Agenda and minutes

Children, Families and Skills Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 30th November, 2022 10.30 am

Members of the public are welcome to attend our meetings to watch them in person at any of the venues across the County. Publicly accessible meetings held in County Hall will be webcast, which means they are available to be watched live or recorded on our website. Please see our webcasting notice here. The Committee may, in certain circumstances, resolve to hold part of the meeting in private. If this is the case, you will be required to leave the meeting.

Venue: Committee Room 'C' - The Duke of Lancaster Room, County Hall, Preston. View directions

Contact: Hannah Race 


No. Item

County Councillors Azhar Ali, Nweeda Khan and Ged Mirfin replaced County Councillors Jennifer Mein, Samara Barnes and Howard Hartley for this meeting only.




Apologies were received from Mr J Withington.


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.


County Councillors Azhar Ali, Anne Cheetham, Scott Smith, Loraine Cox and Rupert Swarbrick declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 4 as they were all school governors.



Minutes of the Meeting Held on 26 October 2022 pdf icon PDF 378 KB

To be confirmed and signed by the Chair.


Resolved: That the minutes of the meeting held on 26 October 2022 be confirmed as an accurate record, subject to:


i.  County Councillor Terry Hurn being listed as present; and


ii.  The sixth bullet point on Page 3 being amended to include more detail, as follows:


"Regarding support for post-16-year-olds, members expressed concern about the lack of information included in the report when many parents were worried about provision for school leavers. Officers highlighted that this was a challenge for the authority and the amount of support provided for further education needed to be looked at. Regular meetings took place with further education providers to discuss this. A bid had also been submitted for more supported internships, which often led to long term employment. The number of internships provided by and in partnership with the county council, such as with Calico, Lancashire Constabulary, the local NHS and schools, had increased over several years. It was noted that members would find it helpful to receive more information on this in the future."



School Place Planning Annual Report pdf icon PDF 156 KB

Additional documents:


The Chair welcomed to the meeting County Councillor Jayne Rear, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills; Jacqui Old, Executive Director of Education and Children's Services; Julie Bell, Director of Education, Culture and Skills; Mel Ormesher, Head of Asset Management; and Debbie Ormerod, Lead Officer for Access to Education Entitlements.


The report presented an annual update to members setting out progress in delivery against the School Place Planning Strategy 2022-25, the School Place Delivery Programme 2023-25, place allocations in September 2022, geographic priority areas, and an update on academy conversions.



In response to questions from members, the committee was informed that:


·  School planning areas were used to assess demand for school places and the Department for Education expected local authorities to have these in place. They enabled the council to understand local changes and movement of pupils. Clusters of school planning areas were often considered to identify where additional places were needed. For example, Chorley and South Ribble were separate planning areas but due to movement between the districts and applications received, it made sense to consider them together in order to meet demand.


·  A geographical priority area was a boundary in which a school would set its criteria for admissions.


·  Pupil movement out of Lancashire and into metropolitan areas was considered during forecasting and planning, however it was not possible to predict exactly which school places would be applied for and taken up. A range of data sets were used to project future school places demand.


·  Revenue monies for school places followed a pupil and was provided by the education authority to a maintained school. Money for expansion could be provided through several different routes. For example, an academy could propose to increase its pupil numbers and funding for this would be provided by the Education and Skills Funding Agency. However, for maintained schools, the council forecast the likely increase needed and negotiated with schools in the area to meet capacity. Own admission authority schools could not be compelled to expand. Maintained schools could be directed to take additional pupils but the council preferred to take a collaborative approach. Funding for expansion could either be provided by the Department for Education based on the School Capacity Survey (SCAP) or from developers' contributions where the council was successful in securing funding based on evidenced growth in demand for school places.


·  Under the new school admissions code, the council had been able to identify more children who had moved into Lancashire and were missing education. New statutory in-year admission arrangements required the local authority to be notified if a school place was not available for a child moving into the area. This process and improved communication with partners had resulted in the Children Missing Education list growing, but it was a positive that these children were now identified.


·  Schools were funded based on the October census each year and there were no further calculations to account for any in-year pupil movement. Secondary schools could receive additional funding if they were required to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Work Programme 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 147 KB

Additional documents:


The report presented provided members of the Children, Families and Skills Scrutiny Committee with the committee's work programme for 20222/23.


It was noted that a report on the School Travel Mapping System had been added to the February 2023 meeting, as agreed by the Scrutiny Management Board.


Resolved: The Children, Families and Skills Scrutiny Committee Work Programme 2022/23 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.


There was no Urgent Business.


Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Children, Families and Skills Scrutiny Committee will be held on Wednesday 11 January 2023at 10.30 am in Committee Room C – The Duke of Lancaster Room, County Hall, Preston.


The next meeting of the Children, Families and Skills Scrutiny Committee was due to take place on Wednesday 11 January 2023 at 10.30am, at County Hall, Preston.