(Report by Mr R Gough, Cabinet Member for Education and Health Reform, and Mr P Leeson, Corporate Director for Education, Learning and Skills)
(Ms S Dunn, Head of Skills and Employability Services, was present for this item)
1. Mr Gough introduced the report on the summary of the consultation with the wider group of stakeholders on the establishment of 8 new delivery hubs across the County for PRU and Alternative Provision, which meant a shift in Policy, the budget and delivery. He highlighted section 5 of the report on the profiles and outcomes of the 454 pupils attending PRU and AC provision, of which 163 pupils were in Key stage 3 and 292 pupils in Key stage 4.
2. Ms Dunn advised that there was now 100% engagement with Headteachers on this debate. The 8 new delivery hubs were established to ensure that there was a locality maintained contact with the pupils on their progress into education and employment. There had been no objections to the proposals.
3. Mr Leeson explained that the review was designed to improve the chances of those pupils in particular in improving their attainment in English and Mathematics.
4. Mr Gough, Mr Leeson and Ms Dunn noted comments and responded to questions which included the following:
a) Members congratulated officers on the work carried out to date.
b) An opinion was expressed that with the raising of the participation age of those continuing their education at school there would be more challenges for this provision.
c) In response to the question on the budget available for therapeutic intervention, Mrs Dunn advised that this would be resourced through the funding that was held centrally by KCC for alternative curriculum and working with Headteachers to think about their resources on how they support young people in their schools with challenging behaviour or at risk of becoming disengaged.
d) Ms Dunn explained that the new delivery model through the review combined some of the provisions for Key Stage 3 and 4 which lead to a reduction in overheads including a reduction of Heads of Centres and a reduction in the property portfolio. The intention was that some of the realignment of provision would enable to districts to develop their own intervention and prevention services alongside KIAS which was critical in the provision of PRUs.
e) In reply to a question, Ms Dunn advised that many of those young people did not want to attend a traditional school or college setting but would prefer to go directly into employment and KCC role was to assist that. There were a significant number of PRU learners that had gone into apprenticeships at level 2 and 3. The pathway into employment and assistance with training was the next stage of this review.
5. Mr Gough stated that the continued ownership of the outcomes of those young people would remain with the school up to the age of 19 years. The local authority retained the responsibility of ensuring that the outcomes were good.
6. RESOLVED that:-
a) the responses to comments and questions by Members be noted;
b) the outcomes of the consultation be noted; and
c) the Education Cabinet Committee endorses the implementation of the proposals outlined in the report; and
d) the Cabinet Member for Education and Health Reform would be submitting a report on those changes to Cabinet for approval in July be noted.