Update no 563 30th 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 2023-2024 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)


The Big Listen Report:

On 30 June 2023 SESLIP and LIIA published a Report on The Big Listen Survey 2022-23

#thebiglisten Research Final Report:

The Big Listen is an ambitious research project undertaken collaboratively between 52 local authorities in London and the South East. The research sought to listen directly to frontline social workers and managers through a combination of focus groups attended by over 150 people and a survey completed by over a 1,000, representing more than 8% of all social workers/managers in both regions. The research also looked at a range of other sources with the aim of bringing together the best possible evidence to inform the development of a regional workforce strategy.

The report includes an accessible short executive summary. Authorities who contributed to the research by getting more than 25 of their staff to participate will also be provided with an individual authority level report.

Key findings from the research will be presented at the next regional DCS Meeting (21st July) where discussion will focus on how the research can be used to contribute to developing a South East regional work force plan.

Ofsted changes to school inspections:

On 12 June Ofsted published a press release on changes to school inspections


Amanda Spielman HMCI said:

“When we inspect schools our priority must always be children’s education and wellbeing – but at the same time we want to make sure inspection is as positive an experience for school staff as it can be. Since the sad death of Ruth Perry, there has been considerable debate around Ofsted’s work and I want to reassure people that we are listening to their concerns, and thinking carefully about how we can revise aspects of our work without losing our clear focus on the needs of children and their parents.

“We have listened to many voices in this debate. I’m particularly grateful to union leaders, other sector representatives and the Secretary of State for the constructive discussions we’ve had over the last couple of months, which have helped us with this package of measures.”

Academic year 2022/23 – special educational needs in England:

On 22 June DfE published SEN data by type of SEN provision, type of need, age, national curriculum year group, gender, ethnicity, English as a first language and free school meal eligibility for 2022/23.


EHC plans: 389,171 pupils – up by 9.5% from 2022

SEN support/SEN without an EHC plan: 1,183,384 pupils – up by 4.7% from 2022

Further information:

Local authority data on EHC plans is published in the Education, health and care plans publication. That data covers all children and young people up to age 25 with EHC plans, and includes those not captured in this publication in non-maintained early years provision, further education, home education or not in education, employment or training.

Reminders From Previous Weeks


Future dates for network meetings

Network dates:

Lead Members Group: Expert Workshop #10 Assurance vs Reassurance – utilising data and audit – October 6th 10.00am – 12.30pm. More from Deborah Glassbrook (contact details below)

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

AD Education: Friday 29th September 2023. More from Chris Owen (contact details below)

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

Network dates:

AD Safeguarding: Friday 8 September 10:00am. More from Mark Evans (contact details below)

QA Network: Tuesday 19th September 2023 at 2 p.m via Teams. 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 5 July 2023 12:00 – 13:30 via Teams: SE19 SEND Strategic Conversation: LA. More from Sheelagh Sullivan (contact details below)

Early Help: Friday 15 September 2023 9.30-11am. More from Rebecca Eligon (contact details below)

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

Taking Care – Immigration support pledge and learning package for local authorities:

The South London Refugee Association has published a learning package for local authorities.

Learning package:

Video introduction;

For more information about the pledge and support in implementing it, or endorsing the report, please contact Maya Pritchard, Head of Youth Services at South London Refugee Association (maya@slr-a.org.uk)

Taking care campaign:

The report, Taking Care: How local authorities can best address immigration issues of children in care, finds that delaying providing help on immigration and nationality issues could be costing local authorities hundreds of thousands of pounds per year. A citizenship application for a child costs £1,012. By comparison, waiting to resolve immigration issues until the young person leaves care can cost as much as £130,000 per young person in Home Office fees and support with living when that young person is barred from claiming benefits.

Court Ruling Decides Councils are Responsible for Unaccompanied Children in Home Office Hotels:

Article 39 v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2023] EWHC 1398 (Fam)

High court judgement:

Children who arrive in the UK without a parent or carer are entitled to protection under the Children Act 1989 which means they are entitled to the same support from their local council as all other children in care, judge Mrs Justice Lieven told the Family Division of the High Court.

The judgement can be downoaded as a pdf (10 pages)

Brighton and Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership:

The decision was made in a ruling, published last week (9 June), following two hearings, held in March and April after children’s rights charity Article 39, backed by the Good Law Project, sought a wardship application for 66 children who were reported to have gone missing from a Home Office-run hotel in Brighton and Hove in January.

Article 39 argued that that there is a “lacuna in protection” as individual missing children have no corporate parent responsible for their safety and welfare.

Brighton and Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership, at the end of February 2023, published a report, referenced in the ruling, which states: “The status of [unaccompanied asylum-seeking] children remains ‘in limbo’. They do not have looked-after children or child in need status with the local authority and the Home Office has no statutory responsibility for their care. This creates a significant statutory gap in provision and leaves the child with no corporate parent.”

Forced Out: delivering equality for kinship carers in the workplace:

Kinship has published Forced Out exploring the views and experiences of kinship carers around work, and reveals the devastating consequences which a lack of employment support is having for kinship families and for the state.

Kinship campaign:

The report calls on the Government to commit to introducing a right to kinship care leave on a par with adoption leave for all kinship carers within its forthcoming kinship care strategy and encourages employers to adopt kinship friendly employment policies.

The full report can be downloaded as a pdf (54 pages)


For more detail on each of the recommendations, please see the full report.

  1. The Government should introduce a right to paid kinship care leave for all kinship carers.
  2. The Government should ensure that its planned Pathfinder and pilot activity includes elements of employment support for kinship families.
  3. The Government should introduce a mandatory financial allowance for kinship carers.
  4. Local authorities should provide better employment advice and support to kinship families.
  5. Employers should introduce kinship friendly employment policies and seek to improve their understanding of kinship care.

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 30 June SESLIP and LIIA published a Report on The Big Listen Survey 2022-23

On 22 June DfE published SEN data for academic year 2022/23

On 12 June Ofsted published a press release on changes to school inspections

On 11 June DHSC published an Evaluation of the Children of Alcohol Dependent Parents programme

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

On 25 May the Childrens Commissioner published Looked after children who are not in school

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.

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)