UPDATE NO 409 26 June 2020

Newsletters 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 […]

Three children playing happily together


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 (details below). 

Our Regional Improvement Plan for 2020-2021 can be found here.

UPDATE NO 409 26 June 2020


Dave Hill CBE 1959-2020


Our friend and colleague Dave Hill, Executive Director of Children, Lifelong Learning and Culture at Surrey County Council died suddenly this week. 

May he rest in peace


Exploring experiences of life at home during lockdown for young people in care, carers and birth families


TACT and Research in Practice, supported by the PSW Network, have developed three linked surveys – for young people in carecarers and birth families – to explore their experiences of life at home during lockdown. The surveys aim to explore how people have spent their time, experiences of home schooling and relationships with social care over the lockdown period.

The findings will be shared openly for the benefit of the sector to inform practice as we move towards exiting lockdown, so that we can learn the lessons of the past three months and retain anything that carers, birth families and young people in care found beneficial, and address that which was problematic. 

Action Required:

The survey will run from 9 June – 6 July and all responses will be anonymous: 

Please share widely with children in care social work teams, local authority foster carers, independent foster care providers, residential care homes, special guardianship teams, special guardians themselves and birth parent networks. The more widely the surveys are shared the more robust picture it will give of life in care under lockdown to allow learning for the future.


Suicide Prevention – on line training from the Zero Suicide Alliance


Andrea King, Specialist Advisor CYP Mental Health, NHSEngland (South East) writes,

Following the rise in child suicides and South East clusters of suicide the following recommendations have been made, and are now being adopted nationally. These recommendations arose originally from learning in the Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Southampton & Portsmouth areas

Disseminating free suicide prevention training to the CYP multi-professional workforce (please spread this as widely as possible). This is the preferred training and it is accredited by HEE, online and free to use. It is from the Zero Suicide Alliance and it is a 20-minute e-learning module called Suicide Let’s Talk aimed at supporting anyone to build skills and confidence talking to someone who may be considering suicide.  Suitable for all ages.

Action Required:

Andrea King has two further recommendations:

Adapting the questions asked at home visit/Rapid Response/JAR following the death of a child where suicide is suspected to enable protected characteristics, risk and trigger factors to be more clearly identified

Using this detail to inform Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) strategic analysis and systems learning

She adds, 

This is straight-forward and relatively simple to do. These changes are strongly supported by NHSE, DfE and DHSC too (cross-governmental support). and I am happy to support discussions with CDOP Chairs and Safeguarding Executives where that would be helpful. Please contact me, Andrea King, 07702 405081. Please note that my usual working days are Thursday and Friday



Zero Suicide Alliance – Social Risk Factors Map


The Zero Suicide Alliance has published an interactive map of the social risk factors influencing under-50 suicide in England. The map shows grades for each region, and each local authority: Action Required; Urgent Action Required; Immediate Action Required.

Overall the south east is categorised as “Action Required”, but at individual local authority level Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, Isle of Wight, Medway and Portsmouth are all in the “Immediate Action Required” category.

Action Required:

ZSA says, “We hope that this map empowers suicide prevention leads, politicians, commissioners and the public to understand the social factors and how they can be addressed to support a suicide prevention plan in their area. Our 11 factors are split into 3 core headings:

“Children and Young People; Mental Health and Substance Misuse; Employment and Income

“These 11 indicators have one factor common to all: poverty is the most important predeterminant and drives worse outcomes in all categories including overall suicide rates. If you as an individual, organisation or tier of government take only one action from the many suggested below, do everything you can to ‘level up’ your most deprived residents, patients and neighbours by reducing poverty.”

The methodology paper is published here.

Reminders from previous weeks


Coronavirus: domestic abuse: impact on child welfare – from the NSPCC


The NSPCC has published information on children’s experiences of domestic abuse both before and during lockdown. An NSPCC Learning briefing using insight from NSPCC helpline contacts and Childline counselling sessions highlights the impact of domestic abuse on children and young people during the coronavirus pandemic.

Action Required:

A separate briefing, looking at learning from case reviews published since 2019 where children experienced domestic abuse, summarises the learning in the published reports and highlights that professionals must prioritise the impact that living with domestic abuse has on children. A BBC Newsnight feature on children’s experiences of domestic violence during the coronavirus crisis was broadcast on 9 June 2020.

News story: Protecting children from domestic abuse during coronavirus
Download the briefings: The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on child welfare: domestic abuse
Domestic abuse: learning from case reviews


Born into care: 1000 mothers in care proceedings in Wales from Nuffield Family Justice Observatory


This summary highlights the main findings of a report commissioned by the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory and undertaken by the Family Justice Data Partnership.

The rapid rise in the number of babies who have been taken into care in recent years has raised lots of questions, most importantly: what can be done to prevent such steps being necessary? Building on insights from two earlier reports in the Born into Care series, this summary highlights the main findings of a research report that paints a picture of the health needs of both mothers and babies who come into care proceedings. In doing so, it helps us to better understand the kind of intensive early intervention that might be needed.

The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory report can be accessed from this link.

The full report is here.

Action Required:

Building on the findings shared in two earlier reports in the series, Born into care: Newborns in care proceedings in England and Born into care: Newborns and infants in care proceedings in Wales, this research starts to develop the evidence base on the health needs of mothers and babies who come into care proceedings. It aims to help provide insights into the kind of intensive early intervention that might be needed.

Key findings include: 

  • Over half (53%) reported an existing mental health condition at their initial antenatal assessment, whilst three- quarters (77%) had a mental health- related general practice (GP) or hospital contact or admission recorded in their health records prior to the child’s birth.
  • Entry to motherhood was early, with half (53%) doing so as teenagers.
  • The majority (76%) lived in areas in the two most deprived areas of Wales (quintiles).
  • Two-fifths (38%) were documented as having had a GP or hospital contact or admission relating to substance use prior to the child’s birth.
  • Two-thirds (63% and 60% respectively) were recorded as smokers at booking and at the time of birth.


Covid-19 and early intervention: Understanding the impact, preparing for recovery


This report from the Early Intervention Foundation highlights the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown on local services for children and families, based on the experiences of service leaders and head teachers, and explores their responses to both the immediate challenges and the major challenges on the horizon, as the country moves towards recovery.

Action Required:

Areas of focus include:

  • risk assessment and referral in a virtual environment
  • virtual delivery of services
  • maintaining essential face-to-face delivery
  • closure of school and early years provision
  • longer-term issues, including the likely spike in demand for acute services as the lockdown is eased, and the funding that will be required to ensure both specialist services and early help are available for the families that need extra support.

The report can be accessed here and the full text is here


The cost of learning in lockdown: family experiences of school closures from CPAG


The Cost of the School Day project helps schools identify and reduce the financial barriers that prevent children in poverty from fully participating in school life. To understand how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted children’s experience of learning, we conducted some research through surveys and interviews. We gathered the experiences of 3,600 parents and carers, along with 1,300 children and young people, with an emphasis on the experiences of low-income households. We found that the cost burdens of school closures have fallen most heavily on families already living on a low income.

The recommendations are here; and the full report is here.

Action Required:

In particular, we found that:

  • 40% of low-income families were missing at least one essential resource to support their children’s learning. One third of the families who are most worried about money have had to buy a laptop, tablet or other device.
  • People who told us they were worried about their financial circumstances were also more likely to have bought educational resources for their children.
  • Families who were worried about money were more likely to say they found it difficult to continue their children’s education at home.
  • Eligible parents valued receiving support towards the cost of replacing free school meals. Most families told us they preferred to receive support through direct payments to their bank accounts, as this method allowed flexibility, dignity, safety and convenience.
  • Children and young people value contact with teachers and classmates – secondary school pupils were more likely to report doing ‘a lot’ of schoolwork at home if they are regularly keeping in touch with teachers.
  • When children can go back to school, parents’ primary concern is children’s wellbeing.

Tools & Templates

We have produced a Regional Improvement Plan which will underpin activities in 2020-2021

The Zero Suicide Alliance has published an interactive map of the social risk factors influencing under-50 suicide in England and a 20-minute e-learning module called Suicide Let’s Talk.

The cost of learning in lockdown: family experiences of lockdown from Child Poverty Action Group published 18 June 2020

Born into care: 1000 mothers in care proceedings in Wales from Nuffield Family Justice Observatory published 17 June 2020

Covid-19 and early intervention: Understanding the impact, preparing for recovery published by EIF 16 June 2020

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on child welfare: domestic abuse and Domestic abuse: learning from case reviews Two NSPCC briefings published 10 June 2020

EdTech Demonstrator Programme 

An animation video Kent CC Virtual School apprentices made for Looked After Children returning to school published 1 June 2020

Evaluation of Achievement for All (AfA) from EEF published 29 May 2020

Webinar on trauma informed practice in post Covid-19 recovery from NHS Wessex Senate published 22 May 2020

An explorative study on perpetrators of child sexual exploitation convicted alongside others from IICSA published on 5 May 2020

Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools – Guidance from EEF published 19 March 2020

Universal free school meals winning in the fight against childhood obesity published by the Nuffield Foundation on 9 March 2020

NEET statistics annual brief: 2019 published by DfE on 5 March 2020

Triennial Analysis of Serious Care reviews 2014-2017 published by DfE on 4 March 2020

Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel: annual report 2018 to 2019 published by DfE 4 March 2020

The Attendance Playbook: approaches to reducing chronic low attendance and the evidence that supports the different strategies published by Institute for Effective Education 3 March 2020

The state of children and young people’s health across the UK. Data and policy priorities published Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health 2 March 2020

Destination Unknown: improving transitions for care leavers and young people with SEND published by the Children’s Services Development Group 28 February 2020

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)