Update no 557 19th May 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. To view the advert follow the link and choose the “Opportunities” tab then search on reference RFX1000055. Pease address all enquiries about this opportunity to Richard Tyndall (contact details below)


House of Lords Public Services Committee:

On 25 May the House of Lords Public Services Committee has published A response to
the Children’s Social Care
Implementation Strategy

Investment “inadequate”:

“The level of investment outlined in the Strategy is entirely inadequate and will ensure the government will fail to achieve its vision for children’s social care.” (Paragraph 28)”

“Wasted opportunity”:

“We consider that the Strategy’s focus on stable, loving homes ignores the need for radical reform of residential homes. There are likely to always be some children who need this kind of provision for at least some of the time. Not enough has been done for these young people in the Strategy: action needs to be taken to raise standards.” (Paragraph 24)

Highest since records began:

Waiting list at March 2023: 403,955.

This is the highest list since records began  

The waiting list has grown by 158,256 between April 2021 and March 2023.   

39% increase in two years

This is a 39% increase in just two years  

This figure does not represent the children waiting for other treatment specialisms, or indeed in community care where no data is recorded.

Area SEND Inspection:

On 16 May the DfE published new guidance: Area SEND inspections: support and challenge following inspection

Support and challenge:

In designing the support and challenge approach, DfE worked closely with NHS England (National and Regional) to come up with a set of high-level principles to guide our teams. These are:


  • taking a proportionate and evidence-based approach to improvement work
  • taking a holistic view of the context of, and challenges in, a local area
  • increasing the intensity of the support and challenge response across the 3 outcomes, pitching support and challenge at the correct, accountable partners
  • celebrating and sharing effective practice

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 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)

Principal Social Workers: More from Mark Evans (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: More from Rebecca Eligon (contact details below)

Data Benchmarking: Wednesday 12 July 2023 More from Luke Ede (contact details below)

SEND SE19: Wednesday 14 June 2023 12:00 – 13:30 via Teams: SE19 SEND 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)

Kinship Care Network: More from Rebecca Eligon (contact details below)

Leading in colour:

The Staff College has published Just Home – everything starts with heart, hope and a home.

Further details:

This briefing is powerfully centred around global majority children in care, their lives, their traumas, their needs, and their life-chances.

The stark realities are alarming: black children are over-represented in the care system, wait longer for adoption than white children, and are least likely to achieve the lifetime stability and permanency of a loving family through adoption. “Just Home” serves to challenge these bleak statistics and seeks to inspire enduring policy and practice changes for children.

Safety Valve:

Nine more councils told to reform SEND services in return for £300m

But cash comes with strict conditions such as keeping more children in mainstream schools


Updated agreements:

On 15 May DfE published updated ‘Safety Valve’ agreements for Hammersmith and Fulham, Hillingdon, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, Richmond upon Thames, Rotherham, Salford, South Gloucestershire, Surrey and York following a change in their funding profiles.

Further details:

Nine more councils have been told to make sweeping reforms to their special needs and disabilities (SEND) support in exchange for over £300 million to fill budget black holes.

Surrey will receive £100 million by 2026-27 to eliminate their deficit, with an initial payment of £40.5 million before the end of this financial year.

Practical tools to support young children’s emotional regulation:

The LGA is organising a webinar on Thursday 22 June 14:00-15:30


Emotional self-regulation includes being able to calm down when experiencing strong emotions and once calm, being able to choose the best course of action. Young children are still developing these skills, so they benefit from adult support through modelling and coaching

Further details:

Speaker: Professor Sara Baker , Lecturer and researcher at Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning. Cambridge University

Booking via eventbrite here

Mental Capacity Act:

ADASS South East MCA Network Lunch and Learn 15 June 2023 11.30-13.00

Lunch and learn:

Flyer for Lunch and Learn session on the Mental Capacity Act and young people. 15th June 2023 at 11.30

Further details:

For further details please contact Ali Taylor, CHC Workforce Development Coordinator

To join the Lunch and Learn session, please use this link

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 25 May the House of Lords Public Servicers Committee published A response to the Children’s Social Care Implementation Strategy

On 25 May DfE published new guidance: Suspension and Permanent Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England, including pupil movement

On 17 May The Staff College published Just Home – evertything starts with heart, hope and a home.

On 16 May DfE published new guidance: Area SEND inspections: support and challenge following inspection

On 15 May DfE published 9 updated ‘Safety Valve’ agreements

On 11 May The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health published analysis of NHS England’s RTT dataset  for ‘other paediatrics’

On 26 April the House of Commons Education Select Committee published its report on The future of post-16 qualifications

On 25 April Become published Gone Too Far as part of its new campaign to keep children in care close to the people and places that matter to them

On 25 April DfE updated the statistics on suspensions and permanent exclusions across state-funded schools up to spring term 2022

On 20 April the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel published a national safeguarding practice review into safeguarding children with disabilities and complex needs in residential settings.

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 12 April DfE updated the report for the year ending 31 March 2022 for children in social care.

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.

Contact Details

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

Data and Information Manager: Luke Ede (East Sussex)


07925 148597

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)