Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Remote Meeting

Contact: Maureen Potter / 01352 702322  Email:


No. Item


Appointment of Chair

To appoint a Chair for the meeting.

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That Councillor Hilary McGuill be appointed as Chair for the joint meeting.


To appoint a Chair for the meeting



That Councillor Hilary McGuill be appointed as Chair for the joint meeting.


Declarations of Interest (Including Whipping Declarations)

To receive any Declarations and advise Members accordingly.

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None were received


None were received


Recognition of David Hytch and Rebecca Stark

To recognise the contribution made by David Hytch and Rebecca Stark to the Education, Youth & Culture Overview & Scrutiny Committee, whose terms of office as Co-opted members of the Committee ends in June, 2021.

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The Chair invited Members to pay tribute to the contribution made by David Hytch and Rebecca Stark to the Education, Youth & Culture Overview & Scrutiny Committee, whose terms of office as Co-opted members of the Committee ended in June, 2021.  She added that she had worked with David and Rebecca over a number of years and found them to be very knowledgeable people and thanked them for the contributions they had made.



            Councillor Dave Healey thanked David and Rebecca for their involvement as active members of the committee long before he joined the Council.  The Education Youth & Culture O&S Committee was a robust committee and lay members ensured it remained vigorous and effective in its challenge.  He referred to the last meeting where Members had the opportunity to thank David for his contribution over the years especially as Vice Chair and he fully appreciated his support in that role.  He then continued to thank Rebecca, as she was unable to attend that meeting, for her support and involvement over the years.  Rebecca was always well informed, made valid contributions at committee and was helpful and supportive when called upon to assist with Estyn Inspections which was very much appreciated.  The Chair thanked them both again for their valued contributions both at Education Youth and Culture and at the joint Meetings with Social & Health Care.


            The Chief Officer (Education & Youth) was delighted to extend her thanks to David and Becky and said that it had been an absolute pleasure working with them.  She paid tribute to their enormous support and challenge over many years on the Education Youth & Culture O&S Committee and School Performance Monitoring Groups and said that education services in Flintshire were in a better place because of the contributions which they both had made. She thanked them both on behalf of herself, the Senior Officer team, schools and the whole portfolio.



Looked After Children in Flintshire pdf icon PDF 117 KB

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(a)       That the joint committee actively engaged as Corporate Parents for looked after children, promoting awareness and challenging provision within Flintshire educational settings.


(b)       That the joint committee actively encouraged all educational staff to promote the educational welfare of looked after children within Flintshire establishments at a ‘whole school level’.


The Senior Manager (Inclusion and Progression) introduced the report and explained the format was different because of the level of data available.  The report provided an overview of the work and support provided for looked after children during the academic year 2019//20 which had been impacted by the pandemic.


She provided information on colleagues who supported looked after children, an update on the numbers of children requiring assistance within schools and those requiring specialist support in out of county placements.  Information was provided on the number pupils who received Special Educational Needs (SEN) Statements and how this compared nationally.  She referred to her involvement on the silver group within the Emergency Response which had enhanced the joint working with Education and Social Services to ensure the needs of looked after children and vulnerable children were identified and supported via the Resilience hubs. Laptops were distributed to this cohort quickly and together with the support provided by the Vulnerable Learning Coordinator ensured children were able to access online education.  She confirmed the services and processes with regard to SEN were quickly moved online to continue to support this cohort as they had a higher level of need.


            The Senior Manager then referred to Section 1.06 in the report saying training was a real focus for education with sessions such as Trauma Informed Practice, Nurture and Attachment Theory provided.  The authority had purchased the Boxall Profiling and Assessment Tool which identified the pupil’s needs and ensured that the support was provided to enable them to progress with schools issued with licences and training supplied to use this tool effectively.    The Senior Manager then referred to the Pupil Development Grant (PDG) which was allocated from Welsh Government (WG) via GwE together with an explanation on how schools worked in clusters to put forward bids to apply for the grant.  Alternative forms of education with the focus on well-being were highlighted with a range of officer support available for children.  She finished by providing information on the outcomes of year 11 pupils from last year who had all achieved what they needed to move on for their future aspirations.


            Councillor Dave Mackie said that this was a very interesting report and asked the following questions;-


            Firstly at point 1.07 on page 7 he understood how this money was spent but asked if the figure was sufficient and if not should this be better resourced?


            Secondly at point 2.01 on page 8 with the changes in the legislation and the funding being allocated where the child lived, was information available on how many children the Authority was gaining or losing and was the situation the same in England with the authority being so close to the border.


In response to the first point the Senior Manager confirmed the Pupil Development Grant (DPG) allowance was fixed per pupil and funded by WG not Flintshire.  With schools working in clusters to obtain a set amount of funding this provided a level of resource to pay for a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018 pdf icon PDF 106 KB

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That Committee received and considered the report on the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018.


The Senior Manager (Inclusion and Progression) introduced the report which provided an update on the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal Wales Act (ALNET).  The Act was due to come into effect in September 2020 but this had been delayed until September 2021.  She provided information on the adjustments WG had made with regard to the conversion of the Statement of SEN into the Individual Development Plan and the implementation for Post 16 with the age range now 0 – 25 years.  WG had identified children in specific year groups with SEN needs who would be moving onto the new system at a normal point of transition with the Statement of SEN remaining in place until the conversation took place.


             Paula Roberts, the Senior Learning Adviser (ALN) had led on ALN Transformation for Flintshire and had ensured that schools and the local authority were ready for these changes.  The operational code was published in April and further implementation guidance was still awaited from WG which hopefully would be received before the end of term and discussions were ongoing regarding responses to a number of questions.  Schools were being supported with regard to the “person centred practice” which was core to this and Paula Roberts had been holding training sessions with regard to the code to ensure schools understood what was required of them.   


            As from the 1st January 2021 all schools were required to have an Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (ALNCo) together with an Additional Learning Needs Lead Officer for Early Years within the Council and she confirmed that these posts were now in place.  The Senior Manager provided an update on the ALNET multi agency work which included the Designated Clinical Lead Officer (DECLo) from Health. Information on the new system, the legal protection for children and grant funding which had been used to enable practicing ALNCos to support schools which had proved invaluable for them.  The Senior Manager finished by saying that WG viewed this as a cost neutral process but there were implications for the authority who had expanded the level of officers that were needed to implement the processes from September.   


            The Chief Officer was grateful for the hard work carried out by the Senior Manager, the Senior Learning Adviser and the team who had worked so hard to support schools.  It was because of this team effort that Flintshire was in a strong position with regard to this new Act.


            Councillor Mackie agreed with the Chief Officer and said the committee should also thank the Senior Learning Advisor for the work that she has done getting the authority to the place we were now.  Councillor Mackie asked the following questions:-


            Firstly at point 1.03 in the report he raised concerns that WG had set the timetable for the implementation but local authorities were still waiting for the guidance to be provided to support this.     The Senior Manager reported WG had worked hard to try and meet the deadline with pressure from schools and local  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Safeguarding in Education pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Additional documents:


(a)     That the content of the safeguarding in education report be noted.

(b)     That the positive work undertaken by Flintshire schools to safeguard children and young people during the pandemic be noted.



The report was presented by the Senior Manager (School Improvement) and provided an update on the discharge of statutory safeguarding duties in schools and the Education portfolio with the format different this year because of the pandemic.


            Information was provided on how schools were looking at safeguarding and the challenges in lieu of the Wales Safeguarding Procedures, Keeping Learners Safe Guidance and requirements from Estyn.   She praised the way pupils and teaching staff had adapted to the different ways of learning both in the classroom and virtually with teachers maintaining contact with children and parents which was a huge area of concern and responsibility for schools.  She reported on the close working relationship with colleagues in Children’s Services and the Silver Tactical Group and said schools had different challenges every year with safeguarding at the forefront.  


            The response to Covid 19 and the ALN Act had resulted in the new procedures for safeguarding and appropriate training was provided to support this.  She referred to the challenges with remote and blended learning with children having access to the internet and social media and confirmed a detailed report would be brought to the next meeting of Education Youth & Culture O&OC.


The Senior Manager then provided detailed information on the updated Wales Procedures, Update of the Schools Guidance, virtual training and professional support for Head Teachers, Governors and schools.  She confirmed Claire Sinnott had co-ordinated this and provided an overview of the Safeguarding in Education Panel and its links with the Corporate Safeguarding Panel.  The Panel met regularly to ensure schools had the processes in place, were supported, monitored and held to account around safeguarding which was something which never stood still and was always changing.  She reassured members that this was constantly challenged and moving forward.  The Senior Manager (Children and Workforce) praised the positive working between schools, education and social services with children at the forefront and that this was reinforced with the work of the Silver Tactical Group which he felt privileged to be a part of.  The Chief Officer valued the contribution from the Senior Manager (Children and Workforce) which enabled robust responses to support vulnerable children and young people throughout the pandemic.


            The Deputy Leader of the Council (Partnerships) & Cabinet Member for Social Services referred to the work covered within the Corporate Safeguarding Panel which ensure all children were supported and received the best care but that this had been carried out differently. During the pandemic Education and Social Care especially ensured all the families were monitored virtually and in person to ensure they received the support they needed.  She was really proud of the way Flintshire responded to safeguarding and were always proactive developing new procedures, training and the great partnership working for children and adults.   The Chief Officer (Social Services) added that he co-chaired the Safeguarding Panel with the Chief Officer (Education & Youth) and that with the support of the Cabinet Members for Social Services, Cabinet Member for Corporate Management & Assets this had solidified the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Multisystemic Therapy pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Additional documents:


(a)          That the Committee endorsed the work to safely reduce the numbers of children in need of care through the provision of intensive targeted MST support for families.


(b)          That the Committee supported the establishment of a local authority Children’s Residential Care as part of an approach to rebalance care provision for children, with a focus on ensuring an affordable and sufficient range of local high quality placements.



The report was presented by the Chief Officer (Social Services) and Deputy Leader of the Council (Partnerships) and Cabinet Member for Social Services and Senior Manager (Children and Workforce). The report included an update on the multi-agency service to provide intensive therapeutic support to young people.  He congratulated the North East Wales Multisystemic Therapy Team (MST)  who had received an award for “Whatever it takes” which went above and beyond what was recognised throughout the MST Programme and was given to individuals within the MST community who had demonstrated outstanding and meritorious service.   He explained that this team was planned, initiated, delivered and succeeded throughout the pandemic from scratch.

            The Senior Manager introduced the report which provided an overview of the team’s partnership approach and that North Wales had secured WG funding to look at creating partnership projects to transform the way Children’s Services worked.   The money was regional but came in via a local Health Board footprint for Wrexham, Flintshire and BCUHB.   The project had just received an interim evaluation from Oxford Brooks University in terms of an evidence base about this service. What had shone through was the positive partnership working with Education, Social Services and Schools to provide intensive support for children and families who were on the edge of care.  This enabled intensive, preventative support to avoid the need for children to become looked after and ensured that they could safely remain with their families. 


 The presentation included detailed information on:-

  • Baseline Assessment - What works? - Common features - Objectives
  • Why MST?  - About MST - MST Therapist aim to:
  • Implementation
  • Support to date
  • Evaluation  - Evaluation Findings
  • Key Findings
  • Phase 2

            The Chair found this so refreshing in particular the staff who were working 24/7 and asked the Senior Manager to take back the committee’s praise to them for their work stepping in to support the parents.


            Councillor Mackie commented that if these families were supported to achieve real change as regards parenting this would hopefully filter through into the next generation and so on which was so important.   He was very pleased to note 1.08 regarding the team “Whatever it takes” which was very positive.


            He referred to page 34 the Analysis the last paragraph on Family History and asked if the authority had got it right in the past when working with these families as regards interventions and would moving to this new system break the cycle. 


             In response the Senior Manager explained that the behaviour of some of the families they were working was entrenched and generational and that with the child protection work it focused the mind of families to bring around change.  Once the children came off the Child Protection Register working with Social Services became voluntary and could not be enforced.  This service would provide a more therapeutic model from CAMHS colleagues to address the underlying issues for the parents and children and show how they could achieve change themselves.  He said issues such as substance misuse and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.