Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Samantha Parker  Tel: 01772 538221, Email


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No. Item

County Councillor Joan Burrows replaced County Councillor Andrew Gardiner for this meeting.





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Apologies were received from Janet Hamid.




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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None were disclosed.



Minutes of the meeting held on 6 February 2019 pdf icon PDF 65 KB

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Resolved: The minutes from the meeting held on 6 February 2019 be confirmed and as an accurate record and signed by the Chair.



Exclusions, Attendance, Transport and Elective Home Education pdf icon PDF 116 KB

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The Chair welcomed Steve Belbin, Interim Director of Education and Skills; Debbie Ormerod, Admission Manager; Frances Molloy, School Attendance and CME Lead; and Oliver Starkey, Head of Service, Public and Integrated Transport to the meeting.


The report presented provided an overview of the challenges around attendance and exclusions. It also provided information on children missing education and those who are educated at home. In addition, it provided details transport to Pupil Referral Units. Further to the report, a presentation was provided to the committee.


Attendance and Exclusions


It was reported that attendance rate in both primary and secondary schools were higher than the national average, while the exclusion rate in Lancashire was 2.25% above the national average. The committee was provided a breakdown of the exclusion figures from both primary and secondary schools by district, by permanent and temporary exclusions, and by the reasons for the exclusion.


In response to questions raised by members following this section of the presentation, the following information was provided:


  • Concerns were expressed on the figures provided in relation to the reasons for exclusions.  It was acknowledged that there could be a number of reasons for exclusion and further detail would be included in the narrative on the exclusion form.  However, an exercise could be undertaken by the LA to look at particular issues such as racial or homophobic abuse to determine if there had been a rise.


  • A definition of a managed move was provided, and it was noted that a managed move is a mechanism for when a child who may be leading down a path to a permanent exclusion moves to a new school and is in agreement between the two schools, the parent and the pupil. In terms of how a managed move works when the new school is full, it was noted that the guidance from the DFE allows a manage move where a school is full.


The Chair requested further clarification on information within the report and the following were clarified:


  • The figures provided for the number of exclusions are the instances of exclusion and not the number of pupils being excluded.
  • ICT as one of the reasons for exclusion relates to the use of social media.



Children Look After (CLA)


With regards to Children Looked After (CLA), the figures for the CLA for both primary and secondary schools who had been excluded were provided to the committee. It was noted that the number of CLA in secondary school is far greater than the number of CLA in primary school.


It was also reported that approximately 30% of all CLA exclusions have Special Educational Needs Disabilities (SEND).


Elective Home Education


With regards to Elective Home Education, it was reported that there were 1428 known children in Lancashire receiving home education and this number is continuing to rise. The statistics for the reasons why parents chose to home school their children were provided to the committee. However, it was noted that a reason was not provided by around 50% of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Update from the Chair

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The Chair provided a verbal update to the committee and the following were noted:


  • An update was provided on the letter previously sent to the Secretary of State regarding the early years funding. It was noted that no response had yet been received.


  • The Chair reminded the committee of the date for the SEND Inquiry workshop which is due to take place on Wednesday 5 June in Committee Room A at 9.30am.  It was noted that this would be a joint session with Children's Services Scrutiny Committee and would primarily be looking at the transitioning from primary to secondary school for pupils with EHC plans and the challenges they faced.


  • A further reminder was given to the committee that a work programming session for the 2019/20 municipal year would be held after the county council's AGM meeting in May 2019. This session would allow committee members to identify items to be included within the work programme for the next municipal year. It was noted that the date for this session would be circulated to members soon.


Resolved: That the update be noted.



Education Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 81 KB

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The Chair presented to the committee the work programme for the remainder of the 2018/19 municipal year. It was noted that the committee is coming to an end of the current work programme for this municipal year.


Two potential topics was raised for a future meeting of the committee. These topics were:


i)  Physical education levels in schools and how much is done within at-risk groups like pupil with disabilities; and

ii)  Variations of the work done on school places.



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 18 June 2019 in Cabinet Room 'C' at County Hall, Preston.


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The next meeting of the Education Scrutiny Committee will take place on 18 June 2019 at 10.30am in Cabinet Room C at County Hall, Preston.