Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chambers, Civic Offices, Reading

Contact: Richard Woodford - Committee Administrator Email: (  0118 9372332

Link: webcast of meeting

No. Item


Chair's Announcements


The Vice-Chair announced that Councillor David Absolom had stood down as Chair of the Committee.  The Committee thanked Councillor Absolom for his work as Chair during 2018/19.  A new Chair of the Committee was expected to be appointed at the next full Council meeting on 15 October 2019.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Minutes of the meeting of the Adult Social Care, Children’s Services and Education Committee held on 4 April 2019.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 4 April 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Questions pdf icon PDF 35 KB

Questions submitted pursuant to Standing Order 36 in relation to matters falling within the Committee’s Powers & Duties which have been submitted in writing and received by the Head of Legal & Democratic Services no later than four clear working days before the meeting.


Questions on the following matters were submitted by Councillors:





Councillor White

Autism Partnership Board

Councillor Jones

Councillor White

Ending Toxic Testing in Primary Schools

Councillor Pearce


(The full text of the questions and replies was made available on the Reading Borough Council website).


Reading Secondary and College Leaders - presentation

A presentation by Jo Broadhead, Headteacher at the Wren School.


Jo Broadhead, Head Teacher at the Wren School and Andy Johnson, Head Teacher at Maiden Erlegh School in Reading, gave a presentation on behalf of Reading Secondary and College Leaders (RSCL).


Jo and Andy presented feedback and concerns that had been raised by RSCL in the following areas:


·         Leadership and Management – concern at the high turnover of senior leadership and personnel and lack of clarity as to the vision for education in Reading, the consequences of this for schoolscould include a lack of consistency and shared understanding and ‘initiative overload’;

·         Communication - there was a need for the Education service to maintain and update distribution lists, and be consistent in information sharing, so that all schools were aware of strategies, initiatives,  support, training;

·         Staffing - recruitment and retention were a concern for all schools with issues including the cost of living and staff wellbeing, it was suggested that the Council could provide support through Recruitment fairs, subsidised transport and gym membership, and by lobbying for Reading to be included within outer London allowance;

·          Children’s Social Care – concerns included the rate of progress since the Ofsted finding of inadequate, training needs for school staff, and changes to the LSCB structure;

·         Special Educational Needs and Disability provision - tension between cost of out of borough provision and the increasing number of students with high needs in mainstream;

·         Young People and Crime – concern at reduction in youth services, positive feedback on information sharing;

·         Mental Health – positive feedback on work in schools;

·         School Admissions And Transfers – positive feedback on managed moves and respite.


The Committee discussed the presentation, and noted the work being done by the Council and Brighter Futures for Children to address some of the issues identified by RSCL.  It was agreed to continue monitoring these areas of concern.

Resolved –

(1)     That Jo Broadhead and Andy Johnson be thanked for their presentation;

(2)     That the Committee continue to monitor the areas of concern raised by RSCL.


Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Support for Children and Young People in Reading pdf icon PDF 508 KB

A report providing the Committee with an outline of the emotional and mental health services for children and young people in Reading.


The Director of Children’s Services, Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC), submitted a report providing the Committee with an outline of the emotional and mental health services for children and young people in Reading.  A chart setting out the systems wide response to improving mental health outcomes for children and young people was attached to the report at Appendix 1.


The report explained that services in Reading were promoting a whole system framework of care, moving away from a specialist single agency mental health response, to a partnership approach with a shared vision, and working together on prevention, early help and building resilience.  This inter-professional collaboration and coproduction would support a cultural change in the language used, the way in which systems and agencies worked together, and the way in which children, young people and their families accessed support, care and treatment.


The report outlined initiatives that were in place or being developed, which together were building the systems response that was needed to improve mental health services and outcomes.  These included:


·         Reading – a Trauma Informed Community – working with schools, governors, children and young people, families/carers, communities and Health to improve knowledge and understanding of trauma;

·         Appointment of a Trauma Informed Practitioner – to ensure trauma informed practice was embedded across BFfC, Social Care and partners;

·         Reading Schools Link Mental Health Project – 90% of schools in Reading were involved in this project focusing on a stepped care approach;

·         The Trailblazer: Mental Health Support Teams in Schools - a multi-disciplinary Mental Health Support Team to provide support to pupils aged 5-16 years;

·         Therapeutic Thinking Schools – training for schools and other partners on an approach to behaviour management that aimed to reduce the risk of exclusions by ensuring the right support for children in the right place;

·         Therapeutic Thinking Schools Support Team.


The report concluded that Reading had a comprehensive offer for children and young people’s mental health.  The service was ambitious but had a maturity of approach which had been recognised both nationally and locally, with several local authorities seeking support to implement similar work. Services continued to work closely with parents/carers, children and young people in developing the offer, and a new data analysis system would be implemented to provide regular reports on impacts and outcomes.


Resolved –    That the report be noted.



School Place Planning pdf icon PDF 596 KB

This report outlines place planning processes, forecasting of pupil numbers and capacity for mainstream and special primary and secondary schools to ensure sufficiency of places.


The Director of Children’s Services, Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC), submitted a report providing the Committee with an outline of place planning processes, forecasting of pupil numbers and capacity for mainstream and special primary and secondary schools to ensure sufficiency of places.  The following appendices were attached to the report:


Appendix 1

Reading Population Figures – Early Years to 25

Appendix 2

Total Primary School Pupils – Forecast and Capacity

Appendix 3

Secondary Year 7 Allocations - Forecast and Capacity

Appendix 4

Total Secondary School – Pupils - Forecast and Capacity

Appendix 5

SEND Projections


The report explained that, for Early Years and Primary Schools, the low birth rate and decrease in Early Years pupil numbers would impact on early years and primary provision, with more empty places which would affect school budgets.  The five year forecast to 2023 was for a continuing surplus of places and BFFC needed to work with Early Years providers and primary schools to manage this in terms of space and budgets.


The report explained that there was increased demand for secondary places in Reading schools, and that three bulge classes and an additional 12 places had been negotiated for September 2019, with a possibility that further bulge classes would be needed in 2020 and 2021.  The new secondary school was unlikely to open until September 2022 at the earliest and there was a risk of shortfall in places as only two schools remained that did not currently have a bulge class.


The report also explained that there was insufficient Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) provision in Reading, particularly in the areas of ASC and SEMH.  With the number of SEND pupils increasing there was likely to be a shortfall of SEND places.  The SEND strategy planned for a 70 place special school to increase capacity, but this would not be open until 2022 at the earliest.  Pupils would therefore continue to be placed outside Reading - potentially in expensive provision – which would have a financial impact and delay any savings that the new school places would provide.  The strategy included working with neighbouring authorities to enable pupils to attend schools nearer their home, and reduce expenditure on school transport and potentially on placements.


Resolved –    That the report be noted.


School Transport Policy pdf icon PDF 760 KB

This report summarises arrangements for the statutory School Transport duties required of BFfC.


The report providing a summary of the arrangements for the statutory duties required of Brighter Futures for Children in respect of School Transport was deferred to the next meeting, in order to allow further consultation.


Climate Emergency Plan pdf icon PDF 468 KB

This report outlines the Council’s progress to date in tackling climate change, work in progress and sets outs the proposed approach to responding to the climate emergency declaration made by the Council on the 26th February 2019.


The Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report which outlined the Council’s progress to date in tackling climate change, work in progress and set out the proposed approach to responding to the climate emergency declaration made by the Council on 26 February 2019 (Minute 48 refers).

The following documents were appended to the report:

Appendix 1

Modelling a Zero Carbon Pathway

Appendix 2

Existing Projects

Appendix 3

Item 11 Full Council, 26 February 2019, Council Climate Emergency Declaration

Appendix 4

Reading Climate Change Strategy 2013-20 Action Plans

The report summarised work in progress including the development of the new Reading Climate Change Strategy, which would be launched in April 2020, and the new Local Plan which set requirements for zero carbon planning on all large residential developments and BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standard on large commercial developments.  It also summarised a Climate Emergency Action Framework which set out the major actions that would be needed to make significant progress towards a carbon neutral Reading by 2030.

The report explained that an internal Corporate Task Group would be established to oversee the coordination of the Climate Emergency Framework, ensuring its principles and objectives were embedded as part of day-to-day business and that key projects were taken forward across the Council.  All the standing Committees would report on the relevant elements of Reading’s Climate Change Strategy and the Climate Emergency Action Framework, and the ACE Committee’s key work areas would include overseeing actions flowing from the relevant ‘theme action plans’ of the Reading Climate Change Strategy and those relating to the cross-cutting themes of education, communities and adaptation.

Resolved –

(1)      That the progress made to date by the  Council’s proactive approach to addressing climate change issues and impacts in Reading be welcomed, while the scale of the ongoing challenge be noted;

(2)      That the climate emergency declaration be embedded across all Council services, activities, plans and other relevant work to ensure a fully integrated and systematic approach to the Council’s own response to this challenge and the change to the Terms of Reference to include “Climate Change Strategy - To contribute to and adopt the relevant parts of the Climate Change action plan” be noted;

(3)      That the Council work with and through the long-established Reading Climate Change Partnership and Reading UK to align respective strategies to ensure the active participation of residents, business and other organisations across Reading;

(4)      That the Chief Executive be asked to write to the Government and local MPs setting out the urgent need to equip Local Authorities with the policy framework, powers and funding necessary to deliver this critical agenda;


(5)      That all future Committee reports include a section on environmental implications and necessary mitigations, plus the impact of the decisions they would be taking on the Council’s ability to respond to the Climate Emergency and achieving a carbon neutral Reading by 2030.


Integrated Care Partnership Governance proposals pdf icon PDF 2 MB

This report seeks approval for a set of proposed strategic integration objectives for Health & Social Care partners across Berkshire West; together with proposals for redesigned governance and staffing arrangements (collectively titled the Berkshire West Integrated Care Partnership / BWICP) that will help to deliver these strategic objectives.


The Executive Director of Social Care and Health submitted a report that sought approval for proposals for redesigned governance and staffing arrangements (collectively titled the Berkshire West Integrated Care Partnership (BWIP)) that would help to deliver a set of proposed strategic integration objectives for Health and Social Care partners across West Berkshire.  The following documents are attached to the report:

·         Appendix A - Berkshire West Governance (Executive Summary)

·         Appendix B - Berkshire West Governance (Summary Report)

·         Appendix C - Berkshire West Governance (Main Report)

The report noted that there were currently a range of governance boards and bodies across Berkshire West in respect of integration, and explained that it had been agreed that the Berkshire West 10 Integration Programme (BW10) and the Berkshire West Integrated Care System (BWICS) be combined. This had been further reinforced by the findings of the CQC System Review in Reading in late 2018.  The documents attached to the report set out proposals for a new governance structure; these had been considered by a number of extant groups across Berkshire West, and were now being brought through the relevant formal processes for final approval.

The report explained that key points arising from the merger of the two programmes included a greater role envisaged for Councillors, with their attendance being required at meetings of the proposed Leadership Board, and that the proposed staffing changes would, while releasing funds for reallocation at an amount to be confirmed, reduce Reading’s integration staffing establishment from three FTE posts to one FTE post, potentially limiting the number of integration projects carried out at local level.

The report also asked the Committee to approve the following proposed strategic objectives for the Partnership’s 2019/20 work programme, as set out in Appendix C:

1.    An improvement in the health and wellbeing of our population;

2.    Enhancement of patient experience and outcomes;

3.    Financial sustainability for all constituent organisations.

Resolved –

(1)     That the strategic objectives outlined in Appendix C attached to the report be approved as the basis of the Berkshire West Integrated Care Partnership work programme in 2019/20;

(2)     That the Governance arrangements and structure for the Berkshire West Integrated Care Partnership, as outlined in Appendix C (at figures 1 and 2 respectively) attached to the report, be agreed;

(3)     That Terms of Reference for the Governance Boards and Groups, as outlined in Appendices 5a and 5c of Appendix C attached to the report, be adopted;


(4)     That the principles for resourcing the Berkshire West Integrated Care Partnership, as detailed in Section 5 of the report be agreed.