The main headlines and highlights for this week are shown below. Any tools, templates or documents needed for the actions required are provided here also. If you would like to know more about these workstreams or the others in the Programme, click on the main section icons shown above.

At SESLIP we are always on the look-out for good ideas that might be better implemented regionally rather than locally. If you have any suggestions, please contact Richard Tyndall, SESLI Programme Manager. 

Our Regional Improvement Plan for 2019-20 can be found here.

UPDATE NO 378 15th November 2019


Peer Challenge Triads - 2019-20


Monday's Peer Challenge went well; Wednesday's Peer Challenge was postponed at short notice due to the arrival of Ofsted inspectors; I hope today's triad (West Berks, Bucks and Brighton and Hove) goes well.

Next up are Wokingham, East Sussex and Surrey on 25 November.

Action Required

2019-20 DCS Peer Challenge dates







25th November


East Sussex



9th January 2020

West Sussex



Quartet 3

11th November


Hampshire and Isle of Wight

Milton Keynes


10th January 2020

Windsor and Maidenhead




15th November

West Berkshire


Brighton and Hove


13th November

Bracknell Forest



 Triad 4 has been re-arranged for 10 January 2020.

For more information please consult the Peer Challenge website page, or contact isabelle Gregory (details below) 


AD Safeguarding Network - next meeting 6 December 2019


Joint Meeting with the East Of England Region –It would be helpful if you could respond to the diary advising if you are planning to attend or not. We already have 6 confirmed attendees and 4 further apologies.  

The meeting is with our equivalent group from the East of England.

Action Required

To date we have agreed the following agenda items:

  • NAAS (National Assessment and Accreditation System)
  • East of England – what makes their MoC work?

If you have other topics you would like to discuss, please let Mark Evans (details below) know.


Community Based Safeguarding Model - NSPCC Evaluation


The NSPCC had published an evaluation of Together for Childhood, an evidence-informed approach that brings local partners and families together to make communities safer places for children. The initiative is in place in four areas: Plymouth and Stoke-on-Trent, where the focus is on preventing sexual abuse; and Grimsby and Glasgow, where the focus is on preventing abuse in families facing adversity.

Action Required

Key learning points include:

  • the importance of developing a shared vision
  • developing effective local governance and partnerships
  • the importance of community engagement
  • developing and delivering NSPCC programmes adapted to the local context; and
  • being realistic about the time and resource required

The full report is here


Learning from Safeguarding Early Adopter Programme - a report from NCB


The National Children’s Bureau (NCB) has published a report giving an overview of learning from the Safeguarding Early Adopter Programme, a cross-government initiative which brought together 17 projects in England to develop approaches to the new multi-agency arrangements for safeguarding children introduced by the 2017 Children and Social Work Act.

Action Required

Findings include:

  • the changes to the statutory framework presents opportunities for partners to be innovative and facilitate improvements in their local safeguarding arrangements;
  • attention should be paid to ensuring leaders in local authorities, police and health come together in equal partnership
  • attention should be paid to how partners engage other relevant agencies and practitioners including those in education organisations and the voluntary and community sector.

The full report is here


Children and young people’s mental health: prevention evidence


Public Health England has published a summary report and outputs from a review of evidence for universal approaches to improving children and young people's mental health and wellbeing.

This series of reports summarises the evidence for the effectiveness of universal approaches to improving children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Useful tools include descriptions of promising interventions (Appendix 5) and cross reference to interventions also identified in the Early Intervention Foundation Guidebook (Appendix 7).

Action Required

The documents are intended for strategic and operational leads, working on children and young people’s mental health. This includes:

  • local commissioners
  • public health teams
  • child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) providers
  • clinicians
  • leads in educational settings
  • those leading children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing Local Transformation Plans (LTPs)
  • voluntary, community and social enterprise sector leads and researchers

The report of the findings of a Special Interest Group summarises the approach, findings and recommendations.


Further Education Pathways - securing a successful and healthy life after education


A new report from the Education Policy Institute (EPI), commissioned by the Health Foundation, examines the life outcomes of students studying vocational qualifications.

The research considers the majority of young people who do not pursue a ‘traditional’ A level-Bachelor’s degree route after completing secondary school.  

Action Required

An increasing proportion of young people now opt for vocational equivalents to A levels, continued GCSE study, and apprenticeships. Despite this, these students are often overlooked in public debates.

This detailed study assesses the opportunities, skills and outcomes of this majority student group, before considering how the provision of vocational qualifications can be improved, in order to enhance life chances.

The full report is here.


AD Education Network - next meeting Friday 24 January


The next meeting of the AD Education Network will be on Friday 24th January 2020 – 10.30-12.30 

Action Required

For more details of this meeting and the AD Education Network activity please click here or contact Chris Owen (details below)


Challenging School Exclusions - a report by Justice


Justice has published the report of its de Friend Working Party "Challenging School Exclusions". It suggests there are serious weaknesses: schhools' lack of understanding of the law; poor communications; rubber-stamping of heads' decisons; inadequate Independent Review Panels; innaccessible guidance and alienating jargon.

Action Required

Recommendations include: mandatory training; new role of Independent Reviewer; appeals body in the first tier tribunal; better guidance; the voice of the pupil.

Reminders From Previous Weeks

Key dates

Developing regional quality assurance capacity


The first meeting of Quality Assurance leads was held on 5 November. 16 colleagues attended representing 12 authorities. Apologies were received from another 6 authority reps. The next project meeting has been fixed for 11 February 2020.

Project sponsor Stuart Ashley (Hants and IoW) said , "We were pleased with the turnout and the enthusiasm for this piece of work and it would be very helpful if colleagues can continue this commitment and help shape this piece of work." 


The project webpage is up and running and full details can be downloaded from there. For further information, please contact Diane Williamson (details below).

Key dates

SEND Single Route of Redress National Trial - Extension to 31 August 2020


The SEND Delivery Support Team have written:

Dear Regional Coordinators (please cascade to your regional networks),

In April 2018, the Department for Education began a National Trial to extend the powers of the SEND Tribunal to hear appeals, and make non-binding decisions about, health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care plans. The Trial was due to end on 31 March 2020.

The Department is extending the Trial until 31 August 2020 and on 4 November the DfE wrote to Directors of Children’s Services to inform them and provide further details. 

If you have any questions please contact, consult, or call the SEND delivery support helpline on 0207 651 0308. 


A copy of the letter written to DCSs is available here.

For further information about this notification and what it means, please contact Tracey Maytas (deatils below).

Key dates

Research into the use of Social Media by Children’s Social Workers


The use of Facebook in social work practice with children and families: exploring complexity in an emerging practice Authors:  &  Published 22 October 2019

The findings show that Facebook use took multiple forms. Some social workers actively searched service users’ Facebook pages and some opposed any such usage. They also identified further group who were unwillingly “drawn into” acting on Facebook information presented to them by others such as their managers.

The insights from the report suggest that social work must pause to consider the ethical implications of these complex emerging practices.


Research exploring how children social workers use Facebook in their practice. The article draws from a 15-month participant observation study of social work and child protection practices in England to illustrate how social workers used Facebook to gain another view of service-users’ lives. Social media use was not an intended focus for the study, its presence emerged during the data analysis. While some research has shown that such practices occur, our long-term ethnographic approach provides new insights into how Facebook was actually used in ongoing casework with families and why it was used.

Key dates

Nuffield Family Justice Observatory: Use of children's social care data at the local and regional level


An insight piece by the Nuffield Foundation Family Justice Observatory explores the nature, availability and use of child level administrative data at the local and regional level, by children's social care departments. 

The report finds that there is value in children’s social care data being analysed locally and regionally, as well as purely being exported by local authorities to meet the statutory reporting requirements. However, as a result of austerity the capacity and capability of performance management teams has been reduced which impacts on the ease and frequency that this can take place. 


By working together, it is possible to build our collective capacity and utilise the wealth of data that already exist. This is already starting to happen on the ground, with pivotal learning being shared between local authorities as part of the Children’s Services National Performance and Data Management Group. Attempts are also being made to share learning between local authority analysts, academics, and national organisations, such as the Department for Education and Ofsted as part of the Children’s Social Care Data User Group. 

Alastair Lee, our regional data lead, is involved in the national level discussions about this research, and better use of data tools.

He has published this blog post on the topic of data tools

Please contact him for more information (details below).

Key dates

EEF publishes new evaluation report on the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP)


Teachers say changes to early learning goals have made them clearer and reduced their workload, but more research needed to establish whether children better prepared for Key Stage 1

An independent report by EEF finds the Government’s proposed changes to the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) – ahead of a full public consultation – have created a more clear and specific set of goals to support teachers in their assessment of children’s development, and have reduced teachers’ workload, allowing them to spend more time with children.


The revised Early Learning Goals (ELGs) were received positively overall by participants and they made practical suggestions to help improve them. However, there were mixed views about whether children would be better prepared for Key Stage 1 as a result of the changes to the ELGs, and about whether they were more or less challenging than before.

This is according to the independent evaluation of a pilot of the reforms published by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) on 24 October 2019.

Key dates

4 recent DfE publications


1. Information on the Condition Improvement Fund for 2020-21 for repairs and maintenance for academies and sixth forms
2. PE and Sports Premium for primary schools. Update on allocations and how it should be spent


3. Early years funding benchmarking tool for LAs
4. Statistics: children in need and child protection. It identifies year on year reductions in the national number of both CiN (down 1%) and CP down (3%).  The report also analyses needs characteristics and assessment activity.

Tools & Templates

We have produced a Regional Improvement Plan which will underpin activities in 2019-20.

The NSPCC had published an evaluation of Together for Childhood 8 November 2019

Learning from the Safeguarding Early Adopter Programme was published by NCB on 8 November 2019

Further Education Pathways - securing a successful and healthy life after education published by EPI on 7 November 2019

DfE Children in Need and Children Subject to Child Protection Plans Statistics published 7 November 2019

Condition Improvement Fund: Information for academies, sixth-form colleges and non-diocesan Voluntary Aided (VA) schools updated 4 November 2019

PE and sport premium for primary schools updated 1 November 2019

Use of children’s social care data at the local and regional area level published by Nuffield Family Justice Observatory 1 November 2019

DfE Children in Need and Children Subject to Child Protection Plans Statistics published 31 October 2019

Early years funding benchmarking tool updated 31 October 2019

Public Health England has published a summary report and outputs from a review of evidence for universal approaches to improving children and young people's mental health and wellbeing. Published 30 October 2019

Independent evaluation of EYFS Profile pilot of the reforms published by the EEF on 24 October 2019.

Back to School? Breaking the link between school exclusions and knife crime APPG on Knife Crime report published 24 October 2019

The use of Facebook in social work practice with children and families: exploring complexity in an emerging practice Authors:  &  Published 22 October 2019

Key stage 4 performance, 2019 (provisional) and A level and other 16 to 18 results: 2018 to 2019 (provisional) and Early years foundation stage profile results: 2018 to 2019 and Destinations of KS4 and 16 to 18 (KS5) students: 2018 Published 17 October 2019

The House of Commons Education Select Committee report on SEND Published 16 October 2019

‘Exploring moving to home education in secondary schools’ Ofsted report published 15 October 2019

Digital capabilities for social workers SCIE report published 14 October 2019

National funding formula tables for schools and high needs: 2020 to 2021 Published 11 October 2019

Government response to Education Committee report on school and college funding published 10 October 2019

SEND Inspection Preparation: Self Evaluation Framework Peer Review Guidance

The MoC area of the Seslip website now includes the latest versions of key documents, including the:

SESLIP Contact Details

Data Benchmarking: Alastair Lee
01273 481468
LGA Children's Improvement Adviser: Alison Michalska
07920 727626
SE DCS Peer Challenge: Anna Wright
07415 099245
Education Network: Chris Owen
07825 862330
SESLIP Education Data Group Lead: Daryl Perilli
Improving Audit Quality; SW Models: Diane Williamson
07970 328049
South East Grid for Learning - Consortium Manager: Heather Hadfield
07931 506487 or 0118 978 9679
Isabelle Gregory
07931 586784
CSC Workforce and Complex Care Needs Projects: Mark Evans
07803 147072
Adoption and SG Leadership; In-house Fostering: Rebecca Eligon
07944 996219
SESLI Programme Manager: Richard Tyndall
07880 787007
Complex Care Needs Projects: Rosemary Perry
07739 853434
Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND): Tracey Maytas
02392 437680