plans for the coming winter.


One important aspect of our future plans is the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 59.

BSW ICB Update Report for CAHW Panel November 2022 pdf icon PDF 553 KB

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Education Landscape (inc: Early Years & Primary Data - Emerging Picture / Regional Schools Commissioner Update) pdf icon PDF 312 KB

This report provides the Panel with an overview of early-years & primary school education performance in the academic year 2021-22. This is the first year that schools have delivered formal examinations since 2019.


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The Director of Education & Safeguarding introduced this report to the Panel and highlighted the following areas from within it.


He explained that this was the first year that schools have delivered formal examinations since 2019 and that the Panel is advised that this is an early indication of B&NES performance and that national/regional data sets are not yet available to provide a comparison in all areas.


He stated that Secondary school performance data is released from the 20th November 2022 and a full paper on education performance in B&NES will be produced in the Spring of 2023.


Compared to 2019 data, there has been a drop in the performance of primary

schools in B&NES. However, there has also been a drop nationally. Though

worse than in 2019, in the early years and KS1, B&NES's 2022 overall

performance is better than the national picture. However, in KS2, the reverse is true with B&NES data, indicating a worsening position of the combined data



Good Level of Development (GLD) measure - All children


·  Pre-pandemic - the Good Level of Development (GLD) outcomes for 'all children' in B&NES showed a steady improvement trend, above England comparisons. 74% of children achieved the GLD in 2019 (England 72%).


·  In 2022 this outcome lowered to 71.4%, but early unvalidated data suggests this decrease may be comparatively smaller than that in England (65.2%).




·  GLD outcomes for children with SEND in 2022 appear to have fallen, however, further validation of this data is needed before we can state by how much.


Free School Meals (FSM)


·  GLD outcomes for B&NES children in receipt of FSM have risen to 48% (+2%pts), whilst the outcomes for children not in receipt of FSM have fallen to 75% from 78% in 2019.


·  As a result of the combined FSM increase and non-FSM decrease, the FSM/ non-FSM gap has narrowed to 27%pts (32%pts in 2019).


Primary Performance




·  Whilst performance is down on 2019, B&NES's overall phonics results have faired better than the national position.

·  However, within this, some groups are concerning. For example, our FSM/PP population of children appeared to have done less well in 2022 than their peers.


·  Though performance for children with SEND has dipped in this period compared to 2019, it is not significant or a greater percentage than children without SEND.


KS1 – Reading, Writing & Maths


·  Overall performance is down from 2019, but B&NES has fared slightly better across the three areas than the national position.


·  However, again, there are concerns to be looked at. At this stage, our FSM cohort has performed worse than the national rate for the FSM cohort in Reading, Writing and Maths.


·  Local data appears to indicate that performance for children with SEND in reading, writing and maths (though results are slightly down on 2019) has held up better in 2022 than non-SEND pupils.


KS2 – SATS Combined Reading, Writing & Maths


·  The combined Reading, Writing & Maths data is a worsening set of results compared  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60.


Music Service pdf icon PDF 369 KB

This report builds on the report brought to PDS in January 2022. It proposes further changes to the Music Service, ensuring it meets the DfE’s new delivery model for music education, protecting music education in B&NES.

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The Director of Education & Safeguarding introduced this report to the Panel and was accompanied by Simon Lock, Music Service and Education Hub Lead. They highlighted the following points to the Panel.


This report builds on the report brought to PDS in January 2022. It proposes further changes to the Music Service, ensuring it meets the DfE’s new delivery model for music education, protecting music education in B&NES.


In July 2022, the DfE released its refreshed vision for the governance and delivery of music education in England. This new vision requires a significantly different delivery model to the present and signals the need for music services to radically transform to be viable in the future.


The DfE’s model for music education is to fund Music Education Hubs to deliver the National Plan for Music Education (NPME). Hubs are informal partnerships of local music and education organisations operating as a network of providers.  Hubs have a Lead Organisation, which receives the DfE grant, and is held to account by Arts Council England (ACE) for the delivery of the NPME. Locally, B&NES, North Somerset and South Glos Council Music Services are all Lead Organisations of the local Hub.


Since 2020, North Somerset and South Glos Music Services have been working in partnership, with a shared management team and increasingly homogenised strategy, development and operations, alongside greater sharing of resources. In March 2021, B&NES Music Service joined this partnership.


The result is that a broader, more universal offer is being achieved because of

the efficiencies and knowledge gained by working together. Through partnership, the services are beginning to realise their potential to deliver a bigger and better offer for all young people from the most vulnerable to those who are gifted and talented.


The bidding process will be different to the past in that:


·  The grant application process will be open and highly competitive. ACE are proactively encouraging and enabling a wide range of education and arts organisations to bid against us.


·  Small LA music services (such as B&NES) are unlikely to be eligible to apply. DfE/ACE are expecting mergers/partnerships, and that organisations will apply for a larger grant representing a wider geographic area.


The future delivery model and therefore fund-holding organisation will also be very different to the present model. DfE/ACE expect to see:


·  The grant being allocated to non-LA strategic organisations, largely volunteer led, whose role is to decide strategy.


·  This strategic body will then commission other organisations to deliver services.


·  DfE/ACE do not wish to see funding being used to support the

employment of a teaching workforce.


Establishment of a new organisation outside the LA, becomes the only route we believe is viable to ensure a future youth music provision in B&NES. This new organisation will have LA representation at Board level and will take forward existing services, deliver an aspirational growth plan and ensure a Service which is influenced by, and dedicated to, B&NES’ needs and aspirations.


The Proposal


·  For B&NES to merge  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.


Independent Reviewing Officer Annual Report pdf icon PDF 193 KB

The Panel review the Annual Report so as to ensure members are appraised on the care provided to children for whom the Local Authority are responsible.


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The Head of Service for Children’s Quality Assurance and Safeguarding (Children and Young People) introduced this report to the Panel.


She said that the capacity of the IRO Service is challenging as there is a real demand for it and that this has had an effect on the timeliness of the reviews that have been carried out.


She stated that it has been a challenging 12 months for all concerned, but stressed that the team are committed the care of children and young people within B&NES.


She informed the Panel that the steps taken to strengthen the service and improve recruitment have been positive and have led to three posts being permanently recruited to. She added though that the IRO service will likely have further difficulties in meeting statutory requirements if the number of children in care continues to rise.


She explained that since the summer of 2021, IRO’s have returned to seeing children in person, visiting them where they live and spending time with them within their local community. Some children and young people however have expressed a wish for their reviews to continue to be held virtually and where IRO’s feel this is appropriate and in the child’s best interests they will accommodate this request.


She stated that the number of children and young people in care in this reporting period had increased by 9%, with there being 197 children in care at the year end. Once again, the number of children coming into care was higher than the number of children leaving care.


She said that due to the challenges with recruitment and retention the service has had some difficulty in allocating children based on their needs with allocation primarily being led by an IRO’s capacity. She added that whilst the average caseload of an IRO remains fairly consistent, there were more children

coming into care in Q2 and Q4 than leaving and for a small IRO service which is often working at capacity, this creates additional pressure on IRO’s and in turn impacts on IRO’s being able to review care plans within 20 working days of the child coming into care.


She informed the Panel that the IRO service was instrumental in supporting children to participate in the Bright Spots ‘Your Life, Your Care’ 2020-2021 survey which was undertaken between February and April 2021. She said that this saw 40 children in care aged between 4-18 years old taking part in the survey.


She stated that in this reporting period there were eight formal escalations and thirty-nine informal escalations made by IRO’s. She added that themed audits are to be undertaken with these being identified by the themes emerging from the quality assurance activity within the service and the data reports.


She said that she was proud of the service for continuing to provide support in such a challenging environment.


Councillor Michelle O’Doherty said that she felt the challenges that were being faced by the service. She asked how much of a factor was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.


Director of Children's Services & Education - 6 month update pdf icon PDF 375 KB

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The Director of Children's Services & Education introduced the report to the Panel and highlighted the following points from within it.


Virtual School


It has been a busy but successful year, including a highly positive OFSTED report. We have supported not only our Children Looked After cohort but also expanded to provide support for most vulnerable pupils open to a social worker.


Like our Social Care colleagues, the Virtual School supports a growing number of unaccompanied asylum seeker children. The Virtual School has appointed a dedicated officer to oversee this complex area of work to support this work.


Schools Standards Board


The Schools Standards Board continues to meet to facilitate discussions on area-wide education priorities with the Local Authority and the Regional Directors Group. The next meeting is on the 15th of November. The agenda will focus on delivering the LA's Safety Valve Plan, along with information on the Poverty Proofing schools, early analysis, and information sharing around education performance.


Children Services Workforce


We continue to experience significant demands within Children’s Services with regard to increased complexity of family’s presenting issues and this is likely to be exacerbated with the cost-of-living crisis.


Nationally, we are seeing significant workforce pressures in relation to the recruitment and retention of child protection social workers, and this is becoming increasingly evident within B&NES. We are working closely with HR colleagues to monitor and review this frequently to stabilise the workforce and minimise any impact this may have for our families and communities.


Foster Care - recruitment and celebration


The Children’s Transformation Programme includes a Fostering Recruitment and Retention project, which seeks to increase the numbers of in house foster carers, retain current fostering households, and improve on the support and training we provide to carers.


The project has been successful, and we have seen a rise in the number of foster carer households in B&NES. However, this has been offset in part, by a rise in the number of children coming into the care of the Local Authority. The rise in care numbers is a national issue and B&NES continues to be in line with our statistical neighbours and below national averages.


Youth Justice


Following a consultation with children and professionals, the Youth Offending Service is renaming itself the Youth Justice Service. This recognises the importance of taking a ‘child first’ approach and whilst the statutory requirement to prevent youth offending remains in place and is a priority in all our work, retaining the word ‘offending’ in the organisation’s name would not have reflected our focus on children’s holistic needs. Use of the word ‘justice’ also reflects our commitment to those harmed by children and our work to offer them involvement in restorative responses.


Councillor Michelle O’Doherty said that she was worried about the pressure on services as a whole and asked if staff were well supported.


The Director of Children's Services & Education replied that staff were very well supported and that the majority of a senior and middle managers have been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.


Panel Workplan pdf icon PDF 160 KB

This report presents the latest workplan for the Panel. Any suggestions for further items or amendments to the current programme will be logged and scheduled in consultation with the Panel’s Chair and supporting officers.


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The Panel RESOLVED to approve the workplan as printed.