Scrutinising services for children and young people

What help does the Council provide for young carers?

How can we support more young people into education, employment and training?

Is the Council fulfilling its responsibilities as a Corporate Parent to looked-after children?

These questions and more will be considered at the next meeting of the Children and Young People Overview & Scrutiny Committee, which will take place:

Thursday 2 February 2012, 10am

Committee Room 2, Shire Hall, Warwick

The full agenda and papers can be downloaded here.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend. If you’d like to ask a question at the meeting, please send it through in advance to richardmaybey@warwickshire.gov.uk

Nuneaton and Bedworth Area Committee – 1 February

Residents of Nuneaton and Bedworth may be interested in the next Area Committee meeting, where County Councillors from the local area will be meeting to discuss:

  • The proposed amalgamation of Stockingford Infant and Junior Schools into a single “all-through” primary school
  • How the Council is looking to improve broadband access for residents across the county

The meeting takes place at 6pm on Wednesday 1st February 2012 at the EPIC Centre, Nuneaton. You can download the full agenda and papers here.

Members of the public are welcome to attend. And if you’d like to ask Councillors a question at the meeting – about anything, not just the items above – please contact richardmaybey@warwickshire.gov.uk in advance.

Cabinet agenda – now available

The first Cabinet meeting of 2012 will take place on Thursday 26 January – and you can access the papers here.

Warwickshire’s Cabinet is made up of 10 Conservative councillors, each with a particular area of responsibility (‘portfolio’) for policies and services. Among other things on the agenda, they will be considering:

  • The latest information from Central Government that the Council needs in order to fix its budget for 2012/13
  • A revised set of ambitions with the outcomes and targets that the Council should strive to achieve over the next two years
  • A formal agreement to continue and develop collaborative work with Coventry City Council and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council (in order to improve quality and efficiency of services)
  • The implications of the Government’s Troubled Families Initiative

If you’d like to know more about the Cabinet, or about any of their meetings, please contact:

Janet Purcell, Democratic Services Manager

T: 01926 413716

E:  janetpurcell@warwickshire.gov.uk

Scrutiny Bytes – our quarterly newsletter

Is the Council delivering on its promises? Is it working effectively with other public service providers? Are local people being properly involved in decision-making?

These are just some of the questions that the Council’s Overview & Scrutiny function seek to answer.

Take a look at our latest Scrutiny Bytes newsletter for a glimpse at some of the issues Councillors have been investigating recently.

New approach for pupils at risk of exclusion

At a scrutiny meeting on 14 December, Councillors received a presentation about the proposed closure of the Pupil Referral Unit (PRU).

Ofsted recently placed Warwickshire’s PRU in “special measures”, deeming the provision of education to be inadequate. As a result, the Council has been looking at how else these at-risk children could be educated.

A pilot scheme began in September whereby funding is devolved to groups of headteachers – known as Area Behaviour Partnerships (ABPs) – who work in partnership to arrange alternative education for pupils. So rather than be sent to the PRU, they could be enrolled at a nearby college, or receive specialist support at a Learning Support Unit. The aim is to improve pupils’ life chances by keeping them in mainstream education as long as possible.

Representatives from Warwickshire’s four ABPs attended the scrutiny meeting to share their progress to date. A very open discussion took place, and the following observations were noted:

  • While members endorsed the initial work of the ABPs, there were cross-party concerns over the proposed changes, particularly the speed at which the PRU will close
  • The amount of funding provided for LSUs is not enough for many schools, who are having to supplement this from within their own budget
  • While the Council will provide a list of quality-assured providers, there is no requirement for ABPs to select from this list
  • Close monitoring of the ABPs will therefore be needed, with regular reports brought to the scrutiny committee
For more detail, please see the minutes of the meeting.

Update: Cabinet approved the closure of the PRU on 15 December 

Our first ever post!

Welcome on board. This new blog is designed to keep you up-to-date with all that’s going on at Warwickshire County Council.

It’s a new initiative from the Democratic Services team, who will be posting on here with updates from a range of Council meetings and committees.

We’ll also be using the site to seek your views. Whether you’re a local resident, an elected councillor or someone from outside the county (all are welcome!), we want you to get involved.

So please, take a look around, leave some feedback, share anything of interest… and keep coming back. We’re in the early stages of development, so your input can really shape the future content and success of this site.

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