Proposed venue: First Floor Committee Room 1P09 - City Hall, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR. View directions
Contact: Claudette Campbell
Welcome & Apologies
The Chair, Cllr Keen welcomed those present and led introductions.
The Chair on behalf of the Board thanked Mr Lee Probert for his contribution to the work of the partnership and congratulated on his new appointment, regrettably resulting in him having to step down from the Board.
Progress & Delivery
Lee Probert presented an update.
Membership of the task and finish group is now complete. The group had agreed that they would avoid issuing a large list of recommendations; that they would gather evidence on the noted themes; that they intend to hear from alternative providers about their challenges. The agreed focus is ensuring that at the conclusion of the task the Board would be presented with sound outcomes that are evidence based.
The following was noted from the discussion that followed the presentation:
a. The union had undertaken research on the number of careers a person has in their work life cycle and had offered to contribute the findings to the working group.
b. It was acknowledged that young people move across local authority boundaries, but the recommendations would be limited to Bristol to aid Bristol City’s decision making. There is intent to ensure that the recommendation influence the policies that WECA oversee.
c. An outline was provided on the emerging Careers Hub, covering the region but clarity was requested on (1) the number of schools linked to the scheme (2) if the offer included alternative education providers.
d. Action – Jane Taylor to feed back to Task and Finish Group Chair, on this issue and for the information to come to a future Board meeting
Tom Sperlinger presented an update.
Members were informed that the outcome of the funding bid was not yet known, but the outcome should be available before the end of February. The reading scheme is to be launched in March 2019 with the intention to expand its reach to hospitals; prisons; community reading champions; under the banner ‘Bristol the City where We Read to Our Children.’
The following was noted from the discussion that followed the presentation.
a. Members sought clarity on the name, asking whether the concept was similar to a pop-up, cloakroom or hallway library? Further clarity was requested on what the meaning of the banner. There was some discussion concerning the scope of the scheme, and the following explanation was provided:
i. That the intention is to encourage individuals to engage with books, in venues other than libraries. For example when families visit children’s centres and local doctor surgery waiting rooms.
ii. That the intention is to dispel the myth that reading is exclusive and promote reading in all settings.
iii. To put books where people are.
b. Members were concerned about the temporary nature of the project and how impact and/or success was to be measured.
i. Partners were encouraged to promote the project in their areas; that the concept was not a mobile library but about creating a reading space within ‘partner agencies facilities’ to put books were people are.
ii. The funding bid detailed the expected outcomes.
iii. Action: Tom Sperlinger to share details of the bid with the Board.
c. ‘A city that reads to its children’ – Discussion regarding the use of ‘to’ and whether ‘with’ was a more inclusive term. Members were in agreement that ‘with’ was the preferred term, requesting that a slight amendment be made to the project name.
d. Action: Tom Sperlinger to feed back to the project lead.
e. Action: Lee Probert to consider how the project could link with the existing work around adult literacy and would feedback any relevant information.
f. The Board agreed the recommendation laid out in the report to:
i. Help showcase the work once it is up and running
ii. What does reading look like in your setting?
The Chair, Cllr Keen, presented the report and spoke to the presentation.
Fiona Lightwood’s contribution to the project was acknowledged and applauded; she has now left the authority. The Safeguarding team will take the work forward and will continue to develop the strategy. The project timeline was shared.
The following was noted from the discussion that followed:
a. Consultation on the Attendance Strategy Outcome: parents with children with special educational needs fed back a number of concerns that are being analysed.
b. Members were requested to review attendance issues and consider whether the advice given is suitable for all settings; to consider whether the advice given to primary school children and secondary school children, should differ because of the way the two groups travel to school. Primary children are taken by parents whilst secondary children make their own way.
c. Partner agencies were requested to share information about attendance issues with the project leads.
d. It was suggested that the strategy should be shared during the Directors & Governors meetings hosted by Bristol City Council.
e. That the University share the strategy via their Governors meeting.
f. That the information provided by SEND parents be shared with heads of alternative schools; that any personal details be removed to adhere to GDPR guidelines; it was felt the reasons given in the feedback would be a valuable source of information for those tasked with managing attendance.
Thomas Jarvis provided an update.
a. The second round notification of the bid to the Education Endowment Fund will be known before the end of March.
b. Further update to follow.
Wider Work of the Partnership
Thomas Jarvis provided an update on School Leader Wellbeing
The Recruitment and Retention Task Group recently commissioned a wellbeing session for school leaders. The pilot intervention, used acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), was commissioned in response to a rising number of school leaders and teachers leaving the profession.
a. Early indication is that outcomes are positive
b. 7 participants had completed the course and at the end of the process demonstrated lower stress levels.
c. Additional work required:
a. To train the cohort
b. To support a Citywide conference consisting of Heads and Mental Health Leads
i. The intention is to recruit 40 leads to cascade information back to teachers and schools
d. Laurence Pitt and Jon Angel raised concerns regarding the capacity of Mental Health leads to deliver the interventions
e. Member reported back on the work of THRIVE; that those selected to lead on areas of Mental wellbeing had not been given training to support the role; that officers were often juggling too many responsibilities; information shared with a lead may be lost when they leave the establishment;
f. Action TJ: that fact finding work be undertaken to support a positive outcome and raise it above being viewed as another ask.
g. There was a need to promote the work currently being done by existing practitioners in schools.
Thomas Jarvis reminded all of the principles of the partnership and the organisations involved.
a. The organisations had combined resources and contributed the sum of £60k to fund a part-time project lead to deliver the agreed objectives within a 12 month period.
b. The post-holder will be managed by Bristol City Council with a start date in April 2019.
c. A launch event was scheduled for September 2019.
d. One of the themes was to support those students deemed gifted & talented and increase the offer to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Thomas Jarvis provided a brief overview within the discussion on wider work of the partnership.
One City Plan Update
The Chair, Cllr Keen, provided an overview of the launch event; reminding all that the plan ran to 2050; that the learning skills aspect of the plan sat with the Board; that following a ‘City Gathering’ the following issues were highlighted; the issue of gangs and knife crime was identified as one that needed attention; the impact of girls failing to attend school because of period poverty; the issue of affordable childcare.
Action: TJ to circulate the final plan to the Board Members
Thomas Jarvis provided the following overview:
UNESCO Learning City Membership
a. The partnership membership to UNESCO was due for renewal and the question was posed on whether membership should be renewed.
b. The reasons for renewal were outlined as follows;
a. The membership carried its own status and overall gave any organisation associated with its principles of good standing
b. Membership came with the permission to use the branding which the partnership will lose if it failed to renew
c. The membership was without cost but did involve a time consuming renewal process
d. The next event to be held in Columbia. The UWE advised that they recruited from that country and could possible support the attendance of a member of the partnership at the next event.
c. Action: Tom Sperlinger to discuss conference with Thomas Jarvis
d. Agreed: Membership to be renewed
Learning City Festival
a. The event was one adopted by a number of local authorities who have part-time employees to create the yearly one week event focussed on ‘learning’.
b. Information was shared with Members of the branding and events supported by other authorities such as Swindon; Wolverhampton; Swansea.
c. It was proposed that Bristol support the festival as it would be an excellent exposure for the work of Learning City Partnership.
d. Members suggested that a survey of the cities wider learning partners should be undertaken to seek out plausible ideas.
e. That scoping out work should include making contact with non-formal and formal providers; establishing links that would create a legacy; link business to schools; reviewing other events such as Adult learning week to ascertain if it could be linked; to seek out possible school engagement; consider projects that encourage children to engage with traditional learning venues in alternative ways.
f. Agreed: That TJ to scope out a proposal for an event.
Innovative Learning Project Proposals
a. Members were advised that there were funds available to support the work of the partnership and for it to benefit the City the partnership had to be strategic about the ‘asks’.
b. Members were made aware that grants had been applied, on the Boards theme, without input of partnership.
c. This was an area that needed to be monitored and progressed by the Board to link bids to the priorities of the partnership.
d. Agreed that at the next meeting a full report would be provided for a wider discussion on how bids can be influenced.
e. Action: TJ to progress to enable a wider discussion at the next meeting
The Chair, proposed that membership of the partnership be reviewed and extended to included:
a. The Chair of the Race Equality Group
b. A business lead; conversations had taken place with James Durie (Bristol West)
c. Representative from the Youth Council/Youth Mayor – the demographic covered by the board but not present
d. Look to include representative from an adult learning organisations such as the Folk House
e. Action: Chair to lead on conversations with the above.
f. Members were asked to note that an opportunity exist to bring adult learning into the festival of learning week thereby extending the concept of LCP.
The Board was asked to note that the devolving of funding budgets to WECA would require future engagement and conversations
Notes and Actions from the Last Meeting