Lead Members' Group

The role of Lead Member is key to the leadership of Children’s Services.

We recognise the wealth of experience, enthusiasm and talent of our Lead Members and as with our DCSs, the support of colleagues and safe environment to share ideas and learn from each other is beneficial to all.

The SESLIP Programme Board has agreed to develop a work-stream to support the learning and development of Lead Members as a part of the SESLIP Improvement Plan. 

During 2020-2021 we piloted a programme of self-assessment and triad/ quartet peer challenge which were complementary to the DCS-led self-assessment and peer challenge and support. This programme will run again this autumn 2022, and there will be a briefing on how it operates on 22 July.

The Lead Member Sponsor is Cllr Gareth Barnard, Executive Member for Children, Young People & Learning for Bracknell Forest, and the deputy is Cllr Hannah Clare, Lead Member at Brighton and Hove.

South East Region's Lead Members Group is supported by Alison Michalska,  the LGA Regional Children's Improvement Advisor, as part of LGA's ongoing sector-led improvement offer.

Workshops already delivered

These were devised to respond to critical areas of concern for our South East member colleagues with senior leadership responsibility.

The first of these took place on Friday 5 March 2021, with the topic:

#1 Your role as Corporate Parents in delivering excellence for Care Leavers, presented by Mark Riddell MBE. In the panel opposite there are links to his presentation, a BBC feature on a care leaver and a letter from MHCLG on Council Tax and Care Leavers.

#2 Child Poverty - understanding the role of Councillors in tacking child poverty and was led by Lisa Faulkner Bunyan (Child and Family Poverty/ Children's Services expert). The slides for this event are posted in the box opposite.

#3 Understanding adolescents and the challenges and risks faced supporting and safeguarding complex young people with Dez Holmes of Research in Practice. The presentation is here and the recording (55 mins) of Dez Holmes giving it is here

#4 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children and the National Transfer Scheme and was led by DCSs and Lead Members from Kent and Portsmouth and Katie Thrussell of the South East Strategic Partnership on Migration. The slides are posted in the box opposite.

#5 Mental Health services for children and young people with Dr Gavin Lockhart, Clinical Lead for CYP Mental Health in the South East. The presentation is posted in the box opposite.

#6 Political leadership of effective SEND systems. The presentation is posted in the box opposite 

Governance & Reports

Confidential organisational information is shared under the terms of the current SESLIP Memorandum of Understanding.

A contact list for the Lead Members Group is here.

Useful resources

Check out the LGA website for a wealth of helpful resources to support you in your role as Lead Member for Children's Services. We have picked out seven key documents below as starters.

Upcoming Events

Please contact Alison Michalska (contact details below) if you would like to find out more.

  • Lead Members Network

    via Teams

    Date: 22 July 2022 10:00 - 11:45

  • Lead Members' Network Workshop

    MS Teams

    Date: 30 September 2022 09:30 - 13:00

  • Lead Members' Network meeting

    MS Teams

    Date: 02 December 2022 09:30 - 13:00

  • Lead Members' Network Workshop

    MS Teams

    Date: 03 February 2023 09:30 - 13:00

Next meeting: Friday 8 July 2022 9.30am

This will be a Lead Members' only meeting and will discuss the arrangements for the renewal of self-assessments in autumn/winter 2023. 

We will welcome any newly eleceted/appointed lead members for the municipal year 2022-2023 

For more information please contact Richard or Alison (details below)

Contact Details

SESLI Programme Manager: Richard Tyndall
07880 787007
LGA Children's Improvement Adviser: Alison Michalska
07920 727626