UPDATE NO 363 02 August 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 363 02 August 2019


Parliamentary Education Committee Inquiry in Social Care Workforce


An inquiry into children’s social work will examine what the workforce needs in order to provide the best help and protection for families, the parliamentary education committee has announced. The committee aims to explore “what social work looks like in 2019” – focusing on the capacity of social workers to intervene early, as well as how effectively they can access professional development and support. More information is available here.

Action Required:

The inquiry will also look at how initiatives and reforms to social work training have impacted on the workforce and how far workers are supported to uphold their statutory duties.

The deadline for written evidence submissions is Friday 30 August


AD Education Network – next meeting Friday 13 September


We are now planning for our next network meeting on the morning of Friday 13 September.  The focus for the agenda will be to continue our discussions about Children Missing Education.  Mike Stoneman from Portsmouth will lead this item for us, bringing together thoughts and recommendations from the task and finish group he has been chairing.

Action Required:

Please contact Alison Rendle (details below) for further information. Alison will be sending out an agenda in the next couple of weeks. If you would like to bring along a colleague with particular responsibility for children missing education, please let Alsion know so that she can keep track of numbers.


DfE Call for Evidence: Children’s homes workforce. Closes 27 August 2019


The DfE have launched a call for evidence on Children’s Homes Workforce, and invites views on:

  • establishing professional registration for roles in children’s homes
  • existing approaches to regulating the children’s homes workforce

Action Required:

Responses will inform the DfE’s thinking on where improvements could be made so children in children’s homes receive high-quality care in a safe environment.

The consultation closes on 27 August 2019. Click here for further information


AD Safeguarding Network – next meeting 6 September 2019


The next meeting is just over a month off (diary invites have been sent this week), please send  through any suggestions for our agenda, so far we have 

  • SEND/EHC Challenges and issues  
  • Virtual school best practice

Action Required:

Like all of our meetings it is 9.30 for tea/coffee with a 10.00 start. If you have any items you would like to add to the agenda, please contact Mark Evans (details below) the venue is The Abbey Centre, 34 Great Smith Street, Westminster SW1P 3BU.


Memorandum of Cooperation – Review of effectiveness


Over the next few weeks we will be carrying out a piece of research in relation to the perceived effectiveness of the Memorandum of Cooperation. This has been prompted by the DCS group who have concerns that the MoC maybe losing its effectiveness.  Since inception of the MoC in 2016 use of agency workers across the region has reduced from 16.5% to 15% (despite an overall increase of 322 new C&F SW posts across the region in the same period), the vacancy rate has also reduced from 16.8% to 15.6%.

Action Required:

Despite these changes we know there is huge variability across the region and last year saw a small increase in the use of agency staff (0.2%), consequently we will be conducting a survey with a view to identifying how we can re-energise the MoC. If you have views about what should be included please let Mark Evans (details below) know.


Regional Adoption Agencies (RAAs) – initial evaluation


A report by the Department for Education, Evaluation of regional adoption agencies, states there are signs that RAAs have improved key areas such as speeding up recruitment of adopters, securing a greater variety of adoption support and better matching of children with families.

Action Required:

However, the report found that many agencies had delayed becoming fully operational by three to six months, with “several operating nine months plus behind their original plans”, delaying integration. The full report is here.

Reminders from previous weeks


Contact Pages


NEW – following a user request the contact pages now include a full list of both Lead Members and Chief Executives in the region. As usual, if you spot information that is wrong or out of date, please let Isabelle Gregory know (details below).


Peer Challenge Triads – Planning for 2019-20


Following the February 2019 round of South East Peer Challenge triads, ADCS have produced an independent review of the process, which is available here. Following recent debates about suggested further improvements highlighted in the report, Isabelle Gregory has sent an email to each DCS  setting out what’s changed, and asking for colleagues to opt in or opt out of various options.

Action Required:

The Triad Challenges will take place in the period November 2019 – January 2020. Please contact Isabelle Gregory or Richard Tyndall (details below) if you have any questions. 







25th November


East Sussex



9th January 2020

West Sussex



Quartet 3

11th November


Hampshire and Isle of Wight

Milton Keynes


29th November

Windsor and Maidenhead




15th November

West Berkshire


Brighton and Hove


13th November

Bracknell Forest




South East Social Work Health Check


We are now collecting returns for the South East Social Work Health Check. If you have completed your health check using our methodology and would like your return benchmarked against others please contact Mark Evans (details below).

Action Required:

The deadline for submissions is 16 August 2019. 


Complex LAC Project


The Complex LAC Project Team met on 17 July 2019, joined for the first time by Peter Sandiford from the Independent Children’s Home Association. The meeting was attended by over 30 people with representatives from 16/19 authorities (and apologies from those who couldn’t make it). We now have data from all 19 authorities, have started to engage children and young people and are exploring options for more collaborative commissioning arrangements.  

Action Required:

We are now starting to issue authorities with bespoke contributions to sufficiency planning and are working with the provider colleagues to start market shaping. As the project gathers pace and benefits from additional resources we are looking to set up a smaller governance group to enable us to progress things more quickly. Lucy Butler (DCS Oxfordshire, Project Sponsor) will be writing to you shortly setting out the planned changes and asking for volunteers. For more information please contact Mark Evans or Rosemary Perry (details below).

Tools & Templates

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

NCH Campaign for National Childhood Strategy

Children’s Commissioner Report on Childhood Vulnerability

Missing People has published research into the value of the return home interview (RHI).

What Works for Children’s Social Care: Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS) Review

Changes to compensation arrangements for survivors of violent crime

The DfE Review of Children in Need is here.

National Assessment and Accreditation System (NAAS): toolkit and examples of practice simulationsList of early adopter sites includes Hampshire and West Berks in the South East.

The Tackling Child Exploitation (TCE) Support Programme led by Research in Practice with The Children’s Society and University of Bedfordshire is appointed by the DfE to deliver a programme to tackle child exploitation. Over the next three years, every local authority area will be able to apply for ‘Bespoke Support’.  More information here and here

Children and young people’s advocacy in England – a report by the Children’s Commissioner

LGA‘s Early Help Resource Pack, with contributions from Early Intervention Foundation is for councillors to better understand their own local offer. 

The recent AD Safeguarding Network meeting highlighted the following links: 

New service models (e.g. Family Safeguarding, No wrong front door etc) Family Safeguarding HertfordshireNo Wrong Door EvaluationSocial Care Commentary on Using Models of PracticeOfsted Checklist for Implementing Models

Reunification: Reunification Guidance NSPCCReunification Implementation NSPCCReunification Leeds CC

Children’s Commissioner’s Report on use of Secure Accommodation “Who are they? Where are they?”

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. DfE’s Elective Home Education guidance for local authorities was updated on 2 April. Ofsted has published detailed figures revealing the scale of the problem with suspected illegal schools in England.

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

SESLIP Education Data Group Lead: Daryl Perilli (Brighton and Hove)


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)