Minutes of meeting held on 6 December 2011, at the Civic Offices


Present: Councillor Dorothy Turner (Chairman), Councillor Sally Bagstaff, Councillor Katherine Kemp; Bryan Jeffreys (Director of Learning and Development); Caroline Rees (Head of Additional Learning Needs); Gareth Jenkins (Head of Children & Young People Services), Jenny Smith (Specialist Teacher – LAC), Guest ‘A’ and guests for agenda item No 5 Colette Limbrick, Operational Manager and Ann Williams, 15Plus Team Manager, Children and Young People Services






Apologies for absence




Phil Evans, (Directors of Social and Care Services) ;

Councillor Sophie Williams;

Councillor Anthony Hampton


The Chairman offered a warm welcome to Guest ‘A’ and introductions were made.  The Chairman confirmed how pleased Panel were to have a new young person join and confirmed that Guest ‘A’ should raise any issues that she wishes to either before or during Panel.




Minutes of Meeting – 12 October 2011




The minutes were signed as a true record


Only one matter of accuracy:

Councillor Katherine Kemp attended the October Panel and the minutes should be amended to reflect this


Matters arising:


Item 6 Budget Pressures -  the Chairman updated Panel Members in relation to the budget pressures across Social Services which have been reported to both Cabinet and Scrutiny Committee and confirmed that a corporate Project Group has been established to progress the respective Service Budget Recovery Plans.





To receive declarations of Interest




No declarations of interest were received.





LAC Exclusions – Caroline Rees




CR circulated a paper for Panel Members. This paper will be redacted further for circulation with the minutes.


CR clarified the differences between fixed term and permanent exclusions.  Looked after children are especially at risk of low attainment and schools are conscious of the need to try every possible means to avoid exclusions.  Panel acknowledged the links between placement stability and school attendance/attainment and the pressures that an exclusion can place on carers.


The Chairman asked for clarity around early identification of LAC pupils at risk of exclusion and CR confirmed that processes are in place. JS and CR confirmed the way that the SEGLAC grant which replaced RAISE is used to support such pupils early on. There have been no permanent exclusions of LAC pupils in the last three years.  Panel discussed the additional difficulties for LAC places out of area and CR confirmed that there can be difficulties because the Vale LEA has less influence over the schools concerned. 


BJ updated the Panel on proposals to change the funding of support for vulnerable groups through existing SEG funding and that ADEW are pressing for LAC to be named as a vulnerable group within this.


Acknowledged that in line with most other funding arrangements, the Vale does not do as well as other Councils in terms of allocation of resources.





’Lost After Care’ – report of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales – Colette Limbrick and Ann Williams




CL distributed papers for Members attention and set the context for this report which comes some 11 years after the major Inquiry Report ‘Lost in Care’.  Two key issues were brought to the attention of the Panel:


  • Young People moving on to independence lacking qualifications and work experience


  • Shortage of suitable accommodation options for young people moving into independence


Panel acknowledged that CMT had commissioned a working group to look at work experience and employment opportunities across the Council facilitated by Allan Williams. This work will be reported back to CMT in the first instance and then presented to Panel.


In terms of accommodation, Guest ‘A’ was able to contribute her views regarding the anxieties faced by young people having to move on which were very helpful for Members to hear.  Councillor Bagstaff questioned how other Councils were responding and whether there were lessons that could be learnt about the options that work best.  In response CL and AW confirmed there are good practice examples that they were aware of but often they required investment.  It is not simply the case of accommodation for young people but more importantly the support that hey are provided with to make their independent living successful.


Panel agreed that this is an important topic for further consideration and requested that a fuller report be presented to the next Panel.  It was agreed that this could be a joint presentation by Social Services, Housing and Llamau.




Joint presentation re supported accommodation options to next Panel.





LAC Awards Ceremony




On behalf of the Panel, the Chairman formally thanked JS and her colleagues within both Education and Children’s Services for their hard work and commitment that ensured the evening was yet again a great success.


Of particular note was James Wright’s approachable manner with the children and young people and young person ‘S’ who not only performed but also gave a spontaneous speech which was very poignant.




Future Meeting dates:




Discussed the time and dates of future meetings and the following dates were agreed:


  • Tuesday 28th February 2012 @ 4.30pm
  • Tuesday 3rd April 2012 @ 4.30pm




All to note



Any Other Business




LAC Nurses

JS raised concerns regarding the age criteria change for LAC nurse involvement which effectively reduces service provision in the Vale to bring consistency with Cardiff.  The Chairman confirmed that a letter had been written to Cardiff and Vale UHB expressing the concerns of the Corporate Parenting Panel and a response had been received. The Chairman confirmed that she continues to raise the issue in appropriate forums


Higher Education costs for Care Leavers

JS raised concerns regarding the rising costs of higher education fees which are currently being funded through SEGLAC (previously the RAISE Grant).  GJ confirmed it was not just the Education costs that needed to be considered but the whole costs including accommodation and living expenses that Social Services are currently funding.  Panel agreed that a joint presentation should be made to the February meeting outlining the issues for consideration 













Joint report to February 2012 Panel


JS and CL



Next Meeting Date




Tuesday 28th February 2012 at 4.30pm at the Civic Offices









Looked After Children



School Effectiveness Grant Looked After Children



Raising Attainment and Individual Standards in Education



Local Education Authority 



Association of Directors Education Wales



Corporate Management Team



University Health Board