Agenda and minutes

Children, Families and Education Select Committee - Tuesday, 10th October, 2023 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 6 - Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge UB8 1UW. View directions

Contact: Ryan Dell  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Becky Haggar OBE with Councillor Ekta Gohil substituting.


Apologies were also received from Councillor Rita Judge with Councillor Jagjit Singh substituting.



Declarations of interest in matters coming before this meeting





Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 417 KB


Members thanked officers for the minutes.


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the previous meeting be agreed



To confirm that the items of business marked as Part I will be considered in Public and that the items marked as Part II will be considered in Private


Topic Selection pdf icon PDF 382 KB


The Chairman recapped that at the previous meeting, a number of possible review topics were raised. These now required narrowing down. Further discussion on each proceeded as below:


Possible review ideas:

1)    Absenteeism in schools and related problems since COVID and its recovery

Officers had been invited to the next meeting to establish whether this would be a suitable review topic.


2)    Statutory pathways/ court system/ social work. How social workers work with the legal system

Officers had been invited to the next meeting to establish whether this would be a suitable review topic.


3)    Improving communication with schools

It was noted that this item may require some more narrowing down. It was also suggested that this may have been looked into recently, but officers would check on this.


Members further noted that this was linked to the Stronger Families Hub review and the recent agenda item on safeguarding. It was acknowledged that schools were very busy.


Through the move away from Local Authorities being responsible for schooling, and the move towards academies and trusts, connections with schools may have been lost. Looking at the impact of this was worth considering.


Members were minded to seek officer advise on the appropriateness of communication with schools as a review topic, with a focus on how communication may have changed with the move towards academies/ trusts.


4)    Impact on mainstream schools of additional SEND places

Members clarified that this should have read “Impact on mainstream schools of additional SEND children”. This was in relation to a strategy for mainstream schools to accommodate more children with SEND. It was noted that this had been a challenge for some schools. It would be useful to receive information from schools on this, but possibly not in a major review.


It was further noted that it may be worthwhile to wait until the Council’s SEND Strategy was in place, and when new school places for children with SEND has been established.


Possible information items:

5)    Youth Justice System/ secondary school children involved in County Lines

Members noted that topics within Youth Justice could be categorised into three areas:

a)    Prevention and early intervention – what programmes were in place for at-risk young people; how young people and their families were connected to these programmes; and what evidence-based approaches were used in these interventions.

b)    Diversion from the Justice System – how often were diversionary options (such as cautions or community resolutions) used instead of formal prosecution; what criteria determined eligibility for diversionary options; how were these outcomes evaluated; how could the Council collaborate with other stakeholders such as police, schools and social services; and were there were any formal agreements or partnerships in place with other organisations.

c)    Restorative justice – how could this be utilised and in what context(s).


Members noted that the above categories could be narrowed down to a County Lines/ drug use area. Links from drug use to other crimes such as theft or sexual exploitation were noted.


Members further noted  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 215 KB


Members considered the Cabinet Forward Plan.


Members noted the upcoming Cabinet agenda item on ‘Proposed Changes to Admissions Criteria for Community Schools’. It was highlighted that in a number of schools, classrooms that were no longer needed as class spaces had been used for additional SEND capacity. It was raised whether the Council had thought about this issue across schools, particularly primary schools. It was suggested that there could be a partnership between the Council and schools to use available school spaces for community activities.


Members also asked about the SEND Strategy. This had previously come to the Select Committee in November 2022 as part of its consultation. Members asked if the report would come back to the Select Committee and noted a relatively small response to the consultation. Officers noted that this was scheduled as a Cabinet Member Decision expected in October, and so would not go back to Cabinet or the Select Committee.


RESOLVED: That the Children, Families and Education Select Committee noted the Forward Plan


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 156 KB


Officers noted that the Committee planned to invite the Youth Council to a future meeting, to align with a future report on the one-year review of the Youth Offer. This would take place around October 2024.


There was an item scheduled for November Cabinet entitled ‘DPS for Alternative Provision – Education and SEND’. Officers confirmed that this would be added to the Select Committee’s Work Programme for November.


Officers highlighted two small amendments to the recommendations of the Stronger Families Hub review:

i)             Recommendation 1 and Recommendation 5 had been swapped;

ii)            Recommendation 5 had been updated to read: “To continue to raise awareness of…


On the Stronger Families Hub review, Members suggested rewording: “The Committee concluded that, overall, the …” to remove the word ‘overall’. This would now read “The Committee concluded that the …”. Members agreed to this amendment.


Officers asked Members if they had any suggestions for potential site visits. On this, Members noted a previous visit to the Youth Parliament/ Youth Council. It was suggested that this could be done again.


Members noted there were only few information items on the Work Programme, and some still to be confirmed.


Members suggested an item on move-ins to the Borough and ease of their accommodation in secondary schools.


RESOLVED: That the Children, Families and Education Select Committee:


1)    Considered the report and agreed any amendments;


2)    Confirmed that the item entitled ‘DPS for Alternative Provision – Education and SEND’ would be added to the Work Programme; and


3)    Amended the wording of the final Stronger Families Hub review report.