UPDATE NO 373 11 October 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 373 11 October 2019


A system in crisis? Ombudsman complaints about special educational needs at alarming level


On October 4, Michael King, the LGSC Ombudsman published a report, “Not going to plan? – Education, Health and Care plans two years on in which he reveals he is now upholding nearly nine out of every 10 (87 per cent) cases it investigates – compared with 57 per cent across all cases it looks at.

Action Required:

In 2018/19 the ombudsman received 45 per cent more complaints and carried out 80 per cent more detailed investigations about EHC plans than in 2016/17. It also warned of “poor planning and anticipation of needs”, such as council areas without any specialist provision available to them, poor communication and preparation for meetings – including regular stories of non-attendance and no, or insufficient, paperwork being submitted, and inadequate partnership working – with EHC plans regularly issued without advice from health or social care services. It also criticised a lack of oversight from senior managers, with cases “drifting needlessly” and “attempts to farm out responsibilities to parents”. The full report is available here.


UCL Study of Care Records for Looked After Children and Care Leavers


The MIRRA (Memory – Identity – Rights in Records – Access) project, led by Professor Elizabeth Shepherd (UCL Information Studies), collected interview and focus group data from more than 80 care leavers, social work practitioners and information professionals.

Researchers found that the voices of the children and young people who lived in social care were often entirely missing from their own records, causing significant distress and upset. Furthermore, despite care leavers placing huge significance on their records, the research found that the importance and value of effective recordkeeping was not widely recognised or understood by local authorities, who act as gate-keepers for these records. 

Professor Shepherd said: “Social care records are a vital resource for memory-making and identity for adults who were in care as children.” The full press release is available here

Action Required:

To address the findings the project has set out a number of recommendations for local authorities, information and data professionals, and social workers:

  • Records should be co-created by all those involved in a child’s care. They should include the voices of children themselves, taking into account their life-long needs for memory, identity and justice.
  • Best practice guidance for records creation and management should be established for all organisations with safeguarding responsibilities and guardianship of children’s memories.
  • New standards for access to records for all care-experienced persons should be developed. New standards should address the rights of care-experienced people and the responsibilities of institutions.


Leadership Development in the South East – Needs Analysis


Please follow this link for the The Staff College report on Leadership Development Needs Analysis in the South East, published this week. Many thanks to 71 colleagues who responded either by questionnaire or phone interview. 

Action Required:

Alison Jeffery (DCS Portsmouth) will be working with the SESLIP team to develop the repsonse to the report. If you would like more information please contact Mark Evans (contact details below).

Reminders from previous weeks


Welcome to Alison Michalska, new LGA Children’s Improvement Advisor – South East


Alison Michalska (contact details below) has now started work as the LGA’s Children’s Inmprovement Adviser in the South East, and was introduced to the SEADCS Branch meeting in Brighton this morning.

Action Required:

Alison is getting to know the region and welcomes invitations to visit over the coming months. Please contact her (details below) to arrange a visit. One her first tasks will be consultation with Lead Members across the region about their support needs. An introductory email has been sent out by LGA.


Multi-agency Safeguarding Reforms


Katy Block of ADCS writes

Our rep on the DfE’s national working group overseeing the reforms to LSCBs and CDOP arrangements shared a short presentation from the DfE at a policy committee meeting last week.  

Action Required:

It summarises how the new MASA arrangements have panned out nationally in terms of make up, membership, remits and scrutiny arrangements, it’s actually very helpful! Here’s the link again


Association of Colleges – Contact List


Katy Block of ADCS writes

A rep from the AoC attended the most recent meeting of the ADCS Educational Achievement Policy Committee to discuss all things further education with the group. 

Action Required:

It was an interesting session and committee members asked for regional AoC contacts to be distributed more widely, see document attached, to allow these discussions to be picked up and built on at a regional level.


National Missing Person Conference, Hull, Wednesday 29th January 2020


The staff support officer for the national policing lead on missing people has been in touch to invite ADCS reps to attend a free conference on missing people in the new year.  An emerging agenda is attached here, all police forces in the UK have been invited to attend, the audience will be Missing Person leads (Supt level), investigators and teams, CSE teams, charities and NGOs. 

Action Required:

The speakers will be: 

ACC Catherine Hankinson, National Police Lead for Missing, West Yorkshire Police 
The charity Missing People
Ann Coffey MP
UK Missing Persons Unit
Other related Police speakers on Missing Persons.

Please get in touch with Katy Block at ADCS to book a place or find out more.


Early years research request


Senior researchers from the Education Policy Institute have recently been in touch with ADCS to seek members’ views on the most helpful areas of future focus, particularly in relation to the early years.  They have some broad ideas, see right, but are also open to suggestions.  Please can colleagues contact Katy Block for more information/ with any thoughts. 

Action Required:

Broad ideas are

  • mapping local services: what services for young children and parents exist in different areas? how joined-up and/or integrated are these services? What is the best geographical level for planning early years services (local authority, regional, etc)?
  • food poverty and hunger: local food bank usage and school breakfast and holiday hunger programmes
  • local availability and usage of libraries and book clubs; availability of affordable EAL books; 
  • early years and SEND.


November – January 2019-20 Peer Challenge


The cycle of preparation for the November – January 2019-20 Peer Challanges is underway. We have brought forward the start date by a few months to avoid a clash with the Ofsted cycle of annual conversations which are due to start in 2020.

New data profiles are now available for each participating authority from the Peer Challenge Library restricted area.

Please go to the Peer Challenge in the South East page if you want further information. 

Action Required:







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




Tools & Templates

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

Not going to plan? – Education, Health and Care plans two years on LGSC Ombudsman report published 4 October 2019

Ofsted Review of ILACS inspections published 26 September 2019

Children’s Commissioner Report on Homeless Children

The Good Childhood Report 2019 (The Children Society)

What Works Centre Updates – Trauma-informed models in out-of-home care

Nuffield Foundation Review of Special Guardianship published 2 August 2019

Interim results from Devolved Budgets pilots (What Works Centre) published 15 August 2019

A report by the Department for Education, Evaluation of regional adoption agencies

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

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

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.

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

LGA Children’s Improvement Adviser: Helen Watson (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07810 011892

Education Network: Chris Owen (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07825 862330

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)