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SEND and Inclusion development update

Published
25.08.2022

This autumn, in line with the GCC SEND & Inclusion strategies and the government’s green paper priorities for SEND and alternative provision ‘Right support, right place, right time’ we will be making improvements to the EHC pathway to give a better experience for families and practitioners.

 

Piloting of new digital EHCP portals and a new digital EHCP audit tool

We have developed two new digital portals which are secure, one stop shops to make it easier to access EHCP plans and information.  There is a ‘Professionals Portal’ and a ‘Family’s Portal’. Permissions are granted to allow families, schools and other professionals to view and add documents throughout the process. Therefore, when we rollout, you will be able to track where a case is at, see what the next stage is, and have easy access to all relevant documents.

We have been testing the portals in a pilot with 12 primary schools during the summer term, and then doing the same with an additional 15 secondary schools from September. We are looking to launch for wider rollout in January 23.

We are working closely with the schools to regularly review and gain feedback to continue improving the portals before the wider rollout later this year. In addition, to improve the quality of our EHC plans we are piloting a new quality assurance EHCP audit tool which has been successfully implemented elsewhere in the UK.

 

EHCP pathway redesign principles:

  • Children and young people with SEND are at the heart of our planning
  • Listening, supporting and coproducing with parents and carers for children with SEND
  • Working collaboratively with schools to provide the child with the right support early
  • Develop an accessible EHCP process that is easy to administer.
  • Develop efficient and accessible digitised improvements for families and professionals.

 

What difference will this make to you

For both professionals and families, we intend for your experience to be simpler and accessible where plans are available in one place whenever you need it. With increased visibility and transparency you will be able to track the progress of a child’s assessment process, view the status of a plan, and have easy access to relevant documents.

 

Coming soon

 

EHCP Pathway for Children and Young People

A new ‘Children and Young People’s Pledge’ has been produced with children and young people to set out 10 key principles that they want professionals involved in their plan to commit to so that they feel involved and listened to.

A new snappy visual of the EHCP pathway has also been developed so that children and young people can also see what the pathway looks like and how it works.

 

Banded Funding update

In line with our GCC SEND & Inclusion strategies the banded funding initiative is about developing a funding model that is flexible enough to enable more creative opportunities to be accessed and provide the best outcomes for children and young people with SEND early.

  • It is not just about ‘how much’ resource is available, but about the ‘type of support’ that is provided.
  • It is not about ‘quantity of resource’ but about the effectiveness of the intervention.

For our funding to work in the right way, we need the right support available at the right time, so every child and young person can fulfil their potential. The banded funding initiative aims to give schools more flexibility to support a child or young person with SEND and to receive that support as early as possible through early intervention and limit further escalation of needs.  In time, through this new model, we expect to see a reduction of the number of children/young people requiring statutory Education, Health and Care Needs Assessments and Alternative Provision.

 

Delivering banded funding

From the outset, our partners across GCC, NHS, Parent Carer Forums and education settings helped us to co-produce the banding descriptors to cover the four broad SEN categories of need. In each category there are banding levels ranging from 1 – 6 that represent the level and complexity of provision required to support a child or young person.

The testing phase for this project began in March 2022 where we collaborated with all ten of Gloucestershire’s maintained special schools, four mainstream primary schools, and five secondary schools. Working with School Heads, SENCO leads and school business teams, the testing phase was completed in July 2022 to:

  • Carry out banding of over 200 existing EHCPs, across a range of SEN need types, using the new draft descriptors
  • Test and validate the descriptors – checking they are clear and easy to understand.
  • Test and refine the new banding process – checking they are accessible and that they work better than before.
  • Review and agree the banded funding descriptors and process.
  • Informing future developments by seeking feedback from stakeholders, collated costs of provision to inform future funding, and capturing lessons learned.

 

Thank you to our partners

We are extremely grateful to the participating schools and colleagues who shared their time and effort to complete this testing phase. Their valued contribution has helped to design a renewed and effective process to ensure that Gloucestershire’s children and young people can receive ‘the right support at the right time’ to fulfil their ambitions and potential.

 

Future developments and webinars

The next stage is to develop and agree the funding model for wider rollout. The feedback we received from those involved and the lessons learned will help us with the implementation. We will be holding webinars in the autumn to update and share plans with wider stakeholders.

We will continue engaging schools, education professionals, parents, and partner organisations throughout the county to ensure they are prepared and feel confident with the adoption of the new and revised processes and its benefits. We anticipate that the rollout will be phased to enable a smooth transition.

 

If you have any queries and the banded funding model, please contact the team at bandingworkstream@gloucestershire.gov.uk

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