Agenda and minutes

Venue: Cabinet Room 'C' - The Duke of Lancaster Room, County Hall, Preston

Contact: Samantha Parker  Tel: 01772 538221, Email


Webcast: View the webcast

No. Item

County Councillors Loraine Cox, Sobia Malik, Jim Marsh, Matthew Salter and Alan Schofield replaced Jenny Molineux, Lorraine Beavers, Andrea Kay, Cosima Towneley and Edward Nash psc respectively.



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Apologies were received from Mrs Janet Hamid, (Co-Optee Voting), representing Parent Governors (Secondary).


Constitution: Membership; Chair and Deputy Chair; and Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 85 KB

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The report presented set out the constitution, membership, Chair and Deputy Chair and Terms of Reference of the Education Scrutiny Committee for the municipal year 2018/19.


Resolved: That;


  i.  The appointment of County Councillors Christian Wakeford and Munsif Dad as Chair and Deputy Chair of the Committee for the remainder of the municipal year 2018/19 be noted.

  ii.  The new membership of the Committee following the county council's Annual Meeting on 24 May 2018 be noted; and

  iii.  The terms of reference of the Committee be noted.



Disclosure of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests

Members are asked to consider any Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests they may have to disclose to the meeting in relation to matters under consideration on the Agenda.

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County Councillor Peter Steen declared a non-pecuniary interest as he was a governor at Bacup Maintained Nursery.



Minutes of the meetings held on 27 March 2018 and 25 April 2018 pdf icon PDF 65 KB

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Resolved: The minutes from the meetings held on 27 March 2018 and 25 April 2018 be confirmed and as an accurate record and signed by the Chair.


Maintained Nursery Schools pdf icon PDF 145 KB

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The Chair welcomed Andrew Good, Head of Financial Management (Development and Schools); Helen Belbin, School Advisor; and Jan Holmes, Headteacher of Walton Lane Nursery School and Rocking Horse Club, to the meeting.


The report presented provided information about Lancashire's Maintained Nursery Schools (MNSs), including updates on standards and finances.


From April 2017 the Government brought in an Early Years National Funding Formula (EYNFF). This arrangement introduced a mechanism for distributing early years funding from National Government to each local authority and set a framework that must be used to distribute funding to all types of early education provider, including nursery schools. The Government had committed supplementary funding for MNSs until March 2020 and in that time local authorities had to establish the future for their MNSs.


Members were advised that MNSs took a large number of children with SEND, including those with complex needs. In many cases the Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) process had not begun which has resulted in MNSs receiving minimal funding for SEND.


Members were advised that MNSs were located in areas of deprivation and worked with the most vulnerable children. It was highlighted that there was an opportunity to realign the provision for families and young children so services were more cost effective and supportive.


The Committee was informed that there was a task and finish group established to work with MNSs to formulate and implement a plan to secure their future and to ensure that the provision was delivered consistently across the county.  The recommendations from the task group were due in October 2018.


Members felt that there should be more integration between Estates and the various service areas. Some of the nurseries had space available and it was highlighted that it would be sensible to utilise this space appropriately by looking at service co-location options.


The issue of the historical spread of nurseries was raised and members stated that the distribution of nurseries was important. Members also agreed that a consistent approach to Early Years Education across the county was needed.


The Committee enquired about early intervention with the Child and Family Wellbeing Service to ensure suitable alignment of services and how that could assist with the financial stabilisation of a large number of nurseries. It was confirmed that the task and finish group was already looking at what the structural future was for this particular part of Early Years provision and the Committee requested a response from the task and finish group for its November meeting.


Resolved: That;

  1. The report be noted.
  2. The implementation of the recommended actions set out in the report to support maintained nursery schools identified in Schools in Financial

Difficulty categories 1, 2 and 3 be endorsed.

  1. The outcome of the nursery task group be reported back to the committee in November.



Standards of Attainment of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Pupils pdf icon PDF 93 KB

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The Chair welcomed Steve Belbin, Head of Service, School Improvement, to the meeting. The report presented explained that at the joint Children's Services and Education Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 11 April 2018, members were briefed on SEN standards in Lancashire schools. It was noted at this meeting that attainment was below the national average at each key stage.


The report provided members with a summary of the actions to be taken in SEND service and School Improvement to provide support for schools.


The Written Statement of Action in response to the SEND inspection outlined the following areas for improvement:


·  Inclusion

·  Exclusion

·  Attainment


The specific actions undertaken would include a blend of marketed course and training, of targeted work with schools, strategic analysis of data as well as general activities completed by the school adviser as part of their termly visits.


Concerns were raised over elective home education and that there was a need for early intervention to ensure pupils were not forced into home education.


The Committee was informed that there were already SENCOs up and running throughout the authority. The SENCOs met regularly to discuss best practice and the role of the SENCO was vital to the schools. In addition, there were teacher consultants who provided general support for schools.


Members requested feedback for a future meeting from the SEND team on the progress around reducing the need for exclusion.


The Committee felt that the statement of action was very strong. Members suggested that it would be useful for head teachers come to a future meeting to present information on the support provided for children with SEN.


Resolved: That the report and comments be noted.



Urgent Business

An item of urgent business may only be considered under this heading where, by reason of special circumstances to be recorded in the Minutes, the Chair of the meeting is of the opinion that the item should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.  Wherever possible, the Chief Executive should be given advance warning of any Member’s intention to raise a matter under this heading.

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There were no items of Urgent Business.


Date of the Next Meeting

The next scheduled meeting of the Committee is due to be held at 10.30am on the 13 November 2018  in Cabinet Room 'C' at County Hall, Preston.


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The next meeting of the Education Scrutiny Committee is due to be held on Tuesday 13 November at 10.30am, Cabinet Room C, County Hall, Preston.