- Meeting of Special Meeting, Children and Young People Select Committee, Monday, 26th July, 2021 10.00 am (Item 3.)
Report on the performance against the 5 goals
Members were advised that this report had been brought to the select committee to enable members to consider the Council’s progress in meeting its five priority goals as set out in the five-year Corporate Plan. The officer explained the structure of the report and explained how the actions relate to the goals and specifically the focus would be on the areas that fall within the committee’s remit, Appendix 2 providing a progress update.
The officer explained that the pandemic had led to some delays on projects and some work having been paused temporarily, as the Council focussed its attention on delivering key services in challenging times. The council has a Coronavirus Strategy which was adopted by the cabinet and has ensured that activities have been focussed and coordinated. The council has needed to respond to the pandemic and put in place initiatives to support people and some of these significant activities are:
• The advancement in digital and blended learning to ensure children could access learning during schools closures
• Family Support meetings in outdoor settings
• Remote Friday Friendlies ~ a Monmouthshire Youth Council Engage 2 Change Initiative to enable young people to meet and talk
• The shift project ~ supported 100 young people face to face and digitally who had poor mental health and well-being
• Outdoor open access play sessions during Easter holidays for 1100 children and young people
• Mon life activity hubs at the 4 leisure centres which accommodated 4200 young people
• Summer play scheme held at 3 sites across the county to provide additional support for children with disabilities
Ordinarily the report would include national performance indicators which would enable us to draw comparisons with other councils, however, the pandemic has led to insufficient information being collected to be able to benchmark to analyse performance, although we have gathered what data is available and provided and explanation. The report on progress against the five goals will be presented to Council in October.
The chair thanked the Performance and Improvement Officer for the presentation and invited questions from members.
• My comment is in relation to action points in the report, particularly the Home to School Transport and Safe Routes to School ~ I believe these are the same and should be amalgamated.
I agree and this is something that we can take forward, given that we are in the final year of this Corporate Plan.
• The report refers to reviewing and developing leadership structures across schools such as Kymin and Llandogo and as I believe that as we move forward, we need to look at amalgamation of leadership structures in terms of management, but also in terms of governing bodies, the example being Abergavenny and the proposals for the new “through school”, to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.
Thanks for the question and your comment which is a fair one. There are several schools where we have partnership leadership arrangements and I think this is a very fair comment and is something we do need to do in the future.
• The report refers to money being spent to improve travel routes to schools in towns. I’m not sure how these are being improved and if this is a question for MonLife.
Money had been received from Welsh Government for Active Travel and also Safer Routes and climate change considerations but due to the rurality tof the county, some children will need to access school by bus, so this is something that MonLife are working on at the moment.
• I recall an initiative in another area named ‘Walking Buses’ where children are accompanied by each other and older children to access school. I’m not sure if this would be feasible in our county.
The ‘Walking Bus’ schemes are very interesting and we will consider them but we need to find approaches that suit each school individually.
I’d like to offer thanks to you for preparing this report and for the input of the Chief Officer. There were two points raised by members today in terms of amalgamating the actions relating to Home to School Transport and Safe Routes to Schools and also the comments about developing the management arrangements and governance around schools with shared leadership. There are no other specific recommendations members wish to make, so I’m content that the committee is satisfied with the performance of the areas that fall within this committee’s remit.