Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee special Select Committee 12th March 2015

On Thursday 12th March 2015, the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be holding a special Select Committee meeting focusing on Child Sexual Exploitation.

The purpose of the meeting is to consider how the Warwickshire Safeguarding Children Board (WSCB) and other key partners have responded to the recommendations outlined in the Professor Jay Report (Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in Rotherham (1997 – 2013).

The Select Committee shall also seek to assure itself that effective partnership working around CSE is taking place and that the children and young people of Warwickshire are being adequately protected from CSE.

Representatives from the WSCB, the Police, the Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner, the NHS and the County Council will be informing the Select Committee on how they work both independently and collectively on the Board to tackle the issue of CSE within Warwickshire.

The safeguarding of all children remains a top priority for the Council and partner agencies alike – this Select Committee shall serve to assure members what is currently being done, what can additionally be done and what proactive steps are being taken to protect children from CSE.

The meeting, open for members of the public to attend, will run from 10.00-14.00 and will be held in Committee Room 2, Shire Hall, Warwick.

A link to the agenda and papers being considered at the meeting can be found here.

If you wish to come along to observe the meeting then please contact Ben Patel-Sadler on 01926 736 118 or e-mail benpatelsadler@warwickshire.gov.uk

Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee 6th January 2015

The next meeting of the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee will consider a variety of topics covering several areas of business.

Proposed Changes to Home to School Transport Policy
The Committee shall be receiving a report which will be detailing the consultation exercise proposals in relation to the proposed changes to the Council’s Home to School Transport Policy. The Council has a legal obligation to provide home to school transport (in certain circumstances) and the report will outline the indicative savings that could be made by withdrawing some areas of the service.
Achievement of Warwickshire Children and Young People in National Tests in 2014
This report will focus in detail on the GCSE results achieved by children in Warwickshire during the summer of 2014. In 2014 The Department for Education (DfE) changed the reporting arrangements for GCSEs following Professor Alison Wolf’s Review of Vocational Education report. The Committee will be looking at how schools from across the county performed when compared to their statistical neighbours and with other schools nationally.
Other items due to be considered at the meeting include Performance of the Independent Reviewing Service which will outline how specialised Reviewing Officers undertake their duties in protecting the Counties’ children and keeping them safe from harm.

The meeting starts at 10.00 on Tuesday 6th January 2015 in Committee Room 2, Shire Hall, Warwick and is open to the public (click here for the agenda and reports).If you have a question that you wish to ask at the meeting, please contact Ben Patel-Sadler at least 3 working days before the meeting. Otherwise, please arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the meeting and ensure that the Chair is aware of the matter on which you wish to speak.

Review of Victims’ Services – report now published!

In June this year, I published a post inviting people’s views on existing support services for victims of crime.  The Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel had set up a small Task and Finish Group to undertake an extensive review of victim support services in the county and to evaluate the extent of victims’ needs and expectations being met by existing provision in Warwickshire.

The Group members gathered and received evidence from a wide range of sources, including local representatives of support services and victims of crime. As a result, 19 evidence-based recommendations have been identified to address a number of thematic issues that relate to the full range of victim support services in Warwickshire. Members believe that the recommendations will help to place victims at the heart of both the voluntary and criminal justice sector and bring greater sustainability to the array of voluntary organisations, who contribute significantly to the recovery of victims of crime in Warwickshire.

A copy of the report and recommendations is available here. Victims front page

The Task and Finish Group will present its report to the Police and Crime Panel on 21st November (click here to access meeting details and the agenda). Following this, the report and recommendations will be submitted to the Police and Crime Commissioner, who is now responsible for the delivery of victim support service.

The Task and Finish Group would like to pay tribute to the commitment of Warwickshire’s existing victims’ support services, volunteers and support staff and express it gratitude to those representatives and victims of crime who gave up their time to contribute to this review.

Police and Crime Panel – 21 November

There are a number of sensitive but extremely important issues scheduled for discussion at the next meeting of the Police and Crime Panel on 21st November.

Child Sexual Exploitation

The Commissioner has been asked to provide a verbal report regarding Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). The Panel will be looking for assurances from the Commissioner about how the threat of CSE is being addressed in Warwickshire, with a particular focus on his partnership working arrangements with Warwickshire County Council regarding vulnerable children and the role of the Warwickshire Police in tackling and investigating CSE. The spotlight is now on local authorities, the police and Commissioners following the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in Rotherham (1997-2013) by Alexis Jay OBE, which highlighted the failure of key partners to protect vulnerable children and victims in Rotherham.

Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence

The Panel has expressed concerns previously regarding the reported low ‘conversion rate’ (i.e. the number of reported crimes that result in a prosecution) for cases of Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence. The Panel will receive a report from Warwickshire Police which will outline how the force and the Commissioner will address this issue.

Cyber, Rural and Business Crime

In his Police and Crime Plan 2013-17, the Commissioner has prioritised funding to address these three types of crime and an update on recent activity will be shared with the Panel.

Get Involved

The meeting starts at 11am in the Council Chamber at Stratford-upon-Avon District Council and is open to the public (click here for the agenda and reports). If you wish to ask either the Commissioner or the Panel a question at the meeting, please visit here for further information.

Children and Young People OSC – 2 September

The Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee has a busy meeting ahead on Tuesday 2 September, when members will be focusing on a number of important topics.

New contractors for the delivery of Children’s Centres

Barnardo’s and The Parenting Group will presenting short presentation on their vision for children’s centres in Warwickshire, their key priorities, target groups and areas of focus.  Changes to the delivery of Children’s Centres has been a key focus of the Committee over the past 12 months, following its Select Committee review of the consultation proposals in August 2013. The Committee will be looking for reassurance that the new providers can effectively deliver the Early Years service in the new ‘group and collaboration’ model and achieve each of the five outcomes that aim to improve the health and well-being of parents and their children.

Super Priority Areas – School Admissions

The Committee will be considering the outcome of its review of the principle and feasibility of implementing SPAs across the urban areas of Warwickshire, with the initial focus on Warwick and Leamington. The Committee first considered the SPA proposal in January 2014 as a potential solution to address the issue of siblings not been granted places at the same school. A Task and Finish Group was set up to examine the proposal in more depth and its findings and recommendations will be presented to the Committee at the meeting.

Shaping draft strategies

At the meeting, the Committee will also be asked to give its views on two draft strategies: a) Vulnerable Learners Strategy; and b) Schools Places Sufficiency Strategy. Considering the draft documents at an earlier stage gives scrutiny members a valuable opportunity to share their views and make recommendations regarding the draft content, before the documents are signed-off by Cabinet.

Other areas for consideration at the meeting include a) the annual performance in respect of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET); b) an update on the Committee’s previous requirements in regarding Academies and Free Schools; and c) a verbal update on the planned consultation in respect of Home to School Transport.

Do you want to know more?

The meeting will commence at 10am at Northgate House, Warwick – a copy of the agenda and the reports can be found here. If you have a question that you wish to ask at the meeting, please contact Georgina Atkinson at least 3 working days before the meeting. Otherwise, please arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the meeting and ensure that the Chair is aware of the matter on which you wish to speak.

Review of Victims’ Services

Have you been a victim of crime, or know someone who has?

Do you work with and provide support services to victims of crime?

The Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel has set up a dedicated group to review existing support services for victims of crime, which will focus specifically on the successes and gaps in supporting victims and provide an assessment of local need. A key part of the review is to listen to the views of the people who have first-hand experience of those support services – either the victims of crime, or those that support them.

This is a crucial piece of work that will help the Police and Crime Commissioner in his ongoing work to commission victim services in the future and it is important that those services reflect victim needs and priorities. National research of best practice support to victims demonstrates that it should:

  • Be equally accessible across the county;
  • Have an approach that puts the needs of the victim at the heart of the system;
  • Be multi-agency, where appropriate;
  • Provide support to victims of anti-social behaviour and hate crime;
  • Have consistent, specialised provision for victims of domestic and sexual violence; and
  • Provide specialised support for children and young people. (‘Listening and learning: Improving support for victims in Warwickshire’, VSA project)

If you wish to share your experiences and views, or make suggestions about how existing services could be improved, please contact the Panel by 25 July using the contact details below:

Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel
Warwickshire County Council
PO Box 9, Shire Hall
Warwick, CV34 4RR

Tel: (01926) 413747
Email: democraticservices@warwickshire.gov.uk

For more information on the role and responsibilities of the Police and Crime Panel, please visit: http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/policeandcrimepanel

Busy meeting ahead for the Children and Young People OSC!

The Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee has a busy meeting ahead on Wednesday 2 April, when members will be focusing on a number of important topics.

The development of a new Special Educational Needs school at the Manor Park site

A new school will be developed on the former Manor Park School site in Nuneaton specifically for pupils with Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties (BESD) and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) . The new school will be expected to accommodate 60 – 80 pupils and additional units will follow in later stages closer to mainstream schools. At the meeting , the Committee will consider the latest position and timescales for completion.

The impact of changes to the Integrated Disability Service

In February 2013, Council agreed to a £1.76m savings plan for the Integrated Disability Service. This required a redesign of the service to ensure that it was:

  • modern and fit for purpose;
  • compliant with legislation supporting independence and personalisation so that families are actively involved in the decisions made about how to best support their children; and
  • achieved value for money and cost effective, with a level of investment that is more in line with  statistical neighbours.

Members will review progress achieved in managing the savings programme and preperation for the new “Local Offer” defined care packages.

The Committee is aslo due to receive two important verbal updates on a) the changes to Children’s Centres and the delivery of Early Years services, and b) the proposal to merge Warwick’s school admissions priority areas into a single scheme for the town, which will give members the latest position on these two significant policy changes.

There will also be reports on:

  • The important work undertaken by Inclusion Support Groups at Primarly Schools;
  • The impact of Government changes to the adoption process and the introduction of adoption service scorecards; and
  • The transition of Public Health into the County Council.
Do you want to know more?

The meeting will commence at 10am at Shire Hall, Warwick – a copy of the agenda and the reports can be found here. If you have a question that you wish to ask at the meeting, please contact Georgina Atkinson at least 3 working days before the meeting. Otherwise, please arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the meeting and ensure that the Chair is aware of the matter on which you wish to speak.

 

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