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13 October 2020

The Achieving for Children (AfC) Board of Directors met on 13 October 2020. The following substantive items were considered:

Directors of Children’s Service updates

Kingston and Richmond

  • There has been a significant increase in requests for elective home education.
  • The overall judgement of the Youth Offending Inspection outcome was Good with Outstanding features.

Windsor and Maidenhead

  • An increase in the number of enquiries in RBWM for elected home education was reported. It was acknowledged that the LA still has an obligation to deliver the support for those children receiving home education with an education, health and care plan (EHCP).
  • Increased workload at the front door and a big increase in the number of children on a child protection plan. This has been included on the list of COVID budget pressures.

Education Services Report

The Board noted that as the Government was not collecting school data, there were none to present to the Board. It was explained that those young people already on an apprenticeship were continuing to receive support, but AfC would not be joining the Kickstart (pre-apprenticeship) programme as it would not be possible to support the young people who would be part of the programme.

The Board was informed that the AfC element of the inspection on apprenticeship provision was graded Good.

SEND Update

Richmond and Kingston

The Board noted that, due to COVID, there has been some disruption to the transformation programme due to delivering SEND services differently during this period, but progress in a number of areas has continued.

There has been an increase in requests for assessments in both Richmond and Kingston.

Quarterly Clinical Governance Report

The Board were informed that several issues are raised in the report and are being addressed. These included:

  • Issues with the PARIS IT system in RBWM is creating a challenge for some services.
  • Waiting times for ASD assessments has increased due to the inability of being able to assess with a face covering or shield.
  • Retention of health visitors is a challenge in RBWM.

Chief Operating Officer Report

  • The Board noted that there continues to be an increase in demand and complexity of cases which is driving up costs.
  • COVID has had a big impact, particularly the increase seen in social work caseloads. Interim staff are being used to manage COVID pressures.
  • The Board agreed to award a contract, for the provision of temporary workers, to Matrix on the basis of a one year pilot contract.
  • As part of the budget setting process, the Board’s level of tolerance around savings would be made clear to the Councils to ensure delivery of services remain safe.
  • It was confirmed that a review of the PARIS system in RBWM would be taking place as a joint project with adult services.