Posted on Leave a comment

Cognus shareholders vote on new arrangements

Cognus shareholders (including Sutton schools) have voted for new arrangements to move ahead to bring the company into Council ownership.

The arrangements also give schools and families a greater voice in the direction of the company and support the delivery of the best possible education services in the borough. The vote was taken on 29 September 2020.

This is positive news for both the Cognus and the Council’s partnership. Cognus is central in delivering the Council’s ambitious plans for education in Sutton and provides 27 services to children, young people, families, schools and specialist education providers. The services include an autism and social communication service, educational psychology, occupational therapy, school admissions, speech and language therapy and a virtual school for Children Looked After. This partnership has received positive endorsements over the last year from Ofsted, the CQC and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, Vicky Ford MP as well as positive feedback from other local partners – schools, education settings and some families.

The proposed changes will strengthen the partnership further, and enable Cognus to further focus on service delivery, while the Council will support the management of the company and continue to provide strategic oversight through the appointment of three Council officers to the Cognus Board. This outcome responds to recommendations made by the independent expert Sharon Scott, who reviewed Sutton’s education services practice and governance in 2019 and the Ofsted and CQC report, by including representatives from the special, primary and secondary education sectors. The proposed change in governance will also ensure that all schools and education settings have a greater voice in the direction of the company.

Ian Comfort, Chair of Cognus said:

“I welcome this move for closer alignment and the opportunity it brings for future working between the Council and Cognus. The quality of services that Cognus provides to Sutton and the surrounding areas has built solid foundations and grown over the years, which will only continue with this closer change. Cognus is committed to working closer with the Council, schools and settings and most importantly parents, children and young people to ensure an ever better service provision.”

Posted on Leave a comment

Sutton Council outlines how it is participating in national hate crime awareness week

Sutton Council is participating in National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

A hate crime is when someone commits a crime against another person because of their disability, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, religion, or any other perceived difference.

It doesn’t always include physical violence and can be using offensive language or harassing someone because of who they are.

How can you get involved?

This year there will be an online event during the awareness week. There will also be information and new signage displayed at different locations across the Borough.

The second event will be held on Friday 16th October there will be an online discussion along with a series of short presentations focusing on the joint impact of COVID 19 and BLM on community cohesion using Hate Crimes and Hate Incidents as a barometer of that cohesion. Book your place here

Please feel free to attend our online events and share this information with friends, family and work colleagues.

Leader of the Council, Ruth Dombey said: “Sutton is a great place to live, work and raise a family. We are proud to be one of the safest boroughs in London.

Along with our partners including the police, fire brigade, schools and voluntary sector, Sutton Council does not tolerate any form of hate crime in our borough and we fully support National Hate Crime Awareness week.

Everyone should be able to live their lives without fear of discrimination or of becoming a victim of hate crime and we will do everything we can to challenge it in all its forms, raise awareness and encourage victims to report it when it occurs.”

Posted on 2 Comments

Mayor of London issues statement on new Covid restrictions from Saturday

Statement from Sadiq Khan Mayor of London.

Important Coronavirus update. It is clear that the virus is now spreading rapidly in every part of our city, and hospital and ICU admissions are steadily rising. Time and again it has been shown that it is better to act earlier than to act too late – which would cost more lives and damage more livelihoods. I am not willing to put Londoners’ lives at risk and we must do all we can to minimise economic damage.

“That is why, following discussions between me, ministers and our city’s senior health advisers and council leaders, the Government will move London into tier 2 restrictions – alert level high – from the start of Saturday. This will mean Londoners will not be able to mix between different households indoors – which includes in their homes and inside pubs and restaurants. Londoners should also aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible.

“There are no good options. I know these further restrictions will require Londoners to make yet more sacrifices, but the disastrous failure of the test, trace and isolate system leaves us with little choice. I am well aware that these restrictions will have a further significant impact on businesses in our city, which is why the Government must come forward with more financial support for affected businesses and local authorities immediately, as well as for vulnerable Londoners struggling to get by.

“I still believe that, as SAGE recommended to ministers, the immediate priority should now also be a short national circuit breaker. This would allow us to get the reinfection rate down to a manageable level and give the Government more time finally to get a grip on the failing test and trace system. But moving London to the next tier of restrictions from Saturday will, we hope, help slow the spread of the virus, take pressure off the NHS and help avert the possibility of a full lockdown lasting months – which would be the worst possible outcome for Londoners and our economy.”