- Meeting of Education and Children's Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Wednesday 17 November 2021 1.30 pm (Item 67.)
Caroline Marr, Senior Policy Advisor provided the Committee with updates on:
Consultations had been announced and Plymouth City Council would be responding to the consultation by 24 January 2022 regarding children’s homes.
£24 million for regional recovery in tackling harms for vulnerable children – Jean Kelly, Service Director for Children, Young People and Families had been chasing this but had not yet received a response.
£48 million investment for Adoption – The South West Regional Adoption Agency would be accessing that funding. Caroline advised the Committee that all the funding had been allocated. Jean Kelly further advised the committee that a small amount of money had been allocated to each of the regional adoption agencies, the funding would be used to recruit and support adopters.
Caroline Marr, Senior Policy Advisor provided the committee with further updates since the publication of the agenda for this meeting and included:
11 November 2021 – A press release from OFSTED highlighted a lack of foster carers in the system and a continued lack of capacity in the foster care sector. This had led to vulnerable children missing out on the care and support they required. Nationally foster carer numbers had increased by 4% since 2014, however the number of children requiring foster care had increased by 11% in the same period.It was also highlighted that the range of foster carers available had not always been meeting the needs of the children due to their increasing complex needs.
15 November 2021 – The Education Secretary gave an opening speech in the House of Commons for the second reading of the Post 16 and Education Bill, this had passed and was at the committee stage where they would be undertaking a detailed examination of the Bill.
16 November 2021 – The Department for Education had provided a press release regarding anti-bullying. It stated that further support for schools in England would be given to combat bullying with £1 million funding provided to five leading organisations to support schools and colleges. It was recognised that the press release did not advise how the funding would be disseminated.
17 November 2021 – A research publication had been released which provided insight as to schools views in relation to the benefits and obstacles of joining an academy trust.
Plymouth City Council were at an advanced stage in developing a local family hubs offer. The bidding process had been under way and the awarding of the contracts were in process. The additional fund allowed the Council to bid for up to £830,000 to support the transformation of the family hubs initiative. The bid was due to be submitted for 17 December 2021. It was expected that the Council would have the results of the bid by Spring 2022.
Care leavers and disadvantaged pupils to benefit from £126 million investment in new laptops and tablets
Support for training children and young people would be a part of the funding provided. It was recognised that young people would have a skills gap with the use of software on the hardware provided.
For Children in Care, Ming Zhang would be able to bring information forward from the Virtual School team which would advise the committee how these children and young people are being supported.
- ECSC PB Cover, item 67. PDF 149 KB
- ECSC Policy Brief, item 67. PDF 441 KB
- Household Support Grant Briefing (Nov. 2021), item 67. PDF 320 KB