Issue - meetings
Oxford City Council Safeguarding report 2015-2016
Meeting: 25/07/2016 - Council (Item 19)
The Executive Director, Community Services and Assistant Chief Executivesubmitted a report to the City Executive Board on 16 June 2016 which detailed the progress made on the Council’s Safeguarding Action Plan and recommended the Action Plan for approval for 2016-2017.
The report, appendices, Scrutiny Committee report and responses are attached. The relevant Executive Board minute (19) is attached later in the agenda.
This is presented to Council for information only in accordance with the action in the Oxford City Council Section 11 Self- Assessment Action Plan 2015-16 Learning Point 1 (contained in the report to Council on 20 July 2015).
The Board Member will present the report.
Council is recommended to note the report and the accompanying documents.
- Appendix 1 - Safeguarding Action Plan 2016-17- for CEB 20.05.16, 16/06/2016 City Executive Board, item 19 PDF 127 KB View as DOCX (19/2) 40 KB
- Appendix 2 - Equalities Impact Assessment Safeguarding 2016-17 vs 5, 16/06/2016 City Executive Board, item 19 PDF 149 KB View as DOCX (19/3) 130 KB
- Appendix 3 - CEB report risk register 19.02.16, 16/06/2016 City Executive Board, item 19 PDF 912 KB
- Scrutiny Committee - safeguarding report to June City Executive Board, item 19 PDF 102 KB View as DOC (19/5) 190 KB
- Scrutiny Committee - suggested CEB response to Scrutiny recommendations, June 2016 City Executive Board, item 19 PDF 65 KB View as DOCX (19/6) 17 KB
Council considered a report to the City Executive Board on 16 June 2016 which detailed the progress made on the Council’s Safeguarding Action Plan and recommended the Action Plan for approval for 2016-2017.
This was before Council for information only in accordance with the action in the Oxford City Council Section 11 Self- Assessment Action Plan 2015-16 Learning Point 1 (contained in the report to Council on 20 July 2015).
After members listened to and asked questions of the Board Member, Council noted the report and the accompanying documents.
The Executive Director, Community Services and Assistant Chief Executivehave submitted a report which details the progress made on the Council’s Safeguarding Action Plan and recommends the Action Plan for approval for 2016-2017.
Recommendations: That the City Executive Board resolves to:
1. To note the progress and development of the Council’s safeguarding work 2015-2016;
2. To agree the Action Plan as set out in Appendix 1
- Appendix 1 - Safeguarding Action Plan 2016-17- for CEB 20.05.16, item 19 PDF 126 KB View as DOCX (19/2) 40 KB
- Appendix 2 - Equalities Impact Assessment Safeguarding 2016-17 vs 5, item 19 PDF 149 KB View as DOCX (19/3) 130 KB
- Appendix 3 - CEB report risk register 19.02.16, item 19 PDF 15 KB
The Executive Director, Community Services and Assistant Chief Executivesubmitted a report which detailed the progress made on the Council’s Safeguarding Action Plan and recommends the Action Plan for approval for 2016-2017.
The Chair of Scrutiny Committee introduced the Committee’s report and recommendations on safeguarding, highlighting in particular the concerns identified regarding the lack of regulation for Language Schools operating in the city, and nationally. He said that the Committee considered this to be a significant issue and it had been added to the work programme for a full review.
The Board Member, Community Safety presented the report and explained that the focus now needed to become more outward looking and centred on partnership working and community engagement. She welcomed the Scrutiny Committee report and thanked the Safeguarding Officer for her contribution. She said that she had written to Government regarding her concerns over the lack of safeguarding control for Language Schools but that she had received a less than satisfactory response.
The Board agreed that it was incumbent upon the Council to raise this issue as a priority with the Safeguarding Board and partner agencies as a matter of local and national concern.
The Board instructed the Chief Executive to task officers to work with the Scrutiny Committee to undertake a full review of this issue and to report back to the Board later in the year.
In discussion the Board considered the following issues:
· the need to focus on safeguarding for vulnerable adults, particularly as this has a close correlation with the Council’s services and the commissioning of a training programme to support this
· that awareness of safeguarding issues and responsibilities has been embedded across a range of Council services through on-going training
· positive feedback from Thames Valley Police on the practical success of the hotel and guest house safeguarding awareness scheme
· the level of City Council resources available, and required, to support this important area of work
· the need to respect the clear boundaries between the County Council’s statutory responsibilities and the City Council’s supporting role as a member of the Safeguarding Board
· concern about the Government’s proposals for the future of Safeguarding Boards and local authority responsibilities
The City Executive Board resolved to:
1. To note the progress and development of the Council’s safeguarding work 2015-2016;
2. To agree the Action Plan as set out in Appendix 1;
3. To agree that the Board Member, Community Safety should raise the concern about Language School regulation as a priority with the Safeguarding Board and partner agencies; and
4. To endorse the Scrutiny Committee decision to undertake a review of the regulation of Language Schools with regard to safeguarding issues.
The Scrutiny Committee has asked for this item to be included on the agenda for pre-decision scrutiny.
Why is it on the agenda?
The City Executive Board will be asked to note progress and agree the Self-Assessment Action Plan (appendix 1) at its meeting on 16 June 2016. This is an opportunity for the Scrutiny Committee to make recommendations to the City Executive Board.
Who has been invited to comment?
· Councillor Dee Sinclair, Board Member for Community Safety;
· Caroline Green, Assistant Chief Executive.
- App. 1 - Safeguarding Action Plan 2016-17- for CEB 20.05.16, item 11 PDF 126 KB View as DOCX (11/2) 40 KB
- App. 2 - Equalities Impact Assessment Safeguarding 2016-17 vs 5, item 11 PDF 149 KB View as DOCX (11/3) 130 KB
- App. 3 - CEB report risk register 19.02.16, item 11 PDF 15 KB
The Board Member for Community Safety introduced the report. She said that the Council complied with its statutory responsibilities and was going beyond these in a number of areas. However the context of budget cuts and increased demand meant that the Council could not be complacent and it was important to be pro-active in promoting partnership working.
The creation of a permanent part-time Safeguarding Co-ordinator post, which had previously been recommended by Scrutiny, was a very welcome development and more outward looking community work would be a priority for the year ahead. The Committee welcomed the report including the extension of the annual safeguarding review to include vulnerable adults as well as children, and commended officers on their excellent work in this area.
The Committee commented that neglect was a common form of abuse and that members needed to be sensitive to signs of neglect. The Committee suggested that anonymised case study examples of safeguarding instances would be a valuable element of the safeguarding training that was being offered to members.
The Committee raised concerns about high levels of absence at academy schools and questioned where the responsibility for this lay. The Committee heard that the role of the City Council was limited here but what the Council could do was to signpost effectively and work proactively in partnerships with other agencies to highlight these kinds of issues.
The Committee noted that increased awareness and more effective signposting were leading to more referrals and increased pressure on services. The Committee heard that Officers would appreciate more feedback regarding the outcome of referrals.
The Committee considered issues around language schools in the City and noted that the Council and the Police were beginning to engage with language schools around their safeguarding responsibilities through a new forum. The Committee heard that it was unclear where in the City many language school students were living and in what conditions. The absence of rigorous checking was a concern because these students were potentially vulnerable. The Committee noted that this lack of rigor contrasted with, for example, the checks around fostering and adoption arrangements, and was a national issue that should be referred up to government. It was suggested that these safeguarding issues should be thought through and discussed with language schools and partner agencies, and that lessons could be learnt from the recent scrutiny review of guest houses.
The Committee also noted that the Council’s Houses in Multiple Occupations (HMO) and Private Sector Enforcement teams could have a role to play. It was suggested that these officers should be trained to recognise safeguarding issues relating to language school students and to report any concerns they come across.
The Committee agreed the following actions:
1. An item on language schools would be added to the scrutiny work plan for a possible future review;
2. Details of non-compulsory Safeguarding training would be circulated to Committee members;
3. A question about how planning applications for a new category of student housing built by private developers would be ... view the full minutes text for item 11