Report of the Leader of the Council outlining business undertaken by the Executive since November 2020.
The report of the Leader of the Council was submitted setting out the details of the business undertaken by the Executive.
The Leader and the Cabinet made statements and responded to questions.
The following questions were submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11.1:-
1. Additional Restrictions Grant
Question from Councillor Fitzhenry to Councillor Hammond (Councillor Barnes-Andrews to respond).
Please can you explain why Southampton is one of the poorest performing local authorities in the country for the distribution of the Additional restrictions Grant.
2. School Attendance
Question from Councillor James Baillie to Councillor Paffey.
What are the Council doing to ensure the no child is left behind through not attending school for the last 2 months?
All children have now been welcomed back onto school sites across the city and have received well-planned and delivered virtual lessons or provision within the school throughout the most recent lockdown. As a council we have supported education leaders since the first lockdown last year to ensure good coordination and consistency of schooling in very difficult circumstances. In particular:
· Our School Improvement officers have been actively monitoring the quality of the virtual provision by remotely visiting schools and observing lessons. They have written reports on their observations so that best practice can be shared and improvements made.
· As a council we are ensuring there is a city-wide approach to ensure a successful transition for children who will be starting secondary school in September 2021. We have engaged with senior leaders from both primary and secondary sectors to achieve this.
· In addition, further work will take place to ensure good transition between early years settings and primary schools, and between secondary schools and colleges.
· Schools have been seeking feedback from parents on the quality of the remote provision which has been very positive.
· Schools have taken advantage of government funding for IT equipment to enable disadvantaged students to access on-line lessons and resources.
· We are now planning the next phase of the Holiday Activities Fund which will offer a range of physical and academic activities over the Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays. We will once again be working with a range of schools and local voluntary organisations to run these schemes. This is supported by funding from the Department for Education.
· Schools are in the process of carrying out a crucial assessment of the educational and emotional needs of their pupils now that they are all physically back in school, and we will be supporting them so that the appropriate help can be provided to pupils.