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People directorate quarterly service report - where we are now

Director’s overview

This overview describes our quarter 3 performance across the People directorate. I would first like to start with recognising that normally during this time of year we would see increases in demand, within our local system, reflecting the national picture as regards adults social care. I am therefore really pleased to highlight strong performance in delayed transfers of care and hospital avoidance. This strong performance includes time wise the Christmas holiday period, which is traditionally busy. Our performance has been particularly strong with a nil return on delays. East Berkshire performance has been recognised as strong performance nationally with positive feedback that staff have gone over and above their roles, culminating in this nil return of delayed transfers of care.

The Family Safeguarding Model is further embedding with caseloads in these teams averaging 13 for social workers. This is below a national expectation of caseload numbers. The securing of funding for statutory partners including Health and Thames Valley Police are proving invaluable. Our 2-year anniversary event will celebrate this performance and the positive difference made to children and families in Bracknell Forest.

In any quarter we would report inspection findings. This quarter we have seen 2 schools inspected on the new Ofsted framework, Birch Hill and Meadow Vale. Their reports have been published and both achieved good. This has led to a further improvement in our percentage of schools judged at least good or outstanding, now 81%. We also have seen 100% of private, voluntary and independent (PVI) settings judged good or outstanding.

Another important performance area to highlight is the Emotional Health and wellbeing action plan for young people. This relates to a Local Transformation Plan group, a partnership of key strategic organisations, currently delivering a series of service changes transforming children and young people’s mental health support services across east Berkshire. This demonstrates both a commitment and an ambition for Bracknell Forest and the wider health footprint.

When looking at the areas for improvement there has been a real focus on the number of household nights in B&B accommodation. As you can see explained below, this is an annualised target, broken down into quarters. This quarter we have been above our target. I am confident by the year end we will be on target for the whole year.

Another area reported as poor performance, that is, ‘rated red’ relates to the number of families turned around through family focus. This relates to the claims only and not the activity. This quarter all claims have been rolled forward to the next quarter, so performance is still on track as regards activity.

Finally, the performance of the percentage of Education Health and Care plans issued within 20 weeks has been below our expectations as a rate. In this quarter 29/45 plans were issued within the designated timescale. A number of the delays were caused by parents wanting to make further amendments to the plans or wanting further school options to consider. Therefore, we believe that this co-produced plan should be right for the individual child and young person, even though this occasionally takes us over the prescribed timescale. We constantly review our performance, systems and processes to make sure timeliness and learn any lessons necessary to improve our effectiveness.

Highlights and remedial action

Good performance

L346 Average case load for Family Safeguarding Model

Achieved target case load for Family Safeguarding social workers of 13.

4.6.11 Delayed transfers of care and hospital avoidance

The status in quarter 3 has remained positive. Performance over the Christmas period has been particularly effective with a nil return on delays.

3.1.04 Ofsted judgement at least good or outstanding for early help settings

100% of PVI settings are currently graded good or better.

3.3.01 Ofsted judgement at least good or outstanding for schools with Birch Hill and Meadow Vale Primary Schools achieving ‘good’ on new framework.

3.4.01 Pupil Premium Grant

Governors from 19 BFC schools attended training led by the Standards and Effectiveness Team on 'The Governors Role in the Pupil Premium' where current best practice reports from the Education Endowment Foundation were shared.

The Voice 21 Oracy project training and events continue to be very well received by the 26 BFC schools taking part.

The Bracknell Forest Governor's Pupil Premium Toolkit is in the final stages of development and has been promoted through governor training and the Clerks' Briefing.

As a result of joint working between Bracknell Forest and Reading Councils, 22 Bracknell Forest schools attended a recent conference on the new Ofsted Framework and the importance of reading for pleasure, with a strong focus on the critical role reading for pleasure has for disadvantaged pupils.

3.5.04 NEETs

The Elevate Team has tracked all 16 and 17 year olds for whom Bracknell Forest has a duty to report their activity. This has been a particularly productive period where collaborating with schools and other providers has led to effective tracking. All those who are NEET have been contacted and are either already receiving support or are 'not available to labour market', for example illness due to mental health.

3.5.05 Emotional Health and Well Being Action Plan for young people

Our Local Transformation Plan group, a partnership of key organisations, is currently delivering on a series of changes to transform children and young people’s mental health support and services across East Berkshire. More local money is being invested in early intervention by NHS East Berkshire.

Areas for improvement

L178 Number of household nights in B&B accommodation

Over quarter 3, the number of households in B&B has been above target but those accommodated are single households with multiple and often complex needs. In a number of cases, B&B out of area has been the only safe option for a household whilst the team work to relieve their homelessness and seeking to support with a number of other needs. The Housing and Welfare Team have worked hard in the quarter to find sustainable accommodation for these households and B&B is only used where the customer may be at risk of harm in Bracknell, or for a short period of emergency housing whilst an assessment is undertaken of the needs and duties.

NB: It is important to explain that this measure is an annualised target and broken down into quarters for the purpose of reporting. We anticipate the overall picture at year end looking much more as projected.

L202 Number of families turned around through Family Focus

No claims were submitted during the quarter for turned around families – claims were deferred to next quarter.

L368 Achievement gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers at KS2

28.0% against a target of 25%, however, progress for disadvantaged pupils continues to improve in all subjects.

L301 % of Education, Health and Care Plans issued within 20 weeks

64% of EHC plans were issued within the 20 weeks for the quarter ending 31/12/2019. This equates to 29 out of 45 plans. There were 10 plans that were issued more than 3 weeks after the statutory time frame. In addition to the SEN Team undergoing a restructure during this period, the main reasons for these delays were either a delayed response from schools (that is, taking more than 15 days to respond to the LA) or in a number of cases, parents wanted to make further amendments to the plan or wanted further school options to consider.

Audits and risks

There were no audits with no assurance, inadequate assurances or partial assurances in this period.