UPDATE NO 377 08 November 2019

Newsletters 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 […]

Three children playing happily together


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 377 08 November 2019


4 recent DfE publications


1. Information on the Condition Improvement Fund for 2020-21 for repairs and maintenance for academies and sixth forms
2. PE and Sports Premium for primary schools. Update on allocations and how it should be spent

Action Required:

3. Early years funding benchmarking tool for LAs
4. Statistics: children in need and child protection. It identifies year on year reductions in the national number of both CiN (down 1%) and CP down (3%).  The report also analyses needs characteristics and assessment activity.


EEF publishes new evaluation report on the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP)


Teachers say changes to early learning goals have made them clearer and reduced their workload, but more research needed to establish whether children better prepared for Key Stage 1

An independent report by EEF finds the Government’s proposed changes to the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) – ahead of a full public consultation – have created a more clear and specific set of goals to support teachers in their assessment of children’s development, and have reduced teachers’ workload, allowing them to spend more time with children.

Action Required:

The revised Early Learning Goals (ELGs) were received positively overall by participants and they made practical suggestions to help improve them. However, there were mixed views about whether children would be better prepared for Key Stage 1 as a result of the changes to the ELGs, and about whether they were more or less challenging than before.

This is according to the independent evaluation of a pilot of the reforms published by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) on 24 October.


Nuffield Family Justice Observatory: Use of children’s social care data at the local and regional level


An insight piece by the Nuffield Foundation Family Justice Observatory explores the nature, availability and use of child level administrative data at the local and regional level, by children’s social care departments. 

The report finds that there is value in children’s social care data being analysed locally and regionally, as well as purely being exported by local authorities to meet the statutory reporting requirements. However, as a result of austerity the capacity and capability of performance management teams has been reduced which impacts on the ease and frequency that this can take place. 


Action Required:

By working together, it is possible to build our collective capacity and utilise the wealth of data that already exist. This is already starting to happen on the ground, with pivotal learning being shared between local authorities as part of the Children’s Services National Performance and Data Management Group. Attempts are also being made to share learning between local authority analysts, academics, and national organisations, such as the Department for Education and Ofsted as part of the Children’s Social Care Data User Group. 

Alastair Lee, our regional data lead, is involved in the national level discussions about this research, and better use of data tools.

He has published this blog post on the topic of data tools

Please contact him for more information (details below).


Research into the use of Social Media by Children’s Social Workers


The use of Facebook in social work practice with children and families: exploring complexity in an emerging practice Authors:  &  Published 22 October 201

The findings show that Facebook use took multiple forms. Some social workers actively searched service users’ Facebook pages and some opposed any such usage. They also identified further group who were unwillingly “drawn into” acting on Facebook information presented to them by others such as their managers.

The insights from the report suggest that social work must pause to consider the ethical implications of these complex emerging practices.

Action Required:

Research exploring how children social workers use Facebook in their practice. The article draws from a 15-month participant observation study of social work and child protection practices in England to illustrate how social workers used Facebook to gain another view of service-users’ lives. Social media use was not an intended focus for the study, its presence emerged during the data analysis. While some research has shown that such practices occur, our long-term ethnographic approach provides new insights into how Facebook was actually used in ongoing casework with families and why it was used.


Triads 3, 5 and 6 all meet next week


A busy week for Triad Peer Challenges involving Bracknell Forest, Brighton and Hove, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Milton Keynes, Reading, Slough, Southampton and West Berkshire.

Triad 4 has been re-arranged for 10 January 2020.

For more information please consult the Peer Challenge website page, or contact isabelle Gregory (details below) 


Action Required:

2019-20 DCS Peer Challenge dates







25th November


East Sussex



9th January 2020

West Sussex



Quartet 3

11th November


Hampshire and Isle of Wight

Milton Keynes


10th January 2020

Windsor and Maidenhead




15th November

West Berkshire


Brighton and Hove


13th November

Bracknell Forest






SEND Single Route of Redress National Trial – Extension to 31 August 2020


The SEND Delivery Support Team have written:

Dear Regional Coordinators (please cascade to your regional networks),

In April 2018, the Department for Education began a National Trial to extend the powers of the SEND Tribunal to hear appeals, and make non-binding decisions about, health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care plans. The Trial was due to end on 31 March 2020.

The Department is extending the Trial until 31 August 2020 and on 4 November the DfE wrote to Directors of Children’s Services to inform them and provide further details. 

If you have any questions please contact SENDdeliverysupport@mottmac.com, consult www.sendpathfinder.co.uk, or call the SEND delivery support helpline on 0207 651 0308. 

Action Required:

A copy of the letter written to DCSs is available here.

For further information about this notification and what it means, please contact Tracey Maytas (deatils below).


Developing regional quality assurance capacity


The first meeting of Quality Assurance leads was held on 5 November. 16 colleagues attended representing 12 authorities. Apologies were received from another 6 authority reps. The next project meeting has been fixed for 11 February 2020.

Project sponsor Stuart Ashley (Hants and IoW) said , “We were pleased with the turnout and the enthusiasm for this piece of work and it would be very helpful if colleagues can continue this commitment and help shape this piece of work.” 

Action Required:

The project webpage is up and running and full details can be downloaded from there. For further information, please contact Diane Williamson (details below).

Reminders from previous weeks


Memorandum of Cooperation – Review of effectiveness


We have identified the key elements for the planned review of the Memorandum of Co-operation which is being led by Sarah Hammond (Director of Specialist Children’s Services, Kent) with support from SESLIP Consultant Mark Evans (contact details below). They are:  

  1. A survey of current agency rates (updating the benchmarking we did when we launched the MoC).
  2. To investigate the appetite for regional performance measures and management is relation to agency staffing
  3. Developing a new proposal for governance of the MoC (with reference to the need for temporary exemptions or exits) 
  4. Sector research on how MoCs have developed in other regions
  5. Considering the need for authorities to recommit to the MoC

Action Required:

We plan to conduct most of the work remotely via email/conference calls etc with the possibility of one face to face meeting towards the end of the project. The work will be completed by the March 2020 DCS meeting.

Please can you nominate a representative from your authority to participate in the review.  The person needs to be a senior officer with responsibility for children’s workforce. This could be a senior manager, PSW or HR Partner.  

To complete the review we will need input from both the service and HR functions within all authorities. The invitation to participate in the review is extended to authorities who are not currently MoC signatories as we would like to use this as an opportunity to re-engage them.  Please forward details of your nominated representative to Mark Evans (contact details below).


Are you “due” an Ofsted visit


I often hear colleagues talking about being “due” an Ofsted visit. I have researched two lists: longest interval since any Ofsted visit (including SEND, JTAI, SIF, ILACS, Monitoring and Focussed visits); and longest interval since SIF. These figures are drawn from published reports, so do not take account of any visits underway, nor visits completed but not yet published. 77 ILACS inspections have been reported, and the gaps between SIF and ILACS were as follows

0-1 years 1-2 years 2-3 years 3-4 years 4-5 years 5+ years
0 2 14 29 27 5


Action Required:

The range of intervals between SIF and ILACS is 1.7 – 5.6 years (average 3.7 years). 15 of the 16 authorities who waited under three years between SIF and ILACS were either Inadequate (and subject to monitoring visits), or had recently received a SEND visit. 14 of these 16 inspections resulted in an improved judgement.

National Rank (out of 151)   Since any visit   National Rank (out of 74 still waiting for ILACS)    Since SIF
5 Oxfordshire 571 days   1 Southampton 5.3 years
8 Southampton 535 days   5 Windsor and Maidenhead 4.7 years
14 Brighton and Hove 487 days   22 Milton Keynes 3.2 years
15 East Sussex  480 days   36 Kent 2.7 years
25 Milton Keynes 396 days   41 Bracknell Forest 2.5 years

Tools & Templates

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

Condition Improvement Fund: Information for academies, sixth-form colleges and non-diocesan Voluntary Aided (VA) schools updated 4 November 2019

PE and sport premium for primary schools updated 1 November 2019

DfE Children in Need and Children Subject to Child Protection Plans Statistics published 31 October 2019

Early years funding benchmarking tool updated 31 October 2019

Back to School? Breaking the link between school exclusions and knife crime APPG on Knife Crime report published 24 October 2019

Key stage 4 performance, 2019 (provisional) and A level and other 16 to 18 results: 2018 to 2019 (provisional) and Early years foundation stage profile results: 2018 to 2019 and Destinations of KS4 and 16 to 18 (KS5) students: 2018 Published 17 October 2019

The House of Commons Education Select Committee report on SEND Published 16 October 2019

‘Exploring moving to home education in secondary schools’ Ofsted report published 15 October 2019

Digital capabilities for social workers SCIE report published 14 October 2019

National funding formula tables for schools and high needs: 2020 to 2021 Published 11 October 2019

Government response to Education Committee report on school and college funding published 10 October 2019

State of the nation 2019: children and young people’s wellbeing DfE report published 10 October 2019

Engaging parents with relationships education policy. A guide for primary headteachers setting out why they must engage parents on their school’s relationships education policy and tips on how to do so. DfE report published 10 October 2019

Pupil absence in schools in England: autumn 2018 and spring 2019 published 10 October 2019

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

Schools causing concern Guidance for local authorities and Regional Schools Commissioners on how to work with schools to support improvements to educational performance, and on using their intervention powers published 19 September 2019

National curriculum assessments: key stage 2, 2019 (provisional) published 11 September 2019

Support for pupils with SEND in England NAO report published 11 September 2019

Children’s Commissioner Report on Homeless Children published 21 August 2019

The Good Childhood Report 2019 (The Children Society) published 20 August 2019

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

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)