Wellbeing Service Report
To receive the above report.
The Schools Forum noted the contents of the Wellbeing Service report.
The Senior Specialist Educational Psychologist (Rebecca Askew) outlined the basis of the report to the forum and made them aware that there were 2 proposals that would be discussed, and clearly stated that the 1st proposal would be the one that would be focussed on, as made clear in Table 1 of the report.
The Senior Specialist Educational Psychologist said that 4 members of staff had resigned over the past 6 months from the wellbeing team. She said that the salary had been stated by these staff as being a main factor in their resignations. She added that they started on grade 5 salaries and that this did not equate to similar salaries within Achieving for Children (AFC), especially with the nature of the work being highly skilled, with high-risk management in working with children presenting with self-harm and on occasions suicidal ideation.
The Senior Specialist Educational Psychologist stated that the proposal was to fill the vacant posts, equivalent to 2 full-time positions. The request is to grade these positions at the upper spinal points of grade 5 on the salary scale.
The Senior Specialist Educational Psychologist outlined proposal 2 of the report, in relation to high intensity cognitive behavioural therapy training. This was often required for many cases that came through the early help service. She added that the proposal set out in the report may in the future be met through NHS funding through a band 8a post, and the practitioner would be employed by Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust.
(Councillor Hunt left the meeting)
The Senior Specialist Educational Psychologist made it clear to forum members that this would not be an immediate development due to there being significant difficulties in recruiting to senior NHS positions.
The Senior Specialist Educational Psychologist said that the proposal being put forward was to recruit 2 full-time equivalent wellbeing practitioners into the team. She added that this could be accounted for by the base budget against the increased income generation.
The Senior Specialist Educational Psychologist said with regards to the 2nd proposal that positively it would provide support for the high intensity cases moving forward, but there was no action required by the borough to fill the vacancy. However, without this position being filled it would ensure that waiting times for services such as CAMHS would potentially increase more requests for education, health, and care assessments with SEMH as a primary need.
The Senior Specialist Educational Psychologist referred the forum to part 4 of the report, which clearly stated the potential impacts that could exist if the 1st proposal was not taken up. She said that there would be a disproportionate impact on particular groups, particularly customer and public groups with SEN/disabilities due to the higher incidence of mental health needs in these groups.
(Frances Lee left the meeting)
The Senior Specialist Educational Psychologist summarised the appendices for the forum by stating the contents. She said that section 6.2 outlined support from the wellbeing service being open to all children and young person’s attending schools within the borough, between the ages of 5 and 18 years of age. She added that this was with the exception of private schools.
The Senior Specialist Educational Psychologist mentioned with reference to section 6.3 of the report that support was also given from team members towards children known to the social care pods. She said that this was at a level of 0.4 full time equivalents, delivered by the team lead within the wellbeing team. Volunteers were highly encouraged in the team, and a volunteer Councillor was also currently enlisted one day a week.
The Senior Specialist Educational Psychologist outlined section 6.4 of the report to the forum by saying that there is currently an additional 1.5 full-time equivalency of practitioner time provided to the borough through Early Help via the Getting Help Team (employed by Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust).
The Chairman asked what the impact was of not having the 2 members of staff in place. The Senior Specialist Educational Psychologist replied by stating that waiting times were being seen to increase and the number of children being seen would decrease due to a lower capacity being available. The Chairman said that it was clear that this provision needed to continue. Isabel Cooke stated that she agreed with the Chairman wholeheartedly.
The Director of Children’s Services made it clear that costs would potentially be seen to increase for services if all provisions were kept but recognised the importance of the provisions.
(Sarah Cottle left the meeting)
(Helen Huntley left the meeting)
- Restricted enclosure
- Wellbeing Item 4, item 28. PDF 376 KB