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Meeting Details

Corporate Parent Committee
21 Apr 2016 - 19:00 to 22:00
  • Documents
  • Attendance
  • Declarations of Interests
  • Visitors



Standard Items
1 Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Carol Yates.
2 Urgent Matters
Any urgent matters that the Chair has agreed should be considered at the meeting.
There were none.
3 Matters to be Considered in Private
There were none.
4 Declarations of Interest
To note any declarations of interest made by members.
There were none.
5 Minutes
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd December 2015. 
That the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd December 2015 be agreed as a true and correct record.

6 Update from Junior Council
Verbal Update
V, a Young Persons Representative, introduced this item. The Junior Council had been working on the Record Box for young people, a personal box for them to keep all manner of items in. The Junior Council had discussed items for the boxes and discussed the design with designers, to whom they gave their ideas. A prototype was ready in March and it was hoped the finished article would be ready by summer, for distribution in September. The Junior Council had also been discussing Life Story work and there would be more to come on this at a later meeting. The Junior Council had also made folders for children new to care, containing games, settling in advice and more, and they planned to share this with Virtual School Heads.

The Committee thanked V for her excellent presentation.

7 My Education Mentors Project Update
Verbal Update
W, a Young Persons Representative and Lead Mentor, introduced this item along with S, another Mentor. W and S took the Committee through the activities of the Mentors Project since January. Sessions had included a therapeutic art session, a Public Services themed session, 2 sports sessions, a cooking session at the University of West London, and a media and photography taster day at Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College. There was also a trip to Brunel University and to the Oxygen freejumping centre, and a careers session with Jude Fraser before the Easter break. A catch-up session after the Easter holidays had focussed on exams and managing them. The sessions had been successful, and beneficial for Mentors and Mentees alike. Engagement and participation had been consistently high. There were currently 7 Mentees with 4 new Mentees coming in, and 9 Mentors, with more being recruited. There would be interviews for new Mentors in the summer.

The Committee thanked W and S for their presentation, and congratulated S on her invitation onto the Camp America programme in Summer 2016.

8 Feedback from the Horizons ShoutOut Forum
Verbal Update
A and C, two Young Persons Representatives, introduced this item. A told the Committee that the HSC had recently reviewed the key issues of their manifesto, and did not like to start working on new issues until the old ones were resolved. Ideas for their new manifesto included a survey on semi-independent accommodation and working with Connexions on researching drop-out rates. Good progress had been made on current issues such as Staying Put, Apprenticeships and long-term housing, and work was still ongoing. C told the Committee that Horizons had been represented at a recent conference on mental health and loneliness at the House of Lords. Many issues relating to young people and their mental health were raised and discussed. The event had been a success and HSC were waiting for formal feedback and next steps following the event.

A told the Committee that following the steps taken to provide more support for young people doing Apprenticeships, there was now more interest in taking them up. A sliding scale for financial support had been established and a wide range of opportunities were available. Care Leavers were targeted as a priority. The Staying Put policy had been updated, and was currently getting legal clearance. The updated version would be brought to the next meeting.

The Committee thanked A and C for their informative and helpful report.

(Executive Director, Children and Adults)
  1. pdf 09 - Appendix 1 (190Kb)
Bridie McDonagh (Head of Behaviour Strategy and Inclusion & Virtual School Head LAC) introduced this report, informing Members of the overall education programme and progress on attainment targets for Looked After Children in Year 11 and Year 6 to ensure improved outcomes, updating Members on the progress and general position of EY Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 & 2 and Post 16, and outlining to members progress on holiday activities in the Virtual School Looked After Children calendar of events.

Sue Tarry (Teacher/Advisor, LAC Education Team), told the Committee about the Virtual School’s February half-term programme, attached as an appendix to the report. Ealing had participated in the Unlock programme, and 12 young people were involved in the 3-day programme, which included a day of visiting high-profile businesses such as Nike, YouTube and Doughty Street Legal Chambers. Members of staff at each company engaged with the young people and shared their stories from a variety of backgrounds and origins. There was a day of workshops before and after the day visiting professionals. The programme was a great success from which all the young people involved benefitted, and had been empowering, educational and aspirational. As a result, there were offers of possible work experience and ongoing mentoring or support from a number of the businesses visited. Alongside the Unlock programme there were other activities such as study days, and a separate programme for the younger children which included visits to the Lyric Theatre and Hanwell Library. With an increased focus on business and careers in the school holiday programmes, it was suggested that officers could ask Ealing Councillors for any contacts or resources they could provide for similar opportunities in the future.

Bridie McDonagh told the Committee about the overall education programme. The overall focus was on progress, and it was currently the lead-up to exams season. There had been changes to the assessment system for Key Stage 2 nationally, with levels removed, and so attainment for Key Stages 1 and 2 would be reported differently, and performance indicators would also be different.

There were 47 year 11 students preparing for the GCSEs, a similar cohort to the previous year, and similar results were expected this year. Thirty-three of the cohort were making good or satisfactory progress, with the other 14 being provided with individual action plans. The statistics for KS4 were set out on pages 3 to 5 of the report.

There were 10 children at the end of KS1. They had various levels of needs and from 2016 there would be a new set of KS1 national curriculum tests. In KS2, the year 6 cohort was of average size at 18. Only 2 children would not be entered for the SATs. Using previous levels, 12 of the 16 children entered would be likely to achieve the expected level in both English and Maths, although it was noted that benchmark for national expectations was likely to rise.

In Post-16, there were 70 young people in year 12, 72 in year 13 and 46 at university. Of the year 12s, 50 were in education and 20 were not in education, employment or training (NEET), although some were redoing their GCSEs. In year 13, 47 were in education and 1 in training. The majority were on Level 2 and Level 3 courses, 8 were taking A-Level courses and 6 were on Level 3 BTEC courses. There were 24 that were NEET. The 46 care leavers that were at university was Ealing’s highest-ever number. Thirteen more were expected to start university in Autumn 2016.

The situation at the Virtual School was healthy. There would be progress monitors in the October report to Corporate Parent Committee. Officers emphasised the importance of individual progress, ongoing support and the positive impact that the Brighter Futures programme could have.

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

(Executive Director, Children and Adults)
Marcella Phelan (Assistant Director, Planning, Commissioning and Partnerships) introduced this report, updating Members on progress in implementing the Brighter Futures programme between January 2016 and March 2016. The Committee was reminded of the key themes of the programme; reducing the number of children coming into care, providing a better service in Ealing through the In-Care Connect Team, and recruiting and supporting more local foster carers. An implementation update was set out in paragraph 3.11 of the report. The pilot programme was ongoing and was funded until September. By the end of November 2015 approximately 149 children and 88 families were being supported through the MAST team and 46 by the In-Care Connect Team and these numbers were accelerating. The teams were close to achieving their full targets. There were a number of good early outcomes, such as 7 young people from residential care moving to local fostering placements, achieving significant cashable savings. The Fostering service was on track to meet its recruitment targets.

A possible revamp to Early Intervention was being looked at, and budgets were currently being reviewed to agree how best to progress from September 2016 when the Innovation Funding ran out. Additional funding was being sought for the transformation period both from the Council’s Investment Fund and a new round of Department of Education Innovation Fund bidding process. 

That Members note the report and continue to review progress on the Brighter Futures programme over the coming year 2016/17.

(Executive Director, Children and Adults)
Carolyn Fair (Operations Manager, Children’s Placement Services) introduced this report, briefing the Committee on the final Adoption figures for 2015/16. The report also provided an update on the development of a London Regionalised Adoption Agency, a response to the expectation that local authorities will be working as part of regional adoption services by the end of the current parliament, following the Education and Adoption Bill of May 2015.

Between the 1st April 2015 and 31st March 2016 Ealing’s Adoption Panel approved 16 adopters. During this period 11 adoption orders were granted. Adoption numbers were down in comparison to last year, reflecting a national trend and in line with the experience of other local authority adoption agencies. Special Guardianship Orders had become the majority outcome for new decisions. There were currently 3 children with placement orders awaiting adoption placements, and one child on referral to the team for whom a Fostering for Adoption arrangement was being considered.

Work was underway on developing a regionalised London agency. Two delivery models were being explored, with a number of structures within the models under consideration. Further details could be reported at the next meeting. A two-year timetable was set out for development, although a venture of this magnitude could not be underestimated. Ealing was enthusiastic about being involved and hoped to be influential in the development of the project.

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

(Executive Director, Children and Adults)
Judith Finlay introduced this report, providing information on complaints for Looked After Children for the period 1st January 2016 to 31st March 2016. During the period there were 9 Stage 1 complaints made by or in respect of Looked After Children. Of the 9 complaints made, 2 were upheld, 5 were not upheld and 2 were yet to be determined. All complaints received were responded to within the statutory requirement. There were no complaints that proceeded to a Stage 2 Complaint or Stage 3 Complaint Review during this reporting period.

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

(Assistant Director, Children and Families)
Judith Finlay introduced this report, providing a brief analysis on the April 2015 – December 2015 performance (2015/16 year) for Looked After Children and care leavers. Overall performance had been good during the period, and there were no significant issues. As at 31st December 2015, 365 children and young people were looked after by Ealing, down from 369 the previous year. Performance regarding re-registrations had been strong, and the period had also seen a positive performance for adoptions. 

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

14 Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on Thursday 21st July 2016. This has been rescheduled from Thursday 23rd June 2016 due to the EU Referendum.
The next Corporate Parent Committee meeting was scheduled for Thursday 21st July 2016. It was noted that this meeting had been rescheduled from Thursday 23rd June 2016, due to the EU Referendum.

Additional Meeting Documents


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Declarations of Interests

Member NameItem Ref.DetailsNature of DeclarationAction
No declarations of interest have been entered for this meeting.


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