Children and Young People's Learning Scrutiny Panel Minutes

Children and Young People's Learning Scrutiny Panel Minutes

Monday 17 September 2018
10:30 a.m.
Spencer Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough

Attendance Details

Councillor A Hellaoui, Councillor J McGee, Councillor L McGloin, Councillor J A Walker, Councillor V Walkington, Councillor M Walters, Councillor J Young, Councillor L Lewis(As Substitute)
Sara Davidson
Jo McNally
Apologies for absence:
Councillor T Higgins, Councillor J Blyth, H Watson, A Williams
Declarations of interest:

There were no declarations of interest at this point in the meeting.

Item Number Item/Resolution

The minutes of the Children and Young People's Learning Scrutiny Panel held on 16 July 2018 were submitted and approved as a correct record.


Lauren Perkin and Andrea Burrows from the Middlesbrough Food Power Alliance attended the meeting to provide an update on work that they are undertaking in relation to transforming the way that people in food poverty access support and create long-term, sustainable lives that were free from hunger.


Members were informed that Middlesbrough Environment City (MEC) successfully obtained £10,000 funding through the Food Power programme to tackle food poverty and food insecurity in Middlesbrough. The funding provided a dedicated member of staff at MEC to coordinate the project.  Lauren explained to Members that her role was to engage with representatives from organisations supporting people who were in food poverty and food insecurity. Members were informed that the alliance was working together to create a food poverty action plan addressing four areas: School Holidays, Maximising Income, Surplus Food and Optimising Healthy Start vouchers.


Members were advised that Middlesbrough Food Power had been working with an intern from Teesside University to research the extent of food poverty across Middlesbrough and the current levels of emergency provision that were available in each ward. Following on from this initial research it was decided to focus on mapping the current provision available through the summer holidays identifying a good selection of provision available across the town. However, Members were informed that this had highlighted four key areas of expansion:

More venues - Currently there were 19 different providers of holiday provision however, there were 13360 primary age children currently on roll, 5217 children were entitled to free school meals which indicated that the current venues do not have the capacity to cater to all children.


More external providers - enrichment was very expensive and although there had been some input from external providers there is a need to gain more to make ensure that children are not hungry in body or mind.

More days - the current provision was mostly focused around the summer holidays for two to three days per week. There is a need to support each group to offer at least 12 days provision during the summer holidays and to expand provision across other school holidays.

Strengthening the food offer - the current programmes were working at full capacity and the current meals were sometimes stretched. Providing this area with support would be beneficial to offer a nutritious meal each day.

Middlesbrough Food Power had been working with Middlesbrough’s primary schools to see what is currently on offer throughout the school day, after school and during the holidays each school would also be invited to a networking session on 8th November to discuss what each school can do to potentially set up their own holiday provision with the support of Food Power Middlesbrough and Feast of Fun.

Members were advised that in April 2018 organisations, local authorities and charities were invited to bid for a share of The Holiday Activities and Food Research fund to work in partnership for initial research into holiday provision during the 2018 summer holidays. Middlesbrough did not apply for this fund due to a very short deadline. Members heard that further funding would be made available for a pilot programme in the 2019 Easter and summer holidays it was advised that a potential joint bid with Redcar and Cleveland Council would be submitted.


Members were provided with a table that ranked each ward of Middlesbrough against the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) and the population at risk of food poverty.  The table highlighted that wards such as Park End and Beckfield were at risk of food poverty but had very little food provision in the area.  It was advised that this information would be used to target where future provision could be established.


Marie Kelly, Welfare Officer at Pennyman Primary School attended the meeting to inform Members of the school holiday provision that is available to children attending Pennyman Primary School.


Members heard that Pennyman Primary Academy was situated in an area of high deprivation and had provision for up to 440 children including 54 children with physical or medical needs. At any one time there is an average of sixty children on the school's vulnerable list. These are children open to external agencies and does not include the children the school had concerns about on a daily basis not open to agencies.


Members were advised that following the school summer holiday it became apparent that the number of children referred to Social Care for incidents of neglect, domestic violence etc had risen over the summer. There was also a rise in the number of accidents sustained by children.  Members heard that It was also noticeable that some of the children returned looking unwell or appeared to have lost weight.  It was advised that due to the concerns the school had decided to run holiday provision. 


Members heard that the school holiday provision activities were available during February half term, two weeks during the Easter holiday and up to three weeks during the summer holiday for children from Reception to Y6. The activities are were varied, Footygolf, Multisports, Dance, Rock Climbing, Cinema trips, Drama and Film- making. The school negotiated with local businesses to obtain discounts and tailor the activities to meet the needs of the children. The Welfare Officer informed the Members that the clubs cost £5.00 per day with sessions taking place from 10:00am till 2:30 pm. The children brought a packed lunch with them however where vulnerable children had been identified, they were offered free places and provided with packed lunches from the school if needed.


Members queried how the holiday provision was staffed, the Welfare Officer stated that two Sports Coaches had joined the staff at Pennyman and a decision was made to employ them term time, plus four weeks which enabled cover during the holiday period.


The Welfare Officer advised Members that Pennyman Primary School provided a Uniform Scheme.  It was advised that a large number of parents donated uniform that children had grown out of.  The uniforms were distributed to families where needed. It was also advised that local groups donated small amounts of money to provide uniforms for children.  Members also heard that the school had a Welfare Fund which was used to support children with items such as shoes, uniform and PE kits.


The Chair of the Children and Young People's Learning Scrutiny Panel provided an update on the actions from the meeting on 16 July 2018.


The update included:

  • The Northumbria University report was circulated to Members on 7 August 2018
  • Several Members of the Scrutiny Panel visited the Feast of Fun Project over the school summer holidays, positive feedback from all Members were received.
  • Procurement provided information on free tennis lessons available for families from disadvantaged wards
  • Meeting arranged with Helen Dudiak, Associate Dean of Enterprise and Business Engagement at Teesside University on 4 October 2018 to discuss the University carrying out robust evaluation of the Feast of Fun Project

This item was for information only.


The Chair presented an update on the matters that were considered at the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting on 4 September 2018.  The Chair provided the Scrutiny Panel with information in respect of the following items:

  •  Call In (A172 Dixons Bank Improvement Scheme)
  • Call for Action (Southlands Centre)
  • School Reserves

AGREED as follows:

  • That the update be noted
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