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EHCP Part A - Authentic Voice

(23 Posts)
StarlightMcKenzee Thu 02-Nov-17 18:04:14

If anyone is interested, I went to a conference where they are doing research on the quality of EHCPs. This conference was just on parts A and E (others to follow) but I wrote this afterwards:

starlightmckenzie.wordpress.com/2017/11/02/authentic-voice-and-ehcps/

OneInEight Fri 03-Nov-17 07:04:33

Thank you for the link. I have to confess for ds1 (who is in the middle of transfer) we have written the child's voice because his version was full of violence and inane comments (basically he get's so anxious thinking about the future that he tries to distract from talking about the issue). Most of the time he is a pleasant child (although he has his moments) so I don't think it is a true picture of him either.

I just don't think this is appropriate as the first page of an EHCP that, if he wants to go to a different setting for sixth form, will be the first thing a new school will see. We haven't even started on ds2's transfer but his would be similar. It just doesn't seem a suitable means to help them get the support they need - perhaps it works for children with different profiles but not my two with high anxiety.

vjg13 Fri 03-Nov-17 07:12:06

Thanks for that. I looked at the available examples of EHC plans when I was writing my daughter's and I felt some of the first person written section A looked hugely woolly and unprofessional. This is a legal document designed to protect a young person. I wrote in a third person manner and explained within that my daughter can manipulated into answering questions in the way they are phrased to give different answers. I spent ages on mine and really agonised.

I had the draft plan independently checked and the view was very clearly that section A is essentially meaningless window dressing and carries no actual weight. My advice going forward would be for others to ensure the needs section is as detailed and accurate as possible so that the provision can be set to meet those needs properly.

StarlightMcKenzee Fri 03-Nov-17 07:20:10

One Thank makes sense. I do wonder how well Part A has actually been thought out.

I agree v . I suspect part A is just somewhere to contain the family so the professionals can get on with the ‘important sections’.

OneInEight Fri 03-Nov-17 08:17:02

I suspect part A has been formulated by a group of professionals sitting round a table with limited experience of working with a child with social communication issues. I also suspect a pilot study was never performed to see if the format would actually be helpful for children with different types of difficulties.

Its waffly bollocks as far as I am concerned, it's far too long - the important information is buried so those who need to know this would struggle to find it. I didn't think statements were great but this is a definite backwards step. I honestly could have wept when we received ds1's drafts - it was so bad.

I would be interested to know what teachers think of them. I think they are incredibly hard to read, repetitive and difficult to identify what my child's difficulties are and what they need to do to support him. In fairness this in part might be because in a cost-saving manner my LA decided to make redundant all its experienced SEN caseworkers and import a new batch of cheap, less qualified staff.

StarlightMcKenzee Sat 04-Nov-17 09:32:29

I don't think many teachers even read them. I suspect the SENCO just jumps to part F, and perhaps gives part B a quick glance.

Ceto Sat 04-Nov-17 23:31:56

I was there! I was a bit disappointed that after all that research they'd only considered A and E. I would like to see some solid research into B and F - including the question why local authorities blatantly break the law over and over again when drafting F.

StarlightMcKenzee Mon 06-Nov-17 17:44:38

You were there? Wow! Was I sitting next to you?

I think they are researching the other parts but I didn't hear F mentioned.

Ceto Mon 06-Nov-17 22:48:14

I don't know - where were you sitting?

I find it frustrating when people rely on research saying the parents are happy with EHCPs. I often feel that, through no fault of their own, they may be happy because they don't know what a good EHCP looks like; therefore they may learn the hard way that their child's EHCP isn't good only when the child makes no progress, or they discover he's not getting the provision he needs and there's nothing they can do to enforce it because it's not adequately set out in the Plan. Really to research this properly they should be talking to people like IPSEA, SOS SEN, other specialist charities, and lawyers to get an objective view of whether EHCPs generally are fit for purpose.

Catlovingmama Tue 07-Nov-17 01:09:45

My family haven't been happy filling it in - nightmare. V difficult for a child with PMLD to try to think what they would want if they could explain and actually quite sad and painful exercise translating very restricted cognition into the formal lMguage of plans.

StarlightMcKenzee Tue 07-Nov-17 09:09:26

The research that shows families were happy is flawed. The original 2015 Research was done on families who were new to the system, had new money, dozens of professional input, and were chosen carefully by LAs.

Subsequent research relies heavily on PCFs who are self-selecting and pride themselves on having good working relationships with LA and 'being realistic'.

Neither research has been done properly. In addition, you have outfits like NNPCF playing down LGOs horrific findings as 'well, it isn't that many families really after all!'

StarlightMcKenzee Tue 07-Nov-17 09:10:12

I was siting about 4 rows from the front in on the middle end on the left as you faced the presenters.

Ceto Tue 07-Nov-17 10:40:34

Ah, I was towards the back.

Interesting point someone made about outcomes not properly reflecting the difference made by the provision in section F, and the fact that people seem to think it's appropriate to write outcomes first and then fit provision to them. I've seen that "golden thread" thing before, and it always irritates me that they think it's correct that the order should be Aspirations-Needs-Outcomes-Provision rather than Needs-Provision-Outcomes.

Catlovingmama Tue 07-Nov-17 14:21:43

The dm in my family cried in the EHCP meeting because the independent helper was unable to explain how to improve the firm. I somehow don't think she was happy.

StarlightMcKenzee Tue 07-Nov-17 17:30:30

I wanted to write a blog on the Part E bit too but too long has passed and I have forgotten it.

I thought, but was unclear, that it was suggested that professionals were bad at making part E Smart, but that parents overall were happy.

It confused me because my understanding is that one of the biggest cause of parent unhappiness is that nothing is ever specified or measurable meaning there is no accountability.

There was also a failure to mention that for some parents a woolly Part E containing outcomes that can never be reached is a safeguarding strategy to protect against post-16 cessation.

Ceto Tue 07-Nov-17 23:55:57

I think there is an awful lot of confusion around part E. I guess from a parental view, if you see an outcome along the lines of "X will improve his literacy" it's bound to appear good, hence the fact that parents say they're happy with them; they may not realise that it's largely meaningless.

StarlightMcKenzee Wed 08-Nov-17 10:17:16

Well for me, Part E is meaningless anyway on account of it's unappealability (though case law has touched slightly on that recently).

So even if the outcome is SMART, if parts B, F and I were not worthy of appeal (and often even if they are), a target can be set with woefully low aspirations and there is nothing that a parent can do about it

StarlightMcKenzee Wed 08-Nov-17 10:18:06

Sorry, mean outcome, not target.

Ceto Wed 08-Nov-17 17:59:27

I think the principles behind E are good; at least it can force LAs to think in reasonably ambitious terms and not just go through the motions. But few of them seem to have any idea how to write sensible outcomes. And I hate the way they try to fit provision to outcomes rather than needs. It would be much better if the approved order for EHCPs was ABCDFGHE.

StarlightMcKenzee Wed 08-Nov-17 18:19:06

In my LA, Part F and Part E appear on the same page and in the same linked table.

Larksrising Wed 08-Nov-17 21:57:03

So isn't there a trick to appeal/ make LA to change outcomes?

Ceto Thu 09-Nov-17 16:09:05

An awful lot of LAs put E and F into table columns next to each other. They don't seem to take on beard that, if they must have tables, it would make much more sense to link B and F, C and G, and D and H, because the Code of Practice is so clear that provision must meet each and every need. If you try to force provision into boxes so that it meets outcomes, and outcomes are bad, you will have bad provision.

Larks, there is recent case authority that the tribunal is entitled to look at outcomes if it makes amendments to section F, because outcomes are meant to reflect the benefit or difference achieved as a result of the interventions in F; therefore if you change the interventions, it may well be necessary to amend outcomes. So if you're appealing, it's always worth flagging up that you may well be asking the tribunal to look at section E.

Doordye Tue 14-Nov-17 08:53:51

For some parents completing Sec A in childs voice is extremely difficult, my friends child has Autism & SLD he doesnt use PECs. She is really struggling. Ive told her to complete it on the basis of, she knows the things he enjoys & what hes good at but Im not sure if thats correct.

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