Agenda item

Wellbeing Team and Behaviour Support Team Future Planning

To receive the above report.


Rebecca Askew, Senior Educational Psychologist outlined the above titled item. The purpose of the report was to provide the Schools Forum with the forecasted costs and income for the Behaviour Support Team and Wellbeing Team 2018/19; to provide a SWOT analysis to compare and contrast options for the future directions of the Behaviour Support Team to include retain both the Wellbeing Team and Behaviour Support Team; retain the Wellbeing Team and Nurture Programme; retain the Wellbeing Team; cease both the Wellbeing Team and Behaviour Support Team.

The Wellbeing Team had been set up in response to increased concerns regarding mental health and wellbeing of children and young people (C&YP) and was specifically identified by school audits as an area of need. Members were told that the team had been set up as a three year programme to focus on C & YP mental health and wellbeing. The forum were told that the Wellbeing Team produced an annual evaluation report which outlined the year’s outputs, positive impact and feedback received in relation to individuals, groups and whole school interventions. The forum were informed that the running costs of the Wellbeing team was £135,000 per annum including £15,000 per annum from social care for the delivery of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)  for 0.4 FTE. The Forum were told that the Behaviour Support Team costs £105,097 per annum to run equivalent to 3.2 FTE.


The SWOT analysis looked at retention of both teams and how the nurture team could be run independently by psychology psychiatrists. There had been 158 individual referrals last year and 54 early help hub referrals. 39 schools had been supported and the Behaviour Support Team was currently active in 31 schools. The largest number of interventions fell under the nurture category, and ten new schools had engaged in the nurture programme. There had been a slight reduction in the buy in for support packages, however there had been n increase in the number of private schools who had approached the service wishing to sign up. Options for both retaining the service and ceasing the services were outlined (full details as outlined in the report).


Members of the forum were reminded that other local authorities had different structures and that there were different funding pressures nationally. It was highlighted that there was a high demand for the Behavioural Support Team and Wellbeing Team within RBWM and it was noted that there was some limitation to the scope of interventions due to the demand. The services had seen a high number of referrals and the small teams had to work creatively and innovatively to provide the best outcomes. Some of the creative solutions included group work, staff training and parent training. Members were informed that bids for additional work could be prepared but that there would be limited success as innovation beyond daily provisions would need to be evidence based.


Currently the Wellbeing and Nurture Champions were in the early phases of planning and would be rolled out across the borough once developed.  There was future potential to sell this to other Boroughs. There had been good multi agency work through the Andy Clinic via the CCG and CBT work around depression. Threats were outlined and included financial pressures, similar intervention offerings by other providers, quicker interventions and delays with intervention work commencing. Strengths were outlined to include that the service was highly regarded and valued, evidence based practice and good collation of data. It was highlighted that anxiety was the most ticked risk factor, with 420 ticks for anxiety compared to 36 for alcohol misuse and peer difficulties.


Nurture UK worked closely with the services and provided training and support, however they did not provide localised networking opportunities. It was outlined that a robust programme was offered and that the cost of external training and online product from Nurture UK was £2,000. Members discussed the long referral waiting times for C &YP and it was confirmed that this was due to there being 1 therapist dedicated to play, creative arts and DP therapies. Members were told that there were alternative therapies available such as Lego and play therapy, but that these were not as effective as Nurture based therapies.  Schools were not currently offering DDT therapies and the borough was at an advantage by being able to provide this service; members were advised that this may be advanced in the green paper which would be available over the upcoming months. At the conclusion of the presentation, members discussed a range of issues. Members thanked Rebecca and her team for their ongoing hard work and commitment. It was highlighted that work around exam anxiety had been done and that it would be useful to see the tangible recommendations of the report conducted.


ACTION- That the final report upon exam anxiety be circulated to members of the Forum.


It was discussed that early years interventions must be time limited and provide value for money and to improve on standardised measures to evaluate outcomes. The Forum discussed creative ways to acquire funding and ways in which the service could be kept. It was reported that there were 17 schools and there had been a decline in the number of signed up schools. The Forum were reminded that the services did not exist two years ago and that there had been a dramatic shift away from children’s centres and that the new model had been adopted. There had been smaller net costs of £15,276 ( which were reported at a recent meeting with finance), and that for 2019/2020 the Wellbeing Team service would need £120,000 to continue and it was confirmed that this was not part of de-delegation. The Wellbeing Team were 100% funded by the DSG but that there was no further funds to support this for 2019/2020. Members discussed funding outside of the DSG and it was confirmed that there were limited funding opportunities for the Wellbeing Team, but that opportunities existed for the Behaviour Support Team through the CCG and smaller project funding sources. The Forum were reminded that both services had been a three year project and whether another piece of work should be commissioned to look at the high levels of demand and any shortfalls in service. Members were concerned with the expected increase of complex needs cases and increased waiting lists for interventions. Kevin McDaniel stated that there were opportunities within East Berkshire of up to £1m for mental heath and wellbeing services for children. Members were minded to retain the services for a year and to then review progress. Members were told that the CCG for East Berkshire were looking to pool resources and that if this was acquired that there would be a need to re-assess the position as there could be potential to double the value.


RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY; That the Wellbeing Team and Behaviour Support Team services continue to be funded for the period of 1 year.


RECOMMENDED ACTION- That the evaluation reports be updated on the online portal.


Supporting documents: