Update no 566 21st July 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)


World Class: global learnings for England on early years policy

On 13 July The Sutton Trust published a new report, “World Class: What England can learn from global experience to make early years policy work for disadvantaged children” examining international early years systems to provide a roadmap to close child development gaps in England.


Low-income families with two young children, who do not meet eligibility criteria for funded provision, pay 8% of their income on average for 30 hours early years education.

This is considerably more than a similar family in Estonia (0%), Denmark (3%) and Iceland (4%); but less than Quebec (10%), Slovenia (21%) and the USA (39%).

The full report is here pdf 47 pages

England’s complex and unfair eligibility rules for funded early years provision mean several families miss out, despite both parents being in full-time work or study.


Education and looked after children – The Education Policy Institute has published a blog analysing the GCSE attainment gap for looked after children in England. The blog focuses on children who have been looked after in the previous 6 years, children in need with a child protection plan (CPP) in the previous six years, and children in need without a CPP in the previous 6 years. The analysis found that GCSE grade gaps widened markedly for all three groups in 2020 and each fell even further behind their peers in 2021.

KS2 national results 2022/23

On 11 July DfE published Key stage 2 attainment: National headlines for 2022/23 which cover the attainment of yr6 pupils who experienced disruption to their learning during the pandemic, particularly at the end of year 3 and in year 4.

Attainment increased in maths, writing and science compared to 2022; remained the same in GPS; and fell in reading.


In reading, 73% of pupils met the expected standard, down from 75% in 2022.

In maths, 73% of pupils met the expected standard, up from 71% in 2022.

In writing, 71% of pupils met the expected standard, up from 69% in 2022.

In grammar, punctuation and spelling, 72% of pupils met the expected standard, unchanged from 2022.

In science, 80% of pupils met the expected standard, up from 79% in 2022.

In all of reading, writing and maths, 59% of pupils met the expected standard, unchanged from 2022.

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 6 10.00am – 12.30pm. More from Deborah Glassbrook (contact details below)

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

AD Education: Friday 29 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 19 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: Thursday 21 September 2023. More from Luke Ede (contact details below)

SEND SE19: 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)

HENRY, healthy start, brighter future

LGA, working with HENRY, a national charity working to transform traditional approaches to obesity prevention, has organised an online conference on Tuesday 25 July 2023, 14:00 -15:30.


Janice Burberry, former Head of Public Health (Children and Families), Leeds City Council and Nicola Ellis, Consultant in Public Health , London Borough of Waltham Forest

There are HENRY programmes in Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, Hampshire and Kent.

Family Group Conferencing

On 4 July Foundations (what works centre for children and families) published the results from the largest randomised control trial (RCT) of family group conferences (FGCs) in the world, Read evaluation partner Coram reflecting on the experience of doing the research, and Practice Lead, Daybreak, giving insight into how and why FGCs are a critical tool for working with children and families.

Main Findings

The findings from the trial show that children whose families were referred for an FGC at pre-proceedings were significantly less likely to be in care 12 months later than children whose families were not referred for an FGC (36% compared to 45%). Referred children spent less time on average in care, and their cases were less likely to go to court. We also found that FGCs could lead to substantial cost-savings for local authorities, estimating a saving of £960 to local authorities per child in the first year, or £13,365 over three years.

Read the blogpost here

Condition of school buildings

On 28 June, NAO published Condition of school buildings. It estimates approximately 700,000 pupils attend schools which are in need of major refurbishment or rebuilding.

Main Findings

There is a significant gap between the funding available and that which DfE assesses it needs to achieve its aim for school buildings to be safe and in a good condition for those who learn and work there. Funding is also often used for urgent repairs rather than planned maintenance which, as DfE itself acknowledges, risks not offering good long-term value for money.

Take Your Place 2023

Applications for the 2023 Take Your Place cohort are now open. Closing date is 25 August 2023. The programme starts on 31 October 2023.

Take Your Place Leadership Development Programme

This is a free to access CPD leadership programme for third tier managers. The course will start with a residential on 31 October and 1 November 2023, followed by in person workshops on 23 November 2023, 17 January 2024 and a final session on 7 March 2024.  The workshops are being held in Reading at venue with good public transport links. Each SESLIP large authority has two places and small authorities a single place (we will also take names for reserves as last year not all authorities took up their full allocation). Your final nominations need to be endorsed by your DCS and details sent to mark@markevansconsulting.co.uk. The deadline for applications is Friday 25 August 2023. Those nominated will be asked to complete a short online questionnaire with the Staff College to confirm their place.  More information is available in the flyer.

Tools & Templates

We have produced a Regional Improvement Plan (July 2023) 

On 13 July The Sutton Trust published a new report, “World Class: What England can learn from global experience to make early years policy work for disadvantaged children”

On 11 July DfE published Key stage 2 attainment: National headlines for 2022/23

On 6 July DfE published consultations on changes to Working Together and Information sharing advice

On 6 July DfE published Commissioning High Quality Trusts

On 4 July The Education Policy Institute published a blog analysing the GCSE attainment gap for looked after children in England

On 4 July Foundations (what works centre for children and families) published the results from the largest randomised control trial (RCT) of family group conferences (FGCs) in the world,

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

On 28 June, NAO published Condition of school buildings.

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

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

SESLIP Consultant; Commissioners’ Network, SEND Courageous Conversations: Chris Baird (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07855 492010

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)