Using POET to measure the difference that personal budgets and education, health and care plans are making to children and young people

Our associate and lead for POEt development for children and young people, shares this guest blog post with us.

POET, the Personal Outcomes and Evaluation Tool has been developed by In Control and the Centre for Disability Research at Lancaster University with funding from the DfE.  It is designed to provide a way for parents/carers, children and young people, practitioners and strategic managers to quality assure the impact of education, health and care plans.

Education, health and care plans epitomise many of the exciting opportunities afforded by the new Children and Families Act:

  • They are co-produced with parents/carers and children and young people
  • They are person-centred, focused on life outcomes and are ambitious for all children and young people
  • They can continue beyond school, supporting young people into further education and training
  • Health and local authorities have a duty to co-operate both at the individual level and strategic level to ensure that the needs of children and young people with plans are met
  • The plans are a gateway to the right to request a personal budget giving children and young people and parents/carers greater choice and control

POET for children's services and education has been co-produced and tested with young people, parents/carers and practitioners from six local authority areas.  The first report on the development of the tool and the results of preliminary testing can be found here.

The tool is currently undergoing a further period of testing in 20 local authority areas - at least one in every region in England.  The tool is being designed to capture the views of children and young people, parents/carers and practitioners so that results can be triangulated in order to establish the key process conditions associated with positive outcomes.

Initial testing demonstrated that the tool has the potential to provide a straightforward and powerful way of finding out about the experience of obtaining an EHC plan and, in some cases, a personal budget and related outcomes.  This work builds on successful work by In Control and Lancaster University on POET for use in adult social care and in health.

The Children and Families Act has been designed to transform the SEND system, to better meet the needs of children, young people and their families.  The national and local datasets generated by POET will provide the way to evidence this change and will therefore become an invaluable resource to support local areas over the coming years.

The results of this further testing will be published in a second national report early in 2015.  Individual benchmarking reports will be provided for each local area (subject to there being sufficient returns).  Local areas will encouraged, with the support of In Control, to use their report to review and action plan.

The final tools will be available for all local authorities and CCGs to use from Spring 2015 meantime, all local areas are welcome to see and, if they wish, use POET now.

For further info please contact:  Claire Lazarus, Project Lead at or on  07880 787190

Read our other POET blog posts here.

Leave Comment

Last Updated : 28 October 2014. Page Author: Laura Bimpson.