The Cabinet is asked to approve the proposals set out in the attached key decision report.
The Cabinet Member for Children and Young People will introduce the report.
The Chairman of the specially established Task and Finish Group will be invited to summarise the Group’s deliberations on the proposals.
Each of the main Opposition Group Leaders will be invited to speak for up to three minutes each on the report.
The Cabinet will then discuss the report and the proposals prior to taking any decision.
Following consideration of the report, Cabinet resolved to:
1. Approve the proposals for the principal provisions for the Memorandum of Understanding with the Department for Education as the basis for the establishment of a Children’s Trust in accordance with the direction given to the Council by the Secretary of State for Education
2. Give authority to the Chief Executive to sign the Memorandum of Understanding with the Department for Education based on the proposals for inclusion as approved by the Cabinet.
The call-in deadline is 29 October 2020.
38.2 The report was introduced by Cllr Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People who outlined that, following an inadequate Ofsted inspection of Children’s Services in early 2019 and subsequent Direction from the Secretary of State, the authority is required to establish a Trust service delivery model and to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department for Education (DfE). The model proposed will encompass the whole of the Children’s Services department, including Education and Skills, within the scope of the trust. Including the entire service within the Trust aligns with the recommendation of the Children’s Commissioner and maintains a clear and integrated approach as the service continues on its improvement journey. The Trust would become effective in October 2021.
38.3 Cllr Stephen Hillier, Chairman of the scrutiny ‘services for a proposed Children’s Trust Task and Finish Group’ (TFG) provided the conclusions of the group:
· There was unanimity that all services should sit within the trust.
· The Board of the trust should comprise membership with solid experience, and that education and early help should be equally represented for effective overall delivery.
· Future costs to the Council and disruption to staff were considered as potential risks and areas for potential future scrutiny.
· Supported the implementation of the Trust, and that the Executive Director for Children, Young People and Learning be appointed as Chief Executive of the Trust.
· That consideration be given to how the trust engages with other services within the County Council.
38.4 Cllr Dr James Walsh, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group highlighted that former mistakes within the service should be learnt from. He asked what the Trust would cost the taxpayer over the next three to five years and questioned how the Board would be subject to scrutiny, and how governance arrangements deal with accountability. The Cabinet Member for Children and Young People clarified these points.
38.5 Cllr Michael Jones, Leader of the Labour Group asked whether staff were protected by the Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment (TUPE) regulations and this was confirmed. He stated that all members should have been consulted on the scope of the Trust and commented that the proposed scope surrendered responsibility as the local education authority. He requested a progress update at full Council in March 2021.
38.6 Resolved - that Cabinet: