Agenda and minutes

Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 6th December, 2018 1.30 pm

Venue: Bridges Room - Civic Centre

Contact: Melvyn Mallam-Churchill - E-mail 

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Minutes of last meeting pdf icon PDF 85 KB

The Committee is asked to approve as a correct record the minutes of the last meeting held on X


The minutes of the last meeting held on 6 November 2018 were agreed as a correct record.


The Council Plan - Six Monthly Assessment and Performance Delivery 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 175 KB

Report of the Strategic Director, Care, Wellbeing and Learning

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report and presentation on the six month update of performance and delivery for the period 1 April 2018 to 30 September 2018 in relation to the Council’s Thrive agenda for the indicators and activity linked to children and young people.


The report provided a performance overview linked to the 29 strategic indicators for children and families which currently fall under the three pledges of “Put people and families at the heart of everything we do”, “Tackle inequality so people have a fair chance” and “Work together and fight for a better future for Gateshead”.


Putting people and families at the heart of everything we do


The Committee were advised that in the latest period improvements in 6 indicators have been demonstrated, 2 have remained the same and 3 have declined.


Improvements noted in number of eligible 2 year olds accessing free early learning places, levels of development at age 5, key stage 1 and 2 attainment in reading, writing and mathematics.


Declined performance in the proposition of children offered preferred primary school place (remained the same for secondary) and attainment and progress 8 scores at key stage 4.


Achievements, Challenges and Actions were outlined as follows:


·         Permanent exclusions for the 17/18 academic year have continued to decline and work continues to work effectively and in partnership with schools to implement the Behaviour Action Plan.

·         Enhanced pre-diagnosis support for parents of children showing challenging behaviour, by introducing a parent/carer support pathway for those with a child undergoing assessment for ADHD and/or autism

·         Plans underway to embed the ‘This is Me’ tool for identifying and recording the voice of the child in casework


Tackle Inequality so people have a fair chance


The Committee were advised that in the latest period performance has improved for 5 indicators, 1 has remained the same and 5 have declined.


Improvements noted in the attainment 8 and progress 8 scores for disadvantaged pupils, progress 8 scores for children with SEN support, number of families engaged with Troubled Families, excess weight for 10-11 year olds and % of children low income families (in poverty)


Declined performance in progress 8 scores at key stage 4 for LAC and those subject to a EHCP, overall NEET figure for those aged 16-18 % of mother smoking at time of delivery and excess weight in 4-5 year olds.


Achievements, Challenges and Actions were outlined as follows:


·         Early help have introduced nee Practice Standards and guidance on what ‘good’ looks like for CAF assessments and support plans, to improve the quality of practice and impact with families

·         Improvements have been made with timelines for the completion of Education, Health and Care plans (EHCP), meaning families will benefit from receiving support earlier, first 6 months performance stands at 99% - a considerable improvement

·         The LAC and YP service has been restructured to improve service delivery through improved management arrangements and increased capacity within the Personal Assistant (PA) team to work directly with young people

·         Work is underway to embed  ...  view the full minutes text for item F86


OSC Review of Obesity (across the life course) - Evidence Gathering pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Report of the Director of Public Health


The Committee received the evidence gathering report as part of the OSC’s review into the Review of Healthy Weight (across the life course).


The scoping report agreed by OSC on 14 June 2017 described the complexity of the obesity agenda and that:


·         The evidence base suggests that in order to tackle obesity effectively an approach that involves the whole system is needed.

·         Consideration of factors influencing the healthy weight agenda that can be tackled by joint working across a number of areas need to be part of the solution, the local authority is uniquely positioned to take this forward.

·         Successfully tackling obesity is a long term, large scale commitment. The current prevalence of obesity in the population has been at least 30 years in the making. This will take time to reverse and it is reported that it will be at least 30 years before reductions in the associated diseases are seen.

·         The evidence is very clear that policies aimed solely at individuals will be inadequate and will not suffice to reverse this trend. Significant effective action to prevent obesity at a population level is required.

·         Indentfying opportunities to disrupt the current system, which involves identifying the most likely and productive areas of activity in the local system where Gateshead Council and its partners can take action.

The Committee received a presentation from Beverly Oliver, Health and Wellbeing Programme Lead, Public Health England which outlined the national context and provided the Committee with an update of key actions from the recently published ‘second chapter of the childhood obesity plan’ (including a focus on sugar reduction, advertising and promotion and energy drinks etc). The implications of the plan for local authority areas, including high impact areas for focus were also outlined.


The presentation also provided an update from a national perspective on the learning that is emerging from the whole system LA pilot sites. What emergent learning can be transferred from local practices and tired and tested methods as part of the pilot. What can Gateshead take forward from this approach. The next steps of the programme of work was also outlined and an outline of new and emergent work at a national level to inform future practice in Gateshead.


The Committee also received a presentation from Emma Gibson, Programme Lead in Public Health, Gateshead Council which outlines an update of actions and progress in terms of the healthy weight agenda in Gateshead and the implications in terms of the national perspective.


The Committee considered the following:


·         Childhood Obesity: a plan for action chapter 2 outlines the actions the Government will take towards its goal of halving childhood obesity and reducing the gap in obesity between children from the most and least deprived areas by 2030. The plan aims to be ambitious in the actions outlined.

·         The whole systems approach to obesity was introduced to help local authorities deliver co-ordinated actions involving partners across the system. This is an emerging programme of work and is being led by the Local Government  ...  view the full minutes text for item F87


Provision of School Meals - Universal Credit pdf icon PDF 159 KB

Report of the Strategic Director, Care, Wellbeing and Learning


The Committee received a report providing information on the process in place for schools to claim funding to provide a discretionary school meal following the roll out if Universal Credit in Gateshead. The Schools Forum agreed that Dedicated Schools Grant reserves could be used for this purpose whilst reserves could be used for this purpose whilst reserves are available.


At present, anyone in receipt of Universal Credit is entitled to free school meal (FSM), this includes people who would formally have only applied for Working Tax Credit, or both Child and Working Tax Credit and who are not presently eligible for FSM. Therefore, there is likely to be an increase in the number of pupils who may be eligible for FSM.


Department for Education (DfE) have advised that anyone who has applied for a benefit but not yet been awarded it, is NOT eligible for FSM. This applies to universal credit claimants even where they may be waiting for 6 to 8 weeks for their entitlement to be confirmed.


Due to the hardship the rollout of Universal Credit can causes some families officers, on the direction of Schools Forum have developed a process and procedure to fund schools to provide a Discretionary School Meal (DSM) for those children of households that have applied for Universal Credit, but not yet been awarded.


Forum approved the use of DSG reserves to fund DSM at £2.55 per meal taken during the 8 week period or until the household is either awarded or denied Universal Credit. The process was appended to the report for Committee’s information.


RESOLVED -              that the information be noted


Tackling the Toxic Trio - Case Study pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Report of the Strategic Director, Care, Wellbeing and Learning


The Committee received a report which set out a current case which is open to a social worker in the Safeguarding and Care Planning Service. It follows the story of two children and describes the intervention of Children’s Social Care in the children’s lives. It seeks to inform the OSC about the impact of parental mental health, drug misuse and domestic abuse on the lives of children that are safeguarded in Gateshead.


Committee asked for further details to be provided including a total time line of the families’ involvement with professionals and requested that further details be brought back to a future meeting.




That the information be noted.



That further details be provided to Committee in relation to the Toxic Trio.



That a further report be brought back to Committee in due course.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Joint report of the Chief Executive and the Strategic Director of Corporate Services and Governane

Additional documents:


The Committee received the Work Programme report which sets out the provisional programme for the Committee for the year 2018/19.


RESOLVED -              The Committee noted the contents of the Work Programme

                                    report and appendix