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To note any changes to the Membership.
1.1 The Chairman advised that Councillor Christabel Flight was substituting for Councillor Mark Shearer.
1.2 The Chairman welcomed Councillor Timothy Barnes (Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Education and Skills) and Marina Coleman, (Roman Catholic Diocesan Representative) who was a new co-opted voting representative on the Committee, to the meeting.
1.3 The Chairman to advised that Richard Beddoe(Cabinet Member for Place Shaping and Planning) would not be attending the meeting. Any questions that Members had regarding the Place Shaping and Planning portfolio would be placed on the Committee’s Action Tracker.
1.4 The Chairman further welcomed Mr Stephen Lay of SLA FE Consultancy Ltd, External Reviewer, Dr Sue Pember, Policy Director HOLEX and three Westminster Adult Education Service learners who take part in the discussion on the Westminster Adult Education Service.
Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations by Members and Officers of the existence and nature of any pecuniary interests or any other significant interest in matters on this agenda.
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:
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 16 September 2019.
3.1 RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 16 September 2019 be approved for signature by the Chairman as a true and correct record of the proceedings.
Councillor Timothy Barnes (Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Education and Skills) to update the Committee on current and forthcoming issues in his Portfolios.
4.1 The Committee received a written update from the Cabinet Member who responded to questions on the following topics:
· the launch of the Westminster Enterprise Space Network.
· the launch of a supported internship scheme for young people with severe SEND to increase their chances of obtaining employment and independence.
· the opportunities that the Westminster Enterprise Week offers to residents.
· the examinations results of Looked After Children (LAC) and the data for young people ‘not in Education, Employment or Training’ (NEETS).
· the possibility of obtaining up to date Westminster school exclusion data.
· the possibility of using old iconic pubs/buildings ‘at risk’ for community businesses/interactions within the community.
· the increase in high needs funding to support services providing support to young people with SEN requirements.
· the future of the Sir Simon Milton UTC
4.2 The Committee congratulated Westminster’s Children Services on being judged ‘Outstanding’ in their recent Ofsted Inspection.
1. That the school performance results for Looked After Children (LAC) be sent to the Committee.
2. That the data for the young people ‘not in Education, Employment or Training (NEETS) be sent to the Committee.
3. That Westminster school exclusion data for 2018/19 be sent to the Committee.
Councillor Richard Beddoe (Cabinet Member for Place Shaping and Planning) to update the Committee on current and forthcoming issues in his Portfolio.
5.1 The Committee received a written update from the Cabinet Member which covered current and forthcoming issues in his Portfolio.
To review the work of the Westminster Adult Education Service (WAES).
6.1 The Committee received a report providing an overview of Westminster Adult Education Service (WAES) that included the findings of a strategic review of the service. The Committee noted that WAES offered a diverse portfolio of education and training, had an excellent reputation both locally and across London and that the review had given WAES the opportunity to highlight its work and identify future needs of the service in line with the wider City for All Vision.
6.2 The Committee welcomed Stephen Lay, External Reviewer of SLA Consultancy Ltd, who commented on the rigour of the review process and shared his professional impressions of WAES. He advised of the benefits of setting up a working group with the aim of clarifying the roles and responsibilities between the WAES governing body and the Council. He explained the importance of maintaining learner enthusiasm, securing appropriate accommodation and ensuring the future financial viability of the service. He emphasised that the WAES Forward 2019-2022 Strategic Plan centred around innovation and the wider benefits of learning to a person’s health and wellbeing, confidence and ability to participate in society and that there was every opportunity for WAES to gain an outstanding rating at its next Ofsted inspection.
6.3 The Committee welcomed three WAES learners who addressed the Committee on what had influenced them on becoming a user of the adult education service and their experiences of it. The Committee heard that they had chosen to use the service to develop their skills which had provided them with the confidence to gain employment, enter their work for exhibitions/competitions or enrol onto further courses preventing social isolation and promoting social integration into the community.
6.4 The Committee further welcomed Dr Sue Pember, Policy Director HOLEX, who described lifelong leaning in terms of the national policy context and key developments in the sector. She advised that lifelong learning was a growth industry and that other countries had a national Lifelong Learning Strategy. She advised of the need for increased funding for those people who had not flourished at school and faced barriers to learning and employment. She stated that WAES was an amazing service and that it needed to continue to build on its success to face the challenges of the future.
6.5 The Committee welcomed that 50% of learners were Westminster residents’ and that 80% of those learners lived in the most deprived Westminster wards. The Committee noted that the service specially targeted vulnerable and hard to reach groups to promote community cohesion. The Committee further noted that 71.5% of learners progressed to higher education or employment and that even informal learning focused on progression and job employability.
6.6 The key themes that emerged from the Committee discussion were:
· the huge difference that lifelong learning made to people’s lives and the key role it played in combating isolation, promoting social integration, good health, employment and community cohesion.
· the importance of ensuring that WAES was seen as part of the Council and the benefits of building a close ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
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 2019/2020.
7.1 ACTION AND RECOMMENDATION TRACKERS
7.1.1 RESOLVED: That the Action and Recommendation Trackers be noted.
7.2 COMMITTEE WORK PROGRAMME
1. That the Committee review the Oxford Street Programme including Victoria Place Plan as well as School Performance at its next meeting.
Any Other Business
To consider any other business which the Chairman considers urgent.