Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.
Members received a report of the Director of Community & Children’s Services regarding an action plan to address the Education Workstream recommendations of the Tackling Racism Taskforce (TRT).
Members heard a presentation from the Education Unit’s Lead Policy Officer outlining the short, medium and long-term action plans relative to the recommendations of the Tackling Racism Taskforce’s final report. It was highlighted that the action plan would continue to be regularly monitored and that actions may be updated or added to reflect any changes to the situation. Members noted that although brief verbal updates would be provided to Members at each Board meeting for the foreseeable future, Members could expect a fuller update at the December meeting.
A Member highlighted that short-term actions should have recurring elements, meaning that momentum and progress is not lost over time.
Another Member sought clarification on the outcome of the review of equalities across the academies as it appeared to be open-ended. The Chief Executive of CoLAT explained that they were already responsible for reviewing equalities across all of the academies and undertook annual reviews. Outcomes of these included gender and race pay gap audits of all staff. Members were also informed of an upcoming equality conference for staff ensuring that adequate measures were being taken to promote diversity within the schools. Finally, he added that the academies currently benefitted from high diversity, across all characteristics, but it was recognised that succession planning must be undertaken to ensure this continued.
While they recognised the merit of an alumni programme, the Member raised concerns that some of the newer schools would suffer from limited previous students and therefore felt that a cross-school alumni programme would be preferable.
The Member welcomed the TRT recommendation that the Independent School bursary programme should be communicated with the academies but raised concerns that success would be reliant on engagement from those parents of pupils who might benefit. They felt that the programme may need to consider how to actively engage with the target audience.
The Chief Executive of CoLAT expressed concern over whether there was an assumption that those who attended the academies needed bursaries to gain admission to the Independent Schools. The Deputy Chair suggested that they meet in the Autumn, along with the Head of the Freemen’s School, to discuss these concerns.
A Member spoke in favour of the work-related learning initiative and enquired as to whether there was existing engagement with trade associations, the Investment Association 2020. It was confirmed that officers were already engaging with Investment Association 2020 in addition to a wide range of employers and agencies.
Reassurance was offered that all comments would be noted and reflected within the documentation.
RESOLVED, that the report be noted.