Eastern Region June 2016 Update

Update for the June 2016 Council of Reference Meeting

Peer challenge, self-assessment and peer review

The revised Self-Assessment (SA) process for 2016 is underway and moderation has now been completed for the majority of self-assessments for the region. The moderation process will be completed by the end of May ready for the peer challenge workshop in June.

Separately the peer review methodology is going to be revised by a small working group of Assistant Directors from the Families, Communities & Young People (FCYP) group. This will build on our existing frameworks to ensure they are aligned with the current Ofsted frameworks and to allow greater flexibility to tailor peer reviews based on LAs requirements. A workshop to start this work will be held on 29 June.

Recently Central Bedfordshire have been inspected under the Joint Targeted Area Inspection framework. As part of regional collaboration Central Bedfordshire will be leading a short workshop to share their experiences.

In preparation for the SEND inspections our School Improvement Assistant Directors network group has commissioned a proposal to be pulled together outlining a possible approach for SEND Peer Reviews. The proposal will be examined in more detail by the DCS group in June.

Regional Priorities

Voice of the Child in Child Protection: Research in Practice was commissioned to co-develop a programme of support in relation to the theme ‘the experience of the child within child protection’ and a number of tools and approaches were developed and rolled out across the region to support improvement in this area. In July 2016 participants from the original project will be brought back together to assess the impact of the new tools and approaches and to share best practice.

Cultural Diversity and Understanding in Social Work practice: It has been agreed that regional expertise should be used to help improve the identification of children’s and family’s cultural differences within social work assessment to effectively enhance their safety and wellbeing. The aim is to develop a number of tools at a regional level that can then be implemented by each local authority. The plan to build on the DfE Innovation Fund funded project completed by Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Norfolk LSCBs focusing on safeguarding children and cultural competence and use the findings across the region.

Attainment and progress of Children in Care and Care Leavers: The regional Virtual School Heads group has developed an action plan to help address some of the priorities that are being identified through school inspections by Ofsted. The plan looks to address three themes identified:

  • A consistency in the challenge to school leaders, this includes effective monitoring, high quality Personal Education Plans and effective use of Pupil Premium Plus
  • The influence exerted on schools that children in care attend but are outside the local authority
  • The quality of alternative and residential education provision and other education support for children in care.

It is anticipated that this area of work will continue to be a priority over the next financial year as well.

Workforce and Leadership: A plan is in place to collect agency social worker data three times over 2016/17 to inform analysis to test the effectiveness of our memorandum of understanding regarding capping rates for agency social workers. There is an ongoing plan to ensure that all agency social workers are brought in line with the cap by 31 January 2017.

Inspection outcomes

A key outcome for the programme is to support all LAs in the region to sustain their trajectory of improvement towards being rated at least ‘good’ by Ofsted and once realised are able to maintain this position. Seven LAs in the region (based on published reports on 16 May 2016) have now received an inspection under the Single Inspection Framework (SIF) and the direction of travel is very positive. The proportion of LAs in the region rated ‘good’ has almost doubled from 36% to 64%.


A developer has been selected to develop the new SLI Programme website. Current estimates indicate the revised site will be launched in July 2016.

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