Agenda item

Item in Focus - Health and Wellbeing Strategy Goal A 'Opportunity for All'

Goal A Objectives:

A1 – All children in Thurrock making good educational progress – Roger Edwardson

A2 – More Thurrock residents in employment, education or training – Michele Lucas and Tim Rignall

A3 – Fewer teenage pregnancies in Thurrock – Tim Elwell-Sutton

A4 – Fewer children and adults in poverty – Michele Lucas and Tim Rignall


The Health and Wellbeing Strategy contains five Strategic Goals.  The item in focus for this meeting was Goal A, which comprises four objectives:


            A1 – All children in Thurrock making good educational progress.

            A2 – More Thurrock residents in employment, education or training.

            A3 – Fewer teenage pregnancies in Thurrock.

            A4 – Fewer children and adults in poverty.


Action plans, created to support the delivery of Health and Wellbeing Strategy’s objectives and goals were presented to Board members.  It was agreed that Microsoft PowerPoint presentations would be circulated with these minutes and made available on Thurrock Council’s website.



In summary: 


Action Plan A1 was presented by Roger Edwardson, Interim Strategic Lead, School Improvement, Learning and Skills.  During the presentation the following points were made: 

·         Thurrock’s ambition is that all schools and academies will be assessed as good or better by September 2017.  As of June 2016:

·         88% of primary schools were assessed as good or better.

·         80% of secondary schools were assessed as good or better.

·         All special schools were assessed as outstanding.

·         Only one school in the Borough was subject to Special Measures.


Action Plan A2 was presented by Michele Lucas, Learning and Skills Manager.  During the presentation the following points were made:

·         Action will be taken to promote career opportunities in Thurrock’s growth sectors to young people through local careers initiatives.  This will involve providing training and employment opportunities to people with learning disabilities.

·         Action will be taken to develop a multi-agency approach in key geographic locations across Thurrock to engage the hardest to reach groups in receipt of benefits, raising awareness of training and employment opportunities.

·         The Economic Development and Skills Partnership Group will continue to consider how to ensure that connections are made between health issues/initiatives and employment/skills programmes.


Action Plan A3 was presented by Tim Elwell-Sutton, Consultant in Public Health.  During the presentation the following points were made:

·         There has been a 40% reduction of teenage pregnancies in Thurrock over the last 14 years.  Thurrock is performing above the national average.   The under 18 conception rate is currently 30.7 per 1,000.  The target for 2021 is 20 per 1,000.

·         The strategy to improve teenage pregnancy rates is focused on education and increasing the use of contraception by:

       Improving access to contraception.

       Strengthening primary care delivery of family planning.

       Strengthening sexual and reproductive education in schools.


Action Plan A4 was presented by Dave Petrie, Targeted Access Manager.  During the presentation the following points were made: 

·         Reducing child poverty is a key priority.  Support will be provided to vulnerable families by:

       Develop Neighbourhood-Focused approaches.

       Create Pathways into employment.

       Maximise income and raise living standards.

       Support parents and carers to upgrade their skills.

       Continue to Narrow the Gap in achievement between Children on low incomes and children from more affluent families.


Community Engagement activities which ensure that Health and Wellbeing Strategy Action Plans are informed by the public were presented by Kim James, Chief Operating Officer of Thurrock Healthwatch.  During the presentation the following points were made: 

·         It is important that people are involved in the design, delivery and commissioning of Health and Social Care Services.

·         Engagement activity for Goal A comprised a survey targeted at adults, a survey for younger people (aged 15-21 years) and Group work with youth club children (8-13 years).

·         Between the end of April and June 2016, Healthwatch had engaged with :

       52 adults

       35 young people (16-21 years)

       70 children (8-13 years)


Following presentations Board members were invited to provide comments, questions or challenge on the action plans.  During discussions the following points were made:

·         Cllr Sue Little suggested that encouraging females at school to have high aspirations may reduce the likelihood of them becoming pregnant at an early age.  It is important to ensure that boys are also supported to develop ambitions and aspirations. Tim Elwell- Sutton advised the Board that a programme is currently being developed that is targeted towards boys in school.  An anonymous online survey has also been developed and will be rolled out to year 8 students.  The survey will gather qualitative information about aspirations, views on sexual health and a wide range of other issues.

·         Kristina Jackson advised the HWB that an individual survey has been completed within the 6 community hubs across Thurrock. The results from the surveys show that young people wanted sex education in a setting that was not their school due to embarrassment.  It was agreed that that a need is there to ensure that sexual advice is available and accessible for young people within the local community. 

·         Ian Wake acknowledged the high quality employment programme for 18-26 year olds but questioned the level of support available for older adults seeking employment. Michele Lucas advised Board members that work is underway to develop a trainee shift programme, linking in with the job centre.


Cllr Steve Liddiard stated that many organisations in Thurrock have a zero tolerance to substance misuse as part of their employment practice.  It was suggested that up to many young people interviewed at Tilbury docks fail to secure employment following a drugs test. 

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