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Meeting Details

Education Policy Board
5 Mar 2015 - 13:00 to 17:00
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  • Attendance
  • Visitors
  • Declarations of Interests

Documents

Agenda

Agenda
Notification
Committee Members
Board Membership
Reverend Graeme Clark: Mr Iain Keith: Mr Jack Nellaney: Councillor Maria Brown: Councillor Bill Brown: Councillor Lorraine Cameron: Councillor Roy Glen: Councillor Paul Mack: Councillor Mark Macmillan: Councillor Iain McMillan: Councillor Alexander Murrin: Councillor Allan Noon: Councillor Bill Perrie: Councillor Jim Sharkey: Councillor Maureen Sharkey: Councillor Tommy Williams:

Councillor Jacqueline Henry (Convener); Councillor Stuart Clark (Depute Convener)
Standard Items
Members of the Press and Public
Members of the press and public wishing to attend the meeting should report to the customer service centre where they will be met and directed to the meeting.
Further Information
This is a meeting which is open to members of the public. 

A copy of the agenda and reports for this meeting will be available for inspection prior to the meeting at the Customer Service Centre, Renfrewshire House, Cotton Street, Paisley and online at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/agendas. 

For further information, contact
democratic-services@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

Present
Councillors B Brown, Murrin, Perrie, J Sharkey, M Sharkey, Williams, Glen, Mack, Cameron, Henry, M Macmillan, I McMillan, Noon and M Brown and I Keith.
Chair
Councillor Henry, Convener, presided.
In Attendance
P Macleod, Director of Children’s Services; R Naylor, G McKinlay, Head of Service; M Dewar, Acting Head of Service; T McEwan, Education Manager (Planning & Performance); A Conboy, Acting Education Manager and S Allan, Head of Centre, Hugh Smiley Pre-5 Centre (all Children’s Services); and D Forbes, Finance Manager, D Low, Senior Committee Services Officer and E Currie, Committee Services Officer (all Finance & Resources).
Valedictory
The Convener advised that this was Robert Naylor’s last Education Policy Board meeting before he took up his new post at Falkirk Council. She thanked him both personally and on behalf of the administration for his tireless work and advice. Councillor Cameron, on behalf of the SNP group also paid tribute.
Items Of Business
Apologies
Apologies received from members of the Board.
Councillor Clark and J Nellaney.
Declarations of Interest
Members are asked to declare an interest in any item(s) on the agenda and to provide a brief explanation of the nature of the interest.
There were no declarations of interest intimated prior to the commencement of the meeting.
Report by Directors of Finance & Resources and Children's Services.
1
There was submitted a joint revenue budget monitoring report by the Directors of Finance & Resources and Children's Services for the service for the period 1st April, 2014 to 2nd January, 2015.

DECIDED:

(a) That the budget position be noted; and

(b) That it be noted that there had been net budget realignments of £182,765 processed since the last report primarily relating to £130,000 drawn down from Invest in Renfrewshire funds in relation to youth employability together with transfers to the corporate landlord and the realignment of non-domestic rates budgets.
Report by Director of Finance & Resources.
2
There was submitted a capital budget monitoring report by the Director of Finance & Resources for the service for the period 1st April, 2014 to 2nd January, 2015.

DECIDED: That the report be noted.
Report by Director of Children's Services.
3
There was submitted a report by the Director of Children's Services relative to the service improvement plan (SIP) outturn report for the service to February 2015.

The SIP detailed the key challenges facing the service and outlined the range of activities the service would aim to achieve during 2014/17.  Progress on the implementation of the SIP was monitored and reported to the Board on a six-monthly basis to allow the Board to review progress. This report updated the progress which had been achieved with the implementation of the SIP to the end of February 2015.

Following the integration of education and leisure and social work services under a new directorate and the transfer of leisure services to an expanded trust, an integrated service improvement plan would be developed by May 2015.

DECIDED: That the progress that had been made with the implementation of the 2014/15 to 2016/17 SIP actions relating to the service be noted.


SEDERUNT

Councillor Mack entered the meeting prior to consideration of the following item of business.



Report by Director of Children's Services.
4(a)
Under reference to item 4 of page 28 of the Minute of the meeting of this Board held on 21st August, 2014 there was submitted a report by the Director of Children’s Services relative to issues raised and comments made in the course of the consultation exercise and recommendations to progress the proposals.

The report intimated that, in line with legislative requirements, a formal consultation on the proposal to review catchment arrangements affecting St Anne’s and St James’ (Renfrew) Primary Schools had been held. Responses to the proposal to review the catchment area were detailed in Appendix 1 to the report. The outcome of this consultation demonstrated support for the proposal to alter the catchment areas to create a natural geographical boundary along the Black Cart river line, incorporating the village of Inchinnan and the surrounding outlying farmland areas into the catchment area of St Anne’s Primary School.

DECIDED:

(i) That the issues raised through the formal consultation detailed in Appendix 1 to the report be noted;

(ii) That the comments made by Education Scotland in relation to the educational benefits of the proposals detailed in Appendix 4 to the report be noted;

(iii) That the revised catchment arrangements affecting St Anne’s and St James’ (Renfrew) Primary Schools be approved; and

(iv) That it be noted that the catchment changes would be implemented from August 2015.
Report by Director of Children's Services.
4(b)
Under reference to item 3 of page 28 of the Minute of the meeting of this Board held on 21st August, 2014 there was submitted a report by the Director of Children’s Services relative to issues raised and comments made in the course of the consultation exercise and recommendations to progress the proposals.

The report intimated that, in line with legislative requirements, a formal consultation on the proposal to review catchment arrangements affecting St Fillan’s and Our Lady of Peace Primary Schools had been held. Responses to the proposal to review the catchment area were detailed in Appendix 1 to the report. The outcome of this consultation demonstrated support for the proposal to alter the catchment areas to create a natural geographical boundary which would allow all denominational pupils the opportunity to attend the local denominational school in Houston.

DECIDED:

(i) That the issues raised through the formal consultation detailed in Appendix 1 to the report be noted;


(ii) That the comments made by Education Scotland in relation to the educational benefits of the proposals detailed in Appendix 4 to the report be noted;

(iii) That the revised catchment arrangements affecting St Fillan’s and Our Lady of Peace Primary Schools be approved; and

(iv) That it be noted that the catchment changes would be implemented from August 2015.
Report by Director of Children's Services.
4(c)
Under reference to item 5 of page 29 of the Minute of the meeting of this Board held on 21st August, 2014 there was submitted a report by the Director of Children’s Services relative to issues raised and comments made in the course of the consultation exercise and recommendations to progress the proposals.

The report intimated that, in line with legislative requirements, a formal consultation on the proposal to relocate St Fergus’ Primary School to a new school building and review catchment arrangements affecting St Fergus’ and St Mary’s Primary Schools had been held. Responses to the proposals were detailed in Appendix 1 to the report.

Based on site evaluations of the existing St Fergus’ Primary School site; the former Ferguslie Primary School site; and the vacant site at the north west junction of Blackstoun Road and Bankfoot Road, Paisley and an assessment of the site in terms of its educational benefits; size and operational efficiency; ground conditions; and the Council’s strategic land use objectives within the Ferguslie area of Paisley, the report recommended that the site at the north west junction of Blackstoun Road and Bankfoot Road, Paisley presented the most suitable location for the new school.

DECIDED:

(i) That the issues raised through the formal consultation detailed in Appendix 1 to the report be noted;

(ii) That the comments made by Education Scotland in relation to the educational benefits of the proposals detailed in Appendix 4 to the report be noted;

(iii) That the relocation of St Fergus’ Primary School to a new school building on the site of the north west junction of Blackstoun Road and Bankfoot Road, Paisley be approved;

(iv) That the development of detailed project proposals, including project design, fully developed project costing, financial assessment and funding approach for the construction of a new school be approved;

(v) That it be noted that the new facility would be delivered by the Council’s property services section, augmented by external consultants as required, and that a main contractor would be appointed through an open tender process; and

(vi) That the revised catchment arrangements affecting St Fergus’ and St Mary’s Primary Schools be approved and implemented from August 2015.
Report by Director of Children's Services.
5(a)
There was submitted a report by the Director of Children’s Services relative to the inspection by Education Scotland of Hugh Smiley Pre-5 Centre, Paisley.

The inspection report and quality indicator evaluations, published by Education Scotland on 6th January, 2015, were appended to the report. The inspection report had identified four key strengths and one area for further improvement. It was noted that Education Scotland would make no further visits in connection with the inspection. An improvement action plan had been developed, which would be shared with parents, indicating how the main findings of the inspection report would be addressed. In addition the centre would be supported by quarterly monitoring visits by the link education officer.

DECIDED: That the key strengths and the area for improvement in the Education Scotland report on the Hugh Smiley Pre-5 Centre, Paisley be noted.
Report by Director of Children's Services.
5(b)
There was submitted a report by the Director of Children’s Services relative to the inspection by Education Scotland of Foxlea Pre-5 Centre, Paisley.

The inspection report and quality indicator evaluations, published by Education Scotland on 6th January, 2015, were appended to the report. The inspection report had identified two key strengths and four areas for further improvement. Education Scotland had concluded that Foxlea Pre-5 Centre needed additional support and more time to make necessary improvements. The area lead officer would discuss the most appropriate support in order to build capacity for improvement and Education Scotland would maintain contact to monitor progress. A progress report would be submitted to Education Scotland who would carry out a further inspection within 18 months of the publication of their report. This report would be submitted to a future meeting of this Board.

An improvement action plan had been developed indicating how the main findings of the inspection report would be addressed. In addition the centre would be supported by weekly monitoring visits by the link education officer.

DECIDED: That the key strengths and the areas for improvement in the Education Scotland report on the Foxlea Pre-5 Centre, Paisley be noted.
Report by Director of Children's Services.
6
There was submitted a report by the Director of Children’s Services relative to improving the way in which education establishments engaged with parents on reporting progress on children’s learning.

The report intimated that Building the Curriculum 5 (2011) provided guidance for all teaching staff on the main areas of the assessment strategy for Curriculum for Excellence. It set out key messages about principles of assessment, standards and expectations, ensuring consistency, CPD and support, reporting to parents, informing self-evaluation for improvement and monitoring standards over time.


A cross-sectoral working group had been set up within Renfrewshire Council to take forward the reporting to parents aspect of Building the Curriculum 5 (2011) and the work of the group was detailed in the report. An action plan had been developed to support the work of the group and this formed the appendix to the report.

DECIDED:

(a) That the work of the group be noted; and

(b) That the action plan, detailed in the appendix to the report, be approved.
Report by Director of Children's Services.
7
There was submitted a report by the Director of Children’s Services relative to the Home to School Transport Policy approved at the meeting of this Board held on 9th May, 2013. This policy document included a transport eligibility address list which identified those addresses that would be entitled to free school transport.

This list required to be amended as a result of the construction of the new St James’ Primary School in Renfrew adjacent to the old school site. The impact of this school relocation was that some addresses which qualified previously for free school transport no longer did and some addresses which had not qualified previously for free school transport now did.

DECIDED:

(a) That it be noted that in certain circumstances (eg construction of a new school building) there would be a requirement to adjust the Transport Eligibility Address List to reflect the relevant additions and removals of postal addresses;

(b) That it be agreed that the amended Transport Eligibility Address List be published on the Council’s website;

(c) That it be agreed that those pupils currently receiving free school transport, but that were no longer entitled because of the change in the Transport Eligibility Address List would continue to do so while they attended the school. Siblings of these pupils would only be provided transport in instances where the pupil enrolled in the school at a time when their sibling attended the school and this would continue for the pupil until he/she leaves the school;

(d) That it be noted that the new Transport Eligibility Address List would be effective for all other enrolments or pupils from the start of the school term in August 2015; and

(e) That it be agreed that where future updates were required to the Transport Eligibility Address List these would be established by measuring distance using the Council’s geographic information system (GIS) tools and Ordnance Survey large scale digital mapping in line with current policy. This list would be updated and maintained accordingly by Children’s Services.



Report by Director of Children's Services.
8
There was submitted a report by the Director of Children’s Services relative to the allocation of funding to voluntary organisations to support and develop independent out-of-school care services during 2015/16. This funding was used to support individual out-of-school care providers and play scheme services during the spring and summer holiday periods for children with additional support needs as detailed in appendix 1 to the report.

The report proposed that the system of allocating points for applications based on criteria, which subsequently translated into a sum of money, be continued and that the criteria be maintained at the current level of £200 per point. Appendix 2 to the report detailed the criteria employed for the disbursement of these funds.

DECIDED:

(a) That the funding previously committed to Capability Scotland to deliver holiday playschemes, as outlined in paragraphs 4.1 and 4.2 of the report, be noted;

(b) That the proposals for the allocation of funding, as detailed in section 4 of the report and in the appendices to the report, be approved; and

(c) That it be agreed that the current criteria for disbursement of resources on a points basis be maintained at £200 per point.
Report by Director of Children's Services.
9
There was submitted a report by the Director of Children’s Services relative to the distribution of funding to support services for pre-five voluntary sector providers.

The report proposed the allocation of £8,850 to support the delivery of playgroups and parent and toddler groups in the pre-five sector, with the balance of £1,150 to be disbursed at a later date. The appendix to the report outlined the grant allocation to specific pre-5 voluntary sector organisations.

DECIDED: That the proposals for grant funding, as detailed in the appendix to the report, be approved.
Report by Director of Children's Services.
10
There was submitted a report by the Director of Children’s Services relative to the distribution of funding to support services for children and families.

The report proposed the allocation of funding of £872,241 to partner providers to support a range of voluntary sector organisations in relation to the delivery of services for families with young children and day-care provision. The appendix to the report detailed the proposed allocation of resources to voluntary sector partner providers.


DECIDED:

(a) That the proposals for the allocation of funding, as detailed in the appendix to the report, be approved; and

(b) That it be noted that specific allocations in relation to pre-school voluntary sector grants and out-of-school care funding were the subject of separate reports to this meeting of the Board.
Report by Director of Children's Services.
11
There was submitted a report by the Director of Children’s Services relative to the pattern of school holiday arrangements for school session 2016/17.

The report intimated that, in line with consultation arrangements, four possible proposals had been circulated to staff, parent councils, pupil councils, teaching and other trade unions for consideration. The school holiday proposal preferred by the majority of those consulted was detailed in appendix 1 to the report, with appendices 2, 3 and 4 showing the holiday patterns less favoured. The outcome of the consultation was detailed in appendix 5 to the report.

DECIDED: That the Director of Children’s Services be authorised to set school holiday arrangements for academic year 2016/17 in line with appendix 1 to the report.
Report by Director of Children's Services.
12
There was submitted a report by the Director of Children’s Services relative to workforce planning. The report intimated that effective workforce planning  played an important role in ensuring appropriate provision of staff in order to continue to improve and sustain the quality of provision to the children and young people of Renfrewshire.

The context both nationally and locally in terms of workforce planning was challenging and over the last few years it had become increasingly difficult to attract a suitable number of candidates for head teacher positions. Children’s Services had taken a number of proactive steps to improve the situation through a range of measures as detailed in the report.

Councillor Henry, seconded by Councillor M Macmillan, moved:

(a) That the challenging context both nationally and locally in terms of workforce planning be noted;

(b) That the current challenges in attracting suitable candidates for head teacher posts be noted; and

(c) That the proactive steps taken by Children’s Services to improve the situation through a range of measures including leadership development strategy, head teacher assessment centres, JNC working groups and continuous monitoring of supply teacher availability be noted.




Councillor Cameron, seconded by Councillor Perrie, moved as an amendment that the Board moves consideration of item 12 to a future meeting of the Board. The report shall be brought back to members containing further information on potential school management arrangements.

On the roll being called, the following members voted for the amendment: Councillors Perrie, Mack, Cameron, Noon and M Brown.

The following members voted for the motion: Councillors Murrin, J Sharkey, M Sharkey, Williams, Glen, Henry, M Macmillan and I McMillan and I Keith.

5 members having voted for the amendment and 10 members having voted for the motion, the motion was accordingly declared carried.

DECIDED:

(a) That the challenging context both nationally and locally in terms of workforce planning be noted;

(b) That the current challenges in attracting suitable candidates for head teacher posts be noted; and

(c) That the proactive steps taken by Children’s Services to improve the situation through a range of measures including leadership development strategy, head teacher assessment centres, JNC working groups and continuous monitoring of supply teacher availability be noted.
Report by Director of Children's Services.
13
There was submitted a report by the Director of Children’s Services relative to applications received for grant support to voluntary and independent organisations for 2015/16 totalling £75,500 as detailed in the appendices to the report.

DECIDED:

(a) That the recommendations for grant support to voluntary organisations, as detailed within the report and appendices be approved; and

(b) That it be noted that payment of grant awards would be made subject to organisations satisfying the Council’s conditions of grant.

Declarations of Interests

Member NameItem Ref.DetailsNature of DeclarationAction
No declarations of interest have been entered for this meeting.

Visitors

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