To note any announcements from the Chair.
a. Judith Brown, Bristol Older People’s Forum
The Chair moved a formal vote of thanks to Judith Brown following her retirement as the Bristol Older People’s Forum representative at People Scrutiny Commission meetings.
The Chair and other members also expressed their appreciation of her valued contribution to the Commission’s discussions over many years.
b. Ofsted Joint area SEND revisit in Bristol: 4-6 October 2022
At the request of the Chair, the interim Director of Education and Skills gave an update on the report published by Ofsted following the SEND revisit inspection carried out from 4-6 October.
Summary of main points raised/noted:
1. The inspection report had identified that sufficient progress had been made in 4 of the 5 areas of significant weakness identified at the initial inspection, including the area’s improvement plans and self-evaluation. However, insufficient progress had been made in relation to the remaining area of significant weakness, namely the fractured relationships with parents and carers, lack of co-production and variable engagement and collaboration.
2. Further work would be taken forward in all 5 areas, and in line with Ofsted’s anticipated requirements, an accelerated action plan would be developed in relation to the area where insufficient progress had been made. All of this work would inform the development of the SEND partnership plan, to be published in early 2023.
3. In relation to the issue of repairing the fractured relationships with parents and carers, it was acknowledged that ensuring effective co-production would be essential moving forwards and that improvement work must be implemented at pace. The accelerated action plan would include defined key outcomes and milestones and would be overseen by the Department for Education. The detail of the accelerated action plan would be shared with scrutiny members; the Chair suggested it would be appropriate for members to be briefed at an appropriate point before the action plan was finalised, to allow an opportunity for scrutiny input to be taken into account.
4. It was noted that as part of the further action to be taken, officers would arrange to meet representatives of the Bristol Parent Carer Forum.
c. External investigation into social media monitoring (further to the Commission’s consideration on 26 September 2022 of the fact finding report into the use of social media by Council staff in respect of the Bristol Parent Carer Forum)
The Chair reminded members that at their last meeting, the Commission had agreed a motion calling for the Mayor and Chief Executive to arrange an external investigation into this matter; subsequently, at their meeting held on 18 October, the Full Council had agreed a separate motion calling for the Mayor to progress an independent inquiry.
The Chair advised that he had now been informed that the outcome of the Ofsted Joint area SEND revisit would be reported to the Cabinet in January and that the Mayor’s decisions on the key elements of the People Scrutiny and Full Council motions (i.e. whether to progress a further investigative process and to reinstate the Bristol Parent Carers Forum as the partner organisation) would be announced at the January Cabinet meeting.
The Commission noted the above information.