Update no 559 2nd June 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)


Fostering Recruitment and Retention programme:

On 26 May DfE cirulated the Application Guide for the Fostering Recruitment and Retention programme.

The goal of the programme is:

To deliver end-to-end improvements in fostering, addressing key known weak points in the approval and application process, whilst including a significant retention programme. This work will be done on a regional basis.

Expressions of interest invited:

First stage expressions of interested are invited by the closing date of 30 June 2023.

In the south east, the Fostering group is co-ordinating our regional response. For more informetion please contact SESLIP consultant Rebecca Eligon 07944-996219

Ethnicity of children in care proceedings:

On 18 May DfE published statistics on children accommodated in secure children’s homes for March 2023


    The aim of this briefing paper is to increase awareness of inequalities that exist across ethnic groups in the family justice system and how we can monitor and measure this using data.


    Children accommodated in secure children’s homes:

    On 18 May NFJO published Ethnicity of children in care and supervision proceedings in England

    Figures relate to a snapshot of the position on 31 March:

    • numbers of approved and available places
    • availability and occupancy rates
    • children accommodated by gender, age, ethnicity, and length of stay.


    • Between 2015 and 2022, the number of places in secure children’s homes approved for use remained stable around 250; this has fallen by 19 places this year to 230.
    • Children accommodated in secure children’s homes decreased by 16% (26 fewer children) to 139.  Since 2010, there has been an overall gradual decline in children accommodated in secure children’s homes. 
    • The occupancy rate on 31 March has decreased to 60% – down from  66%.
    • 56 children were placed by the Youth Custody Service (YCS), down from 62. Since 2010, there has been a longer-term trend of fewer children being placed in secure children’s homes by the YCS. 

    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)

    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

    Revised guidance for schools from 1 September 2023:

    This guidance comes into force from 1 September 2023 (pdf, 79 pages) and reflects amendments to underpinning legislation.

    A guide for parents:

    The DfE has also published “School exclusions: a guide for parents” to help parents understand: why your child’s school has a behaviour policy; how to support your child; the school suspension and permanent exclusion process; how to challenge a suspension or permanent exclusion.

    It is intended to support parents whose children attend an English: maintained school; pupil referral unit; academy school; alternative provision academy.

    It applies from 1 September 2023.

    NHS South East CYP Workforce Summit:

    On 27 June the NHS SE Mental Health Clinical Delivery Team will be holding an all-day face-to-face event in London

    Tuesday 27 June 10-4, London:

    The aim is to identify key high impact actions we need to take in the SE to ensure that the future CYP workforce has the right skills competencies and values to meet population mental health need.

    Keynote speakers:

    Kate Pye; Deputy Director of the Children’s Transformation Programme NHSE and Jane Hadfield, National Lead for Talent for Care and NHS Apprenticeships, Workforce Training and Education NHSE

    To confirm your place, please complete the Eventbrite link.

    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 26 May DfE cirulated the Application Guide for the Fostering Recruitment and Retention programme.

    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 18 May NFJO published Ethnicity of children in care and supervision proceedings in England

    On 18 May DfE published statistics on children accommodated in secure children’s homes for March 2023

    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

    Contact Details

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


    07920 727626

    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)