UPDATE NO 438 29 January 2021

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 438 29 January 2021


Take Your Place – the future leaders programme for the South East



New dates announced for Take Your Place courses delivered in association with The Staff College this spring and summer

  • Women in Leadership 24 and 25 March
  • Black and Asian Leaders 23 and 24 June  

More details will be posted on the Take Your Place webpage when available. 

Further information from Mark Evans (contact details below)

Action Required:

Common myths about leadership: why it is good for you and how your leadership can reduce stress for others 

Date: 1st March 2020 14.00-16.30 online workshop (MS Teams)

Target Audience: Service Managers, Heads of Service and other 3rd tier managers working in Children’s Services (including children’s social care, education, and other services) in the South East 

Cost: There are no additional fees for this training, it is being provided as part of your authority’s subscription to the SESLI Programme

Booking: The course is now full, to register for the waiting list, or a possible repeat later in the year, please contact Mark Evans (details below)


Urgent Review of the Memorandum of Cooperation (Agency Social Workers)


Following discussions with colleagues in multiple SE authorities there is an urgent need to review the MoC. This is based  serious concerns that the MoC is no longer working well. We think there are two main challenges.

Firstly, three South East authorities continue to be outside the South East MoC, they are Slough Children’s Trust, Surrey and West Sussex. Approaches have been made to all three to explore if they are open to joining or re-joining the MoC.

Secondly there are anectodical reports of authorities paying rates beyond the maximum rates agreed and using other approaches outside the spirit of the MoC  (e.g. creation of managerial project roles, paying hotel/travel costs etc).  The MoC was initially successful with agency numbers in the region dropping (against the national trend), but it now appears to be having much less impact.

Action Required:

To address this issue we are proposing a 2 stage process. 

  1. Survey of all SE authorities to clarify the current use of agency staff, rates paid and views about the future of the MoC arrangement (this will be distributed to DCSs on Monday 25 January for completion by Friday 12 February) 
  2. The information gathered in the survey will be distributed to all DCSs by Friday 19 February for discussion and decision at the regional meeting scheduled to take place on the Friday 26 February  

Historically the MoC worked well from inception in 2016 through to the end of 2018, but can only be effective with a strong commitment from all SE authorities. Please can you prioritise completion of the survey to help us make an informed decision about the future of the South East MoC.  

To review the current version of the MoC follow this link

If you have any questions about this item please contact Mark Evans (details below).


Mental Health at Work – Our Frontline


You support us, we support you

Our Frontline is a partnership between ShoutSamaritansMindHospice UK and The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of CambridgeFind out more about them here, join them on their social channels below, and see some of the latest real-life stories from Our Frontline.

Twitter or Instagram or Facebook or Linkedin

Action Required:

There are tailored support pages for staff working in schoolsand staff working in social careAlso for social care workers, to talk by text, text FRONTLINE to 85258 any time. To talk by phone, call 0300 131 7000 from 7am to 11pm if you’re in England.

Other specialist help is available at: Get support if you work in healthGet support if you work in the emergency servicesGet support if you’re any other essential worker.


DfE Project Phase 2


The project is well underway and aims to develop a specification for new and innovative provision for looked-after children – with four participating authorities (West Sussex – Susan Tanner, Kent – Christy Holden and Caroline Smith, Portsmouth – Hayden Ginns and Milton Keynes – Sivay Heer) on the Project Team. The first stage of the project is to collect some detailed information from the 4 participating LAs to feed into an outline specification.

Action Required:

We are now setting up a project-specific Commissioners’ Network (terms of reference here) to allow non-participating authorities to be kept informed of progress and timelines as well as exemplars of good practice

To join this network (thanks to Medway, Reading, Hampshire and Surrey for their positive responses), please email Isabelle Gregory (contact details below).

The webpage for the project is here: DfE Project Phase 2


Learning from the Partners in Practice Programme


Gillian Ruch (a facilitator for the Practice Supervisor Development Programme and Professor of Social Work at the University of Sussex) has introduced her review of PiP for Reseach in Practice with these words,

“It’s not just on Strictly Come Dancing that partnership counts”

Action Required:

Read more in the DfE’s Partners in Practice: Practice Review Report (May 2020) and the Learning from the Partners in Practice Programme Review: Practice Briefing (Dec 2020), published by Research in Practice.


Social Work in England: First Reflections


Social Work England have published “Social Work in England: First Reflections“, the first of 2 interim reports on social work leading to a landmark report in 2023.

In this interim report, SWE shares its reflections on its first year as the new specialist regulator for social workers in England. Its role uniquely positions it to offer insight and inform quality conversations about social work, and it is committed to sharing what its learns with the public, the profession and stakeholders. 

The full report is here

Action Required:

The report covers 4 key areas: 

  1. Learning to be a social worker: we share what we’ve learned from our first year inspecting courses and from speaking to course providers, employers and students.
  2. Social workers in England: an overview of the social work workforce, exploring how we use insight and research to engage with the profession and people with lived experience.
  3. Career-long learning: an outline of what we’ve learned from introducing a new model of continuing professional development (CPD), what research has told us, and our plans for the future.
  4. Investigating concerns: we set out our experience of addressing concerns and reflect on our unique model and engagement-led approach. 

Reminders from previous weeks


Future dates for Network meetings


AD Safeguarding: Friday 12 March 2021. More information from Mark Evans (contact details below)

QA Network: Wednesday 10 March 2021. More information from Diane Williamson (contact details below)

Fostering Network: 10.30am Thursday 12 April 2021. The group met on 28 Jan and discussed vaccination for foster carers; protocols for covid+ve or symptomatic children; impact of court and medical delays on fostering. More information from Rebecca Eligon (contact details below)

SEND SE19: SEND/Covid Conversation #15 12.30pm Tuesday 9 February 2021. DfE SEND Regional Update 12.30pm Wednesday 24 February 2021. More information from Tracey Maytas (contact details below)

Action Required:

Lead Members Group:  10.00am Friday 5 March 2021, “Your role as Corporate Parents in delivering excellence for Care Leavers“, presented by Mark Riddell MBE. More information from Alison Michalska (contact details below)

Data Benchmarking: Thursday 11 March 2021. More information from Alastair Lee (contact details below)

AD Education: Friday 12 March 2021 – 10.30am. More information from Chris Owen (contact details below)

Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board: Tuesday 20 April 2021. More information from Rebecca Eligon (contact details below)


National Commissioning and Contracting Training Conferences


Chris Glynn of NCCTC writes

“In the response to these challenging times and following the cancellation of the conference – the NCCTC has brought together digital presentations and supporting papers for some of the approaches taken by Local Authorities to improve sufficiency.

“It would be a great help to us if you or your colleagues would provide feedback on the pages and help get the message out there by cascading it to colleagues that might find it useful.

“Please send any feedback to me at ccrglynn@btinternet.com and we will use it to shape the content of the next conference and of further digital presentations. 

Action Required:

“The range of the presentations are significant including your own ‘South East Needs Led Commissioning Project’ presented by Mark Evans – alongside other strategic development like Liverpool Combined Region’s use of social enterprise to shape the residential market, service-oriented developments from Greater Manchester’s application of No Wrong Door, Stronger Families Norfolk and British Red Cross’s work with UASC and much more.

“We were grateful to be able to include the ‘South East Needs Led Commissioning Project’ as part of our series on Sufficiency – Mark Evans presented very well on one of the more strategic approaches to shifting the dial of our current relationships and I for one hope that it is successful.

“Early responses largely from our organising group about the presentations has has been positive about the range and applicability of the presentation to the dilemma face by Local Authorities or groups of Authorities nationally

“The Organising Group is chaired by one of your own Martin Cross (Children’s Contracts and Commissioning Manager West Sussex) – and his introduction to the presentations focusses on that applicability.”


New open access resources for managers of practice supervisors


Research in Practice has published open access resources for managers of practice supervisors

The Practice Supervisor Development Programme (PSDP) has released over 30 new resources, inspired by the ‘Supervising the Supervisor’ programme, to support learning and development for all middle leaders who manage practice supervisors in children’s social care.

Action Required:

The learning resources are organised into five key themes:

The learning resources are available on the open access website – Resources and Tools for Practice Supervisors. In each section you will find a mixture of knowledge briefings, presentations, films and learning tools:

  • Learning tools can be used to review and audit your skills, for example by reflecting on your approach to leadership, or to support you to consider how you can influence supervision in a certain area such as embedding observations of supervision.
  • Knowledge briefings have a strategic focus and have been developed to support you in building an organisational culture in which practice supervisors, practitioners and excellent standards of social work practice can thrive.


Strengthening Families, Protecting Children (SFPC)


Strengthening Families, Protecting Children (SFPC) is a five-year programme set up by the Department for Education (DfE) to support local authorities improve their work with families. The aim of the programme is to enable more children to stay at home in stable family environments so that fewer children need to be taken in to care.

Action Required:

Welcome to the Strengthening Families, Protecting Children learning website! This site hosts the Strengthening Families Journal and additional material to capture learning from the Strengthening Families, Protecting Children programme. It connects activity across the programme with wider research and policy, setting the scene for the role innovation has to play in children’s social care.

Eighteen local authorities are being supported to embed one of three whole system change projects, developed by Leeds, Hertfordshire, and North Yorkshire, that have the most promising evidence from the Children’s Social Care Innovation programme of safely reducing the number of children being taken into care.


Social Work Week 2021 – register for tickets now


Kate Metcalf, Regional Engagement Lead (South East), Social Work England writes,

“Dear South East Sector Partners, 

“We are delighted to release our programme for Social Work Week 2021, a week-long series of events, and the first of its kind in England. We invite you and your colleagues to join us by registering for tickets now. View the full programme and register for sessions here

Action Required:

“Social Work Week 2021 Learn. Connect. Engage. 8 to 12 March

“Social Work Week is a virtual programme, bringing together over 70 sessions including speakers, artistic content, workshops, debate, discussions, and wellbeing drop ins. It is open to anyone with an interest in social work in England, including professionals, students, educators, and those with lived experience. Social Work Week offers the opportunity for social workers to come together, reflect and learn, and is ideal for continuing professional development (CPD).

“We would really appreciate it if you could post on social media about your plans to join us at Social Work Week using the hashtag #SocialWorkWeek2021

“Kate 0114 553 3104”   

Tools & Templates

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

Social Work in England: First Reflections published by Social Work England on 20 January 2021

Restricting attendance during the national lockdown: schools Guidance for all schools in England January 2021 published by DfE 7 January 2021

Learning from the Partners in Practice Programme Review: Practice Briefing (2020) published by RiP 31 December 2020

Children looked after in England including adoptions published by DfE 18 December 2020

IntegratED Annual Report 2020 published 18 December 2020

COVID-19: mental health and wellbeing surveillance report – Chapter 7 CYP published by Public Health England on 17 December 2020

Ofsted COVID-19 series of briefings published on 15 December 2020

Careless: Helping to improve council services to children in care published by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman 10 December 2020

A systematic review of early years degrees and employment pathways published by EPI on 10 December 2020

Unlocking the facts: young people referred to secure children’s homes published by WWCSC on 8 December 2020

Speak for Change published by the Oracy APPG on 1 December 2020

Applying behavioural insights to increase female students’ uptake of STEM subjects at A level  published by DfE on 26 Novemebr 2020

School and college staff wellbeing: report published by DfE on 26 November 2020

Anne Longfield: My vision for a better care system You Tube speech on 24 November 2020

Introducing the changing face of early childhood series published by Nuffield Foundation 16 November 2020

Children Missing Education published by LGA on 16 November 2020

COVID-19: mental health and wellbeing surveillance report published by PHE, updated on 12 November 2020 (see Ch7: Children and Young People)

Fostering in England 2019 to 2020: main findings published by Ofsted 12 November 2020

The children who no-one knows what to do with published by the Children’s Commissioner on 11 November 2020

Changes to statutory induction for teachers during national roll-out (formerly NQT) published by the DfE 4 November 2020

Evaluation of the Family Safeguarding Model 2020 published by the DfE 4 November 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: 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)