SCIE minutes of the meeting of the Board of Trustees

Held on Thursday 26 June 2003, 14.00 - 16.30 Goldings House, 2 Hay's Lane, London, SE1

1. Attendance

(Board): Jane Campbell (chair), Terry Philpot, Roy Taylor, Geraldine Macdonald, Paul Martin, Diana McNeish, Shokat Babul.

Staff: Bill Kilgallon (Chief Executive), Victoria McNeill (Head of Corporate Services & Company Secretary), Amanda Edwards (Head of Knowledge Services), Enid Levin (Staff Representative), Maria Doyle (minutes).

Apologies: Ratna Dutt, Gail Tucker, Susannah Walker

2. Identification of any other business:

Speeches and papers on the SCIE website (see agenda item 4).

Board meeting dates for next year:

Previously approved:

New:

3. Minutes:

Minutes of the board meeting held on 8 May 2003 were approved by the board and signed by Jane Campbell. Matters Arising:

SCIE Awayday: It was confirmed that there would be a board dinner on December 3 (the evening before the Awayday on December 4). The purpose of the Awayday was described by the chair as SCIE staff and board reviewing the past two years and looking at ways of going forward. The venue is yet to be confirmed but is likely to be in London. The board were asked if they had any ideas about content. Roy Taylor suggested incorporating the viewpoints of SCIE's major stakeholders in some way - as a focus for the day. The board were invited to feed back ideas to Victoria McNeill.

Corporate and business plan: SCIE has had final approval of the corporate and business plans from DH, WAG and the DHSSPS in Northern Ireland.

SCIE held a very productive diversity workshop for all staff on May 27. It was facilitated by Marcia Spencer of Talawa consultancy and a draft strategy is now being drawn up by Graham Woolnough and the equal opportunities and diversity steering group.

The word fellow has been taken out of the participation and human resources management job titles, although the NIMHE fellows will remain the same.

Action:

The published version of the corporate and business plans and the draft equal opportunities and diversity strategy to be forwarded to board members when they become available.

4. Chair's Activity Report (paper):

The chair made the following further points:

Letters have been written to Margaret Hodge (Minister for Children) and Stephen Ladyman (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Community Care) to request a meeting.

The chair asked for, and received, board approval to put some of the papers that the chair, chief executive and others give at conferences onto the SCIE website.

Thirty five applications for new trustees have been received. Ziggi Alexander (from Ziggi Alexander consulting) will act as an independent assessor. The interview panel will consist of Jane Campbell, Denise Platt and Terry Philpot. Bill Kilgallon will act as advisor to the panel.

The chair requested that anyone wishing to attend the Brighton ADSS on 15 to 17 October should contact herself, Victoria McNeill or Maria Doyle as soon as possible. Board members commented that it would be useful to have a schedule of events well in advance.

Chief Executive's Activity Report (paper):

Northern Ireland: After a few minor amendments, the service level agreement is nearing finalisation and looks very likely to go ahead.

Government changes: The recent changes to the machinery of government have implications for SCIE. The Department for Education and Skills has been given responsibility for all children's services including social care and child protection. Margaret Hodge has been appointed Minister of State for Children. SCIE has already begun work to build a relationship with those responsible for children's services.

The ministerial team at the Department of Health is almost totally changed. Stephen Ladyman has been appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Community Care. He will be the minister with whom SCIE links.

Department of Health: The DH Change Programme is now well under way. The Department held a consultation with stakeholders in social care and local government on June 11 at which SCIE's chief executive was invited to respond on behalf of social care to the DH proposals. Attached is a copy of his speech.

SCIE is in discussions with DH about what work SCIE can take over from the DH as a result of its restructuring.

Children at risk: The government is planning to launch its Green Paper on Children at Risk. It is expected that this may include the requirement to appoint a statutory director of children's services in each local authority. The four social care bodies in England are planning a joint response highlighting the contribution of social work and social care in children's services.

Health Select Committee: Following a meeting between the chief executive and David Hinchcliffe MP Chair of the Health Select Committee, SCIE and the GSCC have invited the Health Select Committee to meet the two organisations.

Party conferences: SCIE and the GSCC have decided to hold fringe meetings at the three main party conferences to profile the role of social work and social care and also show the two organisations (SCIE and GSCC) working in partnership. The board will be updated as more details are finalised.

SCIE will be at the conferences on the following dates:

5. Finance report (paper):

Pearl Sebastian, Finance Director, joined the meeting to present the accounts. The board was asked to review the draft statutory accounts for the financial year ended 31 March 2003, including the trustees' report, and make any suggestions or amendments. The Audit Committee would be reviewing the accounts in detail at the meeting on 10 July 2003.

The board approved the trustees' report.

Action:

Pearl Sebastian to liaise with SCIE's auditors to make it clear in the accounts what the "reserves"; consist of, as part of the sum was not "reserves"; but a carry forward from the previous year.

A draft management letter from the auditors will be forwarded to the Audit Committee before the July 10 meeting.

6. Six months at SCIE (paper):

The chief executive presented a paper outlining his first six months in post and sharing his ideas and vision for the future.

The board were invited to give comments and ask questions.

7. Partners' Council (paper):

The board was asked to agree to establish the Partners' Council on the basis set out in the paper and thus initiate the process for recruiting, appointing and briefing members of the Council during the autumn, with a view to convening the first meeting in December 2003/January 2004.

The paper was approved by the board and the Partners' Council will be established as set out in the paper.

Action:

Don Brand to establish the Partners' Council.

8. Practice Development - projects and relationships (paper):

The paper detailed current project work in the Practice Development team and set out the ways in which this work is integrated within the social care agenda for practice improvement and other related activity.

Trish Kearney took the board through her paper and informed the board that GSCC/SCIE are running a conference in November on the new social work degree.

Action:

Trish Kearney to give the board an update on the work of Practice Development in approximately three months time including details of the conference.

June 23 Board meeting action points