Agenda and minutes
Venue: Online meeting only
Contact: Matthew Evans, Democratic Services Officer
Apologies for absence
To receive apologies for absence
There were no apologies for absence.
Declarations of interest
To receive declarations of interest in respect of Schedule 1, Schedule 2 or Other Interests from members of the committee in respect of items on the agenda.
Mr Andy James declared an interest in the Herefordshire capital investment strategy 2021 – 2030 for specialist settings educating children and young people with special education needs and disabilities item as a parent governor at Westfield School.
During the item Mr James left the committee as an education co-optee and acted as a witness. Mr James left the meeting prior to the vote on the item.
To approve and sign the minutes of the meetings on 12 and 19 January 2021.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meetings on 12 January and 19 January are agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairperson.
To receive any written questions from members of the public.
Deadline for receipt of questions is 5:00pm on Wednesday 17 March.
Accepted questions and answers will be published as a supplement prior to the meeting. Please submit questions to: email@example.com.
A copy of the public questions received, responses provided and the supplementary
questions are attached at appendix 1.
To review children and young people’s mental health services including:
- A review of schools pastoral support and a mental health pathway;
- A presentation from Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust on CYP mental health and impact of COVID19; and
- A presentation by Healthwatch Herefordshire on Schools Mental Health Forum and Youth Watch.
The committee received a report from the cabinet member children and families. The committee received presentations from the children and families directorate, the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Herefordshire Healthwatch.
During the debate the points below were raised:
· An updated report on children and young people’s mental health to be allocated to the September meeting of the committee in 2020.
· The circulation of the mental health and wellbeing survey to all committee members once completed.
· The work undertaken between the council and the clinical commissioning group to produce a mental health pathway for looked after children.
· The mental health and wellbeing survey and the sharing of school-specific data.
· The resourcing of the educational psychologist team.
· Support for work that focused on healthy relationships particularly within school curriculums.
· The fragmented nature of mental health services for children and young people and mapping work taking place to clarify the responsibilities of local organisations. Work was taking place with the mental health partnership to draft a map of services which would be available on the Wellbeing Information and Signposting for Herefordshire (WISH) website.
· The impact of COVID-19 and the impact on frontline services for children and young people’s mental health.
· Support for emotional literacy support assistants (ELSAs) and a recommendation to investigate an increase in the number of ELSAs in schools.
· A phone line for parents to contact with concerns and the early help phone line which would provide this function. Details of the early help phone line would be circulated to members of the committee following the meeting.
· The target waiting times for assessment for the children and adolescents mental health service (CAMHs) and the actual waiting times following the merger of the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG).
· The grading of the eating disorders, the current incidence and the waiting times for treatment.
· The importance of listening to young people and the outcomes from the Healthwatch survey which identified the provision of safe spaces in schools as a priority. A recommendation to encourage schools to look at the provision of safe spaces was proposed.
· The mental health support team in schools and detail of the selection of the four high schools chosen.
The cabinet member children and families explained that it was encouraging that so much good work was in progress.
The recommendations below were proposed by Councillor Gandy, seconded by Councillor Paul Andrews and approved by the committee.
RESOLVED: The committee recommends:
· That an update report on CYP mental health is presented to the meeting on 14 September;
· That the mental health and wellbeing survey is circulated to all members of the committee once completed;
· That the executive investigates an increase in the number of support assistants trained in emotional literacy in local schools;
· That the executive looks to work with schools to encourage the identification of safe spaces, as raised by Healthwatch.
To consider the outcomes of the Herefordshire Capital Investment Strategy 2021-2030 For Specialist Settings Educating Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities SEND consultation and to determine any recommendations to the executive, which may enhance the effectiveness of the plans.
(Mr Andy James fulfilled the role of a witness and had no vote on this item.)
The committee considered a report from the cabinet member children and families concerning the Herefordshire Capital Investment Strategy 2021-2030 For Specialist Settings Educating Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities SEND. The head of additional needs and the schools capital investment adviser introduced the report.
Mr James spoke as a witness and read aloud a statement from the Westfield Governing Body. He requested that the feasibility study covers 2-16 and 16-19 age ranges and that it is not limited to 2-16 before the consultation concerning the future of the sixth form at Westfield School was undertaken. The wording in the strategy document suggested that the decision had already been made.
The schools capital investment adviser provided detail concerning the proposals in the report concerning the Westfield School and the process undertaken to develop the proposals. She explained that the feasibility study needed to be conducted urgently to avoid losing the funding set aside for this purpose by the Council. She stated that there would be a need to re-apply for funding for the feasibility study if there were to be further delay of the project when everyone agrees that improved facilities are desperately needed. The schools capital investment adviser further explained that the recommendation described in the strategy is based on the information available to date and that officers are recommending a 2-16 age range but the consultation concerning the future of the sixth form at Westfield School will further inform the decision.
Councillor Trish Marsh as the member for Leominster South spoke as the local member to the Westfield School. Support was expressed for the request that the feasibility study covers 2-16 and 16-19 age ranges and that it is not limited to 2-16 before the consultation concerning the future of the sixth form at Westfield School was undertaken.
The schools capital investment adviser explained that it had been already agreed with Westfield School governing body that the age range in the title to the feasibility study (i.e. 2-16 yrs) would be removed and the consultation on the sixth form provision undertaken once the final strategy had been agreed and published.
During the debate the committee raised the following points:
· The fire risk assessment that had been undertaken at Westfield School.
· The lack of detail in the report concerning the change to the age ranges in title of the Westfield School feasibility study.
· The suitability of the current buildings at Westfield School and the restricted nature of the site.
· A recommendation that the capital strategy clarifies that the feasibility study would cover the current full age-range at Westfield and that the consultation regarding the future of the sixth form centre would be separate. Both will inform the final Council decision.
· Detail in the strategy concerning the educational provision for children with autism and a recommendation that further detail is presented to the committee at a later date following discussion ... view the full minutes text for item 32.