Medway’s Council Plan 2016/21 sets out the Council’s three priorities. This report and appendices summarise how we performed in Quarter 3 (Q3) of 2020/21 on the delivery of the two priorities relevant for this Committee: People and Growth.
This report also presents the Q3 2020/21 review of strategic risks.
The Committee considered the report which summarised how the Council had performed in quarter 3 of 2020/21 on the delivery of priorities relevant to the Committee.
Members then raised a number of comments and questions, which included:
· ILACS7 (audit measure) – in response to a question about why data had not been provided for this measure, officers explained it was an important issue but there had not been an adequate baseline to provide a target for 2020/21 but there would be one provided for the 2021/22 measure, which would provide a meaningful data measure for scrutiny.
· Persistent absence – in response to queries regarding persistent absence, which had been a red target for some time, officers confirmed attendance generally was good in Medway but this measure related to persistent absence, which usually related to vulnerable children and their families and was a focus for the Council going forward. Attendance data was shared by schools with the local authority, who could challenge attendance issues if concerns were raised. Additionally, a query was raised about the accuracy of the figures provided for this measure. In response officers confirmed these were unaudited figures but would investigate the data outside of the meeting and report back, in order for Members to consider adding a report on this issue to the work programme for a future meeting.
· Monitoring recovery from the pandemic – comment was made about the need to monitor the recovery efforts relating to the covid-19 pandemic. Officers suggested the Committee receive a specific report on pandemic recovery at a future meeting.
· Section 47 visits – in response to a concern raised about the number of initial child and family Section 47 assessments, where the child was visited within 1 working day, which was below target, the Assistant Director, Children’s Social Care confirmed this related to staffing absence issues caused by Covid (i.e. isolations, ill health or bereavement).
· Adoption – reference was made to the target relating to adoption and the number of days a child spends in care before moving in with an adoptive family. Comment was made that delays from other agencies sometimes caused issues, such as medical report delays or court timescales. Officers were confident this would improve in the near future and emphasised that the absolute priority was making the right decision for the child.
· Lack of national benchmarking – comment was made that the report was lacking in national benchmarking and detail. Officers undertook to take that back to the Corporate Performance Team. They also encouraged Members to ensure they used these reports alongside the dashboard data they received on a monthly basis.
· Key Stage 2 – in response to a question about why this indicator was green when it was still an area requiring improvement, officers confirmed it was green due to the improvement Medway had made when compared nationally. However, significant improvement was still required as Medway remained in the bottom third quartile and therefore Key Stage 2 progress and attainment would continue be a focus for improvement.
The Committee noted the report.
In accordance with Council rule 12.6, Councillors Howcroft-Scott, Johnson and Osborne requested that their votes in favour be recorded.