Committee round-up: Education and Children's Services 22. 03.18

A sport and culture strategy, a young carers plan, and proposals to create a culture and sport business unit were among the issues discussed at the latest meeting of the Education and Children’s Services Committee. 

The meeting began with committee chair Cllr Gillian Owen informing the committee that the meeting was to be Director of Education and Children’s Services Maria Walker’s last committee before her retirement.

Young carers’ strategy discussed

A report into young carers was considered by the committee. The council aims to provide young carers with the right support, in the right place and at the right time.

Cllr Leigh Wilson said he was happy to see the partnership work mentioned. He said a number of children he had spoken with had been involved with Quarriers, the commissioned carers’ support service, told him that their work with them has transformed their lives.

The committee agreed with the recommendations set out in the report and noted Cllr Ron McKail’s request for an update at a subsequent meeting.

Culture and sport plan debated
Committee members considered a strategy to outline the council’s plans for culture and sport for the next ten years. 

Cllr Alison Evison expressed concerns that the Gyspy and Traveller community may find the proposals ‘imperialistic’. She also suggested that an informal sounding board panel made up of all cultural life in Aberdeenshire be created. She said it would have nothing to do with governance and an advantage would be ideas would be shared.

Cllr Martin Ford suggested that there needed to be collaboration between officers working on this strategy and those shaping the Local Development Plan. He also expressed concern there was no focus on the natural world.

Members of the committee noted Cllr Evison’s feedback and agreed with the recommendations set out in the report.

Support for culture and sport considered

Proposals to establish a business unit to ensure culture and sport delivers the best possible service was discussed by the committee.

As part of the plans, a subcommittee will be established with the membership appointed by the Communities Committee.
Members of the committee were asked whether it should be made up of three elected members and five external members or four of each.

Following a discussion, Cllr Owen proposed that the subcommittee should consist of an equal number of elected members and external members. The committee voted unanimously in favour of this proposal. 

The committee also agreed with the recommendations set out in the report.

Other matters

• The committee agreed with recommendations set out in the literacy strategy
• Committee members approved recommendations proposed in the committee review process (primary schools)
• Recommendations in the learning estates strategy was approved by committee members
• The committee approved recommendations set out in the attendance and absence report
• Committee members agreed with the recommendations proposed in the ECS quarterly performance exception reporting (October – December 2017)
• An analysis was undertaken by committee members of initial school leavers destinations
• The committee noted measures in the equalities mainstreaming and outcomes report 
• The full public reports of the committee can be found via