UPDATE NO 354 31 May 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 354 31 May 2019


National Stability Forum (NSF) Meeting in Oxford 24th June 11.30-15.30 County Hall Oxford


The NSF have decided to hold their next meeting in Oxford as part of an initiative to get out in to local authorities and also to hear about our SESLIP Complex LAC project. The NSF has been established with the aim of improving stability for all children in the orbit of the care system, leading to better outcomes for those children and to more children finding ‘a permanence in their care and sense of belonging, which lasts well beyond the age of majority.’ It is a relatively new body which has Indra Morris, Isabel Trowler, Alan Woods, President of ADCS and others among its membership. 

Action Required:

The meeting will be held on Monday 24 June 11.30-15.30 at County Hall in Oxford. The agenda for the meeting will include a substantial item on the Complex LAC project alongside showcasing work going on in Oxfordshire and input from provider colleagues. We would like to extend an invitation to a couple of DCSs to attend the meeting to support the presentation in relation to the regional Complex LAC project. If you would like to attend please contact Lucy.Butler@Oxfordshire.gov.uk.

For more information about the regional Complex LAC project, please contact mark Evans or Rosemary Perry (details below). We have also posted the recent DfE grant application on the DCS restricted part of this web site. 


Tackling Child Exploitation (TCE) Support Programme


The Tackling Child Exploitation (TCE) Support Programme – This is a new consortium, led by Research in Practice, together with The Children’s Society and University of Bedfordshire. It has been appointed by the DfE to develop and deliver a new programme to tackle child exploitation. The Tackling Child Exploitation (TCE) Support Programme is a significant investment and aims to support local areas to develop an effective strategic response to child exploitation and threats from outside the family home, including child sexual exploitation and child criminal exploitation, such as county lines drug trafficking.

The not-for-profit consortium will work with a number of skilled Delivery Partners, comprising local authorities, charities, academics and independent subject matter experts, to deliver support to local areas.

Action Required:

Over the next three years, every local authority area will be able to apply for ‘Bespoke Support’, and in addition a website will be developed providing open access learning materials. Bespoke Support projects will help local partners including social care, health, police and education, to understand the risks and harms facing children and young people outside the family home and develop a more effective response.

More information about the project can be found at:





SEND System Leadership Board – Vacancy for National Chair – closes 9 June


On Friday 24 May the DfE  reopened applications for the Chair of the new SEND System Leadership Board. The Chair will play a pivotal role in driving this newly formed Board, which works across DfE and DHSC and whose remit involves:

  • Clarifying and communicating the principles which should underpin all SEND commissioning and the good outcomes we are seeking to achieve for children and young people with SEND.
  • Encouraging improved joint working, commissioning and planning by and between education, health and social care partners.
  • Identifying where partners can better share data, insight, guidance, good practice and peer support to help encourage improved commissioning and planning, working to alleviate the long-term high needs budget pressures.

The candidate pack is here; details on how to apply are here.

Action Required:

Following one round of applications DfE are reopening the competition to access a broader range of candidates. Previous applications will be considered alongside new applications from this round, and do not need to be resubmitted. Further information on the role of the Chair and the person specification, alongside application details, can be found hereApplications close on Sunday 9 June.

The DfE are continuing to build on the work of the preliminary meeting of the Board which took place on 13 March. This includes through the recent joint Ministerial SEND stakeholder roundtable on 20 May, which was co-chaired by Ministers from DHSC and DfE and which discussed workforce, joint commissioning and specialist commissioning.  


Supporting families: investing in practice programme – EoI deadline 19 June 2019


The supporting families: investing in practice programme is looking to expand 2 projects from the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme. Modelled on existing Family Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDACs) and a programme known as Family Group Conferencing, the innovative new projects will be rolled out in up to 40 new council areas. The Government announced (on 22 May) up to £15 million over the next year, following the emerging success of these existing programmes.

Local authorities who are interested in these projects should email an expression of interest (EOI) form to wwcprogrammes@nesta.org.uk by midnight 19 June 2019.

Action Required:

£15 million investment available to be shared by up to 40 local authorities – The DfE launched this new programme on the 22 May. “Children at risk of being taken into care are set to benefit from programmes that tackle the root cause of family problems, by strengthening the expert support available from social workers, addiction specialists and psychiatrists. The new programme, Supporting Families; Investing in Practice, will help families work on issues together, including those impacted by domestic violence, substance misuse or addiction, in order to help create stability in the home for young people and prevent them being taken into care, where that is in their best interests. This is part of wider Government work to improve outcomes for children in need of support of a social worker, by creating home and school environments in which they can thrive.


Who are they? Where are they?


Children’s Commissioner’s Report on use of Secure Accommodation  – At any given time almost fifteen hundred children in England are ‘locked up’ in secure children’s homes, secure training centre, young offenders institutions, mental health wards and other residential placements, either for their own safety or the safety of others. The report combines data from a range of different sources to show that 1,465 children in England were securely detained in March 2018, of whom 873 were in youth justice settings, 505 were detained under the Mental Health Act, and 87 were in secure children’s homes for their own welfare. 

Action Required:

In total, they estimate that it costs over £300 million a year to look after these children. The report also found that there are at least 200 children deprived of liberty in other settings, but they are ‘invisible’ from publicly available data as no information is published about where they are living or why they need to be there. The report calls on government to have proper oversight and accountability for these vulnerable children, to ensure that they are not overlooked or forgotten.

The full report can be downloaded here

Reminders from previous weeks




The regional network for special educational needs and disability, SE19, programme for 2019-20 is now available here. The extensive and complicated SEND SE19 Network Diagram is here, and the map showing our coverage of health conacts by local authority is here.

Action Required:

The work of the group is sponsored by Kevin McDaniels (DCS Windsor and Maidenhead) and supported by Tracey Maytas (contact details below).


AD Safeguarding Network – next meeting Friday 7 June


The next meeting of the AD Safeguarding Network will be held in London on Friday 7 June. For more details please contact Mark Evans (see below). The agenda will include: 

  • New service models (e.g. Family Safeguarding, No wrong front door etc)
  • Working with partners in challenging areas (e.g. SEND agenda and JTAIs)
  • Reunification
  • CP Inspection of Local Police Forces
  • Succession Planning for Children’s Services
  • LAC Project Update

Action Required:

The meeting will be attended by Mac Heath (DCS Milton Keynes) who has recently agreed to be the DCS Sponsor for the work of this group.

Future meetings are planned for 6th September 2019; 6th December 2019 (joint with East of England); 6th March 2020

Please contact Mark Evans (details below) for more information 


AD Education Network – next meeting Friday 7 June


The next meeting of the AD Education network will be on Friday 7 June, and it’s shaping up to be a great session. Please can you contact Alison Rendle (details below) to confirm who will be attending (substitutes welcome).

The meeting will focus on how local areas are delivering school improvement in the changed landscape of LA responsibilities. Simon Day from ISOS Partnership will share his knowledge about the different models and approaches which are being developed across the region and nationally.  This presentation will be followed by updates from delegates and a general discussion. 

We will also be joined by Stewart Jackson HMI, who will return to give feedback and share learning from the post-16 focus in this year’s round of annual conversations.

Action Required:

The AD Education Network is now part-way through an interesting and varied programme of meetings and activity for 2019.  In April, the group met for a lively and informative full day network with SEND colleagues.  The agenda included sharing of practice from across the region; a focus on managing HNB budgets and exploring approaches to post-16 SEND.  There was a great buzz in the room as colleagues shared experiences and everyone went away with new ideas to take consider and new contacts made. 

Colleagues have developed an interesting and wide-ranging forward plan for the year. In the autumn the group will consider approaches to teacher recruitment and retention. The network also now has two task and finish groups.  The first, led by Portsmouth, is looking at issues around attendance, children missing education and elective home education.  They will report back to the network in the autumn.  The other group, which is in the process of setting itself up, will be working on educational data across the region.

Please can you visit the AD Education Network page and check that we have the right contact for your authority. If you discover that our information has gone out of date, please contact either Isabelle Gregory or Alison Rendle (details below).


Complex LAC Project


There will be a project meeting for the Complex LAC Project on Wednesday 17 July 2019 – venue somewhere in London. Because all 19 authorities in the South East are now involved (see below) we will need to restrict attendance to 2 people per authority. Please contact Rosemary Perry – details below – to arrange your places.

Progress on the Project

The most exciting news is that, following our very positive meeting with the DCS group in March, all of the 7 remaining authorities in the south east have joined us. So welcome to Bracknell Forest,Buckinghamshire, Medway, ReadingSlough, Surrey and Windsor & Maidenhead.  This group of authorities are now completing the data collection exercise so by the time we all meet again in July, we will have analysed data from over 1200 cases………

The completed DfE grant application was submitted by the deadline and a copy is available via the DCS restricted page of this website

Action Required:

We met with the outgoing and incoming Chief Executives of ICHA recently and they are very interested to work in partnership with us on the project; this was reflected in the DfE bid which was submitted this week.  We have also made contact with other organisations, including TACT, to gauge their interest in being involved.

We have started some work with East SussexMilton KeynesOxfordshire and Southampton to identify ways of recording the views of looked after children themselves, using existing groupings and children in care councils.  We also want to use this workstream to identify how young people themselves can be involved in our project.  If any other authority would like to be involved in this and/or has experience of incorporating the views of looked after children into the delivery of similar projects or the actual governance of such projects, please do let Mark Evans (details below) know.

Tools & Templates

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

Outcomes for children looked after by local authorities in England, 31 March 2018. From the DfE with information on outcomes for children have left care through adoption, SGO and CAO based on self-report by parents/special guardians. 

Chief Executives’ “must know” for Children’s Services. Published by LGA, this has been shaped by chief executives who are either former directors of children’s services or for other reasons have been closely associated with leading improvement journeys in council children’s services.

Unexplained pupil exits from schools: A growing problem? The Education Policy Institute (EPI) has published the most comprehensive analysis to date  using over a decade’s worth of Department for Education data.

Children’s Commissioner Report on Early Access to Mental Health Support

All Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Youth Work – report published April 2019

DfE’s Elective Home Education guidance for local authorities was updated on 2 April

ADCS Report – Building a workforce that works for all children

Contextual Safeguarding Implementation Toolkit – This is a really useful free online resource that includes practical resources and tools focusing on: Referral and screening; Assessment; Planning and review; Support and interventions; Monitoring and evaluation; Policy development

Ofsted has published detailed figures revealing the scale of the problem with suspected illegal schools in England.

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

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

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

SESLIP Leadership Development Prospectus

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)