Update no 553 21st April 2023

If you have any news that you would like included in our Friday Update, please contact Richard Tyndall (details below)

Three children playing happily together


Our Regional Improvement Plan for 2022-2023 (July 2022) can be found here

Our Impact Report published in March 2023 can be found here

If you would like to work for the programme, ESCC has advertised the SESLIP Freelance Consultant Approved List. Please address all enquiries about this opportunity to Richard Tyndall (contact details below)


Understanding and supporting mental health in infancy and early childhood

A toolkit to support local action in the UK


On 20 April UNICEF UK and the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development & Learning (PEDAL) published a resource to support local areas gain a shared understanding of mental health in infancy and early childhood.

The full toolkit, (pdf 100 pages), is here

The toolkit aims to:

  • Help partners from different services and professions to develop a deeper, shared understanding of mental health in infancy and early childhood, and the factors that influence it
  • Support service leaders, commissioners and other decision makers and policy teams to develop whole-system responses to ensure babies and young children are mentally healthy now, and are supported to develop the skills they need to continue to be mentally healthy throughout their lives.
  • Provide resources, signposting, and conversation guides to support constructive local discussions, decisions and action about the needs of babies and young children in their area, and what more might be done to respond to these needs (including through strategy development across mental health, maternity, early years or Family Hubs & Start for Life).

Ofsted statement

HM Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman on calls to reform school inspections.

Amanda Spielman’s statement:

On 21 April His Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, released a statement on improving how Ofsted works.


There were no definitive changes announced, only indications of changes being considerd:

  • how Ofsted can return more quickly to schools who have work to do on safeguarding but are otherwise performing well.
  • Ofsted are piloting changes to the complaints process which will make it more responsive – so that issues can be addressed during the inspection rather than considered afterwards, which creates delay and frustration.
  • Ofsted want all heads and teachers to know they can have a colleague from the school or trust join discussions with inspectors if they wish.

Reminders From Previous Weeks


Future dates for network meetings

Network dates:

Lead Members Group: Wednesday 7 June 4–6.30pm. Expert Workshop #9 SEND: Developments and Difference. More from Deborah Glassbrook (contact details below)

Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board: More from Rebecca Eligon (contact details below)

AD Education: Friday 16 June 2023 – 10am – 3.30pm London in person. More from Chris Owen (contact details below)

Network dates:

AD Safeguarding: Friday 9 June 10:00am. More from Mark Evans (contact details below)

QA Network: Thursday 15 June 2023 at 2 p.m. More from Amanda Meadows (contact details below)

Fostering Network: 24 April 2023 10-11.30am. More from Rebecca Eligon (contact details below)

Data Benchmarking: Wednesday 12 July 2023 More from Alastair Lee (contact details below)

SEND SE19: Wednesday 26 April 2023 12:00 – 13:30 via Teams: Joint Conversation: LAs, Health, DfE, NHSE/I & NNPCF More from Sheelagh Sullivan (contact details below)

Early Help: 8 June 2023 10am-11.30am. More from Rebecca Eligon (contact details below)

Liberty Protection Safeguards

LPS changes delayed “beyond the life of this parliament”

DHSC writes:

On 4 April the Government set out its plans for adult social care reform in Next steps to put People at the Heart of Care. It has delayed the implementation of the Liberty Protection Safeguards beyond the life of this Parliament. More detail can be found on plans to reform and improve adult social care here.  

Action required:

DHSC plans to publish a summary of responses to the consultation in due course, The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards remain an important system for authorising deprivations of liberty and health and social care providers should continue to make applications in line with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to ensure that the rights of those who may lack the relevant capacity are protected.   

Changes to the LPS team: Laura Karan and Martin Teff will remain the key points of contact for the LPS and the DoLS. Please do get in touch with them at lps.cop@dhsc.gov.uk with any queries or comments.  

Trust Establishment and Growth (TEG) Fund

Apply for funding to support the creation of a new multi-academy trust (MAT) or to expand an existing MAT into a new area.


On 5 April DfE updated the Information for Applicants to the Trust Establishment and Growth Fund.

Applications are open between 3 April 2023 and 30 September 2024. All applicants should contact their relevant regional director’s office to discuss the proposal.


This fund supports activities in the initial stage of development of a trust growth project. It is available to: trusts; schools; dioceses and other organisations looking to establish a new multi-academy trust (MAT)

The TEG fund is part of a package that supports the growth of MATs, particularly those in education investment areas (EIAs).

Tools & Templates

We have produced a Regional Improvement Plan (July 2022) which will underpin activities while we await publication of the DfE’s reponse to the McAllister Care Review, which is anticipated in Autumn 2022

On 11 May the DfE closes two separate consultations: one on their proposed Children’s social care national framework and dashboard; the other on Child and family social worker workforce.

On 20 April UNICEF UK and the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development & Learning (PEDAL) published Understanding and supporting mental health in infancy and early childhood.

On 5 April DfE updated the Information for Applicants to the Trust Establishment and Growth Fund.

On 31 March DfE published revised Inspector’s Hanbook for Further Education and Skills; and a revised “operational note” for Ofsted inspectors who are carrying out summary evaluations of multi-academy trusts (MATs),

On 31 March DfE published revised guidance for inspection of adoption and fostering agencies:

On 28 March DfE published Academies regulatory and commissioning review

On 23 March DfE published its response to the consultation on proposed regulations and guidance for supported accommodation for looked after children (LAC) and care leavers aged 16 and 17.

On 20 March the Commons Education Committee launched a new inquiry into teacher recruitment, training and retention in state-funded English schools.

On 16 March DfE published Pupil absence in schools in England (academic year 2021/2022)

On 16 March DfE published twenty new Safety Valve agreements, including five in the south east

On 9 March 2023, Social Work England published Social work in England: State of the nation 2023

On 8 March 2023, the Children’s Commissioner published Children’s mental health services 2021-2022

On 27 February Spurgeons Children’s Charity published a Family toolkit resources on young people and eating disorders

On 22 February, the Commons Public Accounts Committee published a report “Support for vulnerable adolescents

On 20 February The Staff College published Leading for Longer A report on turnover of leadership roles in children’s services.

On 7 February DfE published State of the nation 2022: children and young people’s wellbeing

On 2 February DfE published Stable Homes, Built on Love

On 1 and 2 February DfE published updated national results for Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5

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

Children’s Services Performance Manager, Convener Of SE Quality Assurance Network: Amanda Meadows (Hampshire)


03707 794752

Education Network: Chris Owen (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07825 862330

SESLIP Education Data Group Lead: Daryl Perilli (Brighton and Hove)


SESLIP Consultant and LGA SEND Improvement Adviser: Deborah Glassbrook (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07882 158959

The Staff College Assistant Operations Manager: Ellie Bevis (The Staff College)


0161 729 1065

NHS (SE) CYP mental health: Gavin Lockhart (NHS England (South East))


07879 488307

SESLIP Consultant: Isabelle Gregory (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07931 586784

South East Grid for Learning – Consortium Manager: Krista Pickering (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07872 014083

CSC Workforce, PSW and AD Safeguarding Network Lead: Mark Evans (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07803 147072

LGA Corporate Improvement Adviser: Philip (Phil) Simpkins (LGA)


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)