Agenda and minutes

Children, Families and Skills Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 25th January, 2023 2.00 pm

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




Apologies were received from County Councillor Andrew Gardiner and Braeden, Youth Council representative.



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 Councillor John Potter declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 6, Family Hubs, as the trustee of a charity included in the network.


County Councillor Samara Barnes declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 5, Early Intervention – Children's Mental Health as an employee of Barnado's.



Minutes of the Meeting Held on 30 November 2022 pdf icon PDF 290 KB

To be confirmed and signed by the Chair.


Resolved: That the minutes of the meeting held on 30 November 2022 be confirmed as an accurate record, subject to:


i)  The paragraph provided at Item 3, Minutes of the Meeting Held on 26 October 2022 being amended to focus on support for post-16 SEND children, as members highlighted that the county council had a statutory duty to provide post-16 education and training for young people with SEND, up to the age of 25;


ii)  Item 4, School Place Planning Annual Report being amended to include the following points:


·  Regarding flexibility in the system, officers acknowledged that the council had not responded quickly enough to new developments in the past and that this had caused problems, such as in North Preston.


·  The committee requested information on what the geographical priority areas looked like.


·  The committee highlighted that the information on school place assessments which was previously requested to be shared with members twice a year, had not been provided to date.



Membership of the Children, Families and Skills Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 151 KB


The committee considered a report which provided an update on progress to fill the seats of its five voting co-opted members.


Resolved: That the following be noted:


i)  The re-appointment of Mr J Withington as a Parent Governor Representative (Primary) to the committee for a four-year term from 1 January 2023; and


ii)  The update on progress to fill the vacant seats of coting co-opted members.



Early Intervention – Children's Mental Health pdf icon PDF 340 KB

Additional documents:


The Chair welcomed to the meeting County Councillor Michael Green, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing; Jacqui Old, Executive Director of Education and Children's Services; Dave Carr, Director of Policy, Commissioning and Children's Health; Marie Demaine, Senior Public Health Practitioner; and Ellie Waide-Mayfield, Family Hubs Lead. The Chair also welcomed on Microsoft Teams Emma Akrigg, Barnado's Children's Service Manager, Morecambe Bay Mental Health Support Team; and Lesley Tiffen, All Age Mental Health Lead and Helen Rimmer, ICS Children and Young People's Mental Health Programme Manager, from NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board.


The committee considered a presentation on early intervention services to support children and young people's emotional wellbeing and mental health.


Comments and queries were raised by the committee as follows:


·  In response to a query about mental health support for children in Years 5 and 6, members were informed that Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) worked with all year groups in primary schools but would prioritise certain groups as directed by individual schools.


·  All NHS providers were commissioned to provide mental health support to the same specification, but delivery varied based on the needs of individual schools and children. All NHS providers also used the same tools to measure outcomes and recorded data using the same system, so the impact of their work was measurable.


·  Regarding children experiencing school refusal, the MHSTs worked with children and young people who might struggle with education. For example, the Morecambe Bay MHST asked schools to notify them early of children struggling to attend school and had achieved good outcomes for children in those situations. It was recognised that it was hard to overcome established patterns and so early intervention, in partnership with families and other providers, was important. Emotionally based school avoidance had been identified as an issue in Lancashire and the county council's Inclusion Service had worked with partners to deliver training and support to schools on this.


·  The data provided on the Revised Children's Anxiety and Depression Scale (RCADS) was based on outcomes following specific interventions, which could be one-to-one, or group based. The information was self-reported by children, young people, and their families or carers, and a dashboard was currently being developed to assess the effectiveness of different intervention types.


·  Children and young people were invited to access MHST support through a consultation model, in which they would have conversations with staff members in schools to determine the most appropriate intervention.


·  If the MHST received a referral for a child and young person which did not result in an intervention, they would be signposted to other partners who were better place to respond to social, family and education needs, for example.


·  Information on the total number of schools supported by MHSTs in Lancashire could be provided after the meeting. Nationally, the provision of MHSTs was based on the population of children and young people. Consultation, the needs of the population, and a limit of 8,000 young people per MHST were also factors. In circumstances when  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Family Hubs pdf icon PDF 341 KB

Additional documents:


The committee considered a presentation on the Family Hubs network, progress to develop the network, and work in the initial priority areas of Burnley, Pendle and Lancaster.


Comments and queries were raised by the committee as follows:


·  In locations currently without Family Hubs, important network-building was ongoing to ensure that families in need were identified and that buildings used as part of the Family Hubs network were in the best, most accessible locations. The network would use buildings that already housed key services and were situated in the highest areas of need.


·  In response to concerns about families' data and confidentiality, the committee was informed that an individual's or family's data was only shared with trusted network partners who needed to access it. A key element of the Family Hubs programme was ensuring a 'warm handover' between partners, so that families did not have to repeat their experiences within the local network of services.


·  It was requested that the Family Hubs service design and mapping work be shared with members after the meeting.


·  Regarding cost-benefit analysis and measuring success, the council used an outcomes framework for children and families, which was based on Health Profiles and covered a range of factors including hospital admissions, young people in education and training etc. The Family Hubs programme was a long programme designed to achieved sustained change, so a key measure of its success would be whether general health indicators were improving across Lancashire, which would generate return on investment for the system as a whole.


·  Members highlighted the importance of accessibility and the Family Hubs network meeting the needs of rural areas. Village halls, community and faith centres, and rural schools had been approached in those rural areas where a gap in services had been identified. It was also highlighted that virtual service provision did not work for everyone, so providing support at the centre of communities was key.


·  The committee was informed that the Family Hubs logo was still being designed and it was requested that it be shared with members once finalised.


·  Regarding the RAG rating for progress to deliver Family Hubs services, concern was expressed about the priority given to certain areas, such as parent-infant relationships and perinatal mental health support. Members were reassured that work was ongoing with partners to deliver the minimum service expectation and it was likely that several indicators would turn green soon and at the same time.


·  Members highlighted that all county councillors should be Family Hubs ambassadors.


The Chair thanked the Cabinet Member and officers for their time and responses to the committee's questions.


Resolved: That the following be provided to committee members after the meeting:


i)  Details of the Family Hubs service design and mapping; and


ii)  The Family Hubs logo once finalised.



Work Programme 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Additional documents:


The committee considered its work programme for 2022/23, including progress relating to the committee's previous recommendations.


Resolved: That 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.




Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Children, Families and Skills Scrutiny Committee will be held on Wednesday 22 February at 10.30 am at County Hall, Preston.


The next meeting of the Children, Families and Skills Scrutiny Committee was due to be held on Wednesday 22 February 2023 at 10.30 am at County Hall, Preston.