Agenda item

Recovery Strategy Update


That the updated Risk Register and Risk Mitigation Actions, as outlined within the report, be noted.


            The Chief Officer (Education & Youth) introduced the update on the risk register and risk mitigation actions, shown at Appendix 1 and 2 of the report.


            The Chief Officer provided an update on the recovery objectives for the service portfolio, as detailed within the report, and drew the Committees attention to risk EY33 – Inability of schools to operate safely and deliver statutory education due to reduction in staffing levels, which was a new risk added since the last meeting.  Since mid-September there had been a significant rise in the number of Covid related absence in the school workforce and whilst this was a concern, no school had had to fully close as a result of staffing pressures.  In order to support schools to continue to operate safely, there existed a robust support process in place between TTP and Environmental Health to quickly take action when a positive case in a school was identified.


            Councillor Ian Roberts, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Education, reported that he had attended a meeting with the Minister for Education earlier in the day, who had highlighted her concern around absence becoming a national issue.   


            Councillor Dave Mackie asked whether risk EY23 – poor outcome of Ministry of Justice Inspection due to non-compliance with National Youth Justice Standards and ineffective governance from Youth Justice Board should be closed.  The Chief Officer and Senior Manager – Integrated Youth Provision both explained the need to keep the risk open at this time and the expected inspection in early 2021.


            The Chairman asked whether two additional risks should be added to the risk register around blended learning and on-line bullying.  He felt that it would be useful for the Committee to understand the impact blended learning was having on pupils and how well it had been working and the potential risks for students not engaging in the new arrangements.  He also commented on the commitment from the Committee and all Members to take a stand against on-line bullying and asked whether the new working arrangements provided greater opportunity for on-line bullying.


            The Chief Officer explained that these were school risks and not core portfolio risks and advised that a report on blended learning had been included on the Committee’s forward work programme for a detailed report to be submitted to the next scheduled meeting in December.  The Senior Manager – Business Change & Support provided an assurance that whilst blended learning had been a challenge, teachers and pupils had responded positively to meeting those challenges.  Blended learning had provided opportunities for new ways of working which would add to the learners experience whilst moving towards the introduction of the new curriculum.


            The Chief Officer also referred to the annual report on social media and internet use which would be presented to the Committee next year.  She acknowledged the concern and said that it would be far more challenging for schools to manage on-line bullying and suggested that the question be raised at the next Head teacher’s federation meetings in order to receive feedback on whether this was a concern.     


Mrs. Rebecca Stark asked how long it took to get an SEN statutory assessment and whether referrals for statutory assessments were increasing or reducing under the revised criteria for support/intervention.  The Chief Officer advised that the Senior Manager - Inclusion and Progression could provide a response to the Committee following the meeting.   


            The recommendation detailed within the report was moved by Councillor Paul Cunningham and seconded by Councillor Joe Johnson.




That the updated Risk Register and Risk Mitigation Actions, as outlined within the report, be noted.

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