Update no 602 29th March 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


Must Know: The role of a council leader in imporoving outcomes for children

On 19 March LGA published Must Know: The role of a council leader in imporoving outcomes for children

This guide … 

… specifically developed for the council leader, has been shaped by current and former leaders, lead members and chief executives with experience of children’s services improvement. 

It explores your role, working with your lead member for children’s services (LMCS), chief executive (CE) and director of children’s services (DCS), in leading one of the most sensitive, expensive and high-risk areas of local government. 


Reminders From Previous Weeks


Future dates for network meetings

Network dates:

Lead Members Group: Expert Workshop #12 – Education: sufficiency and partnerships – 22 May 4.00pm – 6.00pm. More from Deborah Glassbrook (contact details below)

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

AD Education: 10:00am Friday 26 April 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 7 June. More from Mark Evans (contact details below)

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

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

Data Benchmarking: 10:00am Thursday 20 June.. 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: More from Deborah Glassbrook (contact details below)

Commissioners’ Network: 1pm Friday 17 May via Teams. More from Chris Baird (contact details below)

School capacity data 2022/2023

On 21 March DfE published School Capacity Data for 2022-2023

There is a South East mainstream list and a South East special school list covering the 19 SESLIP authorities (thanks to Chris Owen)

Information is included on: 

  • The numbers of state-funded school places in mainstream schools; 
  • Sixth form capacity;
  • Specialist provision capacity.

Children on child in need plans

On 5 March the Childrens’ Commissioner published Children on child in need plans


A new report published today by the Children’s Commissioner has revealed considerable variation between what happens to different groups of children and between different local authorities, when it comes to children on child in need plans.

Recommendations include: consistent thresholds for assessment and support for children on child in need plans and strengthened national guidance for local authorities.

Pupil absence data 2022/2023

On 21 March DfE published pupil absence data for 2022-2023

Information is included on: 

Pupil absence in the 2022/23 academic year, including by reason and school types, derived from the school census.

Four new safety valve agreements

On 21 March DfE published four new safety valve agreements

Including Bracknell Forest in the south east; however payments have been suspended for Bath and North East Somerset, Cambridgeshire, Dorset, Hillingdon and Norfolk pending review


There are now 38 agreements in place

  • 4 in 2023 to 2024
  • 20 in 2022 to 2023
  • 9 in 2021 to 2022
  • 5 in 2020 to 2021

Tools & Templates

We have produced a Regional Improvement Plan (July 2023)

On 21 March DfE published School Capacity Data for 2022-2023

On 21 March DfE published pupil absence data for 2022-2023

On 21 March DfE published four new safety valve agreement

On 19 March LGA published Must Know: The role of a council leader in imporoving outcomes for children

On 7 March DfE published Maintained Schools Governance Guide and Academy Trust Governance Guide

On 5 March the Childrens’ Commissioner published Children on child in need plans

On 29 February DfE published annual data for Children’s social work workforce 2022-2023

On 29 February Ofsted published Social care common inspection framework (SCCIF): supported accommodation for looked after children and care leavers aged 16 and 17. Ofsted also published a report on the responses to the consultation on our inspection proposals

On 29 February the Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse published Child sexual abuse in 2022/23: Trends in official data

On 20 February the Children’s Commissioner published Lost in transition? The destinations of children
who leave the state education system

On 20 February LGC released a podcast: The crisis in children’s services with Louise Gittins, Josh MacAlister, and Andy Smith

On 6 February UKSIC published Inspiring change? making a difference, managung influence and navigating change online

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

On 31 January DfE opened its consultation on Agency Rules for Local Authority Children’s Social Care

On 31 January DfE published Generative AI in education: Educator and expert views

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

On 31 January ECPAT UK published Prevention and identification of children and young adults experiencing, or at risk of, modern slavery in the UK.

On 30 January Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel published its Annual Review 2022-2023

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

On 25 January DfE published Financial year 2022-23 LA and school expenditure. DfE also published School funding statistics for financial year 2023-2024. This relates to the funding that is allocated to local authorities and state-funded schools (academies) in England by the (DfE) in each year.

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

Contact Details

LGA Children’s Improvement Adviser: Helen Watson (South East Sector-Led Improvement Programme)


07810 011892

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

Director of Children’s Countywide Services and convenor of QA network for SESLIP: Kevin Kasaven (Kent)


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

Regional Strategic Lead LA Fostering South East: Natasha Sampson (Local Authority Fostering South East)


07919 217185

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)