Eastern Region Update - September 2017

Self-Assessment, Peer Challenge and Review

• The annual self-assessment process for 2017 has now concluded:

o Local Authorities have completed their self-assessments

o Moderation has been conducted by a team of volunteers from across the region

o Moderation comments and the self-assessment have been reviewed by two DCS colleagues to peer challenge the author DCS at an event during the summer

o Peer challenge has also been used to identify new/revised SLI priority areas for the coming year

o The self-assessment template for 2018 will be reviewed/amended later in the year.

• A training course is being held for a cohort of 24 new peer reviewers. The aim is to extend and refresh the pool of peer reviewers who are available in the region to conduct thematic peer review audits

• The regional data benchmarking project continues. A quarterly ‘tartan rug’ report, highlighting comparative performance across all LAs against a range of performance measures, is prepared and disseminated widely. A Section 20 benchmarking exercise has been completed. The next planned benchmarking exercise will be around neglect; in addition to data capture and analysis, this will include a summary of audit outcomes for neglect cases.

Regional Priorities:

Doing things differently

• A regional event was held in June for about 80 colleagues from around the region, at which every LA in the region showcased key areas of innovation and improvement by holding workshops/presentations, together with keynote addresses. The key themes were:

o Innovations in safeguarding

o Vulnerable adolescents

o Future education arrangements and improving attainment

o Radicalisation & extremism

o SEND reforms

o Managing demand

o Commissioning.

• The Leaving Care network hosted an event for 60 attendees to share best practice and learning relating to ‘Keep on Caring’

• The new SLI website is live and content is being added.

Improving attainment of vulnerable children especially around KS2

• School improvement leads and headteachers have reviewed core issues and current local strategies

• A data dashboard has been prepared to help pinpoint key areas for improvement; four work streams have been identified and workshops are planned to focus on each one from a regional perspective

• A piece of work has been commissioned to map how each of the 11 LAs in the region is responding to the pressures arising from the changes taking place in school’s funding. It encompasses LA service structures, school engagement, academy conversion, traded services, SEND, alternative provision and virtual school.

New regional priorities

• The annual self-assessment process was used to reinforce the current priorities and/or identify new regional priorities for the following year. These are:

o Audit and quality assurance

o SEND reforms, including narrowing the gap and improving attainment for vulnerable children

o Sufficiency of placements and outcomes

• DCS and AD leads are being identified for each priority area and work stream activity/outcomes will be planned.

Regional Networks

• A full programme of regular network meetings are supported for SLI governance groups / AD network / LSCB chairs and business managers / workforce leads / principal social workers / QA leads / performance information management group / corporate parenting steering group / Leaving Care Network

• There is now a SEND peer network that is operational within the region.

• There is increased collaboration with ADASS SLI coordinator regarding the interface between leaving care and transition to adulthood.

Other Regional Activity:

Regional adoption agency development

The work to develop regional adoption agencies within the region continues.

UASC national transfer scheme

A rota scheme is operating within the region to enable equitable transfer/dispersal of UASC between all local authorities in liaison with the Strategic Migration Partnership.

New lead members

During the next quarter, we will be discussing with Eastern Region LGA the process for making new lead members aware of the SLI programme.

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