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To note any changes to the Membership.
1.1 The Chairman advised that Councillor Louise Hyams was substituting for Councillor Lorraine Dean.
1.2 The Chairman welcomed Councillor Timothy Barnes (Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Education and Skills), Councillor Richard Beddoe (Cabinet Member for Place Shaping and Planning) and Sam Green, (Headteacher, Pimlico Academy) who was the new non-voting co-opted representative on the Committee, to the meeting.
1.3 The Chairman also welcomed Ruth Browe (Director of Intervention & School Services , TBAP Multi Academy Trust) and Wasim Butt (TBAP Principal for Beachcroft Westminster and Latimer RBKC) who took part in the discussion on School Exclusions.
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on the 3 April 2019.
2. DECLARATION OF INTEREST
2.1 No further declarations of interests in respect of items to be discussed were made, other than those noted in the circulated schedule as set out below in paragraph 2.2.
2.2 Table of Member’s interests tabled at the Committee Meeting was as follows:
3.1 RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 3 April 2019 be approved for signature by the Chairman as a true and correct record of the proceedings.
Councillor Richard Beddoe (Cabinet Member for Place Shaping and Planning) to update the Committee on current and forthcoming issues in his Portfolio.
4.1 The Committee received a written update from the Cabinet Member who responded to questions on the following topics:
1. That the time allocated to each public speaker and Ward Councillor at the Planning Sub-Committee be considered during the Planning Review.
2. That the next Cabinet Member report include an update on the delivery of all the projects/works being carried out in Westminster.
Councillor Tim Barnes (Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Education and Skills) to update the Committee on current and forthcoming issues in his Portfolios.
5.1 The Committee received a written update from the Cabinet Member who responded to questions on the following topics:
· the opportunities to increase and promote apprenticeships to young people.
· the challenges that all schools were facing with the new National Funding Formula, the increase in SEND pupils within mainstream schools, the future pupil role projections and the reductions in teaching staff.
· the insufficient funding of pupils with EHCPs in mainstream schools.
· the opportunities that the Pop-up Business School offered to residents.
· the opportunities for including financial data in reports.
· the introduction of the Trailblazer Mental Health Support Team programme.
5.2 The Committee congratulated both primary and secondary schools on their summer examinations results.
To review School Exclusions in Westminster schools.
6.1 The Committee received a report on the current data on school exclusions in Westminster schools with comparisons again the most recent national and London benchmarks. The Committee noted the work that schools and services were already undertaking to prevent exclusions, the provision that was available for children who were excluded from schools and the additional actions being taken by the Council.
6.2 The Committee welcomed Ruth Browne, Director of Intervention & School Services at the TBAP Multi Academy Trust, who described the work of the Early Intervention Centre located off the Harrow Road. She advised that her staff worked with children who were at risk of permanent exclusion by using close intervention to re-engage with those children. She explained how a child came to be at Beachcroft, as a result of a managed move, often where the school and parents considered that a child would benefit from a fresh start.
6.3 The Committee further welcomed Wasim Butt, TBAP Principal for both Beachcroft in St John’s Wood and Latimer in RBKC, who described the factors that might lead to a young person being permanently excluded. He advised that the incident could include a serious one-off incident, such as involving a knife, or more persistent disruptive behaviour, family break up or low aspirations, or a combination of these. Wasim also outlined the work that his staff carried out such as obtaining an EHCP for a vulnerable child and finding suitable school placements for young people.
6.4 The Committee discussed why the number of fixed term exclusions in Westminster secondary schools had increased in the last three years and were above the national average. The Committee heard about the funding pressures on schools, the high waiting lists for vital services such as CAMHS, the increase in SEN children in mainstream schools and the resistance from parents to engage with social services. The Committee noted that the number of fixed term exclusions in primary school had decreased in the last three years and were below the national average.
6.5 The Committee were pleased that the exclusion rates for young people with special educational needs (SEN) in 2017/2018 was lower than the national rate and that no Westminster SEN children with Education Health Care Plans (EHCPs) from either primary or secondary schools had received a permanent exclusion in 2017/18.
6.6 The key themes that emerged from the Committee discussion were:
6.7 The Chairman ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
To review primary and secondary mainstream school provision across the borough.
7.1 The Committee received a report reviewing the primary and secondary mainstream school provision across the borough. The Committee noted that the key issues for Westminster was the surplus in primary provision and the increasingly demand for secondary school provision because of their successful examinations results.
7.2 The Committee heard how the Secondary transfer Pan London Coordination was organised and noted it was very important that parents received accurate information to enable them to make realistic preference choices so that they had the best chance to obtain a Westminster secondary school place.
7.3 The Committee discussed the capacity and admission criteria of Westminster schools, the secondary school expansion programme to deliver additional places for Year 7 pupils, pupil role projections for primary schools and how the Council worked with primary schools to identify opportunities to make effective use of their school portfolio.
7.4 The full School Organisation and Investment Strategy can be found at:
7.5 RESOLVED: The Committee concluded with the following comments, which would be forwarded to the Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Education and Skills:
1. That the work to provide additional secondary school places in Westminster and the obligation to make this additional provision in order to fulfil its statutory duty be noted.
2. That the Council continues to work with primary schools to be creative in identifying opportunities to make more effective use of the school portfolio and that all resources be used in the most efficient ways.
3. That the Admissions Team continue to share knowledge and support schools to encourage parents to make realistic preference choices on their school admissions form, especially during the secondary school transfer process.
a) To note the progress in implementing the Committee’s Recommendations and Action Tracker.
b) To provide comment and input into the Work Programme for 2018/19.
8.1 ACTION AND RECOMMENDATION TRACKERS
8.1.1 RESOLVED: That the Action and Recommendation Trackers be noted.
8.2 COMMITTEE WORK PROGRAMME
1. That the Access to Culture Task Group Report would be reviewed at the Communities and Customer Services P&S Committee on the 9 October.
2. That the Committee review the Westminster Adult Education Service and the City Skills Strategy at its next meeting.
Any Other Business
To consider any other business which the Chairman considers urgent.
9 .1 The meeting ended at 8.47pm.