Update no 578 13th October 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)


SESLIP Care Leavers Conference

We are holding our SESLIP Care Leavers’ Conference on Thursday 2 November in Winchester.

Event opens 8.30am; keynotes start 9:15am; event closes 4.15pm

Now Booking

Please use this eventbrite page to register for the conference and to choose your workshops

Download a summary of the workshops here

Workshops presented by:

Southampton Children’s Services; Care Leavers Association; Wessex Dance Academy; Kent Children’s Services; University of Kent, Wellcome and NCB; Brighton & Hove City Council; National Education of Care Leavers in Higher Education; Community Care Inform; University of Cambridge; Bird Podcast; University of Portsmouth; East Sussex Children’s Services; Biscoes Masterclass; Research in Practice; TRACS team.

Double Discrimination

On 21 September Barnardo’s published “Double Discrimination” which highlights the discrimination faced by many young Black people who have been in the care system, the negative impact this has on their lives and is calling for urgent change.   

Black children are over-represented in both the care and criminal justice systems, and many face inequalities in their interactions with support services.  


1. Improve the experience of Black children in foster care

2. Improve access to mental health support for Black children in care

3. Take action to reduce the over-criminalisation of children in the care system

4. Improve understanding of the needs of children in care and care-experienced young people, whilst providing training on how to better do this

5. There must be a renewed emphasis on implementing reform aimed at tackling institutional racism within the criminal justice system 

School Absence

On 27 September the House of Commons Education Select Committee published its report on Persistent absence and support for disadvantaged pupils

Whilst successive ministers have prioritised getting children back to school since the pandemic, the overall figures, and more concerningly for ‘persistent’ and ‘severe absence’, have failed to return to pre-pandemic levels.


The report explores how growing demand for mental health services and special educational needs (SEND) support, as well as cost-of-living pressures and other issues, have compounded a problem that worsened following the covid lockdowns but remains present.

The most recent statistics (2021/22) showed an overall absence rate of 7.6%, up from 4-5% before the pandemic. In that year, 22.5% of pupils were persistently absent, meaning they missed 10% or more of school sessions – around double the pre-pandemic rate. 1.7% of all pupils were severely absent, meaning they missed more than half of sessions, compared to less than 1% pre-pandemic.

The most recent statistical release from the Department for Education (DfE), relating to the autumn term 2022/23, shows that persistent absence had risen to 24.2% of pupils.

Reminders From Previous Weeks


Future dates for network meetings

Network dates:

Lead Members Group: Expert Workshop #10 Safeguarding adolescents 17 October 4.00pm – 6.30pm. More from Deborah Glassbrook (contact details below)

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

AD Education: Friday 10 November 2023. More from Chris Owen (contact details below)

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

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

Network dates:

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

QA Network: Monday 11th December 2023 at 2 p.m. Please contact Kim Osbourne at kimesha.osbourne@hants.gov.uk for MS Teams invitation. More from Amanda Meadows (contact details below)

Fostering Network: More from Rebecca Eligon (contact details below)

Data Benchmarking: More from Luke Ede (contact details below)

SEND SE19: More from Sheelagh Sullivan (contact details below)

Early Help: 7 December 2023 10-11.30am. More from Rebecca Eligon (contact details below)

Finance Directors Group: Wednesday 29 November, More from Deborah Glassbrook (contact details below)

A 10-step guide to sharing information to safeguard children

On 14 September the Information Commissioners’ Office published a 10-step guide on data protection considerations when sharing personal information for child safeguarding purposes


Data protection law allows you to share information when required to identify children at risk of harm and to safeguard them from harm. Data protection law doesn’t prevent you from doing this. It simply helps you to share information in a fair, proportionate and lawful way.

It can be more harmful not to share information that is needed to protect a child or young person.

D2I Data Analytics Apprenticeship

The D2I apprenticeship, delivered in partnership with Corndel, is now open for applications, with learning to commence in November of this year.


The programme is designed to enable local authorities to build data science capability in Children’s Services teams, and empower individual analysts to improve their skills and progress in their careers. It’s fully funded via the Apprenticeship Levy and specifically tailored to help analysts improve children’s services.

Tools & Templates

We have produced a Regional Improvement Plan (July 2023)

On 27 September the House of Commons Education Select Committee published its report on Persistent absence and support for disadvantaged pupils

On 21 September Barnardo’s published “Double Discrimination

On 14 September the Information Commissioners’ Office published a 10-step guide on data protection considerations when sharing personal information for child safeguarding purposes

On 8 September Ofsted published Best Start in Life part 2

On 1 September Ofsted announced that it will be undertaking sample thematic inspections of Regional Adoption Agencies during autumn 2023.

On 30 August LGA published Early education and childcare: Changes and challenges for the future

On 29 August Ofsted published guidance for JTAI inspection of the multi-agency response to children affected by serious youth violence.

On 15 August Research in Practice published three open access videos which share findings around the increased use of digital technologies in social work.

On 14 August Ofsted published new guidance Placing Children: Deprivation of Liberty Orders

On 7 August the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee published Connected tech:smart or sinister?

On 3 August Foundations (What works centre for children and families) published an Evaluation of Family Drug and Alcohol Courts

On 26 July DfE published Families first for children (FFC) pathfinder programme and family networks pilot (FNP).

On 26 July the Children’s Commissioner published an invitation to care experienced people to share their views about whether care experience should be a ‘protected characteristic’ – like age, disability or religion currently are.

On 24 July Foundations (What works centre for children and families) published School non-attendance by children with a social worker in the UK: A rapid review of extent, risk factors and interventions

On 20 July DfE published Permanent exclusions and suspensions in England for 2021-22

On 17 July LGA published a series of six case studies exploring various elements of family hubs delivery across some councils in England.

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

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

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)