DCS & Peer Challenge

The South East region has a strong tradition of peer support and challenge

A large group of colleagues sitting together at a meeting table

Peer Challenge in the South East

Peer challenge is a proven tool for improvement for councils.

We have three programmes:

Topical Peer Challenge (on request)

SE DCS Peer Challenge (annual cycle)

SE Lead Member Peer Challenge (biannual cycle)

The topical peer challenge process is commissioned by a single council and involves a small team of local government peers spending time at the council to provide challenge and share learning. It involves engaging with a wide range of people connected with the council and the findings are delivered immediately.

The DCS and Lead Member triad/quartet peer challenge process is slightly different and involves participants from three or four authorities meeting once every year or every two years. These facilitated events are structured around authority and lead member self- assessments, with informed challenge and support from peer colleagues.  

Topical Challenge in the South East

The first visit of Round 1 took place in March 2011. Since then there have been 47 visits with nine completed rounds of Peer Challenge with an additional review undertaken in 2021 in response to a specific request by the host authority. 

More details can be found on the dedicated pages for:

Completed Reviews

SE DCS Peer Challenge 2018-2019

SE DCS Peer Challenge 2019-2020

SE DCS Peer Challenge 2020-2021

SE DCS Peer Challenge 2021-2022

SE DCS Peer Challenge 2022-2023

Governance & Reports

National Foundation for Education Research (NFER) Independent evaluation of the South East Peer Challenge Programme Rounds 1-7

ADCS Review of the 2019 SE DCS Peer Challenge 

Tools, Templates & Useful Links

Topical Peer Challenge Round 10 – Guidance

Next Meeting

Plans for DCS Peer Challenge Triads/Quartet in winter 2022-2023 are progressing.

The sessions will be held in January and February 2023.

See SE DCS Peer Challenge 2022-2023 for more detail.

Contact Details

Data Benchmarking: Luke Ede (East Sussex)


07925 148597

SESLI Programme Manager: Richard Tyndall (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07880 787007

SESLIP Consultant: Isabelle Gregory (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07931 586784