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					                   BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL

                                                     EDUCATION AND
                                                     LIFELONG LEARNING
                                                     OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY
                                                     COMMITTEE
                                                     28 APRIL 2004


      MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE EDUCATION
      AND LIFELONG LEARNING OVERVIEW AND
      SCRUTINY COMMITTEE HELD ON WEDNESDAY 28
      APRIL 2004 AT 1400 HOURS, IN COMMITTEE
      ROOMS 3 AND 4 COUNCIL HOUSE, BIRMINGHAM

      PRESENT: - Councillor Les Lawrence in the Chair;

                   Councillors Susan Burfoot, John Clancy, Bill Evans, June Fuller,
                   Tony Kennedy, Gordon Green, Penny Wagg, Dorothy Wallace and
                   Mike Ward.

                   Father Edwin Cownley, Ms Mary Edwards and Mr Rod Bamford

      ALSO PRESENT

      Nigel Baker – National Union of Teachers
      Mike Clarke – Secondary Heads Association

                        *************************************

      APOLOGIES

109   Apologies for non-attendance were submitted on behalf of Councillor Les Byron,
      Dr Stuart Bentley, Parent Governor Representative and Mr Raymond Rowe,
      Association of Teachers and Lecturers.
      _________________________________________________________________

      MINUTES

110   The Minutes of the last meeting held on 31 March 2004 were confirmed as a
      correct record and signed by the Chairman.
      _________________________________________________________________

      EDUCATION AND LIFELONG LEARNING REVENUE BUDGET 2004/2005

      The following joint report of the Strategic Director of Learning and Culture and the
      Strategic Director of Resources was submitted:-

      (See document No. 1)


                                         69
        Education and Lifelong Learning Overview and Scrutiny Committee
                                 - 28 April 2004

       Martyn Scott, Principal Accountant, Learning and Culture presented the report.
       During the course of the presentation the meeting was informed that the net
       budget for the Education and Lifelong Learning Portfolio of £718,850 for 2004/05
       was approved by the City Council on 3 February 2004. Members’ attention was
       drawn to the number of base budget pressures and the funding and
       compensatory savings that had been identified to address these.

       Members also noted the range of other savings, totalling £1m, identified by the
       Portfolio to support the overall City Council budget strategy and the Service
       Improvement and Development monies, totalling £850,000, allocated to the
       Portfolio from the overall City Council budget. Responding to a question, the
       Lead Link Officer explained that an additional £250,000 had been allocated to the
       IT Pupil Tracking System to accelerate the implementation of the project.

       The Chairman requested further explanation of paragraph 4.14 of the report to
       provide Members with a clearer understanding of the medium-term financial
       planning. Members discussed the financial ramifications of the Upper Pay Spine
       3 Agreement, noting that any shortfall would have to be met by schools.

       The Committee requested further information on the anticipated impact of those
       LEA initiatives where reductions and to cut budgets were planned. Noting the
       compensatory savings identified from the Inclusion Support Division, Mary
       Edwards hoped that this did not impact on individual inclusion projects

       In response to concern expressed by Mr Bamford that the figures for full-time
       equivalent employees were estimated, the Lead Link Officer explained that it was
       only possible to estimate the average number of full-time equivalent employees
       within the service even for previous years, because there were staffing peaks and
       troughs throughout the year.

111           RESOLVED:-

              (i)     That the information presented to the Committee on the revenue
                      budget for 2004/05 for the Education and Lifelong Learning Portfolio
                      be noted;

              (ii)    That the Head of Education Finance provide further explanation on
                      the medium – term financial planning, referred to in paragraph 4.4 of
                      the report, to the next meeting; and

                  That the Head of Education Finance provide further details of the
              (iii)
                  anticipated impact of planned budgetary reductions to LEA
                  initiatives, to the next meeting.
       ________________________________________________________________

      AN UPDATE OF THE NEW OFSTED INSPECTION METHODS

      The following report of the Lead Link Officer was submitted:-

      (See document No. 2)



                                         70
        Education and Lifelong Learning Overview and Scrutiny Committee
                                 - 28 April 2004

      Sylvia McNamara, Assistant Director School Effectiveness, presented report that
      highlighted concerns raised by the LEAs and Head teachers about the OFSTED
      inspection framework introduced in September 2003 and detailed new inspection
      proposals expected to come into force in September 2004.

      Mary Edwards reported that Head Teachers of Church of England schools had
      expressed similar concerns about OFSTED inspections as those detailed in the
      report.

      Councillor Green explained that as Lead Member for the proposed scrutiny review
      of OFSTED inspection methods, upon examining the topic, he concluded that it
      was too early to go ahead with the review and there would be more evidence to
      scrutinise after September 2004.

      Councillor Clancy spoke of his own experience of OFSTED inspections. He felt
      there was a danger that smaller inspection teams would not have the breadth of
      knowledge of the curriculum. He believed that most teachers remained cynical
      about the inspection process, not least because the inspection remit frequently
      changed and the categories given to schools had a longlasting impact on the
      school and staff.

      Members discussed the merits of school inspections, press reporting and how to
      convey changes in the focus of inspections to parents.

      Nigel Barker, National Union of Teachers, highlighted that 90% of schools in
      Special Measures were in deprived areas. He felt that the current system of
      inspection was punitive and unless there was a cultural change, new inspection
      methods would not address this situation.

      The Chairman concluded from discussions there were three issues to be
      addressed, namely the integrity of the inspection process; confidence in the
      process of those being inspected and people reading inspection reports; and
      consistency of inspections. He suggested the review be placed on the 2004/05
      scrutiny work programme.

112          RESOLVED:-

             (i)    That the information presented to the Committee be noted; and

             (ii) The review of Ofsted inspection methods be placed on the
                  Committees’ scrutiny work programme for 2004/05.
       _________________________________________________________________

       EARLY YEARS PROVISION SCRUTINY REVIEW

113    The final version of the following report of the Education and Lifelong Learning
       Tracking Working Group was submitted and approved for submission to the Co-
       ordinating O&S Committee:-

       (See document No. 3)
       _________________________________________________________________


                                        71
      Education and Lifelong Learning Overview and Scrutiny Committee
                               - 28 April 2004


      REDUCING THE BUREAUCRATIC BURDEN ON TEACHERS SCRUTINY
      REVIEW

114   The final version of the following report of the Education and Lifelong Learning
      Tracking Working Group was submitted and approved for submission to the Co-
      ordinating Overview and Scrutiny Committee :-

      (See document No. 4)

      Responding to a question from Mr Bamford, the Chairman explained that it had
      not been feasible to fulfil his undertaking to write to all schools about good
      practice when advertising for staff, and he would report to the next Tracking
      Working Group meeting.
      _________________________________________________________________

      PROGRESS UPDATE ON CURRENT SCRUTINY REVIEWS

115   The following schedule was received and noted:-

      (See document No. 5)

      The Chairman clarified that the ‘Schools as an Integral Part of the Community’
      scrutiny review would be presented to City Council on 4 May 2004.
      _______________________________________________________________

      DRAFT SCRUTINY REVIEW PROFORMA – YOUNG PEOPLE’S
      INVOLVEMENT IN STRATEGIC DECISION MAKING WITHIN EDUCATION
      AND LIFELONG LEARNING

116   The following proforma prepared by the Young People’s Parliament proposing a
      scrutiny review to identify existing best practice in young people’s involvement in
      decision making, was submitted:-

      (See document No.6)

             RESOLVED:

           That terms of reference for the ‘Young People’s Involvement in Strategic
           Decision Making’ scrutiny review be approved and the review be included
           on the 2004/05 work programme.
      _________________________________________________________________

      COMMITTEE WORK PROGRAMME

117   The following report setting out the Committee’s work programme was received
      and noted:-

      (See document No.7)
      _________________________________________________________________



                                        72
      Education and Lifelong Learning Overview and Scrutiny Committee
                               - 28 April 2004


      CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

      The Chairman reported that he had nothing further to report at this time.
      _________________________________________________________________

      LIST OF OUTSTANDING MINUTES

      The following schedule was received and noted:-

      (See document No. 8)

      With reference to Outstanding Minute No. 67ii, the Lead Link Officer reported that
      there were 5801 statements in 2000, 5900 statements in 2001. This increased by
      400 in 2002 and a further 1000 statements in 2003. Members were advised that
      there were currently four vacancies in the Early Years Teacher Support Service.
      Finally, a home to school transport working group had been established and was
      due to hold its first meeting on 1 Ma 2004. Discussions on alternative transport
      arrangements would examine cases where it would be beneficial to develop some
      pupils’ independent living skills by encouraging them to using public transport.

      Responding to concern expressed by Mr Bamford about changes to the target
      dates set against some of the outstanding minutes, the Chairman and Lead Link
      Officer provided the following progress updates:-

      Outstanding Minute No. 19 – Birmingham Youth Service

      The Chairman reported that further guidance on the national youth service targets
      was expected in mid to late May. A further report was requested for the Autumn
      and the Young People’s Parliament scrutiny review would also examine youth
      services.

      Outstanding Minute No. 28 - School Funding

      It was confirmed that the information on school funding would be presented to the
      next meeting.

      Outstanding Minute Nos. 31i and 31ii - Powers and Duties of the LEA

      The Chairman explained that the Council Business Management Committee had
      established a sub group to examine the constitution in preparation for the Council
      AGM. Implications for overview and scrutiny would be reported to the first
      meeting of the new Municipal Year.

118          RESOLVED:-

            (i) That the list of outstanding minutes and update information provided at
            the meeting be noted; and

           (ii) Outstanding Minutes Nos. 67ii) and 88 be discharged.
      _________________________________________________________________


                                       73
      Education and Lifelong Learning Overview and Scrutiny Committee
                               - 28 April 2004


      SUMMARY OF DFES COMMUNICATION WITH LEAS

119   The following document listing DfES Communications with LEAs dated 26/3/04
      and 7/4/04 was received and noted:-

      (See document No.9)
      _________________________________________________________________

      DATE OF NEXT MEETING

120   It was noted that the next meeting would be held at 1400 hours, Wednesday 26
      May 2004, in Committee Room 3/4, Council House.

      _________________________________________________________________

      AUTHORITY TO ACT BETWEEN MEETINGS

121         RESOLVED:-


           That the Chairman, or in his absence, the Vice-Chairman be authorised to
           act until the next meeting of the Committee except in respect of the
           exercise of the Council's functions, in which case the Lead Link Officer be
           authorised to act in consultation with the Chairman, (or in his absence the
           Vice-Chairman); further that a report of all action taken under this authority
           be submitted to the next meeting of the Committee and that such report
           explain why this authority was used.
      _________________________________________________________________

      The meeting ended at 1525 hours.




                                                             ………………………………
                                                             CHAIRMAN




                                       74

				
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