Parents and young people themselves should be at the heart
of checking and improving Education Health and Care Plans (EHC) and
personal budgets under the SEND reforms according to a the report
we published in the summer.
Sussex, Essex, Lincolnshire, Middlesbrough and West Sussex councils
took part in the survey and worked with In Control and Lancaster
University to develop the Personal Outcomes Evaluation Tool (POET)
on which the survey was based. The tool is designed to
measure the outcomes of EHC plans and personal budgets for children
and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities
(SEND) and has been adapted from previous iterations of POET
developed for adult social care and health.
Parents, carers and
practitioners reported broadly positive results about the impact
that EHC plans and/or personal budgets have had on the lives of
children and young people with SEND. Findings showed that in seven
of nine areas asked about at least 80 per cent said that things had
worked well all or most of the time. In four of the seven areas
surveyed at least 75 per cent of practitioners were positive about
the process. At least 80 per cent of respondents also reported that
in five areas, things were better or a lot better with an EHC plan
and/or personal budget. Both parents/carers and practitioners
identified areas that needed to improve including working in
partnership and keeping the process of getting an EHC plan or
personal budget simple.
Martin Routledge, head of
operations at In Control, added: "Using POET we have been able to
compile the largest national data set to date capturing the
experiences of almost 8,000 people on what's working and what's not
in the delivery of personal budgets across adult social care and
health and now for EHC plans and personal budgets in children's
services. The data gathered so far clearly shows us that there are
very strong links between people's experience of the process and
the outcomes they achieve in their life. By using POET and
benchmarking against the national data set councils and partner
agencies can identify with local people those areas of local
strength and those requiring improvement action."
POET will continue to be
developed and tested between now and December 2014. Twenty
local authority areas have volunteered to work with In Control and
Lancaster University to further refine the tool and expand the
national data set.
The tool will be made
available to all local authority areas by spring 2015.
A full copy of the
report 'Measuring the outcomes of EHC plans and personal budgets'
can be downloaded below.
Read Claire Lazarus'
blog post on the development of POET for children and young people
plus our other POET blogs here.