Agenda and minutes

Venue: Banqueting Room - Guildhall, Bath. View directions

Contact: Mark Durnford  Email:, 01225 394458

No. Item




The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.




The Chair will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as set out under Note 6.



The Chairman drew attention to the emergency evacuation procedure.





Councillor Liz Hardman, Chris Batten (Co-opted Member) and Gill Stobart (Co-opted Member) had all sent apologies to the Panel. Councillor Eleanor Jackson was present for the duration of the meeting as a substitute for Councillor Liz Hardman.


Apologies were also received from Councillor Alison Born (Cabinet Member for Adults and Council House Building) and Alison Elliott (Interim Director of Adult Social Care, Complex and Specialist Commissioning).



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 2, A and 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 Officer or a member of his staff before the meeting to expedite dealing with the item during the meeting.


Councillor Paul May declared an other interest as he is a non-executive Sirona board member.


Councillor Gerry Curran declared an other interest as he is employed by Virgin Care and also a carer for Shared Lives. He added that he is a Governor at Twerton Infants School.




There was none.



At the time of publication no notifications had been received.



There were none.


MINUTES: 9th March 2021 pdf icon PDF 310 KB


The Chairman referred to page 6 and asked if there was an update on the Escalation Protocol.


The Director of Children's Services & Education replied that it was awaiting sign off from the B&NES Community Safety and Safeguarding Partnership.


The Chairman referred to page 7 and asked if any update could be given regarding SEND Advocacy.


The Chairman referred to page 9 and asked if any response had been given relating to the point raised about consent of flu vaccinations administered in schools by Virgin Care.


The Chairman referred to page 16 and asked if any information on the proposed £1.2m of cost savings / balanced budget from Virgin Care had been received.


The Director of Children's Services & Education replied that she would seek responses on these issues on behalf of the Panel.


Kevin Burnett referred to page 15 and reiterated his comment that he would welcome an updated statement on any key focus areas or areas of concern regarding the Virgin Care contract.


With those matters raised in mind, the Panel confirmed the minutes of the previous meeting as a true record.


Cabinet Member Update

The Cabinet Member(s) will update the Panel on any relevant issues. Panel members may ask questions on the update provided.



Councillor Dine Romero, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Communities and Culture addressed the Paneland said that she was happy to take questions on the submission she had provided to them. She added that she would welcome any suggestions for future items to be included in the update.


The Chairman asked the following question on behalf of Councillor Liz Hardman. With the school holidays only six weeks away, are there any plans to provide vouchers for those children in receipt of free school meals or will we be relying on the Holiday Activity and Food Fund. My concern is that not all children in receipt of FSMs will necessarily access the HAF programme and that it will not provide food every day for those that do.


Councillor Romero replied that the Council are currently lobbying the DFE for a decision on FSM vouchers for the school holidays and were expecting to receive a decision from the DFE shortly. She added that it was so important to make sure that children do not go hungry.


Councillor Paul May commented that he was pleased that the Council are going to support and fund some form of education provision on the former Culverhay School site. He added that when in place this offer should be promoted to those that need it most.


Councillor Romero said that she was considering a proposal from Bath College to deliver vocational provision at the site to support children aged 14-18.


Kevin Burnett asked if there was a procedure that detailed public accountability for how MATs (Multi Academy Trusts) are run.


Councillor Romero replied that there was a set procedure for accountability that can be circulated to the Panel. She said that traditionally there have been good relationships with local Head Teachers / CEOs and that she would work hard to retain these. She added that she would be happy to act as a voice for the Panel.


Kevin Burnett asked if she could comment further on Mental Health Support in schools.


Councillor Romero replied that she would give a written reply to the Panel.


The information below was supplied following the closure of the meeting.


  1. Thrive model and early help services for early years


Bright Start Children’s Centre Services and Action for Children continue to provide early help support for children (from conception to age 5).  Their offer includes the Five to Thrive model which focuses on early relationships and attachment. 

Children’s Centre services work collaboratively with a wide range of early childhood services to provide early help including maternity services, health visiting, speech and language and the early years team.


The i-thrive model for CAMHS is a whole system model that recognises the important role and contribution a range of stakeholders have in supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Based on research the model categorises children and young people into five needs based groups and identifies the skill mix of professionals and resources that are required to meet these needs based  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

Cabinet Member Briefing (Cllr Romero) June 2021 pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Additional documents:



The Panel will receive an update from the B&NES, Swindon & Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BSW CCG) on current issues.


Dr Bryn Bird, B&NES Locality Clinical Chair addressed the Panel. A copy of the

update can be found as an online appendix to these minutes, a summary of the

update is set out below.


Shaping a Healthier Future programme


In 2019 BSW CCG worked with partners, staff and members of the public to set out the priorities for the delivery of health and care services – these plans were published in early 2020, and took into account the community review work, Your Care, Your Way, which was undertaken in 2017-2019.


We want to review these plans in light of the learnings from the Covid-19 pandemic of the last year, testing whether our health and care model is still the right one or whether we need to make any changes.


Covid has sped up the collaboration between services and we have adopted a number of new ways of working in order to continue caring for local people and keeping them and our workforce safe.


Alongside the refresh of our system-wide health and care model, the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust (RUH) has the opportunity later this year to bid for government funding to transform the way it delivers care.


Some of this funding has already been confirmed with the Dyson Cancer Centre now formally approved to proceed. Further funding will be needed to support the future BSW model of care which will focus on greater integration, a person-centred approach and care closer to home.


As a result, fourteen patient champions have been recruited to a series of workshops that are being held this month to review and discuss our health and care model and explore ways we can start to realise our ambition to provide care closer to home.


BSW ICS Partnership Integrated Care System update


As part of BSW Partnership’s commitment to transparency and openness, the BSW Partnership Sponsoring Board held its first meeting in public recently.

The BSW Partnership Board provides the formal leadership for the BSW Partnership and is responsible for setting strategic direction and providing oversight for the achievement of the Partnership’s strategy.


The major development of the past month has been the approval by the BSW Partnership Executive of a business case for a BSW Academy. The Academy is set to launch later this year and will offer a number of benefits for our workforce including enhanced career development opportunities and launch of a dedicated learning and development portal. The services provided by the BSW Academy will ultimately result in improved outcomes for local people.


Earlier this month, partner organisations agreed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen the joint working arrangements of the Partnership and to support the next stage of development of our Integrated Care System. The MoU sets out the vision and key design principles that inform how we work together as one system and describes the governance arrangements that are currently in place. This MoU is now being shared with partner boards for final sign off.


Every year NHS  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

BSW CCG Update June 2021 pdf icon PDF 274 KB


Narrowing the Education Gap pdf icon PDF 394 KB

This report provides an update on activity to narrow the attainment gap of disadvantaged (pupil premium/FSM) pupils, included in the Education Updates report presented to Policy Development and Scrutiny (PDS) in November 2021.


The Director of Education, Inclusion and Children's Safeguarding introduced this report to the Panel, a summary is set out below.


Whilst undoubtedly the pandemic will have impacted the education outcomes of all children and young people, recovering from Covid-19 provides opportunities to bring the work to support disadvantaged pupils into focus and

collaborate with partners.


To support this report, members of the B&NES Schools Standards Board have

shared early School and Trust level summaries of the impact of Covid-19 on

pupils in B&NES. These summaries will be based on Teacher assessment of

pupils when they have returned to schools.


Pupils in the younger years, especially reception, year one and year two, are furthest away from where we would typically expect them to be. Trust leaders have also indicated that the impact on progress has been more significant for some disadvantaged pupils. Broadly, upper KS2 pupils are being reported as being on track to attain their targets set at the start of the academic year, though a drop in those reaching the higher standards has been reported. Pupil writing, alongside phonics, was considered the most significant challenge to deliver remotely and this is being reflected in the 'lost ground' compared to the other core subjects.


In Key Stage 3 and 4, schools report no discernible impact on progress, with

indicators being slightly below where they had been in previous years. However, there is a general reporting of deterioration in behaviour in these year groups, particularly in year 7.


The Panel is advised that due to Covid-19, examinations once again have been

cancelled in primary schools and secondary examinations have been replaced by Teacher Assessed Grades.


To tackle the lack of comparable area-wide examination data and to find a way to measure the progress of these young people, the B&NES School Standards

Board has agreed to a project using the Education Endowment Foundations

Families of Schools data. This project aims to engage all schools in B&NES to

identify, support and track the progress of all pupil premium children over a period from September 2020 – September 2021.


The attainment gap in B&NES can be closed by improved results in specific locations in B&NES and by targeting support in the early years and at particular schools. As advised in the last report, Officers in the LA have been working alongside the St. Johns Foundation to deliver strategies to target Early Years outcomes in specific locations and provide additional support to Primary Schools with the largest disadvantaged children population.


There are two projects supported by the St. Johns Foundation that are targeted

at improving the educational outcomes of disadvantaged children through the

combined interventions of the St John's Foundation, early years settings, schools, the Local Authority and key partners from health and the voluntary sector. These two projects are:


? The Language for Life Project

? The Primary Empowerment Project


All schools in B&NES have been provided with additional funding to target pupils with catch up education activities. This  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Exploitation pdf icon PDF 200 KB

The Panel have requested a report outlining information in relation to children or adults at risk of exploitation and information on multi-agency working which reduces and identifies the risk.


The Assistant Director for Children and Young People introduced this report to the Panel, a summary is set out below.


Key Priorities for the Exploitation Sub-Group


Commitment 1: Prevention & Early Intervention  Prevent children, young people and vulnerable people  from becoming exploited through effective leadership, governance and a wider culture embedded within organisations and communities that recognises the root causes of Exploitation & Serious Youth Violence (SYV) the signs and risk indicators and do all they can to tackle them.


Commitment 2: Prepare-To develop a comprehensive and accurate intelligence picture which will inform local partnership understanding of context, and locations of concern to enable swift coordinated multi-agency responses to safeguard children and vulnerable adults and prevent, divert or prosecute those who seek to facilitate and /or perpetrate exploitation, abuse and harm.


Commitment 3: Protect -To protect children and young people and vulnerable adults who are at risk of exploitation as well as those who are already victims and survivors.


Commitment 4: Pursue -To commit to ensuring that we will do all we can to disrupt and pursue perpetrators who are sexually and or criminally exploiting children, young people and vulnerable adults and where possible prosecute them.


Commitment 5: Engagement - We shall engage with all children and young people at risk of, or experiencing CSE/CCE, as well as their families and communities, to ensure that their voices are heard and responded to.


Operation TOPAZ


Avon and Somerset Constabulary response to Child Sexual Exploitation is Operation Topaz. Soon this will also encompass Criminal Exploitation. Topaz is a perpetrator disruption team enabling the force to proactively protect the highest risk child sexual exploitation victims by developing opportunities to disrupt suspects.


Topaz recognizes that disrupting suspects is often the most effective way of safeguarding victims of child sexual exploitation. Topaz enables timely disruption, by any means available, including directing partner agencies to intervene.


Avon & Somerset Police and Children’s Social Care work closely together to ensure that all young people from ACE/Willow are referred to TOPAZ via the Avon and Somerset Police Intelligence Reporting Portal.


The Local Authority receive monthly reports from TOPAZ in respect of young people and perpetrators that have been flagged and this report also feeds into and is crossed reference at the Operational Exploitation Meeting (OEM) which takes place bimonthly.


The Operational Exploitation Meeting


Bath and North East Somerset have adopted a contextual safeguarding approach to develop an Operational Exploitation Meeting (OEM) to address the extra familial risks that are posed to our young people. This group meets bi-monthly.


This is a multi-agency meeting that:


• Identifies those young people being exploited criminally or sexually, and seek to support, disrupt to reduce harm and ensure support is in place.


• Identifies vulnerable adults who are at risk of exploitation/Cuckooing and seek to disrupt activity, reduce harm and ensure support is in place.


• Identifies spaces where young people associate, can experience abuse and cause concern such as parks, housing estates, stair wells within the community in order to disrupt activity.


• Identifies  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.


Corporate Parenting pdf icon PDF 133 KB

This report will outline the effectiveness of the Local Authority in meeting their safeguarding responsibilities and progress of children in care and care leavers.


The Service Manager for Care Outcomes introduced this report to the Panel, a summary is set out below.


The Pledge


  Your Social Worker:

  All children in care have an allocated social worker and rates of stability are good.

  Timescales for visits to children in care are good


  How we make decisions: 

  Participation of children in care in decision making is a priority for the Local Authority

  The prevalence of children participating in their Children in Care reviews is high at 93

  Young Ambassadors recruited to help shape Children’s Care Services across Bath and North East Somerset, ensuring the voices of children and young people are heard.


  Where you live:

  In 19/20 69% of children were placed outside of the Local Authority boundary, or at a distance of at least 20 miles away from their family home – issues of sufficiency (B&NES & nationally). 

  Use of 16+ accommodation and support in B&NES – with rigorous oversight and appropriate risk management plans.

  Stability rates of placements are consistently good in B&NES


  Your Education:

  Termly Personal Education Plan (PEP) meetings to support educational outcomes.

  Currently 94% of our statutory age children attend Good or Outstanding provisions.


  Your identity:

   All children in care have a Care Plan which focuses on identity needs, including religious and cultural needs, as well as individual talents, interests and hobbies.

  Life story work is key and further developments in place


  Leaving care and Moving On: 

  B&NES has high rates of keeping in touch with care leavers, consistently between 97-99%. 

  88% of our care leavers have a Pathway Plan in place which is reviewed every 6 months. 

  All care leavers up to 21 years have an allocated Personal Advisor (PA) that supports then in all areas of life, including housing, finances, education, employment and training, health (including mental and emotional health).

  For care leavers over the age of 21 years, we will continue to support them in line with their wishes and feelings – Extended Duties. 

  Numbers of children Staying Put with their foster carers after 18 years are good in B&NES

  96% of young people have suitable living arrangements


Impact of Covid-19


  Education provision has been disrupted

  Some aspects of health services such as dentistry and eye tests have been delayed or unavailable

  Significant impact on care leavers relating to Further Education, employment & training opportunities

  B&NES & partner agencies have continued to provide good services to children in care. 

  We have continued to visit children in their placements, where it is safe to do so

  Health assessments have continued during this previous year, albeit virtually. 

  The Virtual School have supported children who are both in school, and those in placement being home schooled. In more recent weeks they have worked to assist children returning back to school.

  Significant support has been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.


Food Insecurity pdf icon PDF 159 KB

This report provides an update on the development and progress of the B&NES Fair Food Alliance (BFFA) which was previously known as the B&NES Food Poverty Steering Group on delivering the actions set out in the action plan.

Additional documents:


The Public Health Development & Commissioning Manager introduced this report to the Panel, a summary is set out below.


In February 2021 B&NES Food Poverty Steering Group members decided

by consensus to change the name of the partnership to the B&NES Fair Food

Alliance (BFFA) to better reflect a solution focused and collaborative approach to addressing food insecurity. Similarly, we have moved from using the term food poverty to a preference for the term ‘household food insecurity’ to describe a situation where people do not have means to reliably meet their needs for food of sufficient quantity, quality or variety in socially acceptable ways.


The B&NES Fair Food Alliance (BFFA) has met six times since the first

meeting at the start of the first coronavirus lockdown period in March 2020. The

focus has been on understanding the challenges emerging for residents in

relation to immediate food needs and provision of welfare support and

supporting partners in meeting these needs.


The BFFA has provided a network for members to share information, coordinate activity and both offer and request support. Membership currently

stands at over 60 members representing a range of statutory, third sector,

education and independent organisations.


While food insecurity was already an issue facing many households in B&NES prior to the pandemic, the past year has seen a significant increase in demand for support with food and income related issues. A report prepared for

Full Council in January 2021 documents a detailed account provided by BFFA members on increases in Universal Credit claims, crisis financial assistance grants, provision of white goods, referrals to and use of local foodbanks and support with debt issues.


The CropDrop project has been a particular success and has been showcased in national and regional forums as an example of innovative good practice. The team of skilled and experienced volunteers who coordinate it are now planning for the 2021 growing season and are forging links with more growers and recipients including Bath Ethnic Minority Senior Citizens Association (BEMSCA) and the Social Prescribing scheme led by DHI.


The Income Maximisation group meets quarterly and has been chaired

by St John’s Foundation. It invites all those services and voluntary sector

organisations who offer financial support, advice and guidance to share good

practice and present a coordinated message to the public about where best to

seek help with a diverse range of money-related challenges.


Hear My Voice aims to find effective and meaningful ways for the voice of people with lived experience of food insecurity to be heard and to guide the policy and practice response in B&NES.


Claire Henwood, Oasis Pantry addressed the Panel. She explained that the Oasis Pantry opened in September 2020, to fulfil a growing need for long term access to low cost, high quality food. This need had been identified through a number of different channels, including the long-term holiday hunger project run by Oasis (Make Lunch), which developed from bi-weekly clubs with enrichment and hot meals in every school  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


Adoption West Annual Scrutiny Report pdf icon PDF 113 KB

The Panel is asked to consider the annual report of the Joint Scrutiny Panel of Adoption West.


Additional documents:


Councillor Michelle O’Doherty introduced this report to the Panel, a summary is set out below.


Adoption West is a Regional Adoption Agency and was formed in March 2019.

Scrutiny arrangements are not required for a regional adoption agency, but it

was felt that this would be good practice, so a scrutiny panel was formed in

2020, and comprises councillors from all 6 Local Authorities that form the

adoption agency, which are Bath & NE Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and North Somerset.


There are close links between Adoption West and B&NES Children’s Social

Care. Mary Kearney-Knowles, Director for Children’s Services and Education

represents B&NES at Board level and attends quarterly Adoption West Board

Meetings. The Adoption West Board has responsibility for, organisational

strategy, financial oversight, performance and risk management, policies and

procedures of the Regional Adoption Agency. The Scrutiny panel’s meeting

schedule mirrors the board meetings.


The LA also meets quarterly with Adoption West to consider B&NES specific issues at a strategic level. These meetings aim to ensure that shared policies and practice are effective and also identifies any areas of development.


The Director of Children's Services & Education added that she felt that B&NES does benefit from being a member of Adoption West. She added that we were challenging them on their recruitment in relation to sibling groups.


The Panel RESOLVED to note the annual report of the Joint Scrutiny Panel of Adoption West.



The Panel will receive an update on this item from the Directors of Adult Social Care & Children & Young People.


The Director of Children's Services & Education addressed the Panel, a summary of her briefing is set out below and will be attached as an online appendix to these minutes.


All Children’s Services colleagues continue to work incredibly hard to ensure that all children in young people in B&NES are supported to access education and training.  B&NES has one of the highest school attendance rates of vulnerable children in the South West. This work has been complemented by our continued expansion of our Virtual School, which now supports children in need and children on a child protection plan.


B&NES children’s services and public health teams continue to offer advice to support schools to manage Covid-19 and allay parental fears and anxieties about returning/remaining in school


Children Services and multi-agency partners have continued to work effectively and collaboratively to ensure that all children and young people are effectively safeguarded.


The Interim Director of Adult Social Care was unable to attend the Panel, her briefing will be attached as an online appendix to these minutes.


Kevin Burnett asked what the current Operational Pressures Escalation Level (OPEL) status is.


The Chair thanked both Directors for their briefings on behalf of the Panel.

Childrens Services Director Report 15.06.21 pdf icon PDF 134 KB

Additional documents:


Panel Workplan pdf icon PDF 164 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.



The Panel approved their workplan as printed.