Update no 579 20th 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 – a few places left

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.

Children’s services improving despite systemic challenges

On 9 October LGA published A maturing approach to children’s services improvement: updating the key enablers of progress


Local partnerships are doing “inspiring work” which is “testament to how transformation can be achieved at a local level with the right enabling factors in place”. 

However, the report, A maturing approach to children’s services improvement: updating the key enablers of progresssuggests what children’s services can achieve is “transcended” by bigger and wider systemic challenges. 


The study found that there is significant variation in the support that kinship carers receive, both across LAs and across different kinship care arrangements.  

Across different areas, support tends to be highest for Family and Friends Foster Carers, followed by Special Guardians, with the least support provided to kinship carers on a Child Arrangements Order (CAO/RO).

Within Special Guardianship Orders (SGOs) and CAO/RO arrangements, support is more common if the child has previously been looked after by the LA.

Support for kinship carers

On 26 September CVAA UK published Advice from adopters: Adopting brothers
and sisters


In this guide, families share their experiences of adopting siblings, talking about why they think it is beneficial to adopt brothers and sisters together, as well as providing practical advice for potentially welcoming more than one child into your household.

Reminders From Previous Weeks


Future dates for network meetings

Network dates:

Lead Members Group: Self-assessment Workshop. Tuesday 5 December 3.00pm – 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)

Commissioners’ Network: More from Chris Baird (contact details below)

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 9 October LGA published A maturing approach to children’s services improvement: updating the key enablers of progress

On 2 October Foundations (What works centre for children and families) published “Understanding the variation in support for Kinship Carers

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

On 26 September CVAA UK published Advice from adopters: Adopting brothers
and sisters

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

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)