East Midlands Region Update - September 2017

Sector-Led Improvement Pilot

The region has agreed to take part in the pilot of a refreshed approach to sector-led improvement. Although several elements are already well tried and tested in the region, there is considerable enthusiasm to see the approach extend beyond diagnosis and challenge into the brokering of collaborative improvement. Discussions are now well underway and the autumn period should see the development of regional processes.

Peer Challenge

In this period, just one LA has received a regional SEND Peer Challenge. Preparations are well underway for another LA in the region to receive a DCS led review of their IRO and CP Conference arrangements.

The 2nd Tier safeguarding leads network is committed to continuing its support for the quality assurance of front-door arrangements through a peer challenge approach.

SEND Commissioning

The region’s Commissioning Champions group has agreed a methodology and pooled funding arrangement for the scoping and potential development of a regional framework for SEND CiC and SEND education placements. This is identified as a collaborative need where there are high costs and insufficient provision. It is anticipated that a joint approach will enable better management of cost and quality.

Qualified Social Worker MoU

Work to address the improvement of social work and the reduction of unreasonable agency costs continues to move forward. A part time project worker has now been appointed to lead the work and create more capacity for the project. There remains high commitment to this joint approach, even though there are occasional instances of exceptional pressure that can make it a challenge. The discussion continues around the potential for a form of supernumerary staffing on a (sub) regional basis that could take some of the demand pressures out of the system.

Mapping the Most Effective Early Interventions

An analysis of LA returns has been carried out to determine the most effective approaches of getting early help to families and intervening early. This has led to some interesting discussions and indicates great potential for possible future partnership developments. The analysis indicated that almost all LAs utilise and are most highly committed to the following at the core of their approach:

• Some version of Signs of Safety or similar systemic practice therapy programme

• Intervention that combines a sociological and psychological perspective

• Some form of intensive parenting programme.

Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children

This has been a quieter period due to both slightly fewer new arrivals and the breakdown in the region of the national transfer scheme.


The introduction of the Strategic School Improvement Fund (SSIF) has provided both a challenge and opportunity for the range of education partners to work together to bid for school improvement funding. This has created a positive catalyst for many partnerships with almost every SSIF application being a collaborative proposal in which LAs, Teaching Schools and MATs planned together. There was a ‘better than average’ SSIF success ratio in the EM region which reflects positively on the growing maturity of these local education partnerships.

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