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Greater London region update December 2016

Update from the Greater London region for the December meeting of the ADCS Council of Reference

The Greater London Regional Update

The ALDCS last met on 28 November, below is a summary of recent issues mentioned

London secondary school places planning

Regional DCSs continue to manage the growing pupil population and projections show no sign of this pressure abating. London will need to create both primary and secondary school places, and after 2019 the secondary shortfall will be larger than the primary shortfall for the first time in a decade.

While providing both types of places are challenging, the additional complexities of secondary school place planning, coupled with a funding shortage and scarce land, mean new approaches are required. Regional DCSs, alongside local government political leaders, are considering how future need will be met between expansion, supporting underperforming schools to improve and new schools.

Borough place planning leads are meeting at a regional and sub-regional level to consider how greater collaborations can assist to deliver new secondary schools. The Department for Education, Education Funding Agency and Regional School Commissioners are involved in these discussions.

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) reforms

Regional DCSs, with the support of the Young People’s Education and Skills Board, recently explored some of the challenges experienced by boroughs as the SEND system has developed following the reforms and possible solutions. Focusing on workforce development, an SEND workshop is being developed building on analysis of recent Ofsted Local area SEND inspection outcome letters and the experience of London boroughs who have been inspected.

Safeguarding

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary recently published the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) National child protection inspection report. They identified fundamental deficiencies in the way that the MPS understands and responds to child abuse and sexual exploitation. Regional DCSs, working with the London Safeguarding Children’s Board, will ensure children’s social care is involved in the development and implementation of the recommendations to improve the system.

UASC

London boroughs continue to work to the agreement set out in the National Transfer System (NTS), London is now significantly above the 0.07 threshold. At the same time, London boroughs continue to receive high levels of UASCs arriving directly into the capital alongside those arriving through the Home Office initiatives.

Regional DCSs, where possible, have provided additional support to Croydon during particularly busy periods with transfers.

Adoption

Over the last few months the London RAA has been doing a tremendous amount of work to develop its proposals and colleagues across the region are considering an ‘in principle agreement’. Regional DCSs aim to confirm whether they will join in principle through local political leaders before Christmas.

Peer Review

Using the Eastern Region dataset as a template, regional DCSs are working on a London model and considering proposals for a peer review model.


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