The Assistant Director - Organisation and Governance presented a report which outlined the process undertaken to date to implement a Balanced Scorecard approach to performance management within the Council and which provided an overview of the Council's performance at year end 2014/2015, using the Balanced Scorecard Model.
The Assistant Director made the following points:-
the previous top down approach contained a plethora of performance indicators. This had left a gap, but also an opportunity for the Council to see what works for its purposes;
the scorecard would provide a single "traffic light" view of performance across four perspectives of Customer; Business; Finance; and People at the Councils three senior management levels - Council; Executive Director and Assistant Director;
this was a pilot and would evolve and be modified over time;
some Indicators appeared in all quadrants as they were of particular importance to the Council;
a number of targets and measures were underdeveloped and information missing had skewed the data in some cases. These issues should be resolved by the second quarter;
Assistant Directors had been asked not to just report on an exception basis (e.g. where performance was not what had been anticipated) as this tended to be negative; they had been asked to report on good performance too.
In response to questions by Members, the Assistant Director explained the scoring system. Up to 25% is awarded for each element of each perspective. If no information was produced the score would be zero. If a score of 80% or more was attained overall, this was adjudged Green. If an area over-achieved a judgment would be made to see if this was planned. If work had not been undertaken, or there had been a failure to deliver an outcome, the judgment would be Red.
She also confirmed that "real time" generation of scorecards referred to the aim of producing performance information at any particular point in time - traditionally, this information had been produced for discrete periods - such as monthly, or quarterly.
Members sought further information about the actions being undertaken under Physical Activity which was Red.
The Director of Public Health advised that there was a Physical Activity Group and that a Physical Activity Plan was being finalised. Participation through schools and voluntary sector organisations would be used to provide in year clarification.
The Chair commented that he hoped the situation on obesity would be improved upon so that the status moved from Red and sought further information as to what was being done to tackle bulimia and anorexia. The Director of Public Health said that initiatives tended to focus more on weight management, but it was crucial to tackle the obesity environment. Eating disorders were a significant concern and impacted on young people, in particular. He would obtain figures for Members together with the actions being undertaken.
There were national programmes in place to measure height and weight with obesity in mind, but the data could also be used for identifying people underweight.
Prior to the meeting the Chair and the Vice Chair had asked for an explanation about the high rate of exclusions in Middlesbroughs schools and actions being taken to address this.
The Head of Access to Education tabled information which confirmed that Middlesbrough had more than 4 times the national average of permanent exclusions.
This was due to a range of factors all combining simultaneously, including the fact that existing Pupil Referral Units were unable to accept pupils as they were full to capacity and early identification and interventions were insufficiently developed and alternative education provision was not well developed.
The Council was tackling the issue in a number of ways, as follows:-
an early help approach was being developed to ensure that children were ready to learn for schools
a Strategic Review of provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and who were vulnerable would commence in September 2015
some short term measures had been put in place to alleviate pressure on Pupil Referral Units to allow them to be able to move some children to an alternative provider and therefore to be able to take in new referrals
agreement had been reached with Middlesbrough schools to set up a Middlesbrough Behaviour Partnership to tackle these issues
The target was to have the new Behaviour Partnership arrangements in operation by March 2016 and improved exclusion rates significantly towards the national average within 18 months.
Councillor Brunton, the Executive Member for Education and Skills, said that the Council needed to work with schools to manage their own pupils or to monitor moves to other schools when this was necessary. Intervention would also assist the situation.
The Chair said that the Board would wish to see progress reports towards the targets.
A Member commented that very few families now ate together. The Director of Public Health said this reflected the need for various approaches. For instance, with young people the family would be targeted. For older people, a community-based approach was more appropriate.
The Director stressed the impact of social media on young people and the crucial importance of aligning health messages with these communication streams.
A Member mentioned that schools needed to be conscious of the messages they were giving. She had recently attended an Awards Event where chocolate had been given as a prize. The Director acknowledged this but, on a positive note, referred to Hearty-BEATS (Better Eating & Activity Through Schools) - a pilot project which aimed to develop the pilot primary schools as a healthy setting for the promotion of heart health and healthy lifestyles to pupils and their family members.
ORDERED as follows:-
a) That the process undertaken to date, to implement a Balanced Scorecard approach to performance management within the Council, be noted.
b) That the responses of Departments and the Councils wider Change Programme to the performance issues outlined in the report be noted.
c) That the tabled information on pupil exclusions within Middlesbroughs schools be noted.
d) That the Director of Well Being, Care and Learning be asked to provide progress reports to the Board on the measures being introduced to reduce the number of pupil exclusions.