How can we develop person-centred outcomes in Education, Health and Care Plans?

Even though Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC Plans) look different to Statements, there is still a danger that the outcomes and actions do not lead to better life chances for young people. We need to make sure that all EHC Plans have good person-centred outcomes, and actions to deliver these.

We have developed a 7-step approach to developing person-centred outcomes.


Step 1 Checking we know what matters to people

Before we can think about outcomes, we need to make sure we know and have recorded what matters to a pupil. This means we can make sure, when we develop outcomes with the person, that they will be meaningful to them. One way of capturing this is through a one-page profile.

Step 2 Where are we now

It is really important that we understand the pupil’s specific situation right now, comparing it with the life they have described in their one-page profile and truly understanding from their perspective what the issues are that they may want to address, rather than what we think they should address. One way of doing this is to use the person-centred thinking tool working/not working from different perspectives, including those of the teachers and parents. This can help identify issues that the pupil wants to address, as well as issues that professionals feel should be addressed.

Step 3 Prioritising

Having identified the issues that the pupil would like to address, they can be prioritised by mutual agreement.

Step 4 What would success look like?

For each of the issues the pupil has prioritised, we can start developing outcomes by identifying what success would look like if each of the issues were addressed successfully. This gives us the basis of the outcome.

Step 5 Test it

There are some simple questions you can ask to test the outcome. Sometimes, outcomes have solutions embedded in them and questions like ‘What would it give you, do for you or make possible for you if you had that outcome?’ can help to uncover the true outcome. Exploring what is truly important to someone specifically regarding the issue can also be useful. This can help us develop the outcome further to be more specific.

Step 6 What is getting in the way?

Having identified the outcomes that the pupil wants to achieve, we then need to identify the obstacles that may be getting in the way of achieving them.

Step 7 Creating clear goal/steps and actions

Having identified what is getting in the way of achieving the outcomes, the pupil can then set goals or steps to address these obstacles and move forward with their outcomes. They will need to be SMART, and may need resources assigning to ensure they happen.

Step 8 Record in the plan

The outcomes, and the steps and support needed to achieve them, can then be recorded in the plan. We should also record how the outcomes will be reviewed.

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