Update no 594 2nd February 2024

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

Updates

Support Matters: The landscape of child sexual abuse support services in England and Wales

On 31 January the Centre of expertise on child sexual abuse published Support matters: The landscape of child sexual abuse support services in England and Wales

Details

In this landmark research, the CSA Centre found just 468 services providing support to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse and their families, yet an estimated 500,000 children will suffer some form of child sexual abuse every year.

Full report (pdf 168 pages)

Executive summary (pdf 12 pages)

Briefing for policymakers, funders and commissioners (pdf 16 pages)

Home again: reunification practice in England

On 31 January NSPCC Learning published Home again: reunification practice in England: Understanding reunification practice in the children’s social care system in England

Reunification is the most common way for children in England to leave care. However, the number of children who later return to care suggests that local authorities in England are facing challenges in delivering effective reunification practice.

Key Findings

  • There is a lack of focus on improving reunification practice
  • Local authorities are not providing enough support either before or after reunification
  • Funding was the number one barrier to families getting support with reunification

The full report is here (pdf 32 pages)

Returning children home from care: learning from case reviews

On 31 January NSPCC Learning published Returning children home from care: learning from case reviews

Summary of risk factors and learning for improved practice for reunification

Headlines

Returning a child home to their family following a stay in local authority care can be a time of great change for both the child and their family.

The learning from case reviews highlights the need for professionals to thoroughly assess risk, protective factors and parental capacity, make clear preparations for the return, and share information with professionals working in other agencies. They also need to provide support for the child and familiy and continue to monitor the child’s safety and wellbeing before, during and after the return.

This briefing is based on a sample of case reviews published between 2016 and 2023 which have highlighted lessons for returning children home from care.

The full report is here (pdf 12 pages)

Alternative provision in local areas in England: a thematic review

On 1 February Ofsted and CQC published Alternative provision in local areas in England: a thematic review

A review to assess how alternative provision (AP) commissioning and oversight is currently working and the impact of arrangements on children and young people.

Aims of visits

  • finding out the extent to which AP arrangements are meeting the health, care and/or educational needs of children and young people
  • better understanding the purposes for which AP is used
  • identifying the enablers and barriers to local area partners working together to commission and oversee AP placements
  • highlighting good practice in commissioning and oversight arrangements for AP

UK Poverty 2024

On 23 January the Joseph Rowntree Foundation published UK Poverty 2024: The essential guide to understanding poverty in the UK

A review to assess how alternative provision (AP) commissioning and oversight is currently working and the impact of arrangements on children and young people.

Introduction

The UK is entering this election year with unacceptably high levels of poverty, appallingly high for some groups. We need a coherent plan with creative policies to end poverty in the UK. 

This report looks at the current situation across different groups and regions, and the future prospects for poverty in the UK.

The full report is here (pdf 178 pages)

Ethnic Diversity in the Teaching Workforce

On 31 January the NFER published Ethnic diversity in the teaching workforce: evidence review

This review of research identifies the barriers and promising approaches to support recruitment, retention and progression of people of colour within the teaching workforce. It was commissioned by Mission 44, a charitable foundation founded by Sir Lewis Hamilton.  

Key Findings

People of colour are less likely to receive and accept an offer for Initial Teacher Training (ITT) compared with their white peers

Teacher retention is lower for teachers of colour than for their white counterparts.

Barriers to recruitment, retention and progression coalesce around the unequal treatment of teachers of colour in a system that was not designed to support either ethnic or intersectional diversity. . 

In England, there are currently no government targets, programmes or funding to improve ethnic diversity in the teaching workforce, in contrast to Scotland and Wales.  

While there are promising approaches for improving ethnic diversity, there is a lack of rigorous evidence on their effectiveness.  

The full report is here (pdf 57 pages)

Ethnic Diversity in the Teaching Workforce

On 29 January the Education Select Committee published Ofsted’s work with
schools

Key Findings

There is broad agreement on the importance and value of an independent inspectorate in holding schools accountable and assessing their strengths and weaknesses. However, we heard strong concerns among many about the way in which the system is currently working. We heard that Ofsted has lost trust and credibility among many in the teaching profession and that it is perceived to have become defensive and unwilling to respond to criticism. The appointment of the new HMCI provides a crucial opportunity to reset and restore these relations and doing so should be a key priority for Sir Martyn Oliver in his first year in post.

The full report is here (pdf 68 pages)

Reminders From Previous Weeks

Reminder:

Future dates for network meetings

Network dates:

Lead Members Group: Expert Workshop #11 SEND Systems 27 February 4pm. More from Deborah Glassbrook (contact details below)

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

AD Education: Friday 15 March 2024 face-to-face in London. 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 March 10:00am. More from Mark Evans (contact details below)

QA Network: 2pm Wednesday 27 March. Please contact kimesha.osbourne@hants.gov.uk for MS Teams invitation.

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

Data Benchmarking: 10am Thursday 22 February. SEND Data Benchmarking Thursday 9 May 10am. More from Luke Ede (contact details below)

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

Early Help: More from Rebecca Eligon (contact details below)

Finance Directors Group: 4pm 6 February: Value for money for whom: challenges of managing costs within children’s social care. More from Deborah Glassbrook (contact details below)

Commissioners’ Network: 1pm Friday 15 March via Teams. More from Chris Baird (contact details below)

VKPP launch National Analysis of Police-Recorded Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (CSAE) Crimes Report 2022

On 9 January the National Policing Vulnerability Knowledge and Practice Programme (VKPP) published National Analysis of Police-Recorded Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (CSAE) Crimes Report 2022

Details

Data from 42 police forces found: there were around 107,000 offences reported in 2022; around 75% of CSAE offences related to sexual offences committed against children, and around 25% relate to online offences involving indecent images of children. The report recommends wider data and information sharing to get a more complete picture of CSAE.

An explainer video is here (2:44 minutes) 

Improving the mental health of babies, children and young people

On 8 January DHSC published A framework of modifiable factors to guide promotion of good mental health in babies, children and young people

Details

The guidance highlights factors influencing the mental health of children and young people and sets these out in a framework to guide promotion and prevention. The guidance is aimed at public health professionals; commissioners and providers in the NHS and local authorities; and voluntary and community sector organisations.

Join a network to influence social work practice conditions and workload

On 12 January Research in Practice invited local authorities to join a network for the National Workload Action Group (NWAG) and Valuing Social Work Project.  

Details

Research in Practice, in partnership with Essex County Council and King’s College London, is working with the National Workload Action Group (NWAG) and other partners to develop resources to support recruitment, retention, and workforce development, and to provide recommendations to the Department of Education (DfE) about reducing social worker workload. The work will help enhance safe and effective practice and promote the value and diversity of the social work role.  

Understanding Attendance

On 18 January ImpactEd published Understanding Attendance
Findings on the drivers of pupil
absence from over 30,000
young people in England

Discover the barriers to school attendance and the strategies you can put in place to improve outcomes for all your children.

Details

In the 2022-23 academic year, 22.3% of all pupils were persistently absent.

To address this, ImpactEd Evaluation launched Understanding Attendance, a national project helping schools and Trusts to identify the underlying drivers of pupil absence in their settings, and supporting them to assess the impact of their interventions.

Report 1 of Understanding Attendance provides insights on Phase One of the project, looking at attendance rates of over 200,000 pupils and surveys from 30,000 young people during the Autumn term 2023.

Ruth Perry: Prevention of future deaths report

On 19 December Heidi Connor, Senior Coroner for Berkshire published a Prevention of Future Deaths report following the Ruth Perry inquest

Details

The report makes recommendations for Ofsted, DfE, and Reading Borough Council (RBC), Ruth Perry’s employer.

Tools & Templates

We have produced a Regional Improvement Plan (July 2023)

On 1 February Ofsted and CQC published Alternative provision in local areas in England: a thematic review

On 31 January the Centre of expertise on child sexual abuse published Support matters: The landscape of child sexual abuse support services in England and Wales

On 31 January NSPCC Learning published Home again: reunification practice in England: Understanding reunification practice in the children’s social care system in England

On 31 January NSPCC Learning published Returning children home from care: learning from case review

On 31 January the NFER published Ethnic diversity in the teaching workforce: evidence review

On 29 January the Education Select Committee published Ofsted’s work with
schools

On 23 January the Joseph Rowntree Foundation published UK Poverty 2024: The essential guide to understanding poverty in the UK

On 18 January ImpactEd published Understanding Attendance
Findings on the drivers of pupil absence from over 30,000 young people in England

On 12 January Research in Practice invited local authorities to join a network for the National Workload Action Group (NWAG) and Valuing Social Work Project.  On 2 January Community Care released a podcast Racism in social work.

On 9 January the National Policing Vulnerability Knowledge and Practice Programme (VKPP) published National Analysis of Police-Recorded Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (CSAE) Crimes Report 2022

On 8 January DHSC published A framework of modifiable factors to guide promotion of good mental health in babies, children and young people

On 2 January Community Care released a podcast Racism in social work.

On 19 December DfE launched a Consultation on Guidance for Schools and Colleges on Gender Questioning Children which closes on 12 March 2024

On 19 December Heidi Connor, Senior Coroner for Berkshire published a Prevention of Future Deaths report following the Ruth Perry inquest. Ofsted’s response is here. The DfE response is here

On 18 December DfE published the government’s response to the review into safeguarding children with disabilities and complex health needs in residential settings by the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel.

On 15 December the DfE published Children’s Social Care National Framework and Revised Working Together

On 15 December the DfE published Championing Kinship Care – The National Kinship Care Strategy

On 15 December the DfE published Children’s social care: data and digital strategy and Children’s social care: dashboard and indicators update

On 14 December, HMCTS publsihed, at section 8 of the bulletin Annual Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Statistics for 2022-2023

On 14 December, DfE published statistics for 2022-23 on Parental responsibility measures

On 11 December NCB published four recommendations for change for youth diversion

On 28 November the Mr Justice Chamberlain handed down a judgement [2023] EWHC 3030 (Admin) in a Judicial Review case brought by Kent, Brighton and Hove and East Sussex Councils about the operation of the National Transfer Scheme for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children

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

Contact Details

LGA Children’s Improvement Adviser: Alison Michalska (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)

alisonmichalska@icloud.com

07920 727626

Head of Sector Led Improvement and Service Development: Sophie Butt (Hampshire)

sophie.butt@hants.gov.uk

07736 174934

Children’s Services Performance Manager, Convener Of SE Quality Assurance Network: Amanda Meadows (Hampshire)

Amanda.meadows@hants.gov.uk

03707 794752

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

bchrisbaird@gmail.com

07855 492010

Education Network: Chris Owen (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)

chris@bright-spark.net

07825 862330

SESLIP Education Data Group Lead: Daryl Perilli (Brighton and Hove)

Daryl.Perilli@brighton-hove.gov.uk

SESLIP Consultant and LGA SEND Improvement Adviser: Deborah Glassbrook (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)

deborah@optimisingpotential.co.uk

07882 158959

The Staff College Assistant Operations Manager: Ellie Bevis (The Staff College)

ellie.bevis@thestaffcollege.uk

0161 729 1065

NHS (SE) Clinical lead for CYP mental health: Gavin Lockhart (NHS England (South East))

gavin.lockhart1@nhs.net

07879 488307

SESLIP Consultant: Isabelle Gregory (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)

isabelle@firstcareconsultancy.co.uk

07931 586784

South East Grid for Learning – Consortium Manager: Krista Pickering (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)

krista.pickering@segfl.org.uk

07872 014083

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

Luke.ede@eastsussex.gov.uk

07925 148597

CSC Workforce, PSW and AD Safeguarding Network Lead: Mark Evans (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)

Mark@markevansconsulting.co.uk

07803 147072

LGA Corporate Improvement Adviser: Philip (Phil) Simpkins (LGA)

philip.simpkins@btinternet.com

Adoption; Fostering; Kinship and Early Help Regional Networks: Rebecca Eligon (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)

rebeccaeligon@gmail.com

07944 996219

SESLI Programme Manager: Richard Tyndall (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)

richard.tyndall@richardtyndall.co.uk

07880 787007

S.E. Region SEND Network Programme Co-ordinator: Sheelagh Sullivan (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)

sheelagh.sullivan@outlook.com