UPDATE NO 420 11 September 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 420 11 September 2020


NSPCC Coronavirus briefing: guidance for social workers


Social workers have an important role to play in protecting children from abuse and neglect, especially during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as many children are spending less time in school and more time at home.

This briefing summarises guidance from across the UK on how social workers and local authorities should work during the pandemic to ensure that children are protected.

Action Required:

It answers questions including:

  • how does the Coronavirus Act 2020 affect local authorities’ responsibilities?
  • how will the child protection system work during the pandemic?
  • what is temporary registration and how does it work?
  • can social workers continue to visit children and families?
  • how should support be prioritised?
  • do case reviews still need to be carried out?

The full pdf document is hereThis briefing was updated on Thursday 3rd September 2020.


No way out – children stuck in B&Bs during lockdown


The Children’s Commissioner for England has published a report looking at the number of children living in bed and breakfast (B&B) accommodation during lockdown and the impact on children and their families. She is calling for:

  • support for children who were homeless during lockdown;
  • families housed in B&Bs to be moved out of them in the event of further lockdown; and
  • action to prevent new family homelessness in the coming weeks and months.

Action Required:

Findings from a survey of 15 local authorities in England (including Slough from the South East) with highest numbers of children in B&Bs show that at the start of lockdown on 23 March there were 714 families housed in B&Bs, and 476 families living in B&Bs by the end of the full lockdown on 31 May.

The full report is here


CAMHS and children-in-care placed out-of-area


Many of you have already had the privilege of working with Andrea King – and now she has a new role in NHS England (Specialist adviser, CYP mental health) covering the whole of the SESLIP area. She has now joined the SESLIP family as one of the team supporting and cordinating the 19 children’s services authorities. One of her current projects is looking at CAMH services for children-in-care who are placed out-of-area. She will be presenting it to next week’s joint DCS/Lead member meeting.

Action Required:

Andrea writes:

Children-in-care who are placed out-of-area have inconsistent experience of accessing health, and specifically mental health, support in their placement. COVID-19 lockdown further intensified these difficulties for some children. As statutory partners we are corporate parents to our children-in-care; resolving inequitable access to mental health assessment and treatment out-of-area is placing additional pressures on our social care workforce and mental health commissioning leaders. This strategic project is intended to support improved outcomes for our children-in-care.

 For more information go to the project page on this website or contact Andrea (details below)


Ofsted interim phase: area SEND


An operational note for HMIs and CQC inspectors carrying out interim visits to local areas regarding their special educational needs and disabilities arrangements from October 2020.

On 17 March 2020, all routine Ofsted inspections were suspended due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. As part of Ofsted’s phased return to routine inspection, the Department for Education (DfE) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have commissioned Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to carry out a series of ‘interim visits’ to local areas from autumn 2020.

This guidance sets out the process and range of activities that inspectors will carry out for these interim visits, from inviting a local area to take part in an interim visit to sharing feedback.

Action Required:

The purpose of the visits is to:

  • support individual local areas to understand the impact of the pandemic on children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families
  • find out what has worked well for them during this time, what the challenges have been and any lessons learned
  • work with the local area to identify opportunities for improvement that address the remaining challenges faced by children and young people with SEND
  • highlight positive case studies and share insights nationally to promote whole-system learning

The visits will also give Ofsted, CQC and the government insights into how well the SEND system as a whole is working. They will also enable us to understand when local areas will be ready for routine inspections to restart.


Keeping Children Safe in Education – Update


On 1 September 2020, DfE published a revised version of Keeping Children Safe in Education. The new edition includes revised material on statutory Relationship and Sex Education. 

Action Required:

The Sex Education Forum have published a guide and materials for making learning about RSE accessible for pupils with SEND.

Reminders from previous weeks


Future dates for Network meetings


AD Safeguarding: Friday 11 December 2020 – more information from Mark Evans (contact details below) 

QA Network: Thursday 17 September 2020 – more information from Diane Williamson (contact details below)

SEND SE19: more information from Tracey Maytas (contact details below)

Action Required:

Data Benchmarking: Tuesday 15 September 2020 – more information from Alastair Lee (contact details below)

AD Education: Friday 25 September 2020 – 10.30am to 1.30pm *NB this will be Education only – the joint meeting with SEND has been postponed to another day*- more information from Chris Owen (contact details below)

Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board: Tuesday 20 October 2020 – more information from Rebecca Eligon (contact details below)


A Perfect Storm: The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on domestic abuse survivors and the services supporting them


Domestic abuse has worsened during Covid-19 and frontline services expect rising demand – Women’s Aid report published 18 August

The report shows how domestic abuse has worsened during the Covid-19 pandemicIt examines the impact on survivors; how abusers use the pandemic as a tool of abuse; and how the services supporting survivors are affected.

Read the full report here

Action Required:

Sarah Davidge Women’s Aid Research and Evaluation manager said: 

Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic did not cause domestic abuse, it has created a perfect storm of challenges for survivors and the services supporting them. The Covid-19 virus, and lockdown measures designed to fight it, gave perpetrators a tool that they quickly learnt to use for coercion, manipulation and to induce fear. This in turn exposed survivors to worsening domestic abuse, whilst restricting their access to support. At the same time, the pandemic created challenges for the specialist domestic abuse support sector in providing life-saving support, including lost income, staff shortages and additional costs of remote working.”


NSPCC – How Safe are our Children? 2020


Since 2013, our annual How safe are our children? report has compiled and analysed data from across the UK to show the current child protection landscape. In 2020, for the first time, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) took on this task.

We took this opportunity to refocus our annual report. This year we’ve looked in more detail at statistics relating to abuse perpetrated against adolescents. We’ve also included an overview of emerging data on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the safety of children and young people in the UK.

Action Required:

NSPCC say their 2020 report found:

  • rates of police recorded physical, sexual and online abuse offences against adolescents are higher than rates against younger children
  • rates of adolescents in care are higher than rates for younger children, with the exception in some nations of infants under the age of one
  • rates of adolescents subject to a child protection plan or on a child protection register are lower than rates for younger children
  • many of the risk factors associated with abuse and neglect have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, while the support services that would traditionally identify and respond to these concerns have been unable to see many of the children and families they work with face-to-face.

Download How safe are our children? 2020 (PDF)


DfE High Needs Benchmarking Tool


DfE high needs benchmarking tool – A comparative tool to help local authorities plan for future high needs spend and provision. Information about high needs funding and the review and planning role of local authorities is in the high needs funding operational guide.

Action Required:

Local authorities can use this tool to periodically assess their own level of need, spend and pattern of provision against:

  • those of neighbouring local authorities (both geographically and statistically)
  • national trends

Tools & Templates

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

Coronavirus briefing: guidance for social workers published by NSPCC 3 September 2020

High needs benchmarking tool published by DfE 25 August

No way out – children stuck in B&Bs during lockdown published by the Children’s Commissioner 21 August 2020

A Perfect Storm: The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on domestic abuse survivors and the services supporting them published by Women’s Aid 18 August 2020

How Safe are our Children? 2020 published by NSPCC 17 August 2020

Promoting the Retention, Mental Health, and Wellbeing of Child and Family Social Workers: A Systematic Review of Workforce Interventions published by What Works Centre 7 August 2020

COVID-19: guidance on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing published by DfE 4 August 2020

Children’s services omnibus – Wave 5 published by DfE 3 August 2020

Social Worker Fast Track Programmes Review – published by the DfE 21 July 2020

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

What explains marked regional variations in infant care – published by NFJO 16 July 2020

Youth Violence Commission – Final Report published 15 July 2020

ADCS has published a discussion paper – Building a country that works for all children post COVID-19 14 July 2020

Getting the grades they’ve earned: Covid-19: the cancellation of exams and ‘calculated’ grades – published by the Education Select Committee on 11 July 2020

2020 NEET and 16- and 17-year-old participation figures published by DfE 9 July 2020

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

Managing through COVID-19: the experiences of children’s social care in 15 English local authorities – published 2 July 2020 by the Better Care Network  Full Report (62pp) | Briefing paper (8pp)

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

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 and Information Manager: Luke Ede (East Sussex)


07925 148597

LGA Children’s Improvement Adviser: Alison Michalska (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07920 727626

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)