Update no 585 1st December 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. Please address all enquiries about this opportunity to Richard Tyndall (contact details below)


The social cost of youth work cuts

On 6 November NYA published The social cost of youth work cuts: Preventing youth offending through youth work

More information:

The National Youth Agency (NYA) has published a report exploring the impact of youth work provision on young people within, or at risk of entering, the youth justice system in England and Wales.

The report outlines the costs of young people’s involvement in the youth justice system and the preventative role of youth work, highlighting examples of the positive impact of youth work.

Spend on children’s services doubles in a decade for poorest councils

On 20 November SIGOMA published its analysis of children’s services spend over time

SIGOMA is theLGA’s Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities representing 47 urban authorities including Portsmouth and Southampton


Almost one-third of council funding is now being spent on children’s social care services, near double the amount compared to 2011/12, new analysis from SIGOMA can reveal.

The news comes as data released last week revealed that the number of children looked after by local authorities was at a record level and has risen by 25 per cent since 2011/12.

-2012 CSP (£m)
2011-12 Children’s Services Spend (£m)2011
-2012 %
-2023 CSP (£m)
2022-23 Children’s Services Spend (£m)2022
-2023 %
Change in %points
England Upper-Tier 44,7936,42214%47,95812,77327%+ 13%
15 Most Deprived 5,15077815%4,8871,51831%+16%
15 Least Deprived 3,04236512%3,65385623%+11%

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 26 January 2024. 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 11 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: More from Deborah Glassbrook (contact details below)

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

More information:

Please contact Deborah Glassbrook, LGA SEND Improvement Advisor, Deborah@optimisingpotential.co.uk if you have any questions or would like to discuss support options.

Fabricated or Induced Illness

On 14 November Cerebra published The prevalence and impact of allegations of
Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII)


FII allegations appear to be increasing,

The report calls for urgent revision to the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health 2021 FII guidance.

  • parents in at least 74% of English children’s services experiencing FII allegations;
  • disabled parents appear to be four times more likely to be accused of FII than non-disabled parents;
  • 84% of FII allegations resulted in no follow up action or were abandoned and in 95% of cases the child(ren) remained living with the parents;
  • the making of a FII allegation often causes life-long trauma to those accused and their children.


One in five children and young people in England aged eight to 25 had a probable mental disorder in 2023.

Children aged eight to 16 years with a probable mental disorder were seven times more likely than their peers to have missed more than 15 days of school in the Autumn term of 2022

The condition of school buildings

On 19 November the Public Accounts Committee published The condition of school buildings


An estimated 700,000 pupils attend the 1,200 schools that have been considered for the School Rebuilding Programme and are therefore deemed to be in need of major rebuilding or refurbishment.

The Committee expressed their concerns that the DfE does not have a good enough understanding of safety risks across school buildings for it to fully quantify and mitigate these risks.

Issues highlighted included the DfE’s incomplete knowledge in relation to asbestos across the school estate and the number and condition of schools with RAAC. To help protect longer-term value for money, and avoid reactive measures, the report recommended that the DfE should set out its strategy for encouraging responsible bodies to carry out timely and effective repairs.

Children looked after in England including adoptions

On 16 November DfE published Children looked after in England including adoptions annual statistics for 2022-2023

Both the numbers of children looked after starting (CLA starting) and children looked after ceasing to be looked after (CLA ceasing) have increased – the number of CLA starting during the year has increased by 6% – to 33,000 – and the number of CLA ceasing during the year increased by 5% – to 31,680.

The number of CLA who were adopted was down 2% to 2,960.


Many of the changes within the release can be explained by the large increase in unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) this year. UASC have increased by 29%, following the 37% increase seen last year. UASC influence many of the changes seen in the figures this year as they are a distinct cohort with specific characteristics, for example they are generally male, aged 16+ years.

Tools & Templates

We have produced a Regional Improvement Plan (July 2023)

On 24 November the LGA published its Top 10 Tips for DCSs for building an effective system of SEND and alternative provision

On 19 November the Public Accounts Committee published The condition of school buildings

On 16 November DfE published Children looked after in England including adoptions annual statistics for 2022-2023

On 14 November Cerebra published The prevalence and impact of allegations of
Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII)

On 6 November NYA published The social cost of youth work cuts: Preventing youth offending through youth work

The presentations from the 2 November Care Leavers Conference in Winchetser are now available

On 2 November the Children’s Commissioner published Missing Children, Missing Grades

On 29 October LGA published Profit making and Risk in Independent Children’s Social Care Placement Providers.

On 27 October Research in Practice published a 9-minute video What does trauma-informed care look like? presented by Dr Danny Taggart

On 27 October DfE published the National Wraparound Childcare Programme Handbook

On 27 October DfE published its response to EYFS regualtory change consultation

On 26 October DfE published a consultation on Elective Home Education guidance

On 26 October DfE published statistics on children in need in England,

On 25 October FRG launched its new campaign for care-experienced children and young people

On 25 October DfE published its response to the workforce consultation

On 19 October DfE published statistics on pupil absence for autumn/spring 2022/23; Key Stage 4 performance 2022/23; Participation in education, training and employment age 16 to 18 for 2022; National pupil projections

On 17 October the HoC Education Select Committee published the government’s response to Support for childcare and the early years (HC 969)

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.

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 Benchmarking: Luke Ede (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


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)