|Date: Tuesday 26th September 2017 Time: 10.00 a.m. Place: Council Chamber, Civic Centre|
|Present||And||With||Report to||Report of|
|COUNCILLOR H. Trollope (Chair of Education & Learning took THE CHAIR)|
TUDALEN GLAWR AGENDA/WELSH VERSION OF AGENDA COVERSHEET
Tudalen Glawr Agenda Gymraeg/Welsh Agenda Coversheet (193K/bytes)
It was noted that no requests had been received for the simultaneous translation service.
Apologies for absence were received from: -
Councillors: S. Thomas, P. Baldwin, J. Holt, A. Moore
Mr. T. Baxter - Co-opted Member
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND DISPENSATIONS
There were no declarations of interests or dispensations reported.
EDUCATION, ACTIVE LIVING & LEARNING AND SOCIAL SERVICES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (SAFEGUARDING)
Consideration was given to the Minutes of the Joint Education, Active Living & Learning and Social Services Scrutiny Committee (Safeguarding) Meeting held on 15th February, 2017. (The Minutes were submitted for points of accuracy only).
RESOLVED that the Minutes be accepted as a true record of proceedings.
Action Sheet (44K/bytes)
Consideration was given to the Action Sheet of the Joint Education, Active Living & Learning and Social Services Scrutiny Committee of 15th February, 2017, whereupon:-
Safeguarding Performance Information
A Member made reference to bullying being a major concern and that due to the current amount of cyber bullying being reported he felt that the data collated should be broken down in categories to identify the different types of bullying being recorded. The Service Manager responded that the current system is unable to provide this level of data, however, a new system has been set up WCCIS, and Officers are developing forms to establish if this type of data could be accessed.
The Education Improvement Manager informed Members that schools record and collate the different types of bullying and undertook to work with the Service Manager to ensure that the information is collated and an update brought back to the next Joint Scrutiny Committee Meeting.
A Member requested an update on the position of the new WCCIS system regarding the breakdown of categories for bullying and the Service Manager undertook to provide an update at the next meeting.
RESOLVED subject to the foregoing, that the information contained in the Action Sheet be noted.
SAFEGUARDING PERFORMANCE INFORMATION SOCIAL SERVICES QUARTER 4 AND EDUCATION SPRING TERM
Consideration was given to the report of the Service Manager which was presented to provide Members with Safeguarding Performance and Self Evaluation information from across the Local Authority.
The Service Manager spoke to the report and highlighted the key points therein:
- Background and Context
A Member referred to Section 1 of the Quarterly Safeguarding Report and requested to know the difference between 'Child Protection' and 'Children In Need'. The Service Manager explained that if a child was seen to be suffering from harm or at risk in anyway then this would be classed as Child Protection. Children in Need are children that are in need of support to achieve their potential but not classed as being at risk.
A member (LISA) referred to figure 1.1 of the report and the number of cases moving from Child in Need to Child Protection and the number of cases 'stepping down' to Families First and stated that it would be beneficial for this information to be included in the report. The Chair concurred and the Service Manager undertook to provide this information.
Education Information: Key Issues
Reference was made to Page 29 where it stated that 64% of Education referrals on closed cases were NFA (no further action). The Officer referred to the setting of thresholds and explained that there had been changes in relation to the new Social Services and Well-Being Act and IAA System all of which will impact on the thresholds. The Officer stated that the Safeguarding in Education Manager regularly visits schools to look at accuracy of the information provided and stated that officers would also be looking at neighbouring authorities later in the year to establish any similarities in patterns around thresholds. It was noted that all local authorities report into Welsh Government and that the national picture would be reported when published at the end of the year.
Section 1 - Contacts Received
A Member commented on referrals outlined on Page 45 as he felt that there were a large number of referrals from the Police and requested a breakdown of how many of those referrals were designated as NFA (no further action). The Officer responded that some of the outcomes were indicated in the graphs of 1.3 and 1.4 of pages 46 and 47 but explained that it was sometimes difficult to collate when some agencies did not classify themselves.
A question was raised by a Member as to what action would be taken against the parents if a child was categorised as a child protection case. The Officer responded that all referrals were classified and if a Child Protection a strategy discussion would be held with the Police on how each case would be investigated and depending on the outcomes of discussions, it could be agreed that either the Police take the lead or Social Services Directorate, alternatively it could be a joint investigation depending on the levels of need.
Another Member also commented on the lack of any reported cases from the Leisure Trust. She expressed concern that considering the amount of children that used the leisure facilities, no incidents had been reported and questioned whether there was an adequate level of training in place. The Officer referred to the Corporate Child Protection Policy and explained that all organisations, including the Leisure Trust have a Safeguarding Lead who attends the Local Safeguarding Network group and ensure that all organisations have the correct level of training and that DBS and recruitment policies are appropriate. The Officer undertook to invite the Safeguarding Lead of the Leisure Trust to the next Joint Safeguarding Meeting to give assurance to Members that the correct procedures were in place and being followed.
Percentage of Primary School Contacts
A Member made reference to the number of schools with 0% contacts compared to one school having a very high percentage. The Safeguarding in Education Manager reassured Members that as part of her role she carried out a quality assurance process to ensure that schools were proactive in their safeguarding responsibilities. Another Member asked if it was to be assumed that percentages were based on the total number of pupils in the school as he would prefer to see these contacts in numbers rather than percentages or have both recorded. The Officer undertook to take this request to the data team and report back.
Restrictive Physical Intervention
A question was raised in relation to what was the definition of Restrictive Physical Intervention and the Officer explained that this was when a child needed to be restrained to prevent harm to themselves or others. The Chair requested to know what measures were in place to ensure appropriate training for members of staff. The Safeguarding in Education Manager explained that staff received Team Teach training for techniques in handling those children.
A Member asked if a fight broke out between 2 children would it be reported and the Officer responded that if the incident had needed a teacher to restrain the children then it would be reported, but emphasised that other methods would be tried before physical intervention was used.
Elected Home Educated
A discussion ensued regarding Elected Home Education and it was noted that there were a number of reasons why parents/guardians chose this option. A Member asked if a parent/guardian of a home educated child was notified of a visit by the Authority could they refuse this. The Service Manager responded yes, this is stated within legislation. The Education Improvement Manager stated that there was a Local Authority Policy explaining the practices and processes for elected home education and it was agreed that Members be provided with Elected Home Education Policy.
A Member raised concern regarding how a child's safety could be ensured if the Authority is unable to visit the child's home. The Officer explained that repeated refusal would raise concerns and all such cases are looked at individually and appropriate steps taken.
A question was asked as to whether any of the 39 children being educated at home had been identified as being at risk and the Officer undertook to investigate and bring back to the next Joint Scrutiny Meeting.
It was requested that the response received from the Welsh Government regarding EHE that had previously been circulated to Members, be resubmitted for the benefit of the new Members.
It was agreed that a briefing session be arranged for Members on Elected Home Education.
Allegations of Abuse made against Professionals
A Member referred to the Allegations of Abuse made against Professionals and asked if training sessions were open to voluntary organisation e.g. GAVO etc., to enable them to understand their responsibilities. The Service Manager said that free training was offered under the Safeguarding Children Board, delivered by professionals and was open to any organisation working with children and young people. GAVO were also part of this and attended the Local Safeguarding Network meetings. The Officer undertook to provide a list of groups that had undertaken training for the next Joint Scrutiny Meeting.
A question was asked in relation to when a complaint was made against a member of staff what action was taken to ensure the matter was resolved quickly. The Service Manager explained that there was a due process regarding allegations where discussions were held and a decision taken on the strategy needed, as well as how the investigation would be led as detailed in the All Wales Child Protection Procedures. However, timescales were set out but could prove difficult to achieve on times, depending on the type of investigation.
RESOLVED to recommend, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and the performance information for Quarter 4 be acknowledged.
EDUCATION DIRECTORATE SAFEGUARDING/CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
Consideration was given to the report of the Safeguarding in Education Manager which was presented to provide Members with the opportunity to scrutinise the updated Education Directorate Safeguarding/Child Protection Policy.
The Safeguarding in Education Manager spoke to the report and highlighted the Background and Context.
It was noted that there had been an agreement made that that the Policy would include the Executive Member's name in order to ensure ownership from a political perspective.
A Member referred to Safeguarding for Governors and felt that this should be mandatory; he asked what could be done to ensure this would happen. The Officer explained that there had been ongoing discussions with the Welsh Government regarding this and would continue to raise the matter until it was accomplished, but assured Members that training and delivery was regularly monitored. It was noted that Governor Training was provided by the EAS.
RESOLVED to recommend, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and the draft Education Directorate Safeguarding/Child Protection Policy be approved.
Councillor Keith Hayden left the meeting at this juncture.
ADULTS SAFEGUARDING PERFORMANCE INFORMATION 2016/2017
Appendix 2 (2M/bytes)
Appendix 3 (386K/bytes)
Consideration was given to the report of the Adults Service Manager for Commissioning and Safeguarding and the Pova Coordinator for Adult Services, which was presented to provide Members with the Safeguarding Performance information relating to Adult Services for 2016/2017.
The Adults Service Manager for Commissioning and Safeguarding spoke to the report and highlighted key points therein:
- Background & Context - including details of the legal framework provided under the SSWBA
Process and Management
A Member asked if there was specific training available for staff in the IAA Hub handling potential suicide calls. The POVA Coordinator explained that all staff received basic training but there was no specific training available at present for handling suicide calls however any issues would be passed to the Mental Health Team or relevant team. The Officer commented that a training matrix for the new IAA service was being developed to identify any future training requirements.
The Chair requested Awareness Raising Training on Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults for Members at the earliest opportunity.
Outcomes and Engagement
Reference was made to the Areas for Development and the feedback from the questionnaire. A Member asked what the results of the feedback were and could Members be provided with this information. The Service Manager Commissioning and Service Development explained that the questionnaire would be used to identify whether the safeguarding process had been understood and communicated effectively, and to see if improvements could be made to the procedures. The evaluation and feedback on the questionnaires would be included in the report to the next Joint Scrutiny Committee Meeting.
RESOLVED to recommend, subject to the foregoing that the Annual Report be accepted, and the Joint Scrutiny Committee acknowledge the current and forthcoming demands placed on the Adults Safeguarding Team.
TIME OF FUTURE MEETINGS
It was unanimously agreed that the time of future meetings be 10.00 a.m. in the Council Chamber.