UPDATE NO 412 17 July 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 412 17 July 2020


National Statistics – Main findings: children’s social care in England 2020


This release, published by Oftsed, contains:

  • inspection outcomes for local authority (LA) children’s services inspections from 1 November 2013 covering all inspections published by 30 April 2020
  • the number of providers of children’s social care, and the number of places they are registered for, as at 31 March 2020
  • the most recent inspections and outcomes for all regulated and inspected children’s social care provisions, as at 31 March 2020, and published by 30 April 2020
  • outcomes for all regulated and inspected children’s social care provision inspections carried out between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020 and published by 30 April 2020


Teenagers falling through the gaps


The Children’s Commissioner for England has published new analysis that suggests thousands of teenagers in England are falling through the gaps in the school and social care system. The report sets out the risks affecting tens of thousands of teenagers including persistent absence from school, exclusions, alternative provision, dropping out of the school system in Year 11, or going missing from care.

Action Required:

The Children’s Commissioner highlights the heightened impact of lockdown on the 120,000 teenagers in England – one in 25 of all teens – already slipping out of sight before coronavirus. She also warns these children already at risk could be joined by many more who struggle to adapt to a return to ‘normal’ after six months out of school.

The analysis identifies the number of teenagers (aged 13-17) in England, for each local authority, who were already falling through gaps in education and social care provision before Covid-19. The Children’s Commissioner is concerned that these teenagers will remain ‘invisible’ even after the lockdown restrictions ease. It comes at a time when youth services funding has been cut by 60% over the last 10 years.

The Full Report is here


Highlighting an innovative shared approach towards child suicide prevention


The following webinar documents what has been learnt through the development of a shared approach towards tackling child suicide across Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Southampton and Portsmouth.

We are mindful of national and regional concerns about an increase in suicide and suicidal ideation amongst children and young people (CYP), in response to both wider societal stress and domestic stresses in the current environment. Those at risk of social exclusion and isolation are particularly vulnerable at this time,” says Andrea King, Specialist Advisor, NHS Hampshire and Thames Valley Clinical Delivery and Networks.

Action Required:

“In advance of these developments CYP mental health systems leaders across Hampshire STP have been working on changes to a shared partnership response to CYP suicide prevention. We offer this learning to national systems leaders and are happy to discuss the approach to reaching agreement to implement changes if that would be of assistance.” In summary, these changes include:

  1. Introducing free suicide prevention training to the CYP multi-professional workforce
  2. Adapting the questions asked at home visit/Rapid Response following the death of a child where suicide is suspected to enable protected characteristics, risk and trigger factors to be more clearly identified; to inform both short-term support for those significant others most affected by the loss and the wider peer network; whilst also informing longer term service design and delivery
  3. Using this detail to inform Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) strategic analysis and systems learning

Access the webinar here; a briefing document is available here.

Reminders from previous weeks


Research Briefing One: Child Protection, Social Distancing and Risks from COVID-19 – Birmingham University


This project found nine overlapping influences on social workers’ decisions, and in particular on when and how they conducted visits. These included professional values, government guidance and its interpretation, availability of IT provision for staff and for families, access to PPE, organisational openness to innovation and fears around imminent inspection. All social workers who had contributed to the study and had entered family homes described maintaining social distancing with young people as being impossible.

The paper calls for staff to be given more consistent guidance that made clear they did not need to take personal risks they felt uncomfortable with. It added that leaders and managers – including within Ofsted – must address “organisational anxieties” by reiterating to frontline staff that the constraints Covid-19 has placed on practice will be taken into account in future monitoring and inspections.

The briefing paper is here.

Action Required:

One key finding was that regardless of any guidance, social worker risk-taking had been influenced by their equipment. Where provision of IT and, in particular, mobile technology was poor, many simply were not able to make the virtual visits that have become favoured for families deemed to have lower needs, making face-to-face visits more common.

This research project explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child protection practice and children and families, with the aim of improving the capacity of social workers to keep children safe in a period of institutionalised social distancing. The 15 month research project is being funded by the Economic and Social Research Council as part of the UK Research and Innovation call for studies that can contribute to understanding and alleviating the social impact of the pandemic. The research is being done in four (anonymous) local authorities in England and our project partners Research in Practice and the British Association of Social Workers are working with us to help disseminate the findings and scale up the impact of the research. Further information, including project reports, can be found on our website.


Local authority school places scorecards 2019 published by DfE


The scorecards display a snapshot of the progress local authorities are making in delivering good quality school places. Published 25 June 2020 by the DfE

The figures show a ten-year rise in the South East’s pupil numbers: 20.4% in primary (compared to 19.1% in England); and 17.9% in secondary (18.0% in England). The rise in primary numbers varies between no change in Isle of Wight and 45% increase in Slough, whereas the changes in secondary range from -16% in Isle of Wight to 87% increase in Reading. 

Action Required:

The local authority scorecard shows:

how many places have been delivered for the academic year 2018 to 2019
how many places are planned to be delivered for the academic year 2021 to 2022
information about the quality of places delivered for the academic year 2018 to 2019
forecasting accuracy of local authorities
how well parental preference is met
information on the cost of providing places


DfE Consultation on Revisions to the Schools Admission Code


On 26 June, DfE launched a consultation on changes to the Schools Admissions Code which closes on 16 October 2020.

DfE says, “We’re seeking views on a revised version of the statutory School Admissions Code. The Code was last updated in 2014. The revised Code seeks to clarify and improve the process in which children are admitted to school outside of the normal admissions round in light of a number of Government reviews.” 

The draft proposed code is here, and the consultation document is hereThe existing 2014 version is here.

Action Required:

DfE goes on to sy, “Additionally, the revised Code will also provide additional information and details that will support admission authorities in discharging their duties effectively.

“We remain committed to amending the School Admissions Code in relation to the admission of summer born children, but are unable to make those changes at this time because they will require primary legislation. We are, therefore, not seeking views about the admission of summer born children as part of this consultation.”

Responses are either online or via email to AdmissionsCode.CONSULTATION@education.gov.uk or by post School Admissions Code Consultation Department for Education Admissions, Academies Portfolio and School Organisation Division Level 3, Bishopsgate House Darlington DL1 5QE before 16 October 2020.


Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) – September 2020 launch postponed


DfE announcement 25 June 2020

In response to the 2017 primary assessment consultation, the government announced plans to introduce a statutory reception baseline assessment (RBA) in autumn 2020. Due to the challenging circumstances faced by schools in the context of the covid-19 pandemic, statutory introduction of the RBA has been postponed to Autumn 2021. Instead, schools have the opportunity to sign up to the RBA Early Adopter year.

The RBA framework and the RBA validity report are now available. If you have any questions about the reception baseline assessment, please contact 0330 088 4171

Action Required:

State funded schools with a reception cohort will be able to participate in the RBA Early Adopter year. Schools who choose to participate will receive assessment materials shortly before the October 2020 half term, with the optional assessment window opening for six-weeks after the October half term.

Participation is optional, even after signing up. Data gathered from the Early Adopter year will not be used for the purpose of the progress measure, and a full privacy notice can be found here. The recruitment window for schools to sign up opens on 25 June and closes on 24 July 2020.

An information leaflet is available here

Tools & Templates

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

Highlighting an innovative shared approach towards child suicide prevention published 17 July 2020 by NHS Wessex Senate

Teenagers falling through the gaps published 7 July 2020 by the Children’s Commissioner

Main Findings: Children’s Social Care in England 2020 published 7 July 2020 by Oftsed

Research Briefing One: Child Protection, Social Distancing and Risks from COVID-19 – Birmingham University 3 July 2020

Coronavirus: children and young people’s mental health – new report from the Centre for Mental Health 26 June 2020

On 26 June, DfE launched a consultation on changes to the Schools Admissions Code which closes on 16 October 2020

Local authority school places scorecards 2019 published by DfE 25 June 2020

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

Briefing 56: Trauma, mental health and coronavirus from the Centre for Mental Health published 5 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

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)