Silver Linings Project


  • The Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and subsequent adjustments to find Covid-secure ways of working have driven new thinking about ways to deliver Children’s Services, in schools, in early help and in children’s social care.
  • The aim of the Silver Linings project is to capture and publicise the best of these innovative responses, in an attempt to embed these new and better ways or working into the “new normal”.

Outline Proposal

  • Step One: To put out a call for evidence via the 19 children’s services authorities in the SESLI Programme, inviting colleagues to nominate one or more innovations or changes to ways of working that will become permanent features of their service delivery
  • Step Two: To review and group the responses for review by an “editorial panel” of managers and practitioners
  • Step Three: To commission a report writer/designer to prepare showcase reports on each of the selected innovations
  • Step Four: Organise a Covid-secure on-line launch


  • There is no limit that makes an idea either “too small” or “too large”. We welcome contributions from whole system changes to personal work habits or IT-hacks.
  • If your evidence includes the use of a proprietary software or hardware solution, please be identify the supplier.
  • Otherwise, please use the headings below to respond to the call for evidence.

Governance & Reports

The Call for Evidence is now open. Either download the document and return to or call Richard on 07880-787007 to suggest your idea for inclusion in the Silver Linings Project.

The call is open to all sections of Children's Services from mainstream schools to special schools to early years to early help to children's social care to youth justice teams to adoption to fostering.

Here's a link to a similar piece of work already undertaken by our colleagues in the London LIIA

Initial suggestions received via SESLIP consultant team

Here are some ideas recently discussed at the AD Education Network meeting:

  • Closer working between the LA and the school system, with more frequent meetings (weekly or fortnightly) with all schools.
  • Blended learning for vulnerable learners in receipt of individual tuition and others via the virtual school. Many learners have seen improved progression.
  • Communication between LA and schools and also, via schools to parents and carers and local communities.
  • Closer working between teams in children’s services, such as school improvement and social care, with a shared focus on vulnerable learners. Examples of impact include good learning progress by CLA, remote learning, combined with them establishing improved relationships with their carers.

A suggestion from the Data Networking Group:

  • I think there may be a bit of learning from how LAs have had to share data more effectively with partners and vice versa to work with the vulnerable families which could be captured and shared. This is likely to come thorugh a range of sources as the data teams have been focusing on getting the statutory returns completed and dealing with new demands from the DfE (daily schools reporting, bi-weekly social care reporting and monthly SEND reporting).

and from the Complex LAC project

  • Please do talk to us about some evidence gathering - we picked up some anecdotal evidence about different ways of supporting residential placements over the pandemic period.
  • Also we managed to bring providers and commissioners together in a zoom conference (including with breakout groups) which we are confident we wouldn't have managed the "old" way

There were two themes coming out of the recent QA Leads meeting:

  • one about the effect on workplace/remote working and
  • the other about a number of LAs starting to innovate around 'hybrid models' for child protection conferences

and this from the SE19 SEND network

  • Very happy to talk to share the learning from the SEND fortnightly 'Covid Conversations'
  • Learning about need for info sharing between Health & LAs for risk registers etc
  • strength that can be gained from a regional approach when seeking info/ clarification from government bodies re guidance/ temporary legislation
  • how not needing to travel has increased the ability of key contributors from DfE, NHSE etc to take part, and the benefits that has brought, plus  sharing the creativity and ingenuity of those out there doing the work.

Contact Details

SESLI Programme Manager: Richard Tyndall
07880 787007