Minutes for Children and Young People's Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting, Feb 11 2009, 11.00AM official page
Venue: Civic Centre, Glebe Street, Stoke-on-Trent
Contact: Suzanne HackleyÂ Executive Support ManagerItems No. Item
Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Councillor Ryan, Sutton and Reverend Lingwood.
Declarations of Interest (If Any)
To provide an opportunity for Members/Officers to declare a personal or prejudicial interest in any matter on the agenda
Nature of Interest
The Chair (Councillor M Coleman)
As a governor at Longton High School.
As a governor at
As a governor at Middlehurst Special School
As a governor at St Peterâ€™s High School
Mr Stanforth (Parent Governor Representative)
As a governor at James Brindley High School and Mill Hill Primary School
Mrs E Rogan (Roman Catholic Archdiocese representative)
As a mentor to two Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTâ€™s) at Aynsley Special School
- callin form.pdf, item 79. PDF 75 KB
- Copy Exec Decision, item 79. PDF 26 KB
- OREP_FinalReport Transf of secondary and special schools, 21/01/2009 Executive and Members Board, item 79. PDF 125 KB
- Appendix1consultationlettersDec08.pdf, item 79. PDF 61 KB
- Appendix2ListoflettersemailsandsummaryofcommentsformsJanuary2009.pdf, item 79. PDF 25 KB
The Committee received a report which explained that the decision taken by the Interim Chief Executive at the meeting of the Executive and Members Board on 21 January 2009 regarding â€œProposals for the Transformation of Secondary and Special Schoolsâ€ (Forward Plan Item 75/01 CS refers) had been called in.
The reasons for the call-in received from Councillor Follows, Mitchell, James, Naylor, J Davis and Bridges were as follows:-
- In view of the likelihood of legal challenges to the BSF proposals a comprehensive risk assessment needs to be undertaken regarding the probability and cost of successfully defending one or more cases/actions.
- The special schools BSF proposals are flawed due to inappropriate consultation/evaluation/methodology in their considerations and conclusions.
The Chair suggested that the Committee give consideration to the latter point in the first instance and, in accordance with the call-in protocol, asked the Director of Children and Young Peoples Services to briefly outline the details of the decision and the reasons for it being taken.
The Director of Children and Young Peopleâ€™s Services gave details of the background to the decision and provided information on the consultation process which had been undertaken to date.Â He confirmed that in addition to the consultation, meetings had also taken place with regard to issues such as staff transition and parental involvement.
The Chair then invited Councillor Follows as the representative from the members who had called in the decision to outline their concerns and the reasons for their concerns.
CouncillorFollows explained that the members who had called-in the item were opposed to the way in which the consultation had been carried out and felt that peopleâ€™s interests had been disregarded by the decision taken by the Executive and Members Board.Â Members of the public who had attended the meeting had not been allowed to speak and they felt that the concern of parents was not being taken into consideration.Â Councillor Follows suggested that decisions had been made before the consultation process had been concluded.
CouncillorIbbs (Portfolio Holder) also referred to the extensive amount of consultation which had taken place and to the number of meetings with parents, head teachers and other interested stakeholders which had been organised.Â In all, over 30 consultation meetings had taken place.Â He reported that the majority of those affected by the proposals accepted that the changes were needed and that some schools may close.
The Chair asked for assurances that parents, governors and ward councillors had been consulted and if evidence of such consultation could be provided.Â The Director confirmed that he could provide these assurances and evidence.Â He emphasised that the vast majority of those consulted were in support of the proposals but that there was clearly an issue regarding the merger of Heathfield/Middlehurst Special Schools with the main issue being how the needs of pupils would be met during the transistion.
CouncillorBrian felt that the Committee had yet to hear that the consultation had been in anyway inappropriate or that the proposals were Â ...Â view the full minutes text for item 79.