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Agenda item

Moving Forward


The Role of the Board


The Chair, shared the contents of a letter from the Mayor with the Board that read:


Dear Learning City Partnership Members


At today’s session I understand you are talking about some of the changes occurring to the One City structure. I wanted to personally write and set out some of the thinking behind these proposals – and most importantly to thank you for your work to date and your ongoing support for education and lifelong learning in the city.  


The current iteration/structure of One City was formed in January 2019 and it has always been our intention to review and evolve as it becomes more embedded in the city. These draft proposals have been discussed with the Chair Cllr Anna Keen but I am keen to hear your feedback as well.


As announced at the City Gathering in June, we are going to be setting up a Children and Young People’s Board. This is in the early stages of development and will be chaired by Cllr Helen Godwin. This board will focus holistically on the experiences of children and young people in the city. While children and young people were featured across many of the themes of the One City Plan, specifically in terms of education and schooling in the LCP theme, it was felt that more concentrated focus was required, and this was echoed by Ofsted.


A Shadow Young People's board, formed of young people drawn from across different communities in the city, will also be created to inform the board's direction and ensure young people are at the heart of its decision-making.


To avoid a proliferation of themes across the One City Plan, we are proposing that the learning and skills theme then be embedded across the new children’s theme and the economy theme. This will link schools and young people’s education closer to the wider children’s agenda in the city as well as linking education and learning with the economic work in the city. We feel this link is vital given the impact of COVID-19 on the economy. In effect this will mean the LCP will work closely with the two boards to ensure learning is a core thread throughout both those themes but will not have its own individual theme in the plan.


I want to be clear that I view this as a way of embedding learning much more closer with the economic and children’s work in the city and see this a way to enable that much further.


To ensure that skills remains a key priority, the economy strand will be labelled Economy and Skills to maintain the profile of learning and skills.


I am eager to hear your reflections on this and welcome your feedback.


A discussion followed on the role of the board and how best to define the board’s remit;  Which position should it take that of Governance or Operational or Project Board or Oversite on key agenda issues.

The following was noted from the discussion that followed:

a)      Action Plan: The Board may consider crafting a detailed action plan which focusses on key deliverables.  That should incorporate actions required to drive progress of students across the City.  To map the work what is currently done by stakeholders across the City to avoid duplication.

b)      The role of the board must be achievable and those aspirations identified must be those that it can support to ensure delivery.

c)      Steering Group: All were reminded that with existing priorities arising from working within members own settings; together with the additional pressures arising from the new era of covid19 resilience & mitigation work; the board could move to the position of a steering group as the best way to utilise resources and influences, to identify quick wins.  For example the issue of digital poverty.  The Board must develop SMART Strategies.

d)      Holding others to account may not be achievable but if the Board had a mandate as a steering group, in instances where the majority of settings were their own authority, it would enable the sharing of information without the added burden of having to meet fixed priorities.

e)      University Settings:  How to take into consideration students individual circumstances to increase access to higher education from diverse groups; to look at policy issues that create obstacles to students achieving their ambition.

f)       Policies often create a barrier to inclusion; the students the board services are not part of the conversation their voices should be reflected in any policy or strategy change.

The Chair concluded the discussion thanking those in attendance; noting that the discussion tended to lean towards the Board adopting a Steering Group remit that created pace behind strategy; that the refreshed framework should have clear priorities incorporating the voice of young people.


1.      Further comments to be provided to TJ

2.      AH & TJ to repurpose and present to the Board