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Website URL : http://www.swansea.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=619
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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3A, Guildhall, Swansea. View directions

Contact: Michelle Roberts, Scrutiny Officer 

Items
No. Item

1.

Disclosure of Personal and Prejudicial Interests

Minutes:

None

2.

Notes and Conveners Letters pdf icon PDF 152 KB

Notes and Conveners letter from panel meeting on 17 Oct 18.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Notes and Conveners letter were accepted.

3.

Education Other Than at School (EOTAS) - Update on progress with changes and accommodation pdf icon PDF 134 KB

Minutes:

In attendance to discuss this item was Cllr Jennifer Raynor, Cabinet Member for Education Improvement, Learning and Skills, Mark Sheridan, Head of Learner Support Service and Amanda Taylor, Head of the Pupil Referral Unit.

A report was provided which updates the panel on the work undertaken to overhaul the Education Other Than at School Service (EOTAS) provision and to deliver on a re-modelled service within a new, purpose designed building. 

 

Key points noted include:

 

·         A key factor in the success of the overhaul of the current provision is the support provided to schools to enable earlier identification of needs in relation to pupils with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD), and greater capacity and support to manage the needs within the schools setting.

·         There has been a greater alignment strategically and operationally of the Behaviour Support Team (BST), the interim Halfway House Team and the Home Tuition team.  They are now under the same line management.

·         The panel were encouraged to hear that the Halfway house has resulted in the highest number of pupils being re-integrated back to mainstream provision in many years.  Last year 19 were supported back into their mainstream school. This has resulted in us achieving the planned reduction of numbers in primary provision which will be in line with planned primary places in the new build.  Based upon this the admission procedures are being review to include part-time admission for some pupils were appropriate which will hopefully facilitate shorter time spend in the PRU.

·         There are now clear processes and systems in place to ensure a smooth handover of support to pupils and to schools from the Halfway House and the BST and vice versa.  This enables pupils to continue to be supported whilst moving from PRU back to mainstream provision and where appropriate prevent pupils being referred to PRU.

·         There has been a review and robust revision of the training offered to schools and this now forms part of a more joined up off to schools aligned with other education departments.

·         Support and training to enable schools to develop an under of a resilience based model has been brokered with Exchange Counselling Service and will be delivered to all primary schools and targeted secondary schools.

·         700k has been devolved to secondary schools to support the development of in-house provision to enable them to meet the needs of SEBD pupils at KS4.  All schools submit a monitoring report of how they use this funding and visits have been made to some schools to see how this has developed.  Whilst this has only had a very minor impact on the numbers referred to PRU there is evidence to suggest that those who are now referred wholly meet or exceed the criteria for the PRU.

·         There has been a full review and revision of leadership at the PRU.  A negative impact has previously been evidenced of dependency on seconding of leadership post for short periods.  Short term secondments are no longer used with Head and Duty Head appointed and Interim head of Step Ahead, Head at Arfryn and Head of KS4 appointed.  This has aslo resulted in a re-allocation of staff across the service to provide a more robust, sustainable and experience leadership team. The Panel were pleased to hear that this had been resolved and look forward to a much more consistent approach moving forward.

·         All Centres as now working collaboratively with shared polices and significant progress made in developing shared practices.  Joint training is held across centres, staff have worked together to develop a joint vision, shared aims and a shared improvement plan.

·         Welsh Baccalaureate was introduced in September 2017 which has resulted in 70% of KS4 pupils passing the WBQ Sill Challenge Certificate.  Swansea PRU is provisionally reported by the WJEC to be top 3 of all PRUs in Wales in terms of results and number entered into Certificate.

·         Aligning well-being support is being made with the Well-bring Framework that is in place across other services including social service and poverty and prevention.

·         The service has reviewed its approach to promoting positive behaviour and managing negative behaviour to ensure consistency is applied approaches are used across the service.

·         In order to develop greater school to school based learning in line with Donaldson and the new curriculum reform, we have established a regional network where skills, experience and development of curriculum can be developed.

·         Work to support the panning and proposed new build has proceeded well with a full business approved Cabinet on 28 September 2018. Welsh Government approvals have been given and the project is on schedule for construction to start in November 2018 and for completion in and occupation by Jan/Feb 2020.  It will offer 21 planned places for primary aged pupils, 28 places for KS3, 60 places for KS4 all with SEBD and 35 planned places for pupils with anxiety and mental health difficulties.  It will offer 14 planned places in the Halfway House provision, but it is envisaged that these will be part time.

·         The planned build will enable the development of a wider curriculum offer to all pupils with designated provision for physical education, design and technology, science, food technology and art.

·         It will house the ‘wrap around’ service which will provide telephone, skype and face to face multi-skilled support to school to support the early identification of pupil needs, and support to build school capacity to manage those needs.

·         The panel heard about the enforced closure of Brondeg House on the 19 October and that there is currently no base for the 56 pupil KS4 provision.  They have considered all available buildings owned by the Council but none have been deemed suitable for health and safety or planning regulation reasons.  The long term options for the building have yet to be agreed, however, they are looking a work being undertaken to make it temporarily safe to enable continued use until the new build is complete.

·         As little disruption to the education of these pupils has been made wherever possible.  Where pupils attend education on site of external providers rooms have been rented for teaching, where pupils do not attend external providers, we are currently looking for bases to deliver their education in the meantime they are receiving home tuition.  This is being reviewed regularly.

·         Projected future numbers have been considered and we will have enough places to meet those needs in the future.  Recognising the highest increase is likely to be for Step Ahead.

·         Panel pleased to see strategic buy in across the local authority and the team approach within the PRU including training and sharing of knowledge.

·         Panel support the work that engages parents as well has children, feeling it is important to work with children and their families.

·         Take up of the training package around SEBD has been very good, need to run more because of demand.

·         Panel pleased to hear that there is no use of isolation in Swansea schools or the PRU, do not have isolation unit at all in Swansea and it is Swansea policy not to do so.

·         The Panel thanked Cllr Raynor, the Headteacher and Head of Learner Support Services for this very positive and comprehensive update report.

·          

4.

Integrated Well-being Strategy and Behaviour Policy pdf icon PDF 288 KB

Minutes:

In attendance to discuss this item was Cllr Jennifer Raynor, Cabinet Member for Education Improvement, Learning and Skills, Mark Sheridan, Head of Learner Support Service and Amanda Taylor, Head of the Pupil Referral Unit.

A report was provided which updates the Panel on the development of a Well-being Strategy and Behaviour Policy. 

 

Key points noted include:

 

·         The Behaviour and Well-being sub group of the Family Support Continuum Steering Group have drafted an Integrated Well-being Strategy for CYP (Children and Young People) which included a description and definition of well-being, a vision statement and principles as well as agreed priority areas.  The Panel agreed that they would like to see a copy of this once available.

·         The Strategy vision statement is ‘Swansea will promote, support and nurture every child and young person’s well-being.  It also promotes the following description of well-being ‘Our well-being is made up of different factors at any one time and changes during our lifespan.  It is affected by our experiences and background, how we think and feel, our ability to communicate and problem solve as well as our physical and mental health, relationships and sense of belonging in our communities’

·         The panel were told that to best support the CYP that we work with it is important to assess the challenges faced against the resource available to support, promote and nurture their well-being.

·         The Strategy introduced the Signs of Well-being Framework within a broad Team Around the Family approach already adopted by poverty and prevention and social services.

·         The Strategy identifies three key themes: Awareness raising, provision mapping/gap analysis and implementation.

·         Further work is now required to develop an action plan based on these themes and associated priorities.

·         The panel heard that as part of the discussion to develop a well-being strategy that it became clear that to include a Behaviour Policy would be a too wider remit.  It was therefore agreed to separate the two tasks and a behaviour policy will be drafted separately.

·         The draft behaviour policy sets out Swansea’s approach to promoting and supporting positive behaviour in school and other educational settings.  It sets out the ethos and principles to promote mutual respect and safety in order for learners to reach their potential.

·         It is anticipated that work on these two documents will be completed by December 2018.  Councillors would like to see them once they are available.

 

5.

Work Programme 2018/2019 pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Minutes:

The work programme was received and members noted that there will be an extra meeting on the 17 December to look at the Small Schools Review and the School Organisation linked to the Welsh Education Plan.

6.

Annual Audit of School Report 2017/2018 (For Information) pdf icon PDF 171 KB

Minutes:

The report was noted by the Panel.

Letter to the Cabinet Member pdf icon PDF 167 KB

 

Contacts:
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