18 MAY 2022


This statement covers the period from the meeting of the County Council on 16 February 2022 to the County Council elections on 5 May 2022






Children’s Mental Health


The Committee received a wide-ranging joint presentation from officers in the Children and Young People’s Service Directorate, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust and North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group. It is available via this link Children's Mental Health


The Thrive Framework was outlined - a national framework, based on five categories, with an emphasis on good mental health and prevention. Other points highlighted included:-


-       Increased demand has been a factor for many years – not just since Covid-19.  Many services have seen an increase in complexity and acuity, with a noticeable increase in eating disorders.


-       Services have responded well and adapted to new ways of working.


-       The actual service offer for Children’s Mental Health in North Yorkshire has increased but, in some services, waiting times have increased. 


-       In CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services) work has been undertaken to improve the service’s knowledge and understanding of the young people waiting, to ensure that an element of safety is built into processes.


-       Managing demand is a key challenge, particularly waiting times re eating disorders.


-       There has also been an increased trend in the number of children and young people referred with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.


-       All young people and their families have access to free digital support, via Kooth; the Go to signposting website and Compass Buzz Us – a text messaging service.


-       Responses to the Growing up in North Yorkshire Survey indicate that, for the majority of our Schools, the wellbeing and resilience of children and young people has declined over time.


-       Notwithstanding the increase in demand and waiting times, a lot of work has been carried out, including the Suicide and Self Harm Pathway, as part of the Children’s Services Partnership. Good feedback has been received about this.


-       Strategically, a Mental Health Summit, attended by Senior Leaders across the system, committed to develop system wide transformation in response to identifiable increases in demand and pressures.


-       Operational developments include the Anna Freud Project.  These are Workshops with local Schools to support the development of partnerships between Schools and Mental Health Leaders to improve access to services.


Officers responded to questions from Members concerning eating disorders; actions being taken to reduce waiting times; the likelihood of increased demand for services; staffing levels; how they envisage joint working in the future; and OCD.


As Chair, I commented that this is an area that needs to be considered further by the Committee, in due course, as the work undertaken with children and young people can help to prevent problems at a later stage.


Annual Update of the Young People’s Champion – Councillor Annabel Wilkinson


Councillor Annabel Wilkinson  advised that her role is to raise awareness of the views and concerns of young people, making sure their voice is heard; to be supportive of them; and to support the work of the Executive Member for Children’s Services; officers in Children and Young People’s Services and fellow Members.


Among the points made by Councillor Wilkinson were that:


-       during the Pandemic, we have seen a wonderful response from North Yorkshire in supporting young people, working in different ways to keep children happy and safe;


-       the New Youth Voice and Engagement Team do a wonderful job; and


-       looking to the future, it could be that young people will be a part of each Area Constituency Committee. This would be a valuable experience for young people and Members.


The Executive Member for Children’s Services and the Corporate Director thanked Councillor Wilkinson for the work she had undertaken in the role.


Schools Update


The Corporate Director for Children and Young People’s Service appraised the Committee on the following areas:-


·           Strategic Planning

·           School Funding 2022/2023

·           School Performance

·           Strategic Priorities; School Improvement

·           Safeguarding within recent Inspections

·           Published Inspection Overview

·           Monitoring Inspections

·           Autumn Term Planning Meetings.


He highlighted a number of matters, including the following:-


-       Schools funding for 2022/2023 had increased by 3.2% overall and pupil led funding will be enhanced by 2%. We are lobbying for the National Funding Formula to increase the minimum level of funding, as we are still behind the national average.


-       The Department for Education has agreed to change its distance measures from as the crow flies to go by the road distance. This is a good outcome.


-       An additional £3.5 million for sparsity funding has been received. This will benefit 78 Schools.  There remains concern for small Secondary Schools, in particular, where sparsity funding has not come through.


-       A joint Training Day for School Leaders was held in September 2021 by Ofsted and the Directorate, with over 300 delegates attending.  Ofsted have taken this format and will use it as an example of good practice.


The Corporate Director responded to questions from Members on Safeguarding; the number of Governors and Early Years Consultation.


Reflections and the future


I presented a report which outlined the work carried out by the Committee during the life of the County Council, 2017-2022.  It also suggested a “long list” of Items that those Members who form the Committee, following the County Council Elections in May 2022, might wish to consider for inclusion in its Work Programme.


It is pleasing to note that some of the vacancies for Co-opted Members have now been filled.




28th April 2022