Children’s Services Research - independent steering group: terms of reference

Terms of reference for group set up to oversee and direct independent research into how best to deliver children's services in the context of the National Care Service (NCS).

Meeting frequency and operating arrangements

The group will meet at least quarterly. The first meeting will be held virtually and will discuss arrangements for future meetings, which will always include a virtual option. 

The Secretariat is responsible for all of the steering group’s administrative arrangements:  

  • dates will be scheduled as far in advance as possible to allow for maximum potential attendance
  • agenda and papers will be issued a minimum of 5 working days in advance of the meeting. It will be assumed that all members have read and briefed themselves on the papers circulated in advance of the meeting
  • minutes will be issued within 5 working days of the meeting, for comment and circulated with the agenda and papers for approval at the subsequent meeting
  • an action tracker will be maintained to monitor progress on key issues and this will be updated and action points issued to members within a week of each meeting
  • all steering group documents will be stored within eRDM. eRDM links will be issued in place of physical copies to ensure version control. Objective Connect will be used for members out with the core Scottish Government records management system
  • if members are unable to attend the meeting, the chair must be informed at the earliest opportunity. Members unable to attend will be asked to send in written comments in advance of the meeting and will have the opportunity to meet separately with the Chair. Any viewpoints expressed via correspondence will be retained on record
  • the steering group may be asked on occasion to make decisions via correspondence, the Secretariat will administer those ensuring Quorum has been reached and log all decisions
  • a minimum of 7 members must be present for meetings to be deemed quorate. In the absence of a quorum, the Chair will have the authority to decide whether to proceed with the business of the meeting or adjourn the meeting. If the meeting proceeds, comments and approval of proposed decisions will be sought via correspondence from absent members as soon as possible after the meeting, with an opportunity to comment before the deadline given. All viewpoints expressed via correspondence will be retained on record
  • the decision to declare items as ‘Reserved’ will normally be guided by matters such as respect for data protection principles or because highly sensitive information is being shared. The minute of the meeting will record the rationale for treatment as reserved business



See: Independent Steering Group for Children’s Services Research

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