Agenda and minutes

Children and Young People Select Committee - Tuesday, 20th April, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Remote Meeting. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 


No. Item


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.



Public Open Forum


No members of the public were present.



Annual Report of the Chief Officer for Children and Young People: To scrutinise the performance of the work of the directorate over the past year and the forward direction

Additional documents:


Will McLean delivered the report and answered the members’ questions.


The Health Service is likely to be overwhelmed by wider demands following the pandemic. If we are already not meeting with it as effectively as possible, how can better links with Health be guaranteed after the pandemic?

We had a recent Headteachers’ session, in which we were joined by Dave Williams, Aneurin Bevan’s ‘DECLO’ – dedicated lead for relationships with education, under the new ALN Act. Dave came to talk specifically about how to enhance and improve the relationships, to ensure that we are meeting all of those expectations under the new Act – so it seems that Aneurin Bevan wants to work differently with us. We concur with the pressures that the NHS is going to see. We will need to be very clear about our expectations around therapies etc. for children and young people, how they access them from their SNRB base, our expectations around frequency, attendance, etc. It is at that level that we are keen to work with Aneurin Bevan. Jacquelyn Elias is working very closely with the health board about a revised memorandum of understanding between us and them to ensure that we capture that.

A recurring issue has been the high level of fixed-term exclusions. As children come back to school, and some inevitably exhibit challenging behaviour, how will the team support schools to avoid the number of exclusions rising?

Speaking to some Headteachers, we are already seeing the change going from the very different year we’ve had into a more traditional setting – this change is indeed challenging for some of our young people, and we are already getting reports about challenging behaviours. We recently started a piece of work across our traditional inclusion services, educational psychology team and ALN team, to work through a clear process for our schools to understand the pathway: when children are identified with challenging behaviour, what is the root cause of that behaviour, and how can we help at that level? For example, with emotionally based school avoidance, there will be emotionally-based behaviours as well, as alluded to in the presentation.

Has the process started yet of trying to capture the brilliant new practice that has emerged?

Yes, some of the changes have been incredible. Some of the ways that schools have thought about things differently will be continued: the adaptations that have been made, the changes to curricula, changes in delivery to groups, the use of space, and more, will carry on in the future. It has been an interesting point of time: we knew the new curriculum was coming, but it was then delayed due to the pandemic, allowing schools to meet their learners’ needs as locally determined, which now allows them to move smoothly from the current delivery into the new curriculum delivery. A huge amount of activities and ways of working will continue. One example is virtual parents’ evenings, which will almost certainly be retained into the future, and we will work  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Children and Young People Select Forward Work Plan pdf icon PDF 501 KB


We would like to look at Free School Meals, probably asking Sharon Randall-Smith to update the committee, and young carers. We wish to set up a sub-group for the matters raised by the Youth Service at the last meeting, and are looking for volunteers. The other topic to consider is an update on the new curriculum; Councillor Brown would like to add the matter of whether there should be a postponement, considering Covid.



Cabinet and Council Work Planner pdf icon PDF 203 KB


To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 488 KB


The minutes were confirmed and signed as an accurate record.



To confirm the date and time of the next meeting as 27th May 2021