Agenda and minutes

Children’s Services, Education & Skills Scrutiny Board
Thursday 3rd March 2022 6.00 pm

Items
No. Item

64.

Apologies

To receive any apologies.

Minutes:

Councillor Blunt submitted her apologies.

65.

Declarations of Pecuniary or Conflicting Interests from Members

To receive declarations of interest from Members in accordance with the Code of Conduct (Members are directed to the guidance attached.)

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

66.

Questions and Deputations

To deal with any questions or deputations received.

Minutes:

No questions or deputations were submitted.

67.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 392 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 11th January 2022.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 11th January 2022 were presented. The Chairman explained that the minutes needed to be amended, to show that Councillor Ashraf MBE, not Councillor Wilson, was in attendance.

 

  RESOLVED

That the minutes of the meeting held on 11th January 2022 be held as a correct record, subject to the inclusion of the amendment detailed above.

68.

Mental Health Support Teams (MHST) in Solihull pdf icon PDF 408 KB

To provide an overview of Mental Health Support Teams (MHST)  in schools and wider mental health support provided to the Solihull education system by both Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (BSOL CCG) and Solihull MBC.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Senior Strategic Commissioner for Mental Health and the Deputy Chief Medical Officer presented the report, which provided an overview of Mental Health Support Teams (MHST) in schools and wider mental health support provided to the Solihull education system by both Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (BSOL CCG) and Solihull MBC.

 

Members raised a number of queries and observations which, in summary, included the following:

·  Members highlighted the significant increase in demand for mental support since the start of the pandemic and queried the feedback from children, young people and schools in regards to the MHSTs.

·  The Senior Strategic Commissioner for Mental Health confirmed the feedback on the MHSTs had been positive – schools had welcomed the specialist support available, especially for pupils experiencing anxiety returning to and being at school. School staff also welcomed the support, whilst working during the peaks of Covid-19. It was also detailed how the MHSTs adapted their support, according to the individual needs of the children and young people at the schools. The Senior Strategic Commissioner for Mental Health also detailed the differences in service provision, whereby Solar included provision for children and young people with higher clinical need, whilst the MHSTs were for pupils with mild to moderate needs and helped support earlier interventions.

·  Members questioned the waiting room app referred to in the report. Members also queried the ongoing provision of Kooth in the Borough, the online counselling and support service.

·  The Senior Strategic Commissioner for Mental Health explained the waiting room app was an umbrella website that was funded by a range of partners. It was explained how it brought together a wide range of resources, including a general directory, self-help and welfare advice. It was also detailed how use of Kooth services had peaked at the height of the pandemic – commissioners were now focusing on future service provision, to ensure young people had a range of options to seek help. It was noted how feedback from service users of Kooth had been positive.

·  Members queried the support in place for children, young people and schools not covered by an MHST provision.

·  The Senior Strategic Commissioner for Mental Health explained the Whole System Mental Health Support in place, whereby schools could seek access to a range of services to support their pupil’s mental health and wellbeing. It was noted this included school nurses, the Community Educational Psychology Service (CEPS) and the Inclusion Service.

·  The Senior Strategic Commissioner for Mental Health detailed that, to increase mental health capacity overall, NHS England had increased funding to Solar. It was emphasised how the recruitment and retention of staff was a significant challenge to all mental health providers. In response, they had looked at innovative approaches to the creation of new jobs roles, whereby they established new posts that were developmental.

·  Members flagged up that the report detailed how providers were working with local forums to ensure more decisions about mental health services in the Borough were made collaboratively – they queried whether  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68.

69.

Progress on the delivery of the All-Age Exploitation Reduction Strategy for Children and Young People in Solihull pdf icon PDF 266 KB

To update the Children’s Services, Education and Skills Scrutiny Board on the progress of the delivery of the All-Age Exploitation Reduction Strategy through the oversight provided by Exploitation Reduction Board and Exploitation Reduction Delivery Group with respect to supporting children and young people who are victims of at risk of becoming victims of exploitation.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Exploitation, Missing and Youth Justice Service Manager presented the report, which updated the Board on the progress of the delivery of the All-Age Exploitation Reduction Strategy through the oversight provided by the Exploitation Reduction Board and Exploitation Reduction Delivery Group with respect to supporting children and young people who were victims of or at risk of becoming victims of exploitation.

 

Members raised the following points and observations:

  • Members noted how the update on the work of the Solihull Exploitation Panel (SHEP) identified the themes that had been considered for adults at risk of being exploited. They queried what themes had been considered for children and young people.
  • The Exploitation, Missing and Youth Justice Service Manager explained that the themes considered included county lines and criminality, as well as sexual exploitation and criminality. There had also been focus upon the issue of cuckooing, where people looked to take over the home of a vulnerable young person or adult, to facilitate exploitation.
  • A Member raised a number of questions covering a range of topics – this included the ongoing development of data sets and the engagement and work undertaken with the voluntary and community sector. It was agreed for a written response to be provided to the Councillor, following the meeting.
  • Members noted how the report outlined links with schools to raise awareness of the risk of exploitation – they queried how this took into account children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
  • The Exploitation, Missing and Youth Justice Service Manager explained how the Local Safeguarding Children’s Partnership provided a range of training modules, including upon exploitation awareness, and it was confirmed schools, and other agencies who supported children and young people with additional needs, accessed this.  It was also detailed how local community and voluntary sector organisations, such as Urban Heard, as well as other agencies, provided relevant training and guidance to schools. The Interim Director of Children’s Services explained how they looked to link with the expertise of the special school staff, who knew how to communicate and engage with children and young people with additional needs.
  • A Member raised a number of queries, covering a range of subjects – including what information and data may be available in regards to children and young people at risk of forced marriage, as well as those at risk of online grooming in the Borough.
  • The Exploitation, Missing and Youth Justice Service Manager explained how these queries required a wider partner, multi-agency response – including from partners who supported vulnerable adults at risk of exploitation. It was agreed for these points to be shared with all the relevant partners and for a response to be shared.
  • Members queried how Electively Home Educating (EHE) families could access advice and support.
  • The Exploitation, Missing and Youth Justice Service Manager explained how they looked to share communications, such as those included in the agenda pack, to help the local community, including parents and carers, understand how to access support if they  ...  view the full minutes text for item 69.