Agenda item

Medway Covid-19 Recovery

This report sets out how services for children and young people have been working to ‘Build Back Better’ as part of the recovery strategy from COVID-19.




Officers introduced the report which set out how services for children and young people had been working to ‘build back better’ as part of the recovery strategy from the Covid-19 pandemic. It was confirmed that in relation to children’s social care work, the recovery group had been stood down and services had moved back to business as usual and were continuing with a hybrid approach to meetings where it was appropriate to do so, with a more flexible approach being used in the way the service interacted with families, carers and partner agencies. In relation to education services, it was confirmed that the pandemic had resulted in much stronger and effective working relationships with education providers as well as the Regional Schools Commissioner and Public Health. The Headteacher Reference Group, which had evolved into an Education Recovery Group had most recently transitioned into the Medway Education Partnership which was being well attended and included all key stakeholders. Headteachers and education staff were thanked for their hard work and support throughout the pandemic.


Members then raised a number of comments and questions, which included:

·       City Hall approach – in response to question regarding this, officers explained that it was a way of public locality based working and provided a different way of working with young people which supported Medway’s ambition to be a Child Friendly City by 2025.


·       Young People in secure estate – in response to a question about how young people in secure estate had been supported, officers confirmed that at the start of the pandemic it had been difficult as providers had to implement systems to enable remote support but this had been addressed so that by the summer of 2020, visiting in a virtual framework had been fully implemented and young people received virtual contact with social workers, youth offending officers and Independent Reviewing Officers as appropriate.


·       Child Friendly City (CFC) and interaction with children and young people – in response to a query, officers confirmed that, in the context of CFC, interaction with children and young people would be ongoing before 2025 but that currently this was done in lots of different ways with no formalised approach, which officers were developing and building on now in readiness for 2025.


·       Summer activity provision – in response to a query officers confirmed that the provision of summer activity across schools had been generally low, largely due to capacity issues, post-pandemic exhaustion and where schools were also having to carry out exam moderation.


·       Covid vaccination take up by staff – in response to a question about how staff were being supported to take up covid vaccinations, officers confirmed that staff were not required to inform the Council, as their employer, as to why they had not taken up the vaccination offer, however, most had been open and for some it was due to being advised not to have the vaccine due to health reasons.  It was confirmed that the directorate senior management team were providing ongoing dialogue and encouragement to staff to take up the vaccine and were also now working with Public Health and education colleagues to work with young people and support them with their take up.


The Committee noted the report and thanked education staff for their hard work in supporting children and young people during the pandemic in challenging circumstances.

Supporting documents: