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SEN and Disability Green Paper Pathfinders March 2012 Update
2 Purpose of the Pathfinders The 20 SEND pathfinders (representing 31 local authorities and their Health PCT partners) are working towards the following common objectives: To develop a new 0-25 assessment process and a single plan which bring together the education, health and social care services on which children and young people who are disabled or have SEN and their families rely and focuses on improving outcomes; To explore how the voluntary and community sector could explore access to specialist expertise and introduce more independence to the process; To ensure the full engagement of children, young people and their parents and families, schools and colleges; and To improve choice and control for children, young people and their families through the use of personal budgets and direct payments.
3 Core pathfinder activity All pathfinders are testing core elements, including: A multi-agency approach to assessment and planning, with clear lines of accountability Links between support planning and strategic commissioning, particularly through health and well-being boards Use of personal funding Pooled and aligned budgets Focus on outcomes in a single plan Transferability of social care support across area boundaries VFM and cost Increased use of mediation for parents
4 In addition… Many pathfinders have chosen to focus on particular issues, including: Whether a banded approach to funding can improve efficiency in allocating resources; How best to support parents from different backgrounds; and How best to support particular groups of children, such as young people going through transition towards employment and looked after children.
5 Statutory Frameworks Pathfinders are testing how to reform the system, but they are doing so within the existing statutory frameworks. This means that: Pathfinders need to work creatively in partnership with parents, schools/ colleges, voluntary sector partners etc to find new and better ways to meet the needs of disabled children and those with SEN; But parents retain their right to request an assessment and the LA retains its duties in relation to assessments and statements. The existing frameworks now include the amendment made to the 1996 Education Act (through the 2011 Act) to enable pathfinders to test the use of direct payments for special educational provision.
6 Supporting the pathfinders The Mott MacDonald team is working with all pathfinder areas, providing: A core offer of support available to all pathfinders, including online resources and regional/national events; Tailored support and challenge for each area responding to particular needs (including linking with delivery partners and grant holders); A programme of policy development workshops and action learning networks to support pathfinders on particular topics, identified through regular assessment; Information about and access to additional support from delivery partners and grant holders. Sharing learning is a core part of the support team’s role: as the programme progresses www.sendpathfinder.co.uk will develop as a hub for all those interested in the pathfinder programme.www.sendpathfinder.co.uk
7 What have pathfinders achieved to date? (1) Planning and initiation: from September 2011 until early 2012 Pathfinders’ initial priorities have been developing their systems and setting up the key partnerships between and across services which will underpin an effective single assessment and planning process, for example: –Several pathfinders are working towards formal agreements between local authorities and health services, including Memoranda of Understanding, shared governance and pooled or aligned budgets; –Many pathfinders are using the opportunities that the education and health reforms present to improve arrangements for joint working, such as the new Health and Wellbeing Boards overseeing the pathfinder work; and –Prioritising the early engagement and involvement of children, young people, their families, VCS organisations, schools and colleges in shaping local change.
8 What have pathfinders achieved to date? (2) Recruitment of families: February 2012 onwards Many areas are now recruiting families to trial single assessment and planning processes. We expect that by autumn: –A significant number of children and young people in all pathfinder areas will have education, health and care plans agreed through a single assessment process; –Pathfinder areas will have started to use direct payments for health and education services; and –SQW’s interim evaluation report will present initial findings on the impact of reform from their evaluation of the case study areas which are running control groups in tandem with the new single assessment and planning process.
9 What will pathfinders be doing next? Testing and learning: March 2012 onwards Pathfinders will continue to develop, review and test new processes across the core and optional elements with support from Mott MacDonald, including the use of education and health direct payments. The independent evaluators will report regularly on progress across the programme (with published reports in spring and early autumn). Mott MacDonald has established a programme of policy development workshops and action learning networks with, for example, events for pathfinders focussing on the single assessment and plan, personal budgets and banded funding.
10 Some of the key questions/issues facing the pathfinders How to ensure that the changes being tested truly have the child, young person and family at the centre; How to determine eligibility for the single assessment process and the links to the local offer; Ideas on what the new outcomes-focussed Education, Health and Care plan should look like/contain; The timescale for completing single assessments, when the plan should be reviewed and who should be involved How to determine accountability arrangements across the range of services included in the plan; How to give families more control through the use of Personal Budgets across services...
Children’s Personal Budgets ‘By 2014…all families with the proposed Education, Health and Care Plan will be entitled to a personal budget’ Pathfinders are testing: The scope of a personal budget; Mechanisms to give families control; and Impact and consequences of a personal budget. We’re looking to the pathfinders to establish: How the option of a personal budget links to the development of the assessment process and single plan; The impact on families including their engagement in the planning process and on outcomes; and The impact of an entitlement to a personal budgets on commissioning, planning and cost-effectiveness of services.
12 SEN Direct Payments ‘We will test how the scope of direct payments might be increased to include funding streams from education…’ Education Act 2011: new power to establish a pilot scheme to test the use of direct payments for children and young people with: A statement of SEN; or A learning difficulties assessment. Within any scheme, direct payments can be made for: Special educational provision as set out in part 3 of the statement; Provision to meet SEN in the LDA; and Transport provision.
Sep 11Jan 12April 12July 12 Oct 12 Jan 13 April 13 2014 onwards The SEND pathfinder story… Initial set up - Bids approved, programme launched (end Sept) Recruitment of families and ongoing engagement - Local governance in place; families recruited for single assessments starting in Feb (all pathfinders by July) Testing and learning - of assessment and planning process; action learning networks including personal & banded funding, assessment and plan (from March); regular feedback on learning New offer for children, young people & families – including use of education direct payments; EHC Plans in place; local offers in action Rollout phase - Final evaluation report (March 2013). Best practice shared. Possible extension of pathfinders By 2014 all children currently with statement entitled to EHC Plan and choice of personal budget
Questions for the Department for Education How does the SEN Green paper link in with the Children’s and Young People’s Health Outcomes Forum? Where are the key points of overlap? How can we make the work of the pathfinders more transparent? What plans are there to legislate in this Parliament? When is the first round of evaluation by SQW due and what will it focus on? Will parents be able to hold services to account if they do not provide what is in the local offer?
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