How can we learn from Education, Health and Care Plans to inform further development and commissioning?

Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC Plans) will provide excellent information for commissioners and providers, enabling them to make better decisions about what needs to be in place for young people to have great life chances - including the opportunity to work, live and be part of their community.

We think that the best way to do this is through a process called Working Together For Change. This takes information from EHC Plans and person-centred reviews to inform development and commissioning. This animate explains how the process works.

Working Together For Change reflects the co-production ethos of the SEND reforms, and is a time and cost-effective process to inform:

  • school and college development plans
  • work on the local offer
  • commissioning strategies
  • how providers and professionals may need to adapt processes and practices
  • what type of post-16 options and support are required to realize young people’s aspirations and outcomes (including study programmes)

The process is designed to work cyclically and to be embedded within the core cycle of commissioning or business planning, rather than to be picked up for a single usage – though that can still work well too.

Here is a summary of the 8 steps and how this can be used with data from the Preparing for Adulthood reviews and EHC Plans.

8 Steps How this can be achieved
  1. Prepare

Agree the question you want to answer with Working Together For Change, and decide who needs to be involved.

Decide the question you want to answer – for example, “what type of post-16 options and support do we need to develop for young people currently educated out of area?” Then decide the scope of using Working Together For Change. For example, depending on the question, this could be:

  • One school
  • All schools in a locality
  • All schools within a local authority
  • All young people who are educated out of area
  • A particular group of young people who have poor outcomes

Agree who to invite. This should include young people, families, schools, post-16 providers including FE colleges and commissioners, health and care colleagues across children and adult services, housing and employment providers and other key partners such as the voluntary sector. It works best when one third of the group is young people and families.

Decide on the venue and date.

  1. Collect

Gather the information from the Preparing for Adulthood Reviews. This includes the top 2 statements about what is working for the person, the top 2 about what is not working, and the top two things that they want to do in the future.

For young people within the area chosen, gather the information from the Preparing for Adulthood Review (what is working and not working) and EHC Plans (aspirations). The information from the Preparing for Adulthood Reviews will be automatically generated as part of the review process.
  1. Theme

Information from Preparing for Adulthood Reviews is used to identify themes which can be used to inform commissioning and provider development.

The first session involves clustering similar issues together, identifying themes and writing these as ‘I’ statements. Working in small groups, identify:

  • What’s working for young people
  • What’s not working for young people
  • What young people’s aspirations are
  1. Understand

Work together to understand the root causes of what is not working for people, and prioritise the top ones to address.

On mixed tables, different groups look at the themes around not working and aspirations. They identify possible root causes for what is not working.
  1. Identify success

Identify what success would look like if the root causes were addressed and changed. Agree success statements from different perspectives.

This section looks at the themes and identifies what success would look like from different perspectives; for example, young people look at what success would look like from their perspective, families from their perspective, schools and colleges from their perspective, commissioners from theirs, etc.
  1. Plan

Look at what is happening already to move towards success, think together about a range of other ways to make change and agree which ideas to turn into action plans and take forward.

Identify what needs to be done, by whom and by when, in order to do more of what is working, chance what isn’t working and help young people to achieve their aspirations. At this stage is it important that people know:

  • What is in the local offer
  • What national good practice looks like, and the evidence of what helps young people to achieve paid employment, independent living, community participation and good health

Information from the action planning session can help to:

  • Inform school or college development plans
  • Identify how professional practice needs to change across health, education, social care and partner agencies
  • Update the local offer
  • Inform commissioning and development of post-16 options and support (across education, health and social care)
  1. Implement

Identify where you are now (baseline) and how you will know you have been successful (indicators). Share this information and start to implement action plans.

For each area where there will be changes, it is important to have a clear understanding of where they are now and how you will know if there is success. For example, if there are actions to increase the number of young people leaving school and going into paid employment, it is important to know how many achieve that now, and what target number people are working towards. This information is shared with all stakeholders through a variety of communication channels; for example, school newsletters, parent partnership newsletters, and local authority reports.
  1. Review

Evaluate progress against success criteria and write a Working Together For Change report. Communicate progress and next steps to all involved, and other people interested in the changes.

The information about progress towards the success indicators is reviewed and shared. This includes updating the local offer, and sharing stories of how young people are being supported to achieve their aspirations and have full adult lives.



Working Together For Change in Manchester

Following on from the Planning Live event that collated person-centred information from students at Lancasterian School and their families, Lancasterian hosted a ‘Working Together For Change event’.  The videos that the young people had created for the Planning Live event were shown and commissioners were able to hear first-hand what young people want out of life, enabling them to think about whether the services that they are commissioning are able to deliver these outcomes.

This process gave young people and families the opportunity to express their opinions directly to health, social care and education commissioners. It generated really powerful discussions that resulted in some important changes being made to the way services are delivered – the most significant of which was a new college provision supported by the school. Parents expressed concern that a post-16 provider did not have the medical expertise to deal with young people’s medical needs. Commissioners acted directly on this by commissioning Lancasterian School to train college staff in the necessary medical skills. This was a win-win situation, as parents and young people are happy with the resulting support, feeling that the provision available was better placed to deliver the outcomes that the young people had set at the Planning Live event; the school are pleased about their partnership with the college; and the college have benefited from the positive impact that these young people have had on the life of the college.

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