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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms CDE, Civic Centre, London Road, Morden, SM4 5DX

No. Item


Apologies for absence


There were apologies for absence from Cllr Dave Ward (with Cllr Billy Christie as substitute) Cllr Marsie Skeete and Jane McSherry.



Declarations of pecuniary interest


There were no declarations of interest.



Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 84 KB


The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as an accurate record.


Departmental Update pdf icon PDF 113 KB


The Director of Children’s, Schools and Families described the great success of Merton’s first Annual Foster Carer Conference to the Panel.



Cabinet Member priorities

Verbal update


The Cabinet Members for Schools and Adult Education and Children’s Services both gave verbal updates on their current priorities.



Report of the Children's' Mental Health Task Group pdf icon PDF 78 KB


The Director of Children’s, Schools and Families introduced the report and clarified Recommendations 5 and 7 – actions will not achieve stated objective of provision of training for anyone/every parent. Should read “further training will be scheduled based on need”.



Corporate Parenting pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Additional documents:


The Assistant Director for Children’s Social Care and Youth Inclusion provided a summary of the Annual Report.

In response to Panel Members questions the AD explained;

·         There is a local and national issue around court times. No authorities are currently meeting the 26-week deadline thought Merton is performing better than our regional and PAN London Local Authorities.

·         We will continue our work with families signed up to the Family Drug and Alcohol service.

·         Case Management System (Mosaic) identified some inaccuracies so we are working with our I.T and performance teams to resolve this. When the data is accurate, it will be presented to Scrutiny.



School Standards - Annual Report pdf icon PDF 3 MB


The Head of School Improvement and the Social Inclusion Manager gave an overview of the report and pointed out areas of good performance, those requiring development and key priorities going forward.


In response to Panel Member questions, further details were provided by Officers as follows

·         Schools are preparing a focused piece of work on permanent exclusions to analyse the rise in secondary school figures

·         The 13% rise in home schooling figures is in line with the national figures/rise. There are a wide range of reasons as to why children are home schooled such as parental choice, poor attendance, mental health or not receiving their first choice for a school.

·         The Local Authority have limited legal powers in terms of home schooled children but do undertake home visits and education reports. Visits will be conducted twice in the first year, and then annually thereafter, if the education is deemed appropriate. If it is not appropriate, visits will occur every three months. As well as the visits, other support is given in the form of self-help group details and helpful websites to use.

·         ACTION: The Social Inclusion Manager agreed to distribute/bring the broader report about home schooling to Scrutiny later in the year once it has been produced.



Performance Monitoring pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Additional documents:


The Head of Performance, Policy and Partnerships gave a commentary on the performance monitoring report.

ACTION: Electronic versions of handouts provided at the meeting to be distributed with the minutes.



Planning the 2020/21 Work Programme pdf icon PDF 70 KB

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The Chair reminded the Panel to submit their ideas for the upcoming topic suggestion workshops.