Welcome to the South East Region IRO Network (SEIRON)
Regional updates will be posted on this page including summary updates from regional meetings. The expectation is for each local authority to have one IRO Manager or representative at each meeting.
Regional Leads / Chairs for the SE Region
Alison Nealis | Co-Chair | Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pritpal Sodhi | Co-Chair | Contact: email@example.com
Sue Dunkin | Vice Chair | firstname.lastname@example.org
Brighton and Hove | Bracknell Forest | Buckinghamshire | East Sussex | Hampshire | Isle of Wight | Kent | Medway | Milton Keynes | Oxfordshire | Portsmouth | Reading | Slough | Southampton | Surrey | West Berkshire | West Sussex | Royal Borough of Windsor | Wokingham
The South East region has a well organised programme of regional events with clear lines of reporting to the two elected Chairs. Attendance at regional meetings has strengthened considerably during 2015. Meetings have involved a mix of IRO practitioners and IRO Managers. Finding a suitably sized (free) venue has become a problem so meetings are now restricted to one representative per authority. See more under ‘Regional Update’ below.
Meetings are held four times a year and have allowed the region to maintain an eye to the impact of the changes to IRO services and to local government children’s services.
Unless otherwise stated, all regional meetings are held from 9.30 am (arrival for coffee) and start 10.00 am. We aim to finish by 2.30 pm. *As of July 2016 we will aim to finish by midday.
Date: 12 Feb 2015 Venue Bracknel. Chair: Alex Sutton.
Date: 14 May 2015 Venue Surrey. Chair: Sharon Martin
Date: 20 Aug 2015 Venue Surrey. Chair: Alex Sutton
Date: 15 Oct 2015 Venue Surrey. Chair: Sharon Martin
Date: 12 Feb 2016 Venue Surrey. Chair: Alex Sutton
Date: 8 July 2016 Venue Surrey. Chair: Sharon Martin.
Date: 25 November 2016 Venue to be confirmed. Chair: Sharon Martin
Date: 3rd Feb 2017 10.00 Fairmount House Leatherhead. KT22 7AH. Chair: Alison Nealis
Date: 12th May 2017 10.00 Fairmount House Leatherhead KT22 7AH. Chair: TBC
Date: 15th Sept 2017 10.00 Fairmount House Leatherhead KT22 7AH. Chair: TBC
Date: 26th Jan 2018 10.00 Fairmount House Leatherhead KT22 7AH. Chair: TBC
Regional Update October – December 2015
At its October 2015 meeting SERION representatives agreed a change to the aim, format and membership of all future meetings. IROs have welcomed the opportunity to attend meetings and numbers of attendees have increased considerably during 2015. This has resulted in problems providing a large enough venue. We agreed that future meetings will be restricted to managers (one for each authority) in order that meetings can focus on effective implementation of the SEIRON work plan. Acknowledgement was given to the support needs of IROs.
We agreed that all IROs should subscribe to the NIROMP website for news, virtual discussions and updates. Professional support for IROs will also be delivered via a schedule of local, regional and national conferences that will enable IROs across the region to come together for structured learning events.
There have been some major changes in legislation and guidance this year. The region has discussed many of these, including the implications of the latest findings from research and best practice. Issues for children’s permanence, the impact of judicial processes and the IRO role in care proceedings have carried prominence. Other themes have been concerns about workforce capacity, recruitment and retention.
Following a successful bid by SEIRON, the South East Sector Led Improvement Partnership (SESLIP) has awarded the region financial support for a SE Region IRO Conference. SESLIP have welcomed the commitment to improvements as set out in SEIRONs work plan.
SEIRON held its first IRO Conference on 20th May, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm at the in May 2016 focused on permanence throughout the child’s care journey. Venue was the Leatherhead Leisure Centre in Surrey. IROs had the opportunity to hear from a range of keynote speakers with direct experience of care. Read more about the event via our storify.
SEIRON has developed links with the SESLIP Data Benchmarking Group and has started work to develop benchmarking performance data for IROs across the region. For more information contact: Sharon Martin. Email: email@example.com
Brighton & Hove, East Sussex & West Sussex has held IRO Consortium event. On 15th June 2015 we had Guest speaker Professor Julie Selwyn present the findings from her research: ‘Beyond the Adoption Order: challenges, intervention and disruption’. More recently (November 2015) we held an event looking at ‘Cultural Competency’.
As of January 2016 we have begun a process of peer review. For more information contact: Sharon Martin. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ofsted Inspection of services for children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers
Brighton & Hove City Council | Inspection date: 14 April – 8 May 2015 Report published: 22 June 2015
East Sussex County Council | Inspection date: 14 January 2014- 5 February 2014
Hampshire County Council | Inspection date: 18 February 2014 – 12 March 2014
Slough Borough Council | Inspection date: 19 November – 11 December 2013
Surrey County Council | Inspection date: 21 October 2014 – 12 November 2014 Report published: 3 June 2015
Windsor & Maidenhead | Inspection date: 3 March 2015 – 25 March 2015 Report published: 13 May 2015
West Sussex County Council | Inspection date: 26 October 2015 – 19 November 2015
South East Region Priorities
The South East region has developed an action plan based on its regional priorities and as linked to its national work plan.
- Understanding recruitment needs and developing standards for recruitment and retention.
- Understanding service pressures and impact on quality of services including what can be done to make a positive difference.
- Effective involvement of children and young people.
- Evidencing effective challenge processes to ensure improved outcomes for children and young people.
- Achieving timely, effective permanence planning for children.
- Understanding what the ‘good corporate parent’ facing very significant financial constraints looks like.
- Getting a grasp of the impact of judicial systems and processes including PLO processes and case law such as re B-S.
- Peer review, mentoring and support.
- Regional learning and improvement events.
- Building on our virtual community and use of social media.
For more information please submit your query and contact details below.