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Stockport EHCP - Quality Plan

Where do we want to be?

We want and need good quality, ambitious plans for all of our children and young people focussed on their outcomes. The detail in an EHCP should mean that children and young people with an EHCP, their parents and the professionals who are supporting them know exactly what support is in place and what this is to achieve for the individual. The EHCP process is one in which many people interact and input, we need to ensure everyone is aware of their roles within this and we are all working together. There are many inter-connected factors, with the EHCP caseworkers only being one part of the system.

We want our plans and systems to be:

  • Co-produced with families
  • Clear on the young person’s views and aspirations
  • Based on the I outcome statements devised by the Stockport SEND community
  • Based on good quality advice from the professionals involved which is clear and specific
  • To be outcome focussed and prepare our young people for adult life
  • To be specific on what is needed, by whom, and when to achieve those outcomes
  • For families who are part of the process to feel listened to by professionals who work with the family and that they have all the relevant information

Where are we?

  • Despite a great deal of progress and improvement we know there is still much to do. We know that there remains a lot of frustration regarding the quality of plans, and specifically there is a great deal of discussion about how the support is described in plans and about the inclusion of hours.
  • Currently in Stockport we:
  • Do not consistently co-produce as much as we should with our families. We have some brilliant practice within the borough on co-producing plans, but we need to ensure that this is consistent. We need to have open communication to ensure that trusted relationships built and are stronger.
  • Do not engage enough with our children and young people in the EHC process, we have some brilliant examples of this but again it is not consistent. We need to ensure we include the views of children and young people in every plan. This needs to be done by trusted people who know the child best and who have a relationship with them. We have worked with some young people on how we can do this over the last few months.
  • We currently gain some positive feedback in relation to the process from families, and that they feel listened to and are partners in the process. However, this is too often based on individuals. we need to ensure that this is strengthened overall. For those who are part of the process to feel listened to and that they have all the relevant information
  • Are not gaining specific enough advice on how to meet the needs of our children and young people. In the past this lack of specificity has meant that hours, but not detailed provision and outcomes, have been written into plans. No detail of what the intervention is for or its intended outcomes have been included in the past. Section F of our EHC plans should outline all the provision in place for a child or young person to meet need identified in section B, as outlined in the SEN Code of Practice:

Provision must be detailed and specific and should normally be quantified, for example, in terms of the type, hours and frequency of support and level of expertise, including where this support is secured through a Personal Budget

The inclusion of just hours is not good enough or appropriate without detail of what is being provided in the way of intervention and what the intended outcomes are. This is why we have sought to amend plans which only include only hours. We need to provide reassurance that this is not to take away provision rather to ensure that it is more specific and quantified correctly.

Making these changes is difficult. In some cases, we have got it wrong and hours in plans have been removed at reviews, without agreement and without enough specificity in section F. Where this has happened we apologise. We understand why this has caused upset with our SEND families. It is our understanding that these errors have been rectified. If you feel that this is not the case, please contact your caseworker. If we cannot be specific enough then just the hours need to remain in the short term.

However, in the long term we are committed to making sure all our plans are specific and quantified. The inclusion of just hours is not enough. We need to be clear that in the longer term all provision needs to be specified and quantified. This will mean not just a number of hours allocated but the purpose, and outcome specified. We are clear that total hours will still be added as appropriate in co-production with families and schools.

How are we going to get to where we want to be:

We need to take stock and agree a sensible plan. We want to do this with our family’s input. We would therefore welcome a group of parents to check in with us on the progress of the plans as we go along. Attached to this note is a list of actions we are planning. We would welcome views at any point on other areas we can look at please contact us on SEND-IP@stockport.gov.uk.

Action Plan

Co-produced with families

By December 2022 we will:

  • Produce information packs on the process for parent/carers- Including roles and responsibilities of all professionals
  • Ensure we re-issue guidance for staff on expected levels of communication
  • Train staff on good and effective communication methods with families
  • Work with parent/carer’s on methods for engaging families
  • Ensure no plan is finalised without clear evidence of co-production being offered to families
  • Promote use of feedback mechanisms including the lived experience section of the local offer to our families
  • Speak to as many families as possible about their experience through on-going dialogue and continue to update on the “you said/we did” generally on what we have done with feedback

By March 2023 we will:

  • Carry out analysis on whether the lived experience has improved.
  • Strengthen the quality assurance of plans for co-production

Clarity on the young person’s views and aspirations

By December 2022 we will:

  • Ensure we work with children and young people both primary/secondary and beyond on how they want to be included and co-produce resources
  • Work with the SENCO network to improve how we capture the voice of children and young people
  • Look at processes for SEN support to ensure views are gained at earliest point
  • Produce a set of resources for schools to use and guidance
  • Pilot co-produced resources with a mainstream primary/secondary and special school

By March 2023 we will:

  • Roll out use of resources for all children and young people in all Stockport provision and out of borough commissioned placements
  • Ensure all SENCO network gain updates on them
  • Ensure they are on the electronic system
  • Ensure we have a process in place to measure use
  • Ensure that engagement has been sought before any plan is signed off

Ensure plans are outcome focussed, prepare our young people for adult life and are based on the I outcome statements devised by Stockport young people

By December 2022 months we will:

  • Work with a group of young people within both mainstream and special schools on how they want the outcome measures to be captured
  • Undertake specific sessions at SENCO network and wider on the outcome’s framework
  • Carry out some specific sessions with our young people on what preparation for their adult life means to them and then develop an action plan for Stockport.
  • Develop specific information and guidance on the outcome’s framework for staff, and our community

By March 2023 we will:

  • Ensure that information is captured within electronic systems and collated for individuals and also overall
  • Ensure that there are clear quality checks in place based on an outcome focussed approach.

Based on good quality advice from professionals involved which is clear and specific

By December 2022 we will:

  • Bring advice-givers together to form a working group
  • Develop guidance and pro-forma’s for advice givers
  • Undertake training events with health/social care and education sectors on giving advice

By March 2022 we will:

  • Develop a system of quality checks for all advice
  • Strengthen the panel moderation process aligned to the SENCO moderation days to ensure individual agency ownership of the advice being given

To be specific on what is needed, by whom, and when to be able to achieve outcomes

By December 2022 we will:

  • Be clear on what advice is needed when formulating a plan
  • Challenge advice received which is not specific enough consistently and make partners aware we will do this
  • Ensure we have all the quality advice we need before new EHCP plans are finalised
  • Strengthen the annual review information processes to ensure that pre-review information is collated and shared with families and others attending prior to the review meeting.

By March 2023 we will:

  • Start work with all families who currently have just allocated hours in plans to ensure that plans are specific enough as we go through the annual review process. This will be for transition groups in the first instance.

For families who are part of the process to feel listened to and that they have all the relevant information

By December 2022 we will:

  • Strengthen the information on the Local Offer about what the process is and what plans should look like based on national best practice
  • Provide links in all letters to parents to ensure they can access best practice
  • Ensure we strengthen the information in relation to schools offer on local offer, particularly mainstream/resource/secondary and that this is co-produced
  • Jointly carry out webinars/face to face sessions with Parent/Carer Forum/SENDIAS and other groups on what families can expect as part of EHCP process

Ensure we gain feedback on what is and not working in the systems and act upon feedback

By March 2023 we will:

  • Have an annual co-production and you said/we did report on how we are doing