Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms, 2nd Floor, West Wing, Guildhall

Contact: Julie Mayer  Email: julie.mayer@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Joanna Abeyie and Alderman Gregory Jones.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.

2.

Members' declarations under the code of conduct in respect of items on the agenda

Minutes:

Anne Corbett declared a non-pecuniary interest by virtue of her being employed by the London Borough of Islington, which provides a service to the City of London Corporation.  

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 183 KB

To approve the public minutes of the meeting held on 7th February 2022.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 3.

Minutes:

Resolved, that – the minutes of the meeting held on 7th February 2022 be approved.

 

Matters arising – provision for young people.

 

The Community and Children’s Services Committee would receive a report on recommissioning leisure services at their meeting on  20 July.

 

Officers had been working with Fusion Lifestyle and visited Mansell and Middlesex Streets,  with a view to developing activities for gentle exercise and the provision of football.  Two multi-use games areas had been identified on the estates, a coach was in place and Members would receive more detail in the next report.

   

A meeting with the new Lead Member for young people had been arranged  for the following week.

 

The outcome from the engagement with children and young people would be embedded in the sports development service, which is due to be recommissioned.    This would also be covered in the next report, together with provisions for women and girls in the East of the City and, in particular,  single sex swimming sessions.

 

Given that the City has a large number of resident children participating in the London Youth Games, Members asked if this could be captured in the report.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Partnership (CHSCP) Child Q Practice Review pdf icon PDF 184 KB

Report of the  Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 4.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Sub Committee received a joint report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services and the City of London Police in respect of a practice review following the strip-search, by Metropolitan Police Officers, of ‘Child Q’ in a Hackney School in 2020.  The report from the practice review was published in March 2022. The report on the agenda updated Members on the review process, setting out the initial response, plans to address the recommendations, activity to date and plans for future learning.

 

During the presentation of this report, the following points were noted:

 

It had taken 14 months and not 2 years to respond to the findings in the review.

 

The report had concluded that Child Q should never have been strip-searched and found an absence of a safeguarding-first approach to the practice of many of the professionals involved that day.

 

The report also concluded that racism was ‘likely to have been an influencing factor’ in the strip-search, and a high level of probability that practitioners were influenced by ‘adultification’ bias. The review made eight findings and 14 recommendations for practice.

 

The City of London Police and City of London Schools have conducted a range of activities to understand and share learning with colleagues from the review. 

 

In April 2022, the Independent Child Safeguarding Commissioner wrote to all partners of the CHSCP inviting them to map their safeguarding arrangements in respect of the findings and recommendations.

 

The Chair thanked the officers for their work on this report, which had been co-produced by the City of London Police and the Department of Community and Children’s Services.

 

RESOLVED, that – the report be noted.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

The Provision of Alternative Accommodation to Families Where Children Have Died pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 5.

Minutes:

The Sub Committee received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services in respect of a protocol following the accidental deaths of two children in their homes in Hackney.  Members noted that the City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Partnership (CHSCP) requested that relevant housing protocols be reviewed, to ensure that sufficient regard is given to a household’s circumstances when a traumatic child death occurs, specifically the mental health impact on the family in remaining in the home where the death took place.

 

Members noted that the City Corporation’s Housing Allocations Scheme already gives officers a wide discretion to assist families in traumatic circumstances through the ‘Management Transfer’ route.  However, the scheme has now been amended to explicitly state that families suffering a child bereavement will be eligible for Management Transfer;  the highest category of priority on the housing register.

 

RESOLVED, that – the report be noted.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Education Welfare services and school attendance and persistent absence pdf icon PDF 179 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 6.

Minutes:

The Sub Committee received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services, noting the challenges families may have in transitioning back to school following the lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members noted the Department’s commitment to providing an excellent service to all families requiring support.

 

RESOLVED, that – the report be noted.

 

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Virtual School Interim Update Report pdf icon PDF 172 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 7.

Minutes:

The Sub Committee received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services, which presented an overview of the activities and impact of the City of London Virtual School for the academic year September 2021 to March 2022.

Members noted that the work of the Virtual School expanded considerably in September, and now includes all children with a social worker.  There was an unplanned expansion to the Virtual School roles; i.e. – the  provision of  education for 250 Afghan children who arrived in the City in September 2021. The Chair and Members thanked the Director of Community and Children’s Services, the Virtual Headteacher and his team for an outstanding achievement, noting that all children had been placed in schools, in a very short period of time, and despite a lack of infrastructure and resources.

RESOLVED, that – the report be noted.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

The Early Years’ Service - Safeguarding Children Update pdf icon PDF 169 KB

 

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 8.

Minutes:

The Sub Committee received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services, which updated Members on the work of the Early Years’ Service in the context of safeguarding children. Members noted that the Education and Early Years team work closely with the CHSCP, and all City of London Early Years settings, to ensure that children learn and develop in a safe and welcoming learning environment.  A broader training programme is delivered annually and adapted to the needs of local practitioners.

 

RESOLVED, that – the report be noted.

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) - Update Report pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

The appendices to this document are very large and will be circulated to Members separately.  They are also available on the Sub Committee’s web page.

 

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 9.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Sub Committee received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services, which sought to update Members on the current work of the City of London Corporation’s  Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Service and on the plans to respond to the Government’s green paper: ‘SEND Review: right support, right place, right time’. Members noted that the SEND self-evaluation form and action plan, which are in place to plan and track progress, will be amended in due course to reflect any changes needed.  Officers will continue to monitor these through the SEND Programme Board, and report progress to the Safeguarding Sub-Committee.

 

As there were some technical difficulties in showing an accompanying film during the Sub Committee meeting, Members noted that it would be circulated after the meeting and available on the ‘local offer’ page. 

 

RESOLVED, that – the report be noted.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Children and Families Service Performance - Month 11 2021/22 (February 2022) pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

Members are asked to note 2 non-public appendices at agenda item 21.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 10.

Minutes:

 

The Sub Committee received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services, which updated Members on performance across the Children and Families Service. It demonstrated where performance meets statutory obligations and targets and identified where action was taken for improvement in specific areas.

 

In response to a question about young people not in education or training (NEETS), the officers advised that some have mental health issues but they are known extremely well to the team and reviewed regularly.   The home environments are well-scrutinised, to ensure there are no barriers to gaining employment, training or volunteering placements, but some might be prevented from doing so due to their immigration status.

 

Members noted that the majority of children in care and care leavers are young men and boys, and largely unaccompanied asylum seekers, but this demographic tends to change frequently. There was less transport to the UK during the lockdown, and therefore less unaccompanied asylum seeking children for a while, but this has since picked up. 

 

Officers advised that, during Lockdown, more early help/ very early help was offered, in order to prevent low level needs turning into to a risk.  

 

RESOLVED, that – the report be noted.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Children's Social Care and Early Help Service Development 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 11.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Sub Committee received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services, which set out the overarching programme of work for the Children’s Social Care and Early Help Service. Members noted that, work which had a good impact in 2021-22, such as the Family Therapy Clinic jointly run with Kings College London, and Action Learning Sets for both staff and managers, is being continued.  The officer advised that this will be a ‘live’ document and will grow in response to family and staff feedback, national research and audit.

 

RESOLVED, that – the report be noted.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Participation Service - Children in Care Council pdf icon PDF 131 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 12.

Minutes:

The Sub Committee received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services, setting out this year’s key priorities for the Participation Service; ie – moving from virtual meetings of the City of London Children in Care Council (CiCC) to face-to-face meetings. Members noted that, in May 2022, the young people will be reviewing the progress made, and updating the priorities for 2022–2023.  Members also noted the summer activities; which include a film project, with support from a film company that has experience in working with young people, and several trips, to ensure that all the young people have an opportunity to go on a summer outing.

 

RESOLVED, that – the report be noted.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Multi Agency Child Exploitation (MACE) Forum Update pdf icon PDF 150 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 13.

Minutes:

The Sub Committee received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services, setting out the issues around child exploitation in the City of London.  Members noted that the City of London Corporation holds a Multi-Agency Child Exploitation and Vulnerable Adolescent Forum on a bimonthly basis, and the report outlined the work of the Forum and the action plan for 2022-23.

Members also noted the covert work undertaken by plain clothes officers in  visiting front line hotel staff; offering training if required.  The Chair commended this approach, which has been in place for a number of years and has proved to be highly effective.

RESOLVED, that – the report be noted.    

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Modern Day Slavery pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 14.

Minutes:

 

The Sub Committee received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services and noted that, due to the hidden nature of Modern Day Slavery (MDS), it is difficult to have an accurate measure of the prevalence of this exploitation, as there is no definitive source of data or suitable method available to accurately quantify the number of victims involved.

 

Members noted that the report identifies the five main types of exploitation associated with MDS, looking at the national and London statistics on modern slavery in the UK. Furthermore, the City of London Corporation has an MDS group which consists of representatives from the Department of Community and Children’s Services, Police, Licensing, and external partners.  The City and Hackney Safeguarding Adults Board has identified MDS as a priority for 2022. The number of MDS cases in the City of London remain low but, given the hidden nature of this crime, it is likely that this does not reflect the true prevalence of MDS in the City of London, but  officers are fully aware of where there are potential risks.

 

RESOLVED, that – the report be noted.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Child performance licences pdf icon PDF 145 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 15.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Sub Committee received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services which updated  Members on the revised local policy and processes for performance licences for Children in the City of London.

Members noted that National Child Employment Guidance, which oversees the administration of child work permits, the issue of performance licences, Body of Persons Approvals (BOPAs) and chaperone licences, is available to all local authorities through the National Network for Children in Employment and Entertainment (NNCEE). In October 2019, the Safeguarding Sub-Committee was advised that, due to the increased number of applications received, the Education and Early Years’ Service would be reviewing its suite of policies and processes.

 

Members noted that the City is now fully compliant, being one of the only local authorities in the country with its own suite of local policies and procedures.

 

RESOLVED, that – the report be noted.

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Adult Safeguarding Performance Report, Q3 YTD 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

Members are asked to note a non-public appendix at agenda item 22.

 

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 16.

Minutes:

The Sub Committee received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services which advised Members of the level and nature of adult safeguarding concerns received by the City of London Corporation during quarter three (Q3) of 2021/22 as well as the year to date (YTD) figures for the Q3 2021/22 reporting period.  Members noted that, during this period, the Adult Social Care (ASC) team received 22 new safeguarding concerns, 18 of which were within the authority. Four of the Q3 concerns progressed to an enquiry stage, but two Q3 concerns concluded during this period, and the remaining two Q3 concerns are yet to conclude following a S42 enquiry.

 

RESOLVED, that – the report be noted.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Pan London - Children in Care Council (CiCC) pdf icon PDF 134 KB

Report of the Director, Partnership for Young London

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 17.

Minutes:

 

The Sub Committee received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Service which contained an update on the work of the Pan London CiCC and proposals for the future. Members noted that this programme ensures that young people are at the core of regional planning and decision-making; focussing on developing cross-sector partnerships that collaborate to ensure that care-experienced young people have access to jobs, financial support, emotional health and wellbeing services to support them in achieving their ambitions.

 

Members noted that three young people are currently based in Guildhall and it was suggested that they attend the next meeting to talk about the work they have been doing.  The Chair welcomed this suggestion and advised that, although this programme is Pan-London, the  City of London has been integral to its success.

RESOLVED, that – the report be noted.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Questions of matters relating to the work of the Sub-Committee

Minutes:

There were no questions.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

Any other business the Chairman considers urgent

Minutes:

There were no items.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Exclusion of the Public

MOTION, that – under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part I of the Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act.

 

Item

Paragraph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 20.

Minutes:

RESOLVED, that – under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part I of the Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act.

 

Item

Paragraph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Children and Families Service Performance - Month 11 2021/22 (February 2022) - NON PUBLIC APPENDICES

Minutes:

 

The Sub Committee received an appendix in respect of agenda item xx

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Adult Safeguarding Performance Report, Q3 YTD 2021/22 - NON PUBLIC APPENDIX

Minutes:

The Sub Committee received an appendix in respect of agenda item xx

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

23.

Non-public questions on matters relating to the work of the Sub-Committee

Minutes:

There were no questions.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.

24.

Any other business that the Chairman considers urgent and which the Sub-Committee agree should be considered whilst the public are excluded

Minutes:

There were no items.

 

The meeting ended at 3.15 pm

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.