Summary of CSCB Board Meeting 20th May 2019
The meeting was chaired by Di Smith (Independent CSCB Chair).
Updates from Previous Meetings
Following the extensive discussion at the March meeting regarding bereavement support for schools. Rob Henderson (Executive Director, Children, Families and Education) confirmed that this is now included in the Octavo Service Level agreement with Schools.
Updates from the Priority Groups
The transition to the new Safeguarding Arrangements under ‘Working Together 2018’ has led to the establishment of three Priority Groups (PGs), with the aim of driving the Partnership’s three main priorities. There are opportunities to double up on training opportunities. Duplication must be avoided by clarifying lines of responsibility and by identifying how the three Priority Groups will work together on certain aspects. This will be facilitated by a different member of the Executive Group Chairing each of the three Priority Groups. There will be a clear Forward Plan in terms of the Priority Groups reporting back.
The three Priority Groups will report back at the first Partnership meeting on 25 November 2019.
Neglect – chaired by Rob Henderson (Executive Director – Children, Families and Education)
Terms of Reference have been agreed. Findings from the Neglect Thematic Review have been combined into the Strategy which aims to ensure children and young people are “seen, heard and helped”. A Neglect Development Day has been scheduled for 20 June 2019. Awareness raising campaign is in planning with the Communications Team.
Safeguarding Children With Disability – chaired by Elaine Clancy (Joint Chief Nurse CCG & CHS)
Draft derms of reference were circulated in advance. The group has met and has begun to develop its business plan. There is a need to be mindful that there are currently a number of groups looking at various aspects of CWD and it needs to be made clear that the CWD PG is focussed on the Safeguarding and Wellbeing of Children with Disabilities and Additional Needs. – a much wider cohort than the complex CWD cases held by the Disability Team under Mike Brown. These need to have a clear focus and be aligned to avoid duplication. The name “Safeguarding CWD” was proposed as a title for the priority group.
Vulnerable Adolescents – chaired by Neil Matthews (Det Superintendent, Met police)
The first meeting had been well attended, the terms of reference had been agreed and a data review started. Rachel Flowers (Director of Public Health) noted that the complexity of various partnerships and Boards need to be aligned and governance mapped. There is regular communication with the Community Safety Partnership, Di Smith responded that she, as Chair of the CSCB has attended meetings of the CSP to brief on the Vulnerable Adolescent Review (VAR60). In addition discussion relating to the Violence Reduction Network has taken place at a recent CSCB Executive Group meeting. Di Smith advised that strong relationships and joint planning will be the key to avoiding duplication and fragmentation.
CDOP Annual Report 2018/19
The draft report had been circulated in advance. The presentation can befound here. The report was presented by Rachel Flowers who cautioned that due to low number, year on year comparisons were not suitable to identify trends. Maureen Floyd (CSCB Board Manager) asked if an amalgamation of the data over the last 11 years could be used, Rachel Flowers responded that changes made to datasets during this period means an analysis would not be possible. Rachel Flowers did agree to consider what analysis from the last 11 reports might be possible.
Under the new arrangements, Croydon will become part of the South West London (SWL) Alliance. This arrangement will facilitate a better identification of trends as the numbers of deaths under review will be greater. A proposal has been put forward that Croydon will Chair the initial 6 meetings, with Sutton acting as Deputy. This has not yet been agreed. It is hoped that a Public Health Chair will provide the appropriate level of challenge and rigour.
Once agreed by the Executive Group, the report would be published on the CSCB website.
Public Health Approach To Address Violence In Croydon (including implications for LSP)
Gareth Llywelyn-Roberts (Interim Director of the Violence Reduction Network) attended to present this item. A report detailing the Public Health approach to addressing violence in Croydon had been circulated in advance of the meeting. His presentation can be seen here..
Councillor Flemming asked how it is anticipated that the VRN proposals fit with the Early Help offer. Gareth Llywelyn-Roberts responded that under the proposals, specialist services would continue to deliver the same offer although they may have to do this differently. Services provided under the VRN would be seen as the next stage of an intervention and a continuation of a support process.
There followed a rich conversation involving many partners. It was reported that the Executive Group has agreed that Rob Henderson, Neil Matthews, Gareth Llywelyn-Roberts and Steve Phaure (Chief Executive CVA) will meet to discuss the alignment of different initiatives in relation to VRN, Vulnerable Adolescents Priority Group and the Young Londoners bid.
Education 175 Annual Report 2018/19
Chris Roberts (Head of Learning Access) and Mark Malcolm (Attendance and Exclusion Manager) attended to present this item. The report had been circulated in advance of the meeting. The presentation can be seen here.
Audit data was collected in October and reflects the last Academic year. There has since been significant changes to the MASH and Early Help processes during this year.
It was agreed that the Education team had achieved an excellent return rate from all schools. This was achieved largely through chase-up emails, telephone calls and, in some cases, unannounced safeguarding visits to schools. It was noted that the audits are viewed positively by most schools. The audit is seen as an important tool and is used to support Action Planning.
There was a 100% return from Independent Private Schools.
The practice of ‘off-rolling’ students is a cause for concern. It is often used at inappropriate times. It is thought that numbers reported are not accurate as schools often include students transitioning at expected times. A deep dive audit across schools would be useful. The issue of pupil movement is complex and requires more analysis.
Audit questions go through a regular iteration process.
Further exploration of the numbers of CAMHS referrals by schools is needed, together with how some schools provide their own mental health support services and the quality and thresholds for these in-house services. Any pressures on school budgets is likely to impact on these additional services, as a way of protecting teaching quality. There is a large number of students requiring additional support. This needs to be balanced against the budget and school finance.
Gangs work in Independent and Primary schools needs to be improved. The perception that Primary school age children would not be involved in Gangs is challenged by the findings in the VAR60 report.
It was agreed that Gang work in Primary schools, together with findings from the VAR60, will be included in future audits.
Membership Of The Croydon Safeguarding Children Partnership.
The Croydon Safeguarding Children Partnership (CSCP) will be facilitated by Di Smith, in her role as providing Independent Scrutiny.
Revised logos for the CSCP will be considered at the next Executive Group meeting.
Croydon’s new arrangements will be advised to the DfE by 29 June 2019, to be implemented from 1 September 2019. As per ‘Working Together 2018’ the three Statutory Partners are identified as CSC, the CCG and the Police. The guidance allows different localities to identify their own relevant agencies for inclusion in the CSCP membership.
Di Smith noted the importance of new members understanding the purpose of the group. Meetings will not take the format of a business meeting but will provide an opportunity for discussion. The guidance provides an outline description for Partnership meetings.
The next, and final CSCB meeting, before the transition to new arrangements will take place on 22nd July 2019