Swindon Borough Council:

Minutes for Children and Young People's Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting, Mar 23 2010, 6.30PM official page

Other committee documents for Swindon Borough Council :: Children and Young People's Overview and Scrutiny Committee details

Venue: Committee Room 6, Civic Offices. View directions

Contact: Rita Glen-Gallo (Committee Officer), 01793 463611, Email: rglen-gallo@swindon.gov.uk  Sally Smith (Scrutiny Officer), 01793 463412, Email: ssmith@swindon.gov.uk

Items No. Item


Declarations of Interest.

Members are reminded that at the start of the meeting they should declare any known interests in any matter to be considered, and also during the meeting if it becomes apparent that they have an interest in the matters being discussed.


            The Chair reminded Members of the need to declare any known interests in any matters to be considered at the meeting.  No declarations were made.


Minutes. PDF 51 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 16th February 2010.


             Resolved - That the minutes of 16th February 2010 be confirmed and signed as a correct record. 


Public Question Time.

See explanatory note below.  Please phone the Committee Officer whose name and number appears at the top of this agenda if you need further guidance.


            The following question were submitted in accordance with Standing Order 28.



Mr Paul Sunners – Swindon


     Questions in relation to Agenda Item 7  - Special Educational Needs


Question 1.  - In light of Nyland School entering Special Measures within one year of both national and local review criteria indicating that it was a 'good school, well led, confident, self-improving in which all children achieve challenging but realistic personal and educational targets' - how might lessons learned be scrutinised regarding the use of investigation procedures and the importance of maintaining balance in relation to safeguarding principles and the welfare of staff who, working in the most challenging circumstances, find themselves subject to disciplinary procedures?


Question 2. Has there been a cost analysis of managing the circumstances at Nyland School since October 2008?


Question 3.  The BESD consultation document published in November 2008, refers to the author and the Group Director of Children Services having experience of closing 'poorly functioning segregated provision and returning children to mainstream schools with significant success'.   In light of Nyland's circumstances, has closure been an option?  


      The Chair thanked Mr Sunner for his questions and advised that he would ask the Director of Schools and Learning to provide a written response to his questions.


Strategy for Change. PDF 54 KB

Additional documents:


Paddy Bradley (Director of Schools and Learning) submitted a report informing Members on the strategic education plan to transform learning in Swindon schools and on introducing different ways of organisingschooling supported by new models of leadership.


The Committee heard that:


·         The Council submitted an expression of interest to the Government to be part of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.  Whilst this expression of interest had been unsuccessful, the exercise allowed the Council to establish the criteria for mapping out a priority list that would aid development.  

·         The technique implemented had been part of the BSF programme where the process for this work had been linked to areas of depravation that schools were servicing, schools’ performance and building condition.

·         Feedback received indicated that the bid had been unsuccessful because other Local Authorities had greater needs in terms of deprivation. 

·         As the expression of interest had been limited in its attention to post 16 provision, a study had been commissioned into the range of provision and to outline options for the future.  Mr Peter Wells would lead this work.

·         Leadership examples within Appendix 2 of the report of the Director of Schools and Learning already existed within Swindon schools with Headteachers taking a flexible modern approach. 

·         The future would see fewer school leaders and schools merging and being led by a single leader. 

·         Consultation to attract interested parties in school merges was to be undertaken. 

·         The Local Authority would be a commissioner rather than a direct provider.

·         As the Academy covered pupils between 0-19 years, there were no transition issues. 

·         The Committee heard about the actions being undertaken to address headteacher shortages.  This included the formation of  ‘The Federation’ that gives prospective Headteachers opportunities to lead a school.

·         Thirteen headteachers were appointed last year. This had been to address the shortage of headteachers in Swindon.  The Leadership Models had contributed to aiding the recruitment process.


            Members of the Committee raised the following points:


·         Whether the shortage of headteachers had been age related.

·         Development study and funding would be led by Mr Peter Wells.

·         The Union involvement in the process.  Mr Peter Wells advised the study was not at the consultation stage.  It was still at the preliminary stage and was on a fact finding exercise to look at numbers and actions required.  


Councillor Garry Perkins advised the Committee that future funding for the BSF programme would be limited.  He added that diploma qualifications had been introduced in the past year and if the creation of specialist colleges/ secondary schools were to be an option, this would ensure that education aims met business goals.  He confirmed that to ensure the number of NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) figures did not increase, the need for Post 16 education needed to be addressed.


Jan Shadick (Headteacher at the Swindon Academy) recommended that the Committee reviewed a ‘UTube’ extract entitled ‘Shift Happens’.  She advised that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.


Gifted, Talented and More Able. PDF 51 KB

Additional documents:


            Angela Jensen (Lead Advisor, Gifted, More Able and Talented Pupils) presented a report on the implementation of the recommendations of the Gifted, Talented and More Able Task Group.  The Committee was advised that the Lead Advisor drew up an action plan that implemented the seven recommendations from the Task Group.


            The Committee noted that:


  • From September 2010, bursaries of £250 would be available to secondary schools to support pupils who were identified on the school’s gifted and talented register and were eligible for free school meals.
  • Guidance papers had been issued to schools providing clear definitions of ‘Gifted, More Able and Talented’.
  • School Improvement Partners had undertaken training take out in schools.  
  • Schools and the Local Authority worked closely together on the School Improvement Plans.
  • The Swindon Merlin learning platform had been set up offering a range of downloadable contacts for schools to inform parents about.

·        To assist pupils with after school activities, various venues/ grants were available for schools.   

·        Guidance documents had been issued highlighting best practice for a smooth transition process. Currently, schools were responsible for managing their own transition methods.

·        That further to training conducted during autumn 2009, School Improvement Partners would continue to aid schools in utilising self evaluation tools to report progress on Institutional and Classroom Quality Standards.


            Resolved: (1) That the Director of Schools and Learning writes to parents of all pupils receiving Free School Meals advising them of additional entitlements that might be available to them. 

            (2) That the Lead Advisor, Gifted, More Able and Talented Pupils submits a further report outlining progress made on the recommendations to this Committee in March / June 2011.  

            (3) That the Lead Advisor, Gifted, More Able and Talented Pupils be thanked for her report.


Special Educational Needs. PDF 48 KB

Additional documents:


Paddy Bradley  (Director of Schools and Learning) presented an update on developments in the areas of Special Educational Needs.  He explained that important developments had taken place over the past year which included the Behaviour, Social and Emotional Difficulties (BESD) Review. 


The Committee considered the report and noted the following points:


·        That the number of permanent exclusions had decreased significantly this year. The ‘Fair Access Panel’ had played a significant role in this achievement. This Panel was constituted from representatives from schools who received information on individual pupils who were on the cusp of exclusion or were previously excluded and needed support.

·        That increased effective collaboration between schools had resulted in best practices on assisting students with BESD to be identified and shared. This had also highlighted what training would be required.

·        That Primary School provision for BESD students would be reviewed

·        Consideration on supporting students with BESD, whether funding should be allocated to schools to help them undertake various projects. 

·        That a future study be undertaken to address why pupils disengage at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.

·        That work had been undertaken to ensure provision is tailored to the needs of students.

·        That a new Special Resource Provision had been created at Greendown School. 

·        That Ruskin School had assisted in developing resource provision for Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) pupils to access provision in their mainstream primary schools.

·        That due to progress attained, both Nyland School and Stratton Education Centre would be out of Special Measures by the end of 2010.

·        That subject to funding, the feasibility of having a social worker who understand SEN needs be attached to Special Schools to act as a conduit with Social Services, be investigated.

·        That Peter Crockett had been leading a collaboration to undertake work between Crowdys School and Chalet School regarding Autistic Spectrum Disorder.


           Resolved   (1) That further to Appendix 1 of the Director’s report, an update setting progress on recommendations to the Cabinet by this Committee on Special Educational Needs provision be circulated to Members of the Committee.

            (2) That further to 2.6 in the report of the Special Educational Needs and inclusion Manager, a breakdown on spending be submitted to the Committee in March 2011.

            (3) That a progress report on Special Educational Needs provisions be submitted in March 2011.

            (4) That the Senior Secondary Strategy Manager be thanked for her report. 


Review Of The Year. PDF 47 KB


The Committee considered a report of the Scrutiny Officer on the achievements of the Children and Young People's Overview Committee during the Municipal Year 2009/10.


            Resolved: (1)  That the report be noted.

            (2) The Committee thanked all Members and staff for their support and contribution to the work of the Committee during the Municipal Year 2009/10. 

API Get this info as xml or json help