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Eastern Region February 2016 Update

Update for the February meeting of the ADCS Council of Reference

Peer challenge, self-assessment andpeer review

For the 2016 Self-Assessment (SA) a revised process has been adopted to bring it up to date and to provide a greater opportunity for peer scrutiny and learning in the most efficient way possible. The process will start with a conference to enable regional work to be consolidated, best practice shared and the new SA requirements understood. It will finish with a DCS peer review workshop to ensure learning is spread across all LAs in the region.

Separately, there will be up to four peer reviews completed in the region. The first will focus on children in care and care leavers. The others are highlighted later in this update. The peer review programme of LA arrangements to support education standards continues.

Work is also beginning on reviewing the regional sector-led improvement offer.

Managing the demand and supply of qualified social workers

The project continues to make good progress. A set of maximum (capped) QSW temporary pay rates have been implemented for the region from 1 April 2015 for Children’s and Adults QSWs. Momentum is building in other regions and three have appointed project managers. London and South West have collected data on agency rates and are introducing capped rates. LGA is to collate each region’s activity and host on a central secure website and LGA, London & Southend will meet to define a common data collection and to meet DfE. Additionally, the second regional workforce planning template is being completed and an Aspirant Management Programme has been developed based on the Professional Capabilities Framework by Southend, Essex, Thurrock, Norfolk and Suffolk. DCSs are keen to look at ‘developing the alternatively qualified workforce’, particularly family support workers.

Supporting LSCBs on their journey towards ‘outstanding’

A LSCB self-assessment tool has been developed and is being completed by LSCBs in the region. A learning workshop focused on SCRs was completed and regional guidance on commissioning and conducting SCRs was finalised. Pending the central government commissioned review of LSCBs it is proposed that a peer review focused on a LSCB will be completed in the first half of 2016.

Children living with domestic abuse

A framework for undertaking domestic abuse peer reviews has been developed and signed off by the ER DCS group. As previously reported, the intention was to pilot the framework in July 2015. Unfortunately, this was not able to take place, but it has been prioritised by the ER DCS group to be completed in 2016.


The Eastern Region Families, Communities and Young People’s (ER FCYP) Group is leading work to consider and evaluate how well the region is responding to the challenge of Child Sexual Exploitation, in a similar vain to the work done by the London councils. This has involved children’s social care leads from Thurrock, Southend, Essex and Suffolk ‘buddying up’ with each other to review CSE arrangements. Other areas have had their arrangements reviewed either by an Ofsted CSE themed review, Ofsted SIF or National Working Group review. A paper will be presented ER FCYP Group in the new financial year bringing together learning and proposing next steps. A new work stream is planned bringing together good practice in the region on working with vulnerable young people based on the RIP report and models developing locally and nationally.

Programme manager change

A new SLI Programme Manager, Miles Fox-Boudewijn, started with the region on 4 January 2016, replacing the previous post holder Fran Woodall.

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