15 MAY 2024






Since the last Full Council, there have been 2 committee meetings, these were held on 28 February and 17 April. 


Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee: 28 February 2024


The committee meeting covered the following items:-


Schools Update

We received a presentation by Amanda Newbold, Assistant Director for Education and Skills, and Howard Emmett, Assistant Director for Resources.

The key points are summarised below:

·         Current percentage of Local Authority Schools is 60% and Academy Schools is 40%

·         For this academic year so far, 98% of schools which have been inspected by Ofsted and those who have had a report published, remain or became Good or Outstanding.

·         Although the percentage of Primary or Secondary Schools rated Good or Outstanding is lower than the national average, the gap is closing.

·         36 schools are projected to be in an accumulated deficit position. But a high percentage of schools remain to be Ofsted rated Good or Outstanding demonstrating that even though some may be in deficit, they are still maintaining high standards.


Transitions/preparation for Adulthood

We considered a presentation and report by Janet Crawford, Assistant Director for Inclusion and Karen Siennicki, Assistant Director for Adult Social Care and Support.


The key points are summarised below:

·         Transitions, is now being referred to as Preparation for Adulthood (PfA) as this more accurately describes the many stages of a young person’s life. The emphasis is on partnership working and focuses on key areas such as co-production, communication, employment, education, and independent living.

·         The PfA Pathway addresses how young people are supported during their transition from Children’s Social Care into Adult Social Care.

·         Next steps include developing a multi-agency pathway to support Transitional Safeguarding with the Youth Justice Service, the Police, etc., and to promote the new Pathway for practitioners.


Members discussed a number of issues around Special Educational Needs and Disability and look forward to an update on the SEND Employment Forum at the next meeting.


Draft North Yorkshire Substance Use Strategy 2024-2026

We considered a presentation by Dr. Gill Kelly, Consultant in Public Health, and Louise Wallace, Director of Public Health on the draft North Yorkshire Substance Use Strategy.


The key points are summarised below:

·         The Vision of the Strategy is: We will reduce harms associated with substance use across North Yorkshire – putting people, health and communities at the centre.

·         There are several specific goals related to young people, including providing 5,000 new treatment places for young people and a reduction in young people who perceive it is acceptable to take drugs.

The Committee was pleased to hear that although vaping isn’t included in the draft strategy, it is still being addressed and resource materials are being issued to schools. 


Director of Public Health Annual Report

Louise Wallace, Director of Public Health introduced her Annual Report - Our Words: A Child’s Life in North Yorkshire.


Louise explained that it seemed appropriate to focus her Annual Report on the voice of children and young people.  What makes children and young people happy is not technology but being with friends and being outside. Members commented on the quality and usefulness of this report and look forward to a progress update next year.


Healthy Child Service

We considered a  presentation by Emma Lonsdale, Head of Public Health and Carly Dodsworth, General Manager for the 0-19 Service at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust. 


The key points are summarised below:

·         The Service is needs-led and based on four pillars, covering universal, mandated and targeted services.

·         The Service is working with the NHS to help people stop smoking during maternity. 

·         An Oral Health package has been delivered to pre-School children in nurseries.


Members agreed that it would be useful to see how North Yorkshire compares nationally in the Ages and Stages Questionnaire.



Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee: 17 April 2024


The second committee meeting was held on 17 April and convened as a result of a Call-In request following the decision made at the Executive on 19 March to cease to maintain Fountains Earth, Lofthouse CE Endowed Primary School. Unfortunately, the school currently had no pupils on roll and there was no realistic prospect of Reception pupils requiring a place from September 2024. The school would not receive any pupil-led funding and NYC was not able to approve any additional funding.


After considering the two public statements and noting the contents of the information presented to them, the Committee agreed that the Council had provided enough to enable them to make an informed decision. They voted unanimously to uphold the decision made at the Executive meeting on 19 March 2024.


Looking ahead

The Items due for consideration at our next meeting on 21 June are-


·                Potential School Closures: Support and Process

·                Annual Report of the Young People’s Champion

·                FEAST (Food. Entertainment. Arts. Sport. Together)

·                Foster Carers Service

·                SEND Employment Forum





26 April 2024