Cambridgeshire County Council
Annual Performance Assessment
Background information Page 3
Self-evaluation grades Page 4
Context Page 5
Being Healthy Pages 6-9
Staying Safe Pages 9–13
Enjoying and Achieving Pages 13-17
Making a Positive Contribution Pages 17-20
Achieving Economic Well Being Pages 20-22
Service Management Pages 22-24
Name of local Cambridgeshire County Council
Name of APA Link Gordon Jeyes
Contact details for APA telephone: 01223 717301
Link officer email: Gordon.email@example.com
Date form submitted: 26th June 2008
Signed/agreed on behalf of the children’s services authority
Name: Gordon Jeyes
Position: Deputy Chief Executive, Office of Children and Young People’s
How partners have been involved in completing this form:
The Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership, representing a broad range of
statutory, voluntary and community partners were fully involved in the development and
review of this self-assessment.
Enjoying Making a Achieving
Areas for Being Staying
and positive economic
judgement healthy safe
achieving contribution well-being
The contribution of
the council’s services
in maintaining and
3 3 3 3 3
outcome for children
and young people.
The council’s children’s services Grade
The contribution of the council’s children’s
services in maintaining and improving 3
outcomes for children and young people.
Capacity to improve Grade
The council’s capacity to improve its 3
services for children and young people.
Strong partnership arrangements in Cambridgeshire reflect a multi agency commitment to
improving outcomes for children and young people. The Children and Young People’s Strategic
Partnership (CYPSP) provides an effective forum for the identification, planning and review of
priorities, underpinned by area based partnerships and multi agency working arrangements that
ensures the delivery of services which are responsive to local needs.
The collective understanding of need continues to improve, the refreshed Children and Young
People’s Plan incorporates responses to the first Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA).
The 14 key target areas are clearly identified. Evolving arrangements for the participation and
involvement of children and young people in planning and reviewing services complement the
statistical understanding of need.
Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
Outcomes for children and young people remain good and inequalities continue to reduce.
Partners have established a demanding agenda for further improvement recognising that
outcomes must improve further, particularly for some groups of relatively disadvantaged
children and young people. A collective commitment to prevention and early intervention
informs the investment decisions of partners. There is a strong willingness to pilot and develop
new approaches to service provision such as the Parent Support Advisor role and Multi
Systemic Therapy. Maximum benefit is sought from national initiatives such as extended school
provision and children’s centres.
The Office of Children & Young People’s Services (OCYPS) has established robust multi-
disciplinary working arrangements, focused on meeting the needs of children and young people
at the most practical, local level. Three Area Directorates and fourteen locality teams provide
responsive, strong and coherent support, creating opportunities for multi-agency working.
Effective quality assurance and performance management arrangements support service
delivery and ensure consistency.
Children and young people in Cambridgeshire receive a range of high quality services. Schools
are very effective and consistently compare well nationally. The Voluntary and Community
Sector (VCS) is a major partner in the development and delivery of services and the vibrancy of
the sector is supported by a range of capacity building initiatives.
Partners face major challenges. Cambridgeshire is one of the fastest growing counties in the
country, with changing demographic patterns, including a mDemographic change creates
tensions in established communities.arked increase in the level of international migration. The
Annual School Census returns show a steady rise in black and minority ethnic (BME) pupils
(not including gypsies and travellers) from 4.3% in 2003 to 7.5% in 2008. Over 90 languages
are spoken in schools across the county, the majority in Cambridge but with Fenland schools in
particular experiencing a rapid rise in Eastern European children with English as an additional
language. Significant housing growth requires both the delivery of a major physical service
infrastructure and the growth of communities that nurture the development of children and
Value for money is good, the Joint Area Review recognised that budgets are low in comparison
to other areas delivering similar outcomes. Budgets are adjusted to reflect the detailed analysis
of need. Funding levels will continue to be a major challenge and the focus remains on
reducing the costs of services to invest in prevention and early intervention to improve
‘The Big Plan’, Cambridgeshire’s Children and Young People’s Plan can be found at:
Our grading for this outcome is 3, an increase on the 2007 JAR grading of 2. The
reasons for the increase are:
There is greater consistency of practice and resource distribution as the benefits of moving
from four PCTs to one PCT for Cambridgeshire, coterminous with the County Council
boundaries, are delivered. The creation of a lead post responsible for commissioning of
children and maternity services and the joint appointment of a Director of Public Health
provide focus to improving outcomes for children and young people. The Joint Strategic
Needs Assessment provides strong evidence for action to address heath inequalities with
significant PCT investment in 08/09 linked to commissioning intentions.
Strengthened partnership arrangements have led to improved performance around healthy
lifestyles and reducing health inequalities, the health of Looked After Children, CAMH
targets, and stronger arrangements for integrated services for children with disabilities.
PCT provider services and the Mental Health Trust have been working on the development
of consistent pathways and service re-design and transformation.
1.2 Healthy lifestyles are promoted for children and young people
Breastfeeding initiation rates are above the national average (79.0%) and nutritional support
within maternity services and the community is effective. Peer support workers offer weekly
support to breast-feeding mothers at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Addenbrookes Maternity
services are appointing infant feeding specialist midwives. Targeted investment of £240K in
increased health visiting and midwifery capacity will be used in areas of highest need to
promote breast feeding and maternal and child health (BP priority 1.5)
The reduction of teenage conceptions by 45% by 2010 is broadly on target. The rate of
decrease (16.3%) is above the national average and statistical neighbours. Targeted activity
is undertaken in areas of high conception (BP priority 1E). Fenland, the area of highest
conception, has seen a significant reduction in teenage conception rates (04-06 aggregated
figure is 39.2 per 1000 women aged 15-17 compared with a baseline figure of 52.4),
although this remains above the county average of 26.3.
A well-established Condom Card scheme operates at 31 sites across the county. Between
Feb 07 and Oct 07, there had been 251 registrations and 424 transactions. The ‘R U Ready’
Train the Trainers course delivered by a licensed Sexual Health Promotion Specialist has
trained 140 professionals. 28 young people are involved in the Young Trainers initiative,
which accredits young people to design and deliver training to professionals on sexual
health issues. School based drop-ins run by school nurses take place in all secondary
schools and a comprehensive Community Sex and Relationship Education Policy
Programme was implemented in schools during 2007.
There has been significant improvement in chlamydia screening in 07/08, with average
monthly screening increasing from 80 to 280, resulting in 3% of the target population being
screened. Additional funding has been agreed (£83K) to establish additional school based
sexual health services and clinic sessions in Fenland to address inequities in access to
health services compared to the south of the county.
Work to tackle underage alcohol sales in Cambridgeshire won the Better Regulation
Category at the National Business Awards. The number of premises found selling alcohol to
under 18s reduced from 58% in 04/05 to 15% in 06/07, exceeding the LPSA target. A
further reduction to 7.5% was made in 07/08 (BP priority 1C).
The PSHE Community Drugs Policy Programme focuses on drug education (including
tobacco and alcohol). The performance of services commissioned by the Young Person’s
Substance Misuse Commissioning Group is good, with evidence of strong reach into the
community and improved access to services. In 07/08 the three main drugs services
exceeded targets regarding the number of young people receiving tier 2/3 interventions by
between 46% and 151%. The main countywide alcohol service reached 5557 young people.
A young people’s needs assessment informed commissioning for 08. (BP 1C)
The Healthy Schools Programme supports smoking cessation and prevention. Results of
the Health Related Behaviour Survey show that between 04 and 06 (latest data available)
there has been a drop in the proportion of year 10 pupils that smoke regularly and an
increase in those who would like to give up. A texting service is in place for young people to
make appointments or receive support for smoking cessation. Additional funding has been
invested in smoking cessation for 08-09, including the formation of a new service. The
percentage of mothers who smoked during pregnancy is below the national average (11.6%
07/08). (BP priority 1C)
Cambridgeshire is on track to achieve national healthy schools targets, and received a
green ‘’RAG’’ rating in April 2008 for progress against local milestones and targets. 86% of
schools are currently in the programme and 51% hold Healthy Schools Status.
Cambridgeshire was recently selected by the National Children’s Bureau for a ‘deep dive’ of
best practice in terms of PSHE contributing to personal well being in schools.
An obesity strategy and pathway consisting of evidence-based interventions is now in place.
During 2007 the PCT monitored the height and weight of 73% of children in reception and
69% of children in year 6. The target of 85% for 2008 is on track to be achieved. At 15.8%
Cambridgeshire is currently below the national average of 17% obesity. (BP priority1B)
Fourteen Early Years and Childcare settings have completed the Promoting Health in Early
Years settings programme, with a further eleven currently undertaking the programme.
The four School Support Coordinator Partnerships effectively deliver opportunities for
participation in physical activity. £8 million of funding has been sourced in the last three
years to provide a range of sports facilities. During 06/07 83% of pupils participated in at
least 2 hours of high quality PE and ‘out of hours’ school sport in a typical week. (BP 4B)
1.4 Action is taken to promote children and young people’s mental health
Good progress is being made towards a comprehensive Child and Adolescent Mental
Health Service. The CAMH service transformation programme has focused on streamlining
referral, assessment and clinical delivery. (BP priority 1A)
Waiting times have improved during 2007-08 and are broadly in line with national
performance requirements with 90% of referrals receiving treatment within 13 weeks. Since
1 April 2008 no child is waiting more than 18 weeks for treatment, and the Trust’s new care
pathways are continuing to drive down waiting times.
97% of patients under 18 are treated on CAMH wards. A pooled tier 4 budget arrangement
with the Mental Health Trust provides an incentive for the Trust to meet needs locally.
Transition arrangements for 16-17 year olds to adult services are now in place.
Arrangements for urgent assessment and care are significantly more robust. A 24/7-
specialist CAMHS medical on call arrangement will be implemented in August 08 alongside
the current 7-day urgent assessment service.
The Early Intervention in Psychosis team (CAMEO) has been rolled out across the county.
Evaluation has demonstrated improved outcomes in vocational functioning; on discharge
from CAMEO, 73% of service users are in work or education.
Multi Systemic Treatment (MST) Service for children with complex mental health needs who
are at risk of being placed out of the area has been sustained. The annual report
demonstrates a continued impact; in 12 out of 16 cases the outcome was fully or partially
successful. Cambridgeshire has been selected to pilot a new adaptation of MST for child
abuse and neglect.
During 2007, 615 professionals accessed training in tier 1/2 mental health issues making
them more attuned and responsive to mental health needs.
1.5 Looked after children’s health needs are addressed. (BP priority 1.14)
The LAC health service performed at a high level in 07/08. 93.3% of children received
health and dental assessments, compared with 83% during 06/07. 86.3% have had an
optical check in the last two years. Immunisation records are routinely monitored, with 85%
of LAC having up-to-date immunisations. 100% of health promotion checks of pre-school
LAC were up-to-date. There is a designated nurse and doctor for LAC and additional
resources for 08/09 will enable additional nursing capacity to focus on care leavers. (1.14)
All health assessments result in a summary action plan, which is monitored by the LAC
health service. This information is sent to the child’s GP to ensure they are aware of any
outstanding health issues, and forms the basis for the Care Plan.
All children who have been in care for more than one year and are 10 years plus receive a
health filofax that provides information regarding their own medical history and details of
local services. Just Us groups in all parts of the county provide a forum for LAC to meet and
focus on issues such as alcohol, drugs, sexual health, and healthy eating.
The Mental Health Service of LAC is in contact with 25% of the looked after population, and
received strong endorsement from carers, users and professionals in the annual report. The
delivery of behaviour management and Teen Triple P training has been well received by
adopters; 80% of adopters surveyed indicated that their child had received the right support.
Where appropriate, LAC are fast tracked to specialist CAMH. In 2007/08 the service has
dealt with 80% of referrals, with the other 20% referred to the local CAMH service.
1.6 The health needs of children and young people with LDD are addressed.
The JAR highlighted the need for the Council and its health partners to review the way in
which services for children and young people with complex needs, who are currently or
likely to be placed outside Cambridgeshire, are jointly managed and delivered. In response
to this recommendation an LDD strategy group and Out of County Review Group have been
established. Whilst good progress has been made on the review process, it is recognised
that further work is required to deliver better integrated arrangements. (BP priority 1D).
Re-alignment of the three children’s learning disability teams with specialist CAMH
community teams has supported improved access for children with LDD to CAMH
interventions. Swift and easy referral to the tier 3 specialist service has been achieved by
establishing clear standards, simplified referral processes and joint intervention by CAMHS
and LDD specialists.
The well-established Joint Agency Panel process manages the response to highly complex
cases and two children have been returned to Cambridgeshire from a higher dependency
setting, to foster care with joint agency support.
Early Support provides integrated support and assessment from clinicians, social care and
education professionals, using materials that ensure child and family centred support. 360
children have been cared for within the programme since September 06.
The PCT, Mental Health Trust and County Council are developing a joint integrated care
pathway across the county, which will inform commissioning intentions and re-design
current provision for children with disabilities.
Children in mainstream settings receive support from paediatricians, therapy services and
specialist teaching support staff. The new Children’s Unit in Huntingdon provides a high
quality environment, and the Child Development Centre in Cambridge and dispersed
delivery in East Cambs and Fenland using community settings all ensure effective service
delivery across the county.
Access to specialised splinting and other equipment has been made more equitable across
Cambridgeshire through a single commissioning approach. There remain challenges to
improve delivery timescales for specialised equipment but there is evidence of month on
month improvement from a more paediatrically focussed service.
There is a jointly commissioned service specification and governance plan for the
integrated paediatric occupational therapy (OT) service. Countywide inter-agency
assessment and care planning processes for children with speech, language and
communication difficulties have been implemented within an agreed staged intervention
process and staff training programme in schools. New investments in therapy services for
08/09 of over £530K will further improve outcomes. There is a strong policy drive for
children and young people to be educated in their local school. Integrated arrangements
and practice for school adaptations support this policy and top-up funding is made available
for major adaptations.
Children’s community nursing/palliative care services enable supported discharge from
hospital, choice in end of life care and access to continuing care services through a
countywide paediatric continuing care panel. The end of programme review of the Big
Lottery Fund Palliative care grant evidenced significant over achievement, reaching 68
children rather than the maximum 50 anticipated by BLF. All grant funded services have
been mainstreamed, providing specialist palliative care services across the county. This is a
solid base from which to implement the new national strategy, ‘’Better Care, Better Lives’’.
A Transitions Board has been established to improve transition arrangements for 14-25
year olds with LDD. The Board is chaired by an elected member who is also a non
executive director for the local foundation trust hospital, and has senior management
involvement from Children’s and Adult’s Services, health and the LSC.
Our grading for this outcome is 3, an increase on the 2007 JAR grading of 2. The
reasons for the increase are:
Quality assurance and performance management arrangements have been strengthened to
ensure greater consistency and improved outcomes. Overall performance continued to
Further investment and improvement in services such as Family Support, the Family Group
Meeting Service and Community Support Services and the consistent application of
thresholds keep children safe and provide suitable alternatives to accommodation.
Participation and advocacy arrangements for children looked after have been reviewed and
2.2 Children and young people are provided with a safe environment.
Effective support is provided to schools to create safe environments. All schools
participating in the School Survey rated LA support and services for “Staying Safe” as
above satisfactory. Of the 64 Ofsted school inspections in the current year, 61 were
assessed as good or better for staying safe. 69% of early years settings received good or
better ratings for staying safe between April 05-Dec 07, above the national average of 61%.
Effective health and safety support is provided to schools. A Good Stewardship Guide is
provided along with general guidance. All reported incidents are reviewed.
The multi-agency Anti-Bullying Strategy Group is recognised as a regional exemplar of
good practice. Considerable effort has been made to improve reporting of bullying and
returns are made by all schools. Three Anti-Bullying Input days were provided for schools to
enhance local strategies received positive evaluation. A tool kit has been provided to
schools, including guidance on homophobic and racist bullying. Reducing the incidence of
bullying remains a key priority for children and young people and statutory agencies (BP
The County Domestic Violence Steering Group coordinates reduction activity, supported by
3 area groups (BP 2.18). Work in 2007 concentrated on raising awareness and accurate
recording so that prevalence is better understood, resulting in a 30% increase in recorded
incidents. An Education Domestic Violence Strategy is in place. Schools are notified of
domestic violence incidents involving children on their roll that are attended by the police.
Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs) are well established for high-risk
DV cases. In Southern Division, of the 81 cases seen, only 4 have been repeat referrals.
2.3 The incidence of Child Abuse and Neglect is Minimised
Area Social Care Teams and multi-disciplinary Locality Teams have developed a protocol
for thresholds of intervention and early support. Support for vulnerable families is co-
ordinated through Locality Teams and a robust structure of allocation meetings agrees
provision. Local Allocation and Referral Meetings (LAARM) operate at tiers 1 and 2 and
Area Allocation and Referral Meetings (AARM) operate for more complex needs.
The Common Assessment Framework has been introduced and will be implemented fully
during 2008. This is complemented by a Model of Staged Intervention (MOSI), which
provides a multi disciplinary framework for levels of intervention, with the aim of developing
a common understanding of children’s needs and the roles/responsibilities of services. The
LSCB has formally adopted the MOSI as the partnership threshold criteria and has agreed
the development of a resource pack for referral and assessment.
Work to ensure the consistency of application of thresholds has been sustained. Child
Protection Plans are applied for an appropriate length of time: 6.2% of children deregistered
in 06/07 had had a plan for more than 2 years. Improved monitoring arrangements prompt
action where cases appear to be drifting or interventions are not having the desired
outcome. Multi agency reviews of practice and effectiveness for children on the register for
longer than 12 months are undertaken. All child protection plans were reviewed on time.
Recognition of neglect has greatly improved, in March 2008 32% of children with a CP Plan
were registered for neglect alone. The LSCB is leading the development of a Framework of
Good Practice for Neglect, including a forum for evaluating inter-agency practice. Stand
alone multi-agency protection plans have also been introduced.
In 2006/0707/08 15.9% of children becoming the subject of a child protection plan were
doing so for a second or subsequent time. Performance management-led improvements in
re-registration levels have been sustained. Performance dropped at the end of 07/08 due to
two large sibling groups becoming the subject of child protection plans again in March 2008,
prior to this performance was in the top band.
Monitoring and support of private foster carers is effective. Feedback from the recent
inspection of Private Fostering (March 08) advised that Cambridgeshire was the first
authority to receive a ‘’Good’’ rating.
All referrals to Social Care teams are now made through the Cambridgeshire Direct contact
centre, assisting consistency of classification and recording. Referrals are high compared to
statistical neighbours: a review during 2007/08 attributed the difference primarily to the way
that contacts and referrals are recorded between different authorities.
There is some inconsistency in the level of referrals converted to initial assessments
between the Area Teams and Internal Audit has been commissioned to review this. Early
evidence suggests that the discrepancies are due to different recording practices rather
than different thresholds of intervention. An electronic ICS has been implemented from May
08 and the business process mapping required has already improved practice consistency.
Whilst the present policy guidance does not advocate re-checking CRB certificates on a
regular basis, a CRB check is undertaken whenever an officer applies for a new job that
carries a CRB designation. OCYPS have developed a Safer Employment Action Plan to
ensure safe employment practices and Key Safeguarding in Employment standards have
been rolled out to partner agencies. Significant investment has been made in the provision
of “Warner” training for recruitment, including training 54 Social Care staff. There is a high
take-up of Safer Recruitment on-line training for schools; 98.7% of schools have either a
Headteacher or Governor who is accredited and 73.4% have both a Headteacher and a
Governor who are accredited.
A Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) manages allegations against adults who work
with children. Go East have rated Cambridgeshire as complying with ‘Working Together’
(2006) and Government AMA guidelines. There are high numbers of referrals to the LADO
office with a high rate of resolution. The LSCB has produced an Allegations Against Staff
procedure. In 07-08, 131 Complex Strategy Meetings were convened covering 77 alleged
perpetrators. The process has removed from the workforce individuals who present a
proven risk to children. 5 are currently subject to criminal proceedings.
MAPPA arrangements comply with National Probation and Home Office guidance.
2.4 Agencies collaborate to safeguard children according to the requirements of current
The Council’s safeguarding policies are fully compliant with the requirements of DCSF
Circular 04217/06. The LSCB has updated all multi-agency safeguarding procedures for
compliance with ‘Working Together’ 2006. Procedures on Sudden Unexpected Death of a
Child have been completed.
LSCB Safeguarding Competencies are based on the practitioner groups identified in
‘Working Together’ and LSCB training links to these competencies.
All schools and settings have designated staff for child protection and receive training on a
2-year cycle. Designated personnel are supported via an advice line; 582 calls were logged
between April 07 and March 08. An agreement between the LCSB, Young Lives and Living
Sport has enabled the development of introductory level training for the voluntary, sports
and leisure sectors.
The LSCB has overseen the appointment of Children’s Safeguarding Champions within
Information on recognising and raising concern is provided through the LSCB, County
Council, Youthoria and Just Us Websites and the LSCB leaflet "Child Abuse - Reporting to
Office of Children and Young People's Services" is made available via a range of outlets.
There is wide dissemination of the LSCB document ‘what to do if you are worried’ and
arrangements for agencies to discuss thresholds and safeguarding interventions are in
place. Following the JAR, page 10 of the child protection procedures was reviewed and
amended to provide greater clarity regarding levels of intervention for referrals of children in
LSCB procedures outline standards for supervision. The JAR recommended that joint
systems be developed in order to ensure that managers are routinely signing off work within
agreed accountability protocols. During 07 a multi-agency audit and review of the
supervision of safeguarding work was commissioned and completed. In addition, the Quality
Assurance Framework (QAF) was rolled out in early 07 and sets the standard for case
recording and monitoring and auditing responsibilities. This has ensured greater, more
routine case file auditing by all levels of manager. Managers always ‘sign off’ records at the
point of transfer or closure. There has been good performance in the timely completion of
Initial and Core Assessments; however, qualified Social Worker vacancies have resulted in
some delays in case recording.
The JAR also recommended that ‘The council should review the risk assessment, allocation
to and management oversight of the work of unqualified social workers to ensure that
children in need who are referred have clear plans that are comprehensively overseen by
managers’. In response, Assessment and Care Management establishments were
reviewed to ensure an appropriate level of oversight. The QAF and CPRU quarterly
monitoring tracks the allocation of staff to cases, supervision arrangements and progression
of individual plans.
97.2% children currently subject to a Child Protection Plan have a named key worker who is
a Social Worker; this is an improvement on the 06/07 figure of 95.6%. Plans are in place to Formatted
increase this to 100% through the Recruitment and Retention strategy.
The Social Worker Recruitment and Retention strategy links pay scales to a competency
framework built on CWDC guidelines. The progression focus on competence has led to
improved standards of practice, recognised by recent Fostering and Adoption Inspections.
The new Senior Social Workers role includes the mentoring of less experienced colleagues.
A new information sharing protocol was endorsed by the LCSB in May 08. 1200 staff have
been trained as part of a multi-agency training on information sharing. The recently
implemented Capita One ICS system will be rolled out to provide an integrated
management information system for the whole of children’s services.
The LSCB oversees the process and progress of Serious Case Reviews (SCRS) in all
agencies. There is dissemination of findings at all levels from Exec Group to Area
Safeguarding Committees. Previous SCRs inform the LSCB plan and work priorities.
There is good involvement of parents/carers in key meetings about their child, with 90%
attendance at child protection conferences and increasing attendance of children over 12
years. All assessments, reports and plans are shared with parents/carers and comments
sought. A recent research project reviewed experiences of young people involved in the
child protection process and action has been taken to implement recommendations.
All service users, parents and carers are given a leaflet, available in a variety of languages
and formats that explains the complaints procedure and support available.
2.5 Services are effective in establishing the identity and whereabouts of all children and
New Children Missing from Education procedures, which interface with the Capita One
system have been introduced and provide weekly alerts to managers. The DCSF School-to-
School missing pupil website is used to track children moving from school without a
confirmed destination. A central database of children of compulsory school age is linked to
health and early years services.
Young Carers projects are funded and delivered through three area based local voluntary
organizations. Funding was increased by £60k during 07/08 to offset the loss of Big Lottery
funding. A review of young carers work, including consultation with young carers, set clear
objectives for improvement, which will be built into commissioning plans. This includes
updating support protocols between Adult’s and Children’s Services.
2.6 Action is taken to avoid children and young people having to be looked after.
A high threshold for accommodation is maintained, less than 30 per 10,000. Conversely, the
rate of children with a child protection plan is relatively high (currently 29 per 10,000)
indicating the action taken to avoid children being looked after is successful, with more
children supported through effective protection plans.
Expenditure on Family Support Services remains higher than statistical neighbours. The
effectiveness of spend is kept under review. Family Support Services have been
disaggregated to the 3 Area Social Care Teams to ensure that management and standards
are consistent with assessment and care management. Improved systems for data
collection and caseload management have been introduced. The dependency on external
providers has been reduced and savings used to extend the Family Group Meeting Service.
Early preparations for the new Public Law Outline, implemented in April 08, were used to
drive service improvements and reinforced the PLO endorsement of core assessments as
the intervention of choice. Both the number of core assessments and timeliness of
completion have increased.
The central management of thresholds for proceedings has established referral to the
Family Group Meeting Service as a core practice activity. The Service carries out in excess
of 120 Family Group Meetings each year, involving over 200 children. In 2/3 of cases the
primary reason for referral is risk of family breakdown and alternative to accommodation. In
90% of cases referred objectives have been achieved after 6-12 months.
2.7 LAC live in safe environments and are protected from abuse and exploitation.
Recent inspections have awarded Adoption and Fostering Services a ‘good’ in their stay
safe responsibilities. Carers are well trained and new CWDC standards are being
Between April 07 and March 08, 8 sets of foster carers, 2 youth carers and 7 link carers
were recruited, with a focus on increasing capacity to support children with LDD. In addition
9 Regulation 38 Kinship foster carers were approved.
The percentage of children looked after outside the authority has reduced by 8% over 5
years but remains high as a result of the high threshold for accommodation. The percentage
in residential care has decreased from 21.2% to 1718.9%, and the percentage in foster
placement aged 10-16 increased from 67.5% in 2006/07 to 69.370.1% in 2007/08. There
has been an increase in the LAC population from 372 365 in March 07 to 430 415 April in
March 08, largely due to an increase in the number of UASC. The % of children looked after
within Cambridgeshire has been maintained despite this, reflecting the focus of the
commissioning strategy and work to increase placements within Cambridgeshire. A
successful bid has been made to the DCSF for the implementation of a Multi Dimensional
Treatment Foster Care Service as an alternative to residential treatment placement.
Residential services have been judged by Ofsted during 07/08 to meet safe caring minimum
standards with two exceptions, where a shortfall in the central holding of records of new
members of staff was identified. This was followed up immediately and all records reviewed
and new arrangements for the central collection and filing of information implemented. A
subsequent inspection of one of these homes has resulted in an ‘outstanding’ classification.
Internal contract specification audits have been extended to all residential units with
satisfactory results. Regulation 33 Visits reports show residential care is generally good.
A quality monitoring system is in place to ensure quality of Care Plans and children’s
participation. A recent audit of care plans found 10% to be poor, 46% to be satisfactory,
41% good and 2% excellent. CPRU monitors the appropriate progress of care.
All children have a named IRO and are reviewed irrespective of where they are looked after.
There has been an apparent downturn in the % of LAC whose reviews were completed on
time. On investigation the inaccurate recording of timely reviews was identified as the main
reason for the apparent reduction in performance and this has now been addressed.
Arrangements are in place to support children and young people to express concerns about
the care they receive via Independent Visitor and Boarding Out visits. In response to the
JAR recommendation, since Feb 2008 NYAS have provided advocacy and independent
visiting regardless of where the child is.
Independent providers are reviewed against a set of standards to benchmark quality. A new
network protocol is to be launched to ensure all professionals visiting placements have
access to all information gathered and spread visits across the year to maximise regular
contact. The Placements and Contracts Teams draw on the experience of practitioners,
IROs, children and providers to offer a robust judgement about the quality of placements.
Changes in care placements are well managed and minimised as far as possible. In 07/08
the number of children with 3+ placements reduced from the previous year to 9.4% (within
the top performance band). Placement breakdown meetings are held when a placement
breaks down to explore the reasons and assist future placement planning. The % of LAC
under 16 for at least 2.5 years and in the same placement for at least two years or placed
for adoption was 59.362.2% in 2007/08. A high threshold for accommodation and relatively
high level of need means that a higher % of LAC have specialist, short term therapeutic
placements leading to subsequent placement change. The relatively low performance is the
function of proactive care planning rather than placement breakdown.
The Adoption Support Team offers a full range of support to adopters. A nationally
recognised LAC psychology service provides supports the training and assessment of
carers to extend the skills of carers to care for the most challenging children. The service
also facilitates consultation sessions around particular children involving carers and staff.
2.8 Children and young people with LDD live in safe environments and are protected
from abuse and exploitation.
A recent review of residential placements providing short breaks identified that capacity is
sufficient to meet need. 211 approved foster carers, including 89 short breaks/family link
carers provide a good geographical spread of care.
A training programme (with mandatory elements) enables carers to develop skills to provide
safe care. Carer’s are offered assessments of their own needs as part of the inter-agency
assessment and planning process. Community Support Services (CSS) have been
reviewed and strengthened in the past year. A recent inspection awarded CCS 3 stars.
Family based ‘LINK’ care is consistently viewed as ‘Excellent’ in inspection. These services
will be part of the strategic approach to implementing ‘Aiming High’ being developed by the
Every Disabled Child Matters Strategy Group.
Regulation 33 reports show residential care for children with LDD to be generally good.
Ofsted reports identify one of the three short-term units as inadequate. Action plans are in
place to ensure the delivery of minimum standards.
The advocacy and independent visitor contract specification notes the importance of
support for LAC with LDD. NYAS is commissioned to provide visiting advocacy to 4
residential homes directly providing for children with LDD.
Transition arrangements have been strengthened (see Be Healthy 1.6). Investment has
increased capacity in the Transition Social Work team by 3 FTE staff. New protocols
ensure a multi-agency response to monitoring transitions to Adult’s Services for young
people with LDD, resulting in young people who will require support being planned for.
Safeguarding courses have been adapted for Special Schools focusing on the particular risk
of abuse and neglect of disabled children. A specialist trainer is employed to focus on
supporting children with a disability.
Enjoying and Achieving
3.2 Early years provision promotes children’s development and well-being and helps
them meet early learning goals.
Early Years provision is of a high quality. Ofsted inspections conducted between 01 April 05
and 31 December 07 found 69.7% of early years settings and 65% of childcare settings to be
good or better, in line with statistical neighbours and above the national average.
Cambridgeshire’s 6 nursery schools were judged to be outstanding in their last inspection.
The percentage of maintained settings judged to be good or better by Ofsted in the
‘’Effectiveness of Foundation Stage’’ shows an increase from 77% in 05/06 to 94% for 07/08.
Support to settings in raising standards is effective. The Early Years and Childcare Service
Quality Improvement Strategy is linked to the School Improvement Strategy. An Early Years
Quality Framework to support self-evaluation and external monitoring was implemented in
07, and is being used by 331 early years and 122 school childcare settings. (BP 3.6, 5.2)
Foundation Stage Profile scores are significantly higher than the national average and in line
with statistical neighbours. The gap between the most disadvantaged groups and other
children has fallen from 34.0% in 2006 to 31.0% in 2007. In 2007 Cambridgeshire had the 9 th
lowest gap in outcomes in England. There has been an overall rise in FSP outcomes for
targeted Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups. The percentage of BME children achieving
6+ in CLLD and PSED and a total of 78 points has risen from 33% in 06 to 36% in 07.
Additional support has been made available to settings to support children for whom English
is an additional language through the Transformation Fund. This has included guidance and
training to settings caring for EAL children and settings caring for Traveller children, and
funding for a bilingual support teacher to work with settings taking Polish children. The
Gypsy Roma Traveller project includes the delivery of support to families in their homes.
Moderation of FSP outcomes is robust; all schools receive a moderation visit or attend a
moderation meeting. Targeted support and training is provided for settings with poorer FSP
results. Between September 07 and March 08 94.7% of early years settings and 95.3% of
maintained schools have accessed a cross-sector training programme to support the
implementation of EYFS and raise standards.
3.3 Action is taken to ensure that educational provision for 5-16 yrs is of good quality
At KS1 standards are consistently above national average. Performance at level 2+
continues to be above the national average for reading, writing and mathematics, but slightly
below statistical neighbours in all three aspects.
At KS2, standards are above average. Performance at L4+ is in the top quartile and above
average in English (+3%) and mathematics (+4%). With the exception of science,
performance is above that of statistical neighbours. The number of schools below floor
targets in English has continued to fall and is currently in single figures for the first time.
At KS3 standards are high. Performance at L5+, L6+ and in terms of average point score is
well above the national average, particularly in science. Progress between KS2 and KS3 is
good with strong achievement, as measured by the Contextual Value Added (CVA) score,
placing Cambridgeshire in the top 25 authorities. Performance is in line with statistical
neighbours for English and maths, but above for science and average points score. No
schools were below floor targets and the proportion of pupils progressing two levels in
English and maths remains in the upper quartile band.
At KS4, standards are broadly in line with the national average at 5+ A*-C but above average
on other key measures, including 5+ A*-C (including English and maths). Progress between
KS3 and KS4 is broadly average, as measured by CVA. Performance is below average in
relation to statistical neighbours, with the exception of 5+A*-G and 5+A*-G (including English
and maths). No schools (other than one which has since been closed) were below the floor
target, but the proportion of pupils progressing two levels in English and maths has fallen
since 2006. The authority is aware of the need to improve performance at KS4 and is
providing targeted support and challenge to schools, principally through School Improvement
Partner /LA Inspector monitoring, National Strategies consultancy support and promoting
broader and more relevant curriculum opportunities. The ‘Cambridgeshire Raising
Achievement at GCSE Project’ has been evaluated positively by headteachers and interim
monitoring indicates that it is expected to have a significant impact on performance.
Work to tackle inequalities for some geographic areas and BME groups remains a high
priority (BP priority 3A). The gap has closed significantly at KS3 for Bangladeshi pupils
attaining L5+, and to a lesser extent for pupils of Pakistani heritage. Though narrowed, the
gap remains wide for pupils identified as being from Gypsy or Roma heritage. The % of
Bangladeshi and Pakistani pupils achieving 5+ A*-C increased considerably in 07. ‘Making
Children Matter’, Cambridgeshire’s strategy for closing the attainment gap for BME and
Traveller children was launched in September 06 and a steering group monitors the impact.
New arrangements for target setting, monitoring progress and measuring outcomes for BME
groups are in place and informed target setting for 2008. The funding formula for allocating
the Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant focuses additional support more specifically for
identified under-performing groups.
The impact of school improvement services is good. There are currently no mainstream
schools or pupil referral units in Ofsted categories. In 07/08 three primary schools were
removed from the Notice to Improve category, and one secondary school that had been in
special measures was closed and a new school opened under Fresh Start arrangements.
One special school is in special measures, but a recent Ofsted monitoring visit confirmed
that progress is good and it is on track to get out of special measures early. Ofsted judge the
authority’s support for this school to be effective. School Improvement Services have been
RAG-rated as green by the National Strategies and the implementation of the School
Improvement Partner Programme (SIP) has been evaluated as outstanding at primary level
and good, with outstanding features at secondary level. Target setting processes are well
established and allow a focus on groups at risk of underperforming. Intervention is clearly
targeted at specific schools. At primary level ISP is used as an intervention tool.
3.4 Children and young people are enabled and encouraged to attend and enjoy school
and achieve highly
A local authority strategy group monitors attendance and exclusions data to identify and
respond to underachieving or vulnerable groups (BP priority 3A). SIPs, Assigned Inspectors,
Locality Managers are briefed on strategic and operational actions that need to be taken.
Behaviour and Attendance Consultant time is targeted on PA schools or those at risk of
becoming so. In 06/07 3 out of 4 schools were removed from the Persistent Absentee
category after successfully reducing their percentage of PA pupils to below 9%. An
Attendance Improvement Plan implemented in 05/06 has had a positive impact, as
evidenced by partial improvements in 2007 in the primary phase (94.88% an increase of
0.43 percentage points from 06) and the secondary phase (92.49% an increase of 0.44
percentage points from 06). Further improvement is required to put the local authority back
on trajectory to meet targets. At both phases attendance is in line with national figures and
slightly below that of statistical neighbours. Locality based intervention provides early and
coordinated support from Education Welfare Officers, Home School Liaison Workers and
Parent Support Advisors (PSAs). The PSA project has enabled additional focus on
attendance and behaviour issues through individual casework and delivery of parenting
courses. Parents interviewed as part of a national evaluation were positive about the nature
and impact of support in improving attendance and behaviour.
Whilst the number of fixed term exclusions at Primary level increased during 2007 (by 68%,
this represents a rise of 162 from 237), fixed term exclusions at both primary and secondary
phase remain below the national average. The level of permanent exclusions is particularly
low in comparative terms (1 at Primary, 8 at Secondary). The Managed Moves protocol aims
to ensure that exclusion is used consistently and only as a last resort.
3.5 Educational provision is made for children who do not attend school
The local authority maintains a database of those children who are known to be home
educated (200 children). Elective Home Education (EHE) policy and practice has been
revised in order to secure greater engagement of home educating families. There is a forum
for local authority officers to meet with home educating parents and a dedicated post has
been created to monitor provision.
In response to the JAR recommendation, the authority has embarked on a major change
programme for education other than at school, with good engagement from schools (BP
priority 3.8). Increasing referrals to Pupil Referral Units and Support and Tuition provision
have put growing pressure on the ability of the service to provide a suitable level of
education. The level of young people educated other than at school receiving full time
education is too low and major change is required. Five Behaviour Improvement
Partnerships of secondary schools have been formed and it is planned to devolve funding for
the Service to the Partnerships from September 2009. A funding formula has been agreed
with schools and partnerships are working with providers to develop a vision for the future
development of services with an emphasis on greater reintegration opportunities and earlier
intervention. Quality assurance arrangements are being developed through the project.
Services continue to be developed for children and young people educated other than at
school. A new vocational centre has opened in Fenland and the ConnectEd learning platform
continues to be developed to provide traditional tutor support with e-learning technology.
3.7 Looked after children and young people are helped to enjoy and achieve.
Cambridgeshire is one of 11 authorities to pilot the role of the Virtual School Head for
Looked After Children, which is improving the support and monitoring of the education of
LAC both within Cambridgeshire and out of county (BP priority 3A).
The educational achievement of LAC remains a priority even in the light of significant
improvement in 07. The percentage leaving care at 16+ with 1+ GCSEs at A*-G increased
from 51.4 in 2006 to 63.9% in 2007. However, this remains below the national average and
statistical neighbours. The % leaving care at 16+ with 5+ GCSEs at A*-C increased from
5.6% in 05/06 to 13.9% in 07, bringing Cambridgeshire in line with the statistical neighbours.
All schools have a designated ‘person’ for LAC (the authority is in transition from a
designated ‘person’ to a qualified teacher). Every LAC in mainstream school has an
Education Support for Looked After Children (ESLAC) teacher who leads Personal
Education Planning (PEP) as a meeting with information exchanged between the school,
social workers and carers. ESLAC teachers work closely with carers to ensure they are fully
informed and involved in the progress of the children placed with them. In 2007, 10 carers
received three training sessions to deliver ‘’CatchUP’’ training (a programme to support
struggling readers). The ‘’Educate’’ element of the Virtual School system provides ESLAC
staff with curriculum materials to use for ‘catch up’ sessions with LAC.
The educational achievement, school attendance and leisure activities of LAC are monitored
through a management information system. The Virtual School Head and the ESLAC Team
respond to any concerns highlighted. Welfare Call collects attendance and exclusion data
daily for LAC, including those placed out of county. Carers and Social Workers are contacted
if a child is absent without the school being notified. In 07/08 the % of LAC absent from
school for a total of 25+ days was 4.8% (top band for performance). Where a child is at risk
of exclusion, ESLAC teachers work with the school to explore options for additional support.
Of the total number of pupils excluded at secondary level 1.5% (27 pupils) were looked after.
At primary level LAC made up 3.2% (6 pupils) of the total number excluded.
3.8 Children and young people with LDD are helped to enjoy and achieve
The three Area Early Years Inclusion Teams (Area SENCos, Early Years Support Team,
Portage, Learning Support Workers, Educational Psychologists) work in partnership with
health, social care and early years settings to provide coordinated support to children in the
foundation stage with additional needs. An Early Years Inclusion Team protocol is in place.
Early Years Support Steering Groups are established and a multi-agency referral pathway
enables coordinated assessments and support. Early Years Descriptors will be launched
during 08, in line with the new Early Years Foundation Stage. These will provide a
consistent framework for identifying levels of need across the county. For children with the
most complex needs area and county panels assess and allocate to need.
During 07 33% of new statements were issued in reception and below, which means
children are entering school with support already identified. All assessments conducted by
Educational Psychologists and Early Years Teams involve parental contributions. During
the Statutory Assessment process information packs are sent to parents and drop-in
sessions are offered. The Parent Partnership Service provides support and advice to
parents whose children have SEN. During the academic 06/07 there were 3,370 calls to the
service, of which 80% felt that the advice given to them had helped resolve their concern.
An audit of schools is undertaken for each new statement that assesses the ability to meet
the child’s needs, and a training programme to support the development of an appropriate
curriculum for children with LDD is available.
Learners with LDD make good or outstanding progress in 84% of Primary schools, against
69% of Primary schools nationally (Ofsted 06/07).
Children with physical and complex needs have their equipment and IT needs assessed by
specialists. Transport needs are identified through the Area Panel system, and parents are
consulted about their child’s needs. An independent travel scheme has been established in
special schools. One school has included this in their post-16 curriculum, resulting in young
people travelling independently, rather than in a taxi.
Special Needs Officers monitor and coordinate, with schools, support for children with
complex needs. The CAF will support the identification of a lead professional.
100% of Statements of SEN were issued in 18weeks, placing Cambridgeshire in the top
quartile of authorities. The average drafting period is 14 weeks. Maintained statements have
fallen over the last 5 year – growth has fallen from –22.9% to –38.6%. New statements
have fallen from 324 in 06/07 to 309 in 07/08.
Pupil intervention programmes provide high-level support from specialist teachers. All
Annual Reviews for children are monitored and outcomes and actions shared as required.
Provision mapping in Primary schools facilitates the appropriate identification of children’s
needs and ensures focussed provision. School Improvement Partners, working with
Standards and Effectiveness evaluate provision and outcomes for children with SEN at
each individual school. A new data system for special schools, Comparison Analysis of
Special Pupil Achievement (CASPA) will bring consistency to the monitoring of outcomes.
This will be rolled out to schools over the autumn term.
66.14% of (SEN 2) children with statements are educated in mainstream schools (latest
data (2007) states 57.2% as the national average). There are examples of innovative
practice to enable needs to be met in mainstream settings. The Student Assessment
Service has been recognised by the new Equality and Human Rights Commission for the
creative use of provision to enable a child to remain in his local school. Two pilot Autistic
Spectrum Condition centres have enabled 8 pupils who would previously have gone out of
county to attend secondary schools with enhanced provision. During 2007 Early Years
Access funding supported 159 children under school age in mainstream settings. As a
result, only one child started in a special school before their entry into full-time education.
A policy and protocol is in place for physical adaptations to schools. To date, 10 nursery
schools, 123 primary schools and 17 secondary schools have had adaptations undertaken
for individual pupils. 50% of schools have been adapted to a higher specification.
The Parent Partnership Service and SCIP (Service, Coordination, Improvement, Planning)
publicise activities across the districts that are accessible for children and young people with
LDD. ACCESS funding promotes access to Early Year settings and after School clubs.
Making a Positive Contribution
4.3 Children and young people are encouraged to participate in decision-making and in
supporting the community.
The Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership is embedding participation in all
aspects of service design, management and delivery (BP 4.5). Whilst there are strong
examples of participation informing planning and decision making, further work is required
to ensure there is a universal reach of participation and a more strategic approach required
to strengthen how the views of children and young people are considered in the formal
aspects of planning and decision making. Funding has been agreed to develop a Young
People’s Assembly, which will increase the level of engagement of school and community
based councils and advocacy groups.
At a strategic level young people are engaged in the CYPSP and regularly attend board
meetings. The Young Inspectors Initiative has trained 8 young people (including those from
harder to reach groups) to assist in the review the Children and Young People’s Plan.
The OCYPS Participation Team provides a range of support and resources to enable wider
participation. The successful ‘Are You Listening’ toolkit is to be published commercially, and
the ‘Are You Recruiting’ toolkit, designed to provide guidance on the participation of children
and young people in the recruitment process is about to be launched. Young people are
increasingly involved in Recruitment and Selection panels.
The Building Schools for the Future Programme has developed ‘pupil brief boards’ to
enable children and young people to share their aspirations with bidders and influence
school design. Agenda days involving groups of 30-40 young people have covered Safe,
Smart Sex, Safe Play and Drugs and Alcohol, with smaller research groups taking identified
issues forward; for example ‘mystery shopping’ at 3 Young People’s Sexual Health Centres
has resulted in recommendations being made to health partners around opening hours, use
of space, quality of information and environment.
In 2007 four Kids Aloud Groups launched their website www.get-involved.org.uk to gather
feedback from other children and exchange ideas. Their top priorities were recently
presented to senior officers and members, resulting in the establishment of safe play times
in Streatham Recreation Ground.
‘Raising the Volume’ involved 12 schools (primary, secondary and special) working with the
PSHE Service and Children’s Fund to develop action based research and participation
around learning, behaviour, anti-bullying policies, playground design and healthy eating.
As a result of the PARC project (completed Sep 07), 3 Parish Councils now have
attendance from young people at Parish Meetings, 1 parish has established a Youth and
Community sub-committee, 2 parishes have secured funding to enable the continuation of
the PARC group, and 1 Parish has supported young people to open a youth club.
Four Youth Panels are well established and have engaged 40 young people in approving
179 revenue and 30 capital grants over the last two years, benefiting 11,805 young people.
3,622 young people, the majority of which were from disadvantaged backgrounds have
been engaged as project leaders or applicants.
Cambridgeshire has an active Citizenship and Volunteering Strategy. 20+ placement
providers and young volunteers attend bi-monthly network meetings and a bulletin is sent to
over 80 organisations. Volunteering targets were exceeded in 2007, with 480+ young
people involved in a variety of opportunities across the county. Young Lives have
successfully accessed ‘’V’’ project funding and a new volunteering team has been
established. Cambridgeshire Environmental Education Service are supporting students in
60 schools to work on the national Eco Schools Award Programme, which involves young
people participating in Eco Councils and taking action in communities. Citizenship work in
schools is supported by the PSHE service.
Awareness raising of the UKYP has resulted in an increase from 3700 to 7949 children and
young people voting in this year’s Youth Parliament Election.
Participation in statutory youth work has increased by over 400 young people to 11.9% (BP
4B). In 07/08 the % gaining a recorded outcome increased to 46.3% (target was 40%) and
the % with an accredited outcome increased to 25.9% against a target of 20%.
Cambridgeshire is one of nine authorities piloting a Youth Opportunity Card (G2G), which is
benefiting 2000 young people receiving school meals and those who are looked after. The
G2G card was in the last 3 finalists for the European Mastercard best corporate government
scheme category award. Young people were fully involved in the development of the card.
4.4 Action is taken to prevent offending and to reduce re-offending by young people
Re-offending performance was 50% in 07, which compared well regionally but highlights the
need for further reduction. Cambridgeshire performed significantly better than the national
and regional averages with regards to reducing the gravity and frequency of re-offending.
In 2007, 61.7% of young offenders were in ETE and further work is needed to meet the
Government target of 90%. Whilst Cambridgeshire is below the national average, there
were very few cases where there was no educational placement for someone of school age.
Work to improve the Education Other than at School provision will increase access to non
mainstream school places of more than 15 hours a week (many current placements are not
classified as full-time). Whilst a range of provision is available at 16+, young people often
find sustaining placements difficult. Additional Connexions Personal Adviser time has been
created to focus on this issue, with targeted support in the Fenland area.
There has been a reduction in First Time Entrants of 20.03% in 07/08 compared with the
05/06 baseline (699 in 07/08 compared to 877 in 05/06). YOS risk management processes
ensure that quality programmes are delivered to high-risk young people through 1:1 case
work and the development of new programmes (BP 4.3) Examples of work in 2007
included: a summer college programme which engaged 11 high-risk young (which resulted
in 50% achieving an arts award, and all successfully entering a placement in ETE) and
Dance Offensive, which engages hard to reach young people through performance and
dance. Following a case of 10 young people receiving custodial sentences for a group
offence of serious violence, intensive work was undertaken and the local college ensured
that all 10 had places held open for them as they returned to the community.
Youth Inclusion and Support Panels (YISPs) offer multi-agency and/or home-school support
in the areas of highest need. A recent evaluation undertaken by Newcastle University
highlighted that many high-risk children demonstrated improvements in their mental health
and well-being, were less likely to get into trouble and were doing better at school.
Locality teams work closely with district, parish councils, police and fire service to provide
positive activities and target preventative work around anti-social behaviour. The Fusion
holiday programme has been particularly successful in reducing anti-social behaviour over
the holiday period. Multi-agency Anti-Social Behaviour Problem Solving groups take place
in all districts, with effective links to Local Allocation and Referral Meetings to ensure
information is shared and support is well coordinated between professionals.
The Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme makes highly effective use of Multi
Systemic Therapy, and has one of the highest completion rates in the country. Building
upon this success, YOS are assisting the Department of Health in developing 10 new pilot
sites for MST for emerging personality disorder. The recruitment of a part-time psychologist
during 2007 has enabled additional provision for mental health support. The PCT have
agreed additional funding for 08/09 enable this to become a full-time post.
4.6 LAC are helped to make a positive contribution.
Looked after children are encouraged and supported to attend planning and review
meetings. In 07/08 the number of LAC participating in their reviews was in line with
statistical neighbours. LAC have their own website www.avoice4us.com, which is well used
and provides information and guidance on planning and review meetings.
Four Just Us groups engage LAC to advise on policy and practice around being in care. In
2007 the participatory work of these groups resulted in: the provision of laptops for CLA to
assist with education, the introduction of feedback forms for CLA to complete about foster
carers for their annual reviews, the involvement of LAC in social care staff appraisals and
Total Respect training being made mandatory for all frontline workers and Members.
Following the JAR, the separate LAC advocacy service and Independent Visitor schemes
were re-commissioned as a single service, providing referral clarity and cost effectiveness.
The budget was also expanded to include children subject to a child protection plan.
Complaints processes were also reviewed, and changes implemented. A version of the
children’s complaints leaflet in Rebus is used in day centres and other children’s
establishments. All children who make a complaint are appointed an advocate.
YOS workers identify offenders who are looked after, and ensure needs are met (BP 4.9). A
protocol between Social Care and YOS was introduced in late 07 to promote effective
information sharing and partnership working. The ratio of LAC aged 10 or over given a final
warning or reprimand to the % of all children given a final warning or reprimand is 1.4 for
07/08. This is below statistical neighbours.
Action is taken to secure foster placements that meet cultural and heritage needs. Ofsted
judge provision to be good, with children and carers ‘well matched’. All residential
placements within and out of county are subject to regular review.
A new Corporate Parenting Strategy was introduced in 2007, which is overseen by a Board
chaired by the Lead Member for Children. Members receive training on their role as
corporate parents as part of their induction into children’s services.
4.7 Children and young people with LDD are helped to make a positive contribution.
The views of children and young people with LDD are systematically sought during the
planning and review process and in contract monitoring visits to providers. A variety of
means are used to ensure effective communication, including Makaton, Rebus, British Sign
Language, amplified speech through aids and FM radio aid systems. The Big Box toolkit
forms part of the resource base. Person Centered review processes have been introduced
in special schools with a particular emphasis on the 14+ review process. Where children
wish to make a complaint, an advocate is appointed.
Support for the transition between different stages of education is managed by Pre School
Teachers into school and Specialist Teachers from primary to secondary. The Student
Assessment Service and Connexions support transition planning from year 9 onwards.
Young people with LDD have a named specialist Connexions PA. Information is provided in
a range of formats, with specialist publications and a website 4us.org.uk designed for young
people with LDD.
A range of respite options are available to families. During 07 91 families received care from
a network of 87 childminders. Extended day currently provides 1:1 support for 76 children
and young people in extended schools and other settings. Around 100 young people use
the Link scheme, which provides short breaks in family homes, and the Community Support
Services support 270 young people in their own homes. Respite is also provided through
17 short-term care beds in 3 units, which offer a service to 65 young people each year.
Achieving Economic Well Being
5.2 Young People aged 11-19 are helped to prepare for working life. (BP priority 5A)
Ofsted inspections judge the curriculum range to be good in most schools, with increasing
opportunities for students to access vocational courses through individual institutions and
area partnership arrangements. Work related learning opportunities are a strong feature in
most schools, with 6000 KS4 students participating in work experience and 400 students,
particularly from PRUs and Special Schools, undertaking longer-term placements.
Careers Education and Guidance (CEG) programmes are run in all schools and are
supported by professional development and consultancy. In Wisbech, an area of low
aspirations and high unemployment, careers education has been extended to all Primary
Schools, with a well-attended annual careers conference for all year 6 students. Nine
schools are currently piloting the local Information, Advice and Guidance quality award
‘Investing in Quality’ which provides quality assurance for careers education. In 07, over
560 staff attended 37 courses and an annual CEG conference. Good practice is shared
through 4 CEG associations and an additional needs forum.
Individual Learning Planning ensures all young people from year 9 onwards receive
individual support around learning and career planning. Twelve schools have a dedicated
mentor model of delivery, which has been showcased at the national Specialist Schools and
Academies Trust Conference. Annual evaluation highlights a positive impact, with more
effective identification of needs and referrals to support.
There is good availability of IAG through Connexions services, via a range of media
including the 14-19 Area Wide Prospectus. Cambridgeshire is one of 3 national pilots of
‘Apprenticeships Online’. From its launch in Jan 08 to end of April, 1633 young people
registered, 706 applications were made and 3138 opportunities advertised, representing
278 different apprenticeships. Personal Advisers are allocated to all schools and colleges,
as well as offering IAG from Connexions Centres as part of integrated youth support.
Destinations of students leaving year 11 saw an increase in the % that remained in learning,
from 85.3% in 06 to 90.7% in 07. Drop out rates at 17 remain an issue for Cambridgeshire
and a number of initiatives have been targeted to tackle this issue, including more
vocational opportunities. Research has been commissioned into progression routes and the
17+ drop out rate. A plan is in place to meet the year 11 and year 12 guarantee, with
targeted support for those young people who refuse an offer of learning.
Following the JAR Work-Based Learning (WBL) allocations were increased by 10%. Further
growth in WBL is planned for the next 3 years. During 07 16-18 apprenticeship starts
increased by 23%. The number of young people taking up places in E2E has increased
from 280 to 301.
The proportion of 16-18 year olds who are NEET has been successfully reduced for the
fourth successive year. At Nov 07 the Cambs NEET figure was 4.8%, compared with 5.9%
regionally and 6.7% nationally. The numbers of young people who are ‘not known’ is better
than average. Although the NEET rate has continued to fall, there is a need to focus support
on more vulnerable groups and geographic areas, which are priorities within Locality Plans.
In 07 a particular focus was given to PRU leavers. Overall 29% of PRU leavers were NEET,
missing the county target of 24%. However, in East Cambs and Fenland the % was
successfully reduced to 19%, through a strong delivery plan. This work is now informing
other areas. Supporting teenage mothers into EET is also a priority – the current figure is
28.4%. The number of teenage parents receiving Care to Learn support has increased from
32 in Nov 07 to 47 in March 08. Parent Support programmes run by Romsey Mill (a local
VCS) have been recognised as an example of good practice in the DCSF Next Steps
report. Additional resources and strategies are focussed on tackling geographical variance
of NEET rates. Fenland continues to have a higher proportion of NEET, though rates are
steadily falling (Nov 06 7.52% compared with Nov 07 7.04%).
An Equality Impact Assessment has been conducted for NEET, which has identified good
practice in promoting equality of opportunity. Travellers were identified as over-represented,
and work is underway to improve provision of information and support to the traveller
community through the Traveller Liaison Team.
5.3 Action is taken to ensure that 14-19 education and training is planned and delivered
in a coordinated way, and to ensure that education and training for 16-19 year olds is
of good quality. (BP 5B)
Educational achievement is Cambridgeshire is good (see Enjoy and Achieve). Performance
at A-level (including 6th form colleges), in terms of average point score continues to be very
strong and is well above the national average and statistical neighbours (indicators that only
include A’level results for maintained schools are less positive, but this is a distortion of the
true situation). Students in the Cambridge Area Partnership have a long established and
successful route into two Cambridge 6th form colleges that are nationally recognised for
quality and performance. The % of young people achieving level 2 and 3 by 19 has
increased from 2006, as has the number completing apprenticeships.
Good progress is being made in the development of a 14-19 curriculum. There is a 14-19
Strategy Group and a wider forum which informs the development of the 14-19 curriculum.
All schools and colleges are actively engaged in one of the three 14-19 partnerships in the
county. Each Partnership Manager is working towards the production of an area 14-19
Education Plan. All three partnerships aim to meet the diploma entitlement goal by 2013.
Cambridgeshire has been successful at both Gateway 1 and 2 and now has 13 Diploma
lines approved or recommended across the county. Post Gateway feedback meetings held
with the DCSF Regional Adviser have confirmed that Cambridgeshire is making good
progress towards the diploma entitlement.
5.6 LAC are helped to achieve economic well being. (BP priority 5A)
A protocol is in place to ensure all care leavers receive a joined-up service from social care
and locality teams, including Connexions IAG. This includes tracking and monthly
monitoring of individual cases. All young people have pathway plans developed within 3
months of their 16th birthday, which provide a holistic view of the young person’s
development needs and the support they require. Plans are reviewed on a bi-annual basis.
The percentage of care leavers in EET, compared to the % of all young people in EET, has
been successfully increased from a ratio of 0.69 in 06/07 to 0.78 in 07/08. Developmental
work is in process to introduce an Apprenticeship scheme within the council with targeted
places for care leavers.
Care leavers are supported by the 16+ Service, and receive funding for subsistence and
accommodation costs. Leaving Care Grants are provided to assist young people to move
into independence. There are currently 10 care leavers attending university who receive
£2255 per year to contribute to expenses whilst studying. Additionally, on completion of
their degree they can access £2000 towards repaying their student loan. This level of
support is seen as favourable in comparison with other councils.
In 07/08 the percentage of care leavers in suitable accommodation was 96.9%.
Development is underway to formalize an 18+ staying on policy, which will provide
opportunities for young people to remain in their stable placement, therefore lessening any
disruptions in future plans.
5.7 Children and young people with LDD are helped to achieve economic well-being.
The 14+ transition process is well established, with systems in place to monitor and quality
assure plans. All year 9 students and their parents receive an information pack to help them
prepare for the review. Connexions attend all 14+ transition reviews and track progress.
The % of young people with LDD who are NEET is reducing. At Dec 07 the % of 16-19 who
were NEET was 10.1%, compared with the regional average of 10.6% and national average
of 11.4%. Rates of young people in EET are increasing. All young people leaving school to
enter EET have a section 140 assessment to ensure support needs are met (BP 5A).
Transitions meetings have been established in Fenland to augment established groups in
Cambridge and Huntingdon. The LSC works closely with Connexions and Adults and
Children’s Services to manage progression into post 16 learning.
The well-established Improving Choices pathfinder provides a multi-agency response to
helping young people stay in education locally and due to its success is being
mainstreamed with additional funding. In 07/08 162 learners took up local placements, an
increase in 15% from 06/07. 274 learners went out of county. For those not involved in
Improving Choices, specialist and mainstream courses funded by the LSC directly through
FE colleges and Social Care provide alternative provision.
In 2007 the regional Learning and Skills Council conducted a strategic needs assessment
for LDD provision, which has informed the development of 3 local pilots to develop work
based learning provision and work preparation with employers.
Cambridge Regional College won the 2007 RNIB and MENCAP award for students with
LDD, and national recognition for imaginative, yet sustainable teaching and learning
Specialist Personal Advisers and Transitions Social Workers provide information about
entitlement to benefit and allowances, and signpost to agencies as required. A support
agency was commissioned in Jan 08 to promote the delivery of Direct Payments and allow
for smooth transition to adult services. The impact of this work is yet to be assessed.
2007-08 was the second year of the Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP). Updated
by the findings of the JAR, it continues to set a demanding agenda. A pilot Joint Strategic
Needs Assessment (JSNA) has been used to update the CYPP for 2008/09, identifying 14
specific priorities that also informed development of the Local Area Agreement.
The next 3-year CYPP is under development: discussion with partners has identified the
need for fewer more strategic priorities, based on the JSNA and more focussed on
JSNA data is being widely used; for example, by VCS organisations to inform bid
applications for activity based on needs and by the 5 LSPs to inform the 5 Sustainable
Service planning makes good use of other specialist needs assessment processes to
address gaps in provision, including the Childcare Sufficiency Audit, the audit of provision
by extended school clusters and a sufficiency assessment for the Youth Offer.
Partners have all adopted or are working towards, race equality schemes and have
responded to the SEN and Disability Act 2001. In 2007 Equality Impact Assessments were
conducted on youth services, Children’s Centres and the NEET cohort.
The CYPP sets out the key priorities for activity. These priorities are set within the context of
a continuing focus on the development of preventative services, especially through the work
of the locality teams, which are functioning increasingly well in their second year of
operation. Priorities are clearly allocated to partners or multi agency groups.
The emphasis on preventative work features strongly in the Council’s Integrated Plan with
increased funding based on population change identified for youth work and additional
funding to better support the transition from children’s to adult services.
Investment in preventive services has been maintained and increased, where possible
through recycling funding from reactive services. In the last year grant funding has been
accessed and resources deployed to invest in family support and MST. Following
successful evaluation of the Governmental Parent Support Advisor pilot, the LA has
invested in 38 PSAs across 14 locality teams.
A new senior manager post has responsibility to ensure more effective joint commissioning
of SEN learning and care needs to deliver better value for money.
Value for money is good. Cambridgeshire continues to receive a comparatively low level of
funding for all children’s services and delivers high-level outcomes. OCYPS marginally
underspent in 2007/08 and previous reliance on one-off reserves has been addressed.
Invest to Save funding has been applied successfully to develop fostering and adoption
services to reduce spend on independent sector placements and increase local provision
for young people with autistic spectrum disorders. Further investment in 2008/09 will reduce
the need for out county placements.
A Joint Commissioning strategy has been approved and there are good examples of joint
commissioning at an operational level. More work is required to better integrate strategic
commissioning, budgetary, monitoring and review processes, which are not developed
sufficiently. Plans are in place, including use of DCSF support, to assist this process.
Within the Council, a new Integrated Planning Process was introduced for 2008/09. Budget
and service planning were integrated with plans and financial decisions focused on priorities
(based on the JSNA), performance data and the outcomes of service reviews.
Services are designed to be accessible for children, young people, parents and carers and
are co-located where possible to provide access to the practitioners. The Area and Locality
structure introduced in 2006 is based on the provision of services at the most local level.
Services are increasingly located within schools as well as Connexions Centres for
teenagers and Sure Start Children’s Centres.
The DCS and Lead Member roles were established in 2005 with clear accountabilities. The
DCS chairs the CYPSP and the Lead Member chairs the Children and Young People
Steering Group (CYPSG). These arrangements are under review as part of a county wide
review of partnership arrangements and in the context of guidance on Children’s Trusts.
Partnership arrangements are effective at strategic and local levels.
The CYPSP performs the function of a Children’s Trust for Cambridgeshire and has good
representation of statutory agencies, schools, the VCS and children and young people. The
CYPSG holds the CYPSP, LSCB and the YOS Executive to account.
Area Partnerships have been operating successfully for two years developing joint working
and act as the link to the District based Local Strategic Partnerships, ensuring that the
needs of children and young people are clearly identified for priority action within each of
the five District based Sustainable Community Strategies. Locality governance structures
are in place to support decision-making and participation at the most local levels.
Local commissioning activity takes a common approach to identifying outcomes sought,
reviewing existing provision and developing commissioning and procurement plans. A
strong emphasis is placed on local commissioning activity within a countywide framework.
Schools’ Forum plays an increasingly important role in aligning the distribution of the
Dedicated Schools Grant to meet specific needs. Funding for “ministerial priorities” was
targeted at groups most at risk of falling behind. A comparatively high level of funding is
distributed on the basis of deprivation.
VCS agencies are involved in the development of services through effective engagement
with the strategic and area partnerships, with four representatives on the CYPSP. A
contract to support engagement is held with Young Lives, a local VCS organisation. VCS
partners are involved in development of key services such as Children’s Centres and are
represented on major project development teams. Representation is kept under review.
Services are secured from a variety of providers, based on ability to provide and judged
through tendering processes that focus on ‘quality, price and place’. Following the JAR
recommendation there has been a review and revision of funding arrangements for VCS
services. Arrangements have been put in place for over 30 VCS partners, moving towards a
policy of 3-year contracts in line with the newly agreed Compact. Support and training is
provided to local VCS partners to assist them in engaging in the procurement processes.
The Children’s Fund has allocated funding based on a needs assessment, with high
percentage of funding going to the VCS. Work is now underway to review progress through
the 5-13 Preventative Services commissioning group.
Budgets increasingly cross internal and external organisational boundaries. Budgets for
Area Directorates were revised, based on a need based funding formula introduced for the
2008/09 financial year. Placement budgets for social care and special educational needs
have been brought together. The further development of pooled budgets with health has
been in abeyance whilst new organisational structures are formed although at a local level
shared arrangements are in place for services such as Occupational Therapy, CAMHS.
Strong project management arrangements ensure the delivery of major projects to cost and
time targets and project boards provide for multi agency engagement. BSF, the introduction
of ICS, CAF and the delivery of new infrastructure in growth areas are all delivered
successfully through the application of project management methodology, BSF having
achieved all national targets to date for a Wave 4 project.
New initiatives are used to enhance service provision and integrated to ensure a coherent
range of services. Parent Support Advisors are managed through locality teams. All 22
Phase Children’s Centres were designated by national deadlines and provide a significant
local focus for integrated service provision.
A Children’s Workforce Strategy Steering Group is responsible for multi agency workforce
planning. A three-year strategy has been developed and implemented with collective action
secured through a Learning and Development Network, bringing together Workforce
Development Managers across the Partnership to co-construct action plans. Training needs
in OCYPS are identified through the analysis of team and personal learning plans to inform
a development programme. 1,901 employees attended training sessions in 07-08 with 25%
of the places used by partners. In the Council’s successful Investors in People re-
accreditation, it was reported that ‘People could describe how their learning and
development needs have been met, what they have learnt and how they have applied this
in their role’.
The recruitment and retention of certain groups of staff remains a key issue. Social care
vacancies were at 9.5% in September, an improvement on 06. However, Social Worker
vacancies stood at 14% at the end of March 08. The majority of vacancies were in
Assessment and Care Management Teams. A robust Recruitment and Retention Strategy
for Social Work is in place. Key aspects of this include: revision of pay scales, accelerated
salary progression routes, return to social work programmes, and launch of a recruitment
micro site. Additional funding to support the strategy has been provided for 08/09.
The training provision for the schools’ sector remains strong. The TDA gave the Schools’
Workforce Development Team a green rating for all of the 2007-08 deliverables.
Partner funding has enabled the creation of a new post to co-ordinate training across the
VCS. Service quality has improved because volunteers are trained to a higher standard and
can access consistent information, advice and guidance.
6.4 Performance Management
A strong performance management hierarchy is in place. The CYPSP and CYP Steering
Group monitor performance of the Big Plan quarterly and performance risks are reported up
to the LAA Board. Area Partnerships review local performance.
Performance management is a key driver for service improvement. Strong performance
management led to improvements in the level of LAC receiving health checks and the
recording of the participation of young people in youth work.
Quality reviews of service areas are undertaken regularly and result in service
improvements. The review of work with LAC resulted in the development of the Corporate
Parenting Group. A review of the impact of the Locality Teams supported the development
of new management roles and provided evidence for maintaining the PSA roles.
The Evaluation of Professional Practice (EPP) process involves observation and
assessment of Connexions Personal Advisers. Developmental work has been undertaken
to extend this process to other locality team staff.
Good use is made of external research evidence and evaluations of Children’s Fund Home
School Liaison and Youth Inclusion are informing commissioning decisions for 2008. In
addition, clinical evidence for the Childhood Obesity Strategy and a current review on the
role of primary mental health work informs CAMHS commissioning.
Scrutiny undertakes effective review work: most recently on Out of County Placements,
which identified opportunities to reduce numbers of children sent out of county for
educational or social care reasons.