Agenda and draft minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Performance and Value for Money Select Committee
Thursday, 21st March, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Crompton Suite, Civic Centre, Oldham, West Street, Oldham, OL1 1NL. View directions

Contact: Sian Walter-Browne  0161 770 5151

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies For Absence

Minutes:

No apologies for absence were received.

2.

Urgent Business

Urgent business, if any, introduced by the Chair

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business received.

3.

Declarations of Interest

To Receive Declarations of Interest in any Contract or matter to be discussed at the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received.

4.

Public Question Time

To receive Questions from the Public, in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.

Minutes:

There were no public questions received.

5.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 237 KB

The minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Performance and Value for Money

Select Committee meetings held on 24th January and 5th February 2019 are attached for noting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Performance and Value for Money Select Committee meetings held on 24th January and 5th February 2019 be agreed as a correct record.

6.

Minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Board to note pdf icon PDF 163 KB

The minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Board meetings held on 22nd January and 5th March 2019 are attached for noting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Board meetings held on 22nd January and 5th March 2019 be noted.

7.

School Places Application Process pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Head of School Support Services which provided a briefing and update on the school places application process.

 

Members were provided with a statistical analysis of the allocation of school places over recent years to, which included the following:-

·        Places Available.

·        Take up of places.

·        The percentage of residents who are offered a school place of choice (1st and 2ndpreferences).

·        The number of parents missing the school places application deadline.

·        An overview of schemes and initiatives designed to assist parents when applying for a school place.

·        Overview of the current school place plans

·        Future plans to increase parental choice.

 

Members were informed that the application process was completed online for allocations and in-year transfers. There was huge pressure on places, particularly at secondary level, due to school closures and an increasing population, and there were a number of projects under way to increase places and parental choice.

 

Members asked for and received clarification of the following:-

·       Redirection – this occurred only where none of the expressed preferences could be met. This could be due to a parent expressing only one preference or it could be because the application was late and the chosen schools were already full. Pupils would be redirected to the nearest school with a place available. It was understood this was a major source of complaints to Councillors where parents did not like the schools offered. The Council was looking to build up a small surplus of places and support all schools to become good or outstanding, which would greatly reduce the number of complaints and appeals.

·       People on waiting lists being displaced by new arrivals – when a pupil moved into the borough they had by law to be allocated a place at a school. Where schools were full, this would go through the Fair Access Panel and Fair Access admissions would take priority over those on the waiting list.

·       Pressure being predicted – the authority now had much clearer figures and would anticipate a better ability to predict growth in the future.

·       Clarksfield – due to expand this year.

·       In-year transfers – usually occurred where a family moved house or were unhappy with the current school, sometimes because a child on the waiting list had been offered a place.

·       Information to parents – the services was seeking to understand why applications were late and whether there were any common themes that could be addressed. Those that applied late would usually have limited choices. The research would show if there were any particular geographical areas that had more late applications than others.  

·       Appeals – main block of secondary school appeals would be heard in June and primaries before the summer break.

 

 RESOLVED that:-

 

1.     The report be noted.

2.     A further update be provided in 12 months.

8.

Council Performance Report December 2018 pdf icon PDF 3 MB

Minutes:

The Leader of the attended for this Item and Members gave consideration to a report of the Head of Business Intelligence which reviewed Council Performance for December 2018.

 

RESOLVED that the Corporate Performance Report for December 2018 be noted.

9.

Update on Adoption Performance pdf icon PDF 162 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Head of Service - Children Looked

After and Care Leavers which presented the Adoption Annual Report and an overview of the Adoption Scorecard for 2017 to update the Committee on the performance of the Adoption Service in relation to the Adoption Leadership Board performance indicators. The report also provided an update on local, regional and national developments in adoption.

 

Members were informed that since the government’s focus on Adoption Reform and the development of the Adoption Leadership Board Scorecard in 2012, an annual briefing had been presented to the Committee to provide an overview of Oldham’s performance in relation to the Adoption Leadership Board performance indicators, as well as an update for Members on local,

regional and national developments in adoption.

 

In line with the Adoption Reform Agenda, Oldham had joined with Bolton, Bury, Blackburn with Darwen, Rochdale and Tameside to develop a Regional Adoption Agency (RAA), Adoption NoW, which went live in November 2017. The Annual Adoption Report provided an overview of the progress of Oldham’s children through the adoption process, Adopter Recruitment and Adoption Support.

 

The Adoption Scorecard measured performance against a set of indicators over a 3 year period. The Adoption Scorecard for 2018 had not yet been published and as a result, it was not possible to provide up-to-date comparisons with Statistical Neighbours and England averages.

 

Members noted highlights of Oldham’s performance included:-

·       35 children had been adopted in 2018 compared with 25 children in 2017.

·       The cohort of children adopted included a high proportion of children considered hard to place due to age, ethnicity, health needs or being part of a sibling group and this would inevitably have an impact on adoption timescales for children.

·       The A1 indicator measured the average time over a 3 year period between a child becoming looked after and moving in with the adoptive family, for children who had been adopted. Oldham’s performance had improved from 469 days in 2016 to 447 in 2017. The 3 year average to March 2018 had further improved to 430 days and was

only slightly above the Adoption Leadership Board target of 426 days.

·       The A2 indicator measured the length of time between the local authority obtaining a Placement Order to matching a child with adopters, for children who had been adopted. Oldham’s performance improved from 223 days in 2016 to 213 days in 2017. In 2018, performance in relation to the A2 indicator had deteriorated to 265

days. This was 144 days above the Adoption Leadership Board target of 121 days.

·       The Regional Adoption Agency had increased the pool of adopters available to Oldham children.

·       Oldham performed better than the England average for almost all Adoption Leadership Board measures in 2017, and better than its Statistical Neighbours against the indicators which measured adoption timescales.

 

Members asked for and received clarification on the following:-

Recruitment of BME adopters – One of the aims of the RAA was to become a centre of excellence in such  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 196 KB

For noting.

Minutes:

Members gave consideration to the 2018/19 Work Programme.  

 

Members discussed potential Items for the 2019/20 Work Programme and were invited to send suggestions to the Chair.

 

RESOLVED that the Work Programme for 2018/19 be noted.

 

11.

Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Performance and Value for

Money Select Committee will take place on Thursday 27th June 2019 at 6 p.m.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the date and time of the next Overview and Scrutiny Performance and Value for Money Select Committee, being Tuesday, 27th June 2019 at 6.00 p.m, be noted.