Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Thornton Room - Ground Floor, West Offices (G039). View directions

Contact: Reece Williams  Democratic Services Officer

No. Item


Declarations of Interest (5:32pm) pdf icon PDF 222 KB

At this point in the meeting, Members are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary interest or other registerable interest they might have in respect of business on this agenda, if they have not already done so in advance on the Register of Interests. The disclosure must include the nature of the interest.


An interest must also be disclosed in the meeting when it

becomes apparent to the member during the meeting.


[Please see attached sheet for further guidance for Members]


Members were asked to declare at this point in the meeting any disclosable pecuniary interest or other registerable interest they might have in respect of business on the agenda if they had not already done so in advance on the Register of Interests. Councillor Wilson declared she was Chair of York Learning Improvement Board, and Councillor Cuthbertson declared he was Chair of City of York Trading Company.



Minutes (5:34pm) pdf icon PDF 136 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 05 September 2023.


Resolved: That the minutes of the meeting of the committee held on 5 September 2023 be approved and signed as a correct record.



Public Participation (5:36pm)

At this point in the meeting members of the public who have registered to speak can do so. Members of the public may speak on agenda items or on matters within the remit of the committee.


Please note that our registration deadlines are set as 2 working days before the meeting, in order to facilitate the management of public participation at our meetings. The deadline for registering at this meeting is 5:00pm on Friday, 13 October 2023.


To register to speak please visit to fill in an online registration form. If you have any questions about the registration form or the meeting, please contact Democratic Services. Contact details can be found at the foot of this agenda.


Webcasting of Public Meetings


Please note that, subject to available resources, this meeting will be webcast including any registered public speakers who have given their permission. The meeting can be viewed live and on demand at


During coronavirus, we made some changes to how we ran council meetings, including facilitating remote participation by public speakers. See our updates ( for more information on meetings and decisions.


It was reported that there had been no registrations to speak at the

meeting under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.



Finance & Performance Monitor 1 (5:36pm) pdf icon PDF 321 KB

This report sets out the projected 2023/24 financial position and the performance position for the period covering 1 April 2023 to 30 June 2023

Additional documents:


The Head of Children and Education Finance presented the report.


In response to questions from members, it was noted that:


·        Specialist Education Provision was being funded from the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG), but Home to School Transport provision was funded from the Council’s general fund budgets and not from the DSG.

·        The provisional 2024/25 school funding allocations from the Department for Education (DfE) had been revised, which meant schools in York will receive less in funds than was previously anticipated from the DFE’s original allocations.

·        Children who joined school after census day were not included in the statistics of persistence absence rates.

·        The efficiency of Home to School Transport had been improved by some administration and monitoring being brought in-house by the Council.

·        The overspend of legal fees was double the budget that was set out, but this was a reduction in the overspend of previous years.

The Head of Children and Education Finance provided a background to the Safety Valve Agreement which had been put in place to manage the deficit of the high needs block within the DSG. Work on this was ongoing, and City of York Council were continuing to work towards targets set out in its’ plan.


It was noted that regarding annual persistence absence rates for secondary school, the Committee could benefit from seeing this data more frequently than annually. And in relation to paragraph 36, on the number of children who were subject of a child protection plan, the Executive Member for Children and Young People mentioned that the Committee could benefit from seeing this data in a graph format, showing longer-term trends.


Resolved: That the Committee noted the finance and performance information.


Reason: To ensure that expenditure was kept within the approved budget.



Performance of York Learning Strategic Plan 2022-2023 (6:17pm) pdf icon PDF 152 KB

This report presents York Learning’s end of year performance against their strategic aims for the academic year 2022/23.

Additional documents:


The Head of York Learning and The Executive Head of Service, Adult Learning & Skills presented the report.


In response to questions from members, it was noted that:


·        If learners were able to learn English and Maths then they should, and funding could be retracted if this didn’t happen.

·        There were some providers whose results were not where they should be when compared to other providers. Such providers were on action plans.

·        Education plans were worked to try and include things that would engage the learner. Work was done to give them skills for employment.

·        Two of York Learning’s assessors had been trained on mental health as some adult learners needed additional support and there was financial support, childcare support for learners who needed it.

·        As part of 100% Digital, there were online options for education on life skills as well as employment skills. York Learning worked with charities such as Kyra, Changing Lives, and York CVS, and they worked with Travellers Trust to deliver IT courses and helped people improve IT employment skills.

·        York Learning’s strategy was to develop learners’ transferable skills to improve people’s life chances.

·        Learning courses were delivered in various venues, such as Clifton Explore, Acomb Explore, York High school, and were to be delivered from the Westfield centre to improve access for learners. York Learning also worked with organisations such as foodbanks, and community centres to improve engagement with the public.


Resolved: That the Committee discussed, challenged, and commented on the service’s performance over the last year.


Reason: To have helped monitor the service and provided sound governance arrangement for York Learning Services.



Annual Update - Libraries and Archives (6:53pm) pdf icon PDF 224 KB

This report provides members with an annual update from Explore Libraries and Archives Mutual Limited (Explore) who operate the Council’s libraries and archives service.

Additional documents:


The Chief Executive of Explore York Libraries and Archives Mutual Ltd and the City of York Council Operations Manager presented the report.


In response to questions from members, it was noted that:


·        Explore York was trying to find a balance with environmental sustainability and inclusive accessibility, and they were digitising some of their archives as a priority to improve accessibility. Partnerships were in place with technology organisations such as Bright White Ltd and Find My Past to assist with this.

·        York Explore Newspapers were not being brought back into circulation due to budgetary pressures.

·        A reduction in in-house PC usage could be seen, as detailed on page 57 of the report, as many people were using their own smart devices instead.

·        There was work developing on increasing audience engagement and York Explore were working with local organisations and Family Hubs to reach more people.

·        York Explore were not considering closing their libraries.

·        Explore York were trying to promote the joy of reading by visiting schools and engaging with students.

Resolved: That members noted and commented upon the activities of the Explore update report.


Reason: To have supported the Council’s role in performance management of the library and archives service contract.



Work Plan (7:40pm) pdf icon PDF 269 KB

Members are asked to consider the Committee’s work plan for the 2023/24 municipal year.


Members considered the Committee’s work plan for the 2023/24 municipal year.


It was noted that the SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) update would be received by the Committee in the meeting scheduled for 5 March 2024.


Resolved: That Members considered the Committee’s work plan for the 2023/24 municipal year.


Reason: To have kept the Committee’s work plan for the 2023/24 municipal year updated.



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