The Council and democracy Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee's Investigations

End of Year Summary 2018/19

End of Year Summary 2018/19

Over the year, the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee has considered a wide range of topics relating to the services provided to and the outcomes for the city’s children and young people. 

This year, the Committee started to monitor the progress of the Council’s children’s services and partner organisations through a regular set of proxy indicators in order to gain a holistic view of the performance of services being provided to children and the effectiveness of the system in responding to children who may require additional help, support or resources to be effectively safeguarded and their welfare promoted.  The Committee has found this a useful approach and will continue to receive this information on a regular basis in the next municipal year.

The Committee re-established the Ofsted Subgroup, which considered Ofsted inspection reports for schools, children’s centres, daycare providers and children’s homes as well as issues arising from the Ofsted inspection of children’s services.  The Subgroup scrutinised the action plans of schools which had been judged “inadequate” and also carried out visits to a number of Manchester schools and day care providers with the aim of sharing good practice.  See meeting papers for Overview and Scrutiny Ofsted Subgroup.

During the year, the Committee considered a number of reports in relation to children and young people’s health.  This included scrutiny, at the December 2018 meeting, of Manchester's Transformation Plan for Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing, which the Committee will continue to monitor the implementation and outcomes of in the new municipal year.  At the January 2019 meeting, the Committee considered the concerning increase in infant mortality rates in Manchester.  Members supported the draft multi-agency strategy to reduce infant mortality and support those bereaved by baby loss and decided to monitor the progress in addressing this in the new municipal year.  

Over the year, the Committee scrutinised the services for Our Children (Looked After Children) and Our Young People (Care Leavers), including examining changes in the numbers of children becoming Looked After.  The Committee held an additional session to look at the number of children becoming Looked After in Manchester now and in previous years, how this compared to the rest of the country and the reasons behind the changes.  One of the key ways that the Council is working to safely reduce the number of children becoming Looked After is through Edge of Care Services and, at its January 2019 meeting, the Committee scrutinised these services.  Members will be visiting Alonzi House, which provides services to families whose children are at risk of becoming Looked After, in the new municipal year.  

The Committee also considered proposals for the Leaving Care Service, which provides support for Our Young People up to the age of 25.  Following the decision to establish this as an in-house service, the Committee has scrutinised its implementation and will continue to monitor its progress in improving outcomes for Our Young People.

The Committee also looked at the number of children being excluded from Manchester schools, particularly those with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), and what was being done to address this.  As part of this work, the Committee visited Briscoe Lane Academy and Cedar Mount Academy to learn more about the work they had been doing to reduce the number of pupils being excluded.  Members also visited Bridgelea Primary School (the Primary Pupil Referral Unit) to learn more about their work, including the outreach work undertaken with other schools.  The Committee received an update on the development of an Inclusion Strategy and has requested to receive the final version of the Strategy in the new municipal year.

In March 2019, the Committee received a report on School Governance.  Members noted the difficulty in recruiting school governors, particularly in north Manchester, and agreed to consider how they could use their networks to encourage people to apply for school governor posts.

Get Involved

To find out more information have a look at our full work programme.  This includes what topics we will be looking at, what specific issues we will be considering and who we will be hearing from.  Please bear in mind that the programme is continually updated, and so dates and agenda items may change from those listed in the programme.

If there's an issue you want to contribute to, let us know.  You can either send a written contribution to scrutiny@manchester.gov.uk or you can attend a meeting and ask the Chair if you can speak.  You can also suggest a topic for us to look into by filling in our suggestions form.

If you want to speak to somebody about contributing to the committee, please call our scrutiny support officer on 0161 234 4997 or e mail scrutiny@manchester.gov.uk

The Role of the Committee

 "As members of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee, we challenge the Council and other public services to make sure that they give young people in Manchester every chance to live happy, fulfilling and successful lives.

Our areas of interest include education, looked after children, social care for children, provision for under 5's, disabled children, special educational needs and activities and facilities for young people.

Through this page you'll be able to keep in touch with what we've been doing and find out what we'll be investigating over the next few months and how you can get involved" - Councillor Bernard Stone, Chair of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee.

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