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Agenda and minutes

With effect from 1 April 2016 Agenda and Minutes will be available in both Welsh and English. Reports are working documents and produced in English only in accordance with Welsh Language Standard 41 of this Council’s Final Compliance Notice from the Welsh Language Commissioner.

Venue: Council Chamber, Guildhall

Contact: Craig Stevens  Scrutiny Facilitator

Media

Items
No. Item

39.

Welcome

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed to the meeting Mrs Rosalind Williams, new co-opted member representing the Diocese of St Asaph.

40.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillor Rondo Roberts and Mr Brent Evans.

41.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 21 February 2019

Additional documents:

Minutes:

AGREED – That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 21 February 2019 be signed as a correct record.

42.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Officer Governance and Customer

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Minutes:

The Chief Officer Governance & Customer submitted a report (COGC/03/19s) to assist the Committee in considering and agreeing its work programme.  Presenting the report the Scrutiny Facilitator highlighted the following:

 

·         The changes agreed at the previous meeting.

·         The Support for Pupil Well-being report would be deferred to the June meeting as a result of delays with the Minister releasing national data.

·         The report on Education Standards at key stage 5 would be available for consideration at the June meeting.

 

AGREED –

 

(i)         That the report in respect of Support for Pupil Well-being be considered at the June meeting.

 

(ii)        That the report in respect of Education Standards at Key Stage 5 be considered at the June meeting.

43.

Educational Standards for Pupils with Special Educational Needs pdf icon PDF 174 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for People - Education

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Lead Member for People – Education submitted a report (COEEI/09/19s) for Members to be informed of the Educational Standards for Pupils with (SEN) Special Educational Needs, the robust quality assurance of SEN provision in the local authority which impacted on standards for pupils with SEN and the range of SEN provision and current plans to address future changes in legislation.

 

The Chair invited members of the Committee to ask questions of the Lead Member and officers in attendance.  During debate the following matters were highlighted:

 

·         Noted that the number of Wrexham pupils with SEN had increased in recent years. 

·         The level of SEN pupils in a school was recorded in PLASC data and the school budget amended accordingly.

·         The impact on the service for SEN arising from the implementation of the forthcoming Additional Learning Needs and Educational Tribunal (ALNET) Act (2018) as outlined in the report.  Noted that the local authority was leading on Person Centred Practice providing training to schools, targeting those schools who needed additional support in meeting the requirements of the legislation.  In addition, there were several priorities in the Business Plan relating to developing a skilled workforce.

·         Whilst the changes from the Act were welcomed, concern was expressed regarding the potential budget and resource implications should central funding from Welsh Government not be made available.  The Lead Member and officers assured Members that this issue continued to be raised both regionally and nationally across various forums.

·         Further information sought regarding the of the service for SEN Hearing Impaired.  It was reported that this service was provided regionally, hosted by Flintshire Council, with both Wrexham Council and Denbighshire Council representatives on the management board to carefully monitor progress.  The level of attainment for this cohort was requested.

·         Further information was provided in respect of the age at which assessments for statements could be undertaken and the multi agency approach to determining if additional assistance was required.

·         Requested that information regarding the budget for SEN provision be provided to Committee members.

·         Further information requested regarding the work being done to address the previously reported increased in the level of exclusions for SEN pupils.  The officer reported that this was both a local and national trend and that a pilot had been developed to offer training to schools entitled “Thinking Differently” to support those pupils most at risk of exclusion.

·         The on-going review of resource provision to ensure that it was fit for purpose, with a view to children to be educated in mainstream settings with adequate support, where appropriate.  A review of specialist provision to take account of the increase in more complex needs would also be included.  Assurance was provided that the level of planned places in resource provision were regularly reviewed and were need driven. 

·         Noted that the level of out of county placements was quite low.  The education of pupils resident outside of the County Borough was the responsibility of that local authority.

·         The importance of including modules in respect of SEN in initial  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.