UPDATE NO 345 29 March 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. Our Regional Improvement Plan for 2019-20 can be found here.

UPDATE NO 345 29 March 2019


SE19 and AD Education Network Joint Meeting 5 April 2019: 10.30-3.30


Alison Rendle and Tracey Maytas (contact details below) have planned  a joint Education/SEND workshop on Friday 5 April.  The programme will cover

  • SEND strategic high needs review and budget
  • High Needs budget pressures and responses, including transport costs
  • High Needs budget recovery plans
  • SEND Inspections – information sharing on inspections and re-visits
  • Building capacity for inclusion in mainstream schools and colleges
  • Place planning and regional commissioning
  • Post 16 provision

Action Required:

We have planned a full day agenda with an opportunity to learn from colleagues and to explore opportunities for joint working.  We hope that each local authority will send two representatives to the meeting – your strategic leads for Education and for SEND.  The event will be held in central London.

Please contact Alison or Tracey (details below) to indicate who will be representing your local authority at this workshop.


Peer Challenge Triads – Planning for 2019-20


We are now planning Peer Challenge Triad sessions for November 2019; this is a move to late autumn to avoid clashing with Ofsted Annual Conversations which are planned to run from January 2020.

We will be commissioning ADCS to undertake an independent review of the recent round of Triad Peer Challenges, and their report will feed into the detailed planning for 2019-20.

East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire, Slough, Southampton, Surrey, West Berkshire and Windsor and Maidenhead 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:

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

Triad 2 – Kent, West Sussex and Portsmouth has been postponed

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 Reading on 10 April 2019

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


LGA Children’s Improvement Adviser for the South East – Recruitment/Procurement


Local Government Association – Children’s Improvement Adviser (CIA) procurement

In this challenging high-profile work, you will be instrumental to the improvement of children’s services within councils. Working with the LGA’s Principal Adviser in a region you will engage with councils that have been identified for sector-led support. You will develop strong relationships with Lead Members, Chief Executives and Directors of Children’s Services. Building a clear understanding of their needs, you will identify innovative solutions, broker improvement strategies, and ensure they are delivered. 

Action Required:

The South East position (estimated 40 days per year) is one of 9 regional improvement advisers being recruited on 12 month contracts.

Further details can be accessed through the following link https://www.local.gov.uk/local-government-association-childrens-improvement-adviser-cia-procurement

Closing date: 5pm, 12 April 2019

If you would like an informal discussion about these opportunities please contact: Richard Cooke, National Programme Manager (Children’s Services) – 07766 356320

Reminders from previous weeks


Regional Improvement Plan for 2019-20


We have produced a Regional Improvement Plan including Annexes which will underpin activities in 2019-20.  It was launched on Friday 22 March with welcoming speeches from Cllr Antoinette Bramble (Hackney, Chair LGA CYP Board); Kos Wireko (DfE Regional Improvement Lead) and Stuart Gallimore (DCS East Sussex and Chair of the SESLIP Steering Group) 

Action Required:

It will, of course, be a living document which will change and develop in response to circumstances. If you have any questions, please contact Richard Tyndall (details below). 


Complex LAC Project


Complex LAC Project – Further to discussion at the SE DCS regional meeting, there have been some significant developments in the project. There is agreement that all 19 South East Authorities will work together on a single bid for the DfE Improving Commissioning and Sufficiency Planning to Increase Stability and Permanence for Looked After Children project. This will focus on the following bid criteria (those that accord most closely with the established aims of the complex LAC project). 

  • Sufficiency planning at scale, with a view to increasing stability and permanence;
  • Improved commissioning practice, including joint commissioning arrangements;
  • Gaining a better understanding of the relationship between children’s needs and placement costs to ensure greater value in spend on placements;
  • Models that create or strengthen links between different types of care placements, e.g. supporting children moving between residential care and fostering;
  • Enabling children on the edge of care and their families to gain earlier access to foster care through support foster care

The DfE are also interested in projects that consider

  • Recruitment and retention of foster parents, particularly based on the results of needs analysis;
  • Building the capability of foster parents through training in order to reduce placement breakdowns and/or increase capacity of specialist provision;
  • Introducing fostering respite to enable looked after children to return home.

We also want to gauge if there is an appetite for a separate project to focus on these aims. If you are interested in working on this second set of criteria with other authorities and partners please advise Mark Evans (contact details below) by the 3 April. If sufficient interest exists we will identify how a second separate project bid could be resourced in this area. 

As part of the next stage of the project we will also be writing to DCSs in the 7 authorities who did not participate in the first round of data collection to offer a second opportunity to contribute data (Bracknell Forest, Buckinghamshires, Medway, Reading, Slough, Surrey, Windsor and Maidenhead). More information on this will be forwarded directly the authorities concerned over the next couple of weeks.

Action Required:

We are also seeking opportunities to work with authorities to involve children and young people in the development of our needs analysis for the complex LAC project. We would particularly value contacts with your participation teams/leads and children in care councils to identify how best to progress this critical element of our work.

The DCS group also provided a clear steer that the ultimate vision for the project is to develop shared commissioned arrangements in specific themed and focused areas (driven by the evidence and commitment to partnership), rather than a comprehensive approach for all complex LAC in the region. 

The project has also secured full funding for the financial year 2019/20 and will concentrate on delivering the following objectives: 

  • To have a detailed understanding of models of joint and strategic commissioning implemented elsewhere in children’s social care and to learn from the outcomes of these models
  • To have a detailed and documented analysis of alternative models of provision for complex LAC (e.g step down provision)
  • To engage with users of the service (children and young people who are looked after), to understand their needs for effective residential provision and how they would want to be involved in developing good quality services for the future;
  • To engage with providers, understanding issues they currently face, how services are developing to meet changing needs and how collaborative working could be undertaken in the future
  • To produce a detailed analysis of need for the authorities participating in the project, using existing collected data and setting it in the context of wider demographic and published LAC data; feeding in information collected from users and providers
  • To feed content into LA level sufficiency statements for those authorities participating in the project
  • To engage with key other stakeholders (e.g. health agencies, education) to determine the feasibility of joint commissioning arrangements (or at least more joined up arrangements)
  • To develop and publish a strategic market position statement for the most complex looked after children in the region
  • To develop a costed business case for the development of joint strategic commissioning arrangements in the future (this will be focused upon the areas or themes where there is the greatest potential for collaboration between authorities to be successful and may not cover all LAC with complex needs).

If you have any questions or would like to know more about the project please contact Mark Evans or Rosemary Perry (details below)

Tools & Templates

We have produced a Regional Improvement Plan including Annexes which will underpin activities in 2019-20.

A councillor’s workbook on engaging with young people has been designed as a learning aid for councillors to assist them with the effective engagement of young people and the organisations representing them within their ward. The workbook provides some signposting and ideas around the engagement of young people rather than it being a step by step guide as such. More information at the LGA web page for this project

Falling through the gapsa new report published by the Innovation Unit, reveals key insights about the experiences of care leavers leaving prison, and the opportunities and challenges they face following release. 

The new Legal Support Action Plan, published by the Ministry of Justice, follows a post-implementation review of legal aid reforms

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)