UPDATE NO 339 15 February 2019

Newsletters A brief summary of the main headlines and highlights for this week are shown below. Any tools, templates or documents needed for the actions required are provided here also. If you would like to know more about these workstreams or the others in the Programme, click on the main section icons shown above. At […]

Three children playing happily together


A brief summary of the main headlines and highlights for this week are shown below. Any tools, templates or documents needed for the actions required are provided here also. If you would like to know more about these workstreams or the others in the Programme, click on the main section icons shown above. At SESLIP we are always on the look-out for good ideas that might be better implemented regionally rather than locally. If you have any suggestions, please contact Richard Tyndall, SESLI Programme Manager.

UPDATE NO 339 15 February 2019


2019 Self Assessments


Two Triad peer challenge sessions start today (Friday 15 February) with Triad 4: Medway, Oxfordshire and Windsor and Maidenhead, and Quartet 3: Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Slough and Milton Keynes. In other news, Triad 2: Kent, Reading and Portsmouth and Triad 6: Southampton, West Sussex and Bracknell Forest have both been postponed at short notice.

Oxfordshire and Southampton 2019 self-assessments have been uploaded onto DCS-only area of website. We look forward to receiving Ofsted Annual Conversation letters as when they are available for circulation here.

For access to this page please consult your DCS or Isabelle Gregory (details below).

Action Required:

17/19 local authorities have asked for SESLIP team feedback on their draft self-assessments, and one authority has requested a review of their second draft.

All reviews have been completed and returned. As and when each authority releases their finalised self-assessment we will add it to the library on the web site.

Triad 1 – East Sussex, Surrey and Wokingham on Thursday 28 February 2019

Triad 2 – Kent, Reading and Portsmouth on tba

Triad 3 – Hampshire, IoW, Milton Keynes and Slough on Friday 15 February 2019

Triad 4 – Medway, Oxfordshire and Windsor and Maidenhead also on Friday 15 February 2019

Triad 5 – Brighton and Hove, Buckinghamshire and West Berkshire on Tuesday 26 February 2019

Triad 6 – Southampton, Bracknell Forest and West Sussex on tba

Please contact Isabelle Gregory (details below) for detailed information for these events.


Changes to Legal Aid


Legal Support the Way Ahead – by summer 2019, the government will bring forward proposals to extend eligibility “for non-means tested legal aid for parents, or those with parental responsibility, who wish to oppose applications for placement orders or adoption orders in public family law proceedings“.

The plan also extends legal aid to include special guardianship orders, which may be applied for by some relatives, as well as for non-asylum immigration matters for separated migrant children.

Action Required:

The new Legal Support Action Plan, published by the Ministry of Justice, follows a post-implementation review of legal aid reforms introduced under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO), which cut annual legal aid expenditure by at least £350m from 2013.

It pledges an investment of up to £5m for developing innovative technologies and testing new methods of delivering support.

An additional £3m will also be invested to support those representing themselves through the court system. Further details here.


Early Help – Developing an effective local offer – LGA event on 19 March 2019


This LGA event will see the launch of new research from the Isos Partnership into the factors that facilitate an effective early help offer, offering delegates the opportunity to learn more about how practice is currently developing across the country while also exploring how the delivery of early help to children and families could evolve in future.

Over recent years, much attention has been focussed on the issue of “what works” in children’s social care, with a particular focus on the effectiveness of early help services. However, while there is now a growing evidence base around specific programmes and interventions, less attention has been focussed on the wider contextual factors that support the effective delivery of these services locally. The LGA therefore commissioned the Isos Partnership to review the practical and strategic implementation of early help, working with a sample of local areas to understand the factors that help to facilitate the development of local partnership offers and how best to overcome any barriers to effective delivery.

Action Required:

For local areas considering how to develop their own early help offers (including universal, targeted and specialist provision) both now and into the future, this event will be an opportunity to explore how these services are delivered in practical terms –for example ways to effectively integrate early help across different services and agencies, how to build the confidence and resilience of partners, and how to harness the capacity of communities. With considerable funding pressures throughout the public sector, the event will also consider what the current experience of early help delivery can tell us about potential “next practice” as services continue to develop and evolve over the coming years.

More details are here


South East Strategic Partnership for Migration (SESPM) UASC group – 29 March 2019


South East Strategic Partnership for Migration (SESPM) UASC group- would like to invite local authority representatives responsible for UASC  to attend a quarterly strategic leads meeting.  The purpose of this meeting is;

  • For SESPM to communicate effectively relevant updates and information from the Home Office regards UASC.  
  • Share good practice, to strengthen and build consistency across the region.
  • Identify strategies to overcome barriers and pressures; providing practice examples to inform future policy and decision making.
  • Data sharing to assist in identifying patterns of movement across the region. 
  • Consider the needs to EU national children in LA care applying for settled status post Brexit.

Action Required:

The first meeting will be held 1.30-3.30pm on 29 March 2019 at Mary Sumner House, 24 Tufton Street, Westminster, London  SW1P 3RB.  This meeting follows our executive board meeting, where there will be a networking lunch provided between 12.45-1.30pm, please feel free to join us. 

Please respond to sarahspain@secouncils.gov.uk to confirm attendance.


Social Work England – Consultation events in March and April


These events will focus on the rules and standards which are required before Social Work England can become operational This includes the standards they have drafted for social workers and training providers, and the rules they are putting in place for how:

  • Social workers will register with SWE
  • How they deal with concerns raised about social workers.
  • How they approve social work courses with education and training providers.

At each event, you will have the opportunity to hear from members of the Social Work England leadership team, to test their thinking and help shape the regulator they will become.

Action Required:

For more information and to register for an event, please click on the date you wish to attend below.

Wednesday 6 March, 10:00-15:00  |  Woburn House, 20-24 Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9HQ

Wednesday 13 March, 11:45-15:00  |  University of Plymouth, Plymouth, PL4 8AA

Wednesday 20 March, 12:45-16:00  |  Maxwell Upper Hall, The Crescent, Salford M5 4WT

Thursday 21 March, 10:45-14:00  |  The Royal Station, Newcastle, NE1 5DH

Wednesday 3 April, 10:45-14:00  |  The Priory Rooms, Birmingham, B4 6AF

Reminders from previous weeks


Task and finish group – Attendance and children missing education – 2.30pm Thursday 7 March


Mike Stoneman from Portsmouth is convening a task and finish group of colleagues to consider issues around attendance and children missing education. The purpose of the group is to look at best practice across the South East and potential solutions in terms of the work local authorities are doing to address the following key issues identified by the SESLIP AD Education Network:

  • Persistent school absence
  • Fixed term and permanent exclusions
  • Reduced timetables that go beyond 6 weeks
  • Elective home education
  • Inappropriate alternative provision or exclusion by another name

and in a linked devleopment, the Children’s Commissioner has produced a report that investigates the doubling of children disappearing from school rolls since 2013 (increase from 19500 to 42000 in 5 years). Skipping School Invisible Children – How children disappear from England’s Schools – It looks at the phenomenon of off rolling and the rise in home school. It also advocates the creation of register for all home schooled children, a measure supported by all 92 LA’s who responded to a survey on this issue.

Action Required:

The aim is to hold at least two meetings this term (spring 2019) before going back to the AD Network later in the year with a report detailing some best practice and recommendations. 

The first of these meetings has now been fixed for 2.30pm Thursday 7 March in Newbury. We already have volunteers from Oxfordshire, East Sussex, Wokingham and West Berkshire who will be joining the meeting which will be chaired by Mike from Portsmouth.

If you or a colleague would like to be involved in this group, please contact Mike directly mike.stoneman@portsmouthcc.gov.uk


Complex LAC Project


What have we done so far?

The project has devised a tool kit that has been used by 12 South East authorities to better understand the needs of their most complex (and costly) looked after children. Information in relation to 817 children has been collected; it includes 55 separate factors covering needs, risks, vulnerabilities, placement costs, outcomes, stability and many other measures. The information has been collated and initial analysis has been completed and shared with the participating authorities. 

A workshop was held on 18 January to explore how best to use the data. The main applications identified links to assisting authorities in their LAC sufficiency planning and exploring the potential for more joined up commissioning

In addition to the data collection and analysis, discussions are also on-going with the DfE who are interested the project and its potential to influence future commissioning arrangements.

The project has also attracted interest from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner as part of her work to campaign for fair and transparent funding for children’s services.

Action Required:

What are we planning to do next?  

Following on from the 18 January workshop we are planning to:

  • Develop a model complex LAC sufficiency document pre-populated with data gathered from the project (for each of the participating LAs)
  • Explore key themes, issues and differences highlighted by the data
  • Design a market position statement describing the regions needs for complex LAC
  • Explore the appetite for joined up commissioning for some LAC services across the region (this may be thematic, sub-regional or other possible variations)
  • Setting up an event to share some of the key findings from the project with providers of services to investigate their interest in alternative commissioning models (i.e. moving away from spot-purchased placements)
  • Share some of the key findings from the project to date with Health colleagues (NHS England)

The work will be presented to the regional DCS group on 22 March 2019, where priorities for the next phase of the project will be agreed.  

Please contact Mark Evans (details below) for more information

Tools & Templates

Skipping School Invisible Children – How children disappear from England’s Schools A report by The Children’s Commissioner

The ‘evidence store’, from the government-funded What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care, so far contains systematic reviews of 11 programmes including family drug and alcohol courts, solution focused brief therapy and kinship care. it can be found here

The National Audit Office Children’s Services Report is here

2019-20 Memorandum of Understanding – Blank available for downloading here

SESLIP Leadership Development Prospectus

2019-20 SESLIP Regional Improvement Planning – all you need to know is here

National Implementation Adviser for Care Leavers’ First Year Report – This was published in the Autumn and sets the findings of the National Adviser for Care Leavers following his first year in role. The report is structured around the 5 identified priorities for care leavers and goes on to provide examples of good practice from local authorities that he has visited. It also sets out aspirations for 2019-2020. The full report can be found here

The national protocol on reducing unnecessary criminalisation of looked-after children and care leavers is here

The What Works Centre Analysis of LAC Rates 2012-17 is here

ADCS Safegaurding Pressures 6 report is here

SEND Inspection Preparation: Self Evaluation Framework Peer Review Guidance

The MoC area of the Seslip website now includes the latest versions of key documents, including the:

Contact Details

Data Benchmarking: Luke Ede (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07925 148597

South East Grid for Learning – Consortium Manager: Krista Pickering (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07872 014083

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


07931 586784

CSC Workforce, PSW and AD Safeguarding Network Lead: Mark Evans (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07803 147072

Adoption; Fostering; Kinship and Early Help Regional Networks: Rebecca Eligon (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07944 996219

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


07880 787007

S.E. Region SEND Network Programme Co-ordinator: Sheelagh Sullivan (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)