Our progress so far

Quality and oversight of EHC plans

Position in November 2019

We had:

  • no formal quality assurance framework in place
  • no mechanism for receiving satisfaction feedback from parents/carers
  • poor IT systems and process for notifying all relevant parties of the requirements for annual review
  • a lack of oversight of quality of annual reviews and support for schools
  • inconsistency in staff training and a lack of SEND specific staff training

Position as of June 2022

EHCPs are high quality

We have:

  • developed a Quality Assurance Framework alongside the SNAP Parent Carer Forum, which is available on the Local Offer, and has four key strands: Quality of Content of EHCPs, Quality of experience, Quality of process and timeliness and Quality of outcomes and annual reviews
  • established a quarterly multi-agency Quality Assurance Learning and Improvement group to oversee Quality Assurance Framework and monitor quality of EHCPs, annual reviews, family experience and statutory timescales
  • reviewed annual review paperwork, which is now live and being used by schools and staff and can be found on the Local Offer
  • put in place EHCP proformas to improve quality assurance, which are now live on the Local Offer
  • published an FAQ parent pack on the Local Offer
  • established a process where the SEND team is monitoring annual reviews and alerting schools when they are due
  • trained all SEND Officers and social care staff on understanding what an outstanding plan looks like
  • provided online bitesize training to 428 Council Children’s Services staff (working in education and social care) and a range of health practitioners, ensuring that the area staff are receiving the same messages and have the required competencies
  • commissioned SEND training for school staff, with 139 head teachers, chairs of governing bodies and SENCOs booked on
  • recruited six EHCP coordinators, along with three SEND officers
  • commenced cycle 1 of the EHCP audit activity in December 2021, and cycle 2 in January 2022

Quality of EHCPs is reported to SEND Partnership Board so leaders have oversight

We have:

  • oversight of the Quality Assurance Framework and ability to monitor quality of EHCPs, annual reviews, family experience and statutory timescales through the Quality Assurance Learning and Improvement Group (QALIG) 
  • established a weekly early intervention panel, with membership across health, education and social care – one of the roles of the panel is to agree additional resources for schools to support children at SEN support as part of an enhanced graduated response
  • developed a Partnership Data Dashboard which is reported to the SEND Partnership Board, including key performance data
  • audited 1,797 EHCPs, and a summary report from an independent reviewer has been finalised with action plans developed and reviewed
  • developed our IT systems, resulting in more robust performance data being readily available
  • fully reviewed EHCPs and the results of the review have been reported and have informed areas of development
  • reviewed Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment documents and process
  • ensured that all educational psychologist reports are quality assured by a senior educational psychologist before they are submitted to the SEND team
  • agreed a SEND team staffing structure and have recruited EHCP coordinators and SEND advisory teachers to work within the school and improvement team
  • trained SEND officers
  • launched the Mosaic system
  • offered e-learning to all children’s services and health staff
  • offered IPSEA training to operational and senior managers
  • established a performance scorecard, which is reviewed weekly by team managers and senior leaders in SEND to ensure oversight

The annual review process is timely, meets needs and is completed within the statutory timeline

We have:

  • reviewed annual review documentation in partnership with schools and SNAP Parent Carer Forum – improving the quality of annual reviews has been key to this review and the new documentation produced, and training sessions with schools took place during the autumn term
  • established SEND advisory teachers (SENDATs), who will play a key role in monitoring and supporting schools and educational settings with the annual review process, including monitoring timeliness and quality
  • started auditing annual review paperwork through our SENDATS
  • developed a plan to ensure annual reviews are completed within statutory timescales and children and young people with an EHC Plan have an annual review within an academic year
  • shared data from Innovate at the Quality Assurance Learning and Improvement SENDATS group, to gather more specific evidence for EHCPs and annual reviews, to help us implement changes for best practice
  • invested in staffing numbers to support quality and oversight including increasing the statutory SEND team from 9 staff members in 2020 to 28 in 2022 and the creation of an Assistant Director for SEND. From September 2022 the team expect to process all annual reviews within the 8-week timescale

A clear comprehensive training offer to professionals and parents/carers

We have:

  • trained the Statutory SEND team and social care staff by an External SEND consultant, with a focus on quality assurance
  • launched e-learning outcomes training which is available on the new Local Offer website 
  • commissioned IPSEA training which was delivered in January 2021 to social care, early years educational psychologists and the SEND team – evaluation of impact and gaps analysis showed improvement in delivering by July 2021
  • provided general SEND/ EHCP training sessions open to all staff
  • co-produced SEND e-learning modules with over 3000 professionals and parents/ carers accessing to date
  • created EHCP and PFA EHCP report templates which are in place and accompanied by FAQs and include information for parents and carers, schools, SENCOs and social care staff, and have been co-produced with key partners and SNAP Parent Carer Forum (available on the Local Offer)
  • implemented the auditing of health reports by the Designated Clinical Officer (DCO), which will help to inform training for health providers
  • provided training to Bedfordshire GPs (two sessions covering two Bedfordshire cohorts), working with the GP safeguarding lead
  • implemented training for CAMHS whole service on SEND/EHCPs
  • implemented training of specialist nursing teams in SEND/EHCPs
  • established an EHCP study day for the speech and language team, focusing on statutory requirements and the quality of EHCPs
  • provided SEND/ EHCP training to the eye service
  • hosted 3 modules of co-production e-learning, this was very well attended across the partnership
  • delivered whole-school SEND training 
  • delivered DCO-led training across health services based on findings of the health-led audit process to address areas for development