This document has been developed by the Nottingham City Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) Reforms programme as a resource to support good practice in the development of writing outcomes in agency assessment and plans for children and young people who have SEND and their families.
This guidance is for a range of agencies including health, social care, education and the voluntary & community sector, working with children and young people who have SEND, to support practitioners such as, family support workers, social workers, early help workers, health visitors, SENCOs and post 16 advisers.
A range of professionals from agencies and the Parent Carer Forum came together to devise My SEND Outcomes Framework, (see Section 1), to define a set of broad outcomes. Please note that these are a set of generic outcomes and differ from personalised specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound (SMART) outcomes written in a child’s or young person’s plan.
This outcomes framework is based on the Preparing for Adulthood themes. These are Good Health, Employment, Independent Living and Community Inclusion. The themes are interpreted in the framework as follows:
• My Skills for Living
• My Family My Friends My Community
• Healthy, Happy, Creative Me
• My Learning, My Earning, My Volunteering
The aim of the guidance is to support professionals in their approach to working with children and young people who have SEND in order to ensure children’s needs at different ages and stages are identified and assessed appropriately.
The four key Preparing for Adulthood themes listed above need to be considered when writing a child’s or young person’s assessment and plan. For each child or young person the support and interventions may be different dependent on their level of need.
The Framework provides a common set of themes to use when assessing need and identifying outcomes. This is to ensure consistency in language and in application of the Framework.
A number of principles underpin My SEND Outcomes Framework:
1 The needs and views of the individual child or young person are at
the heart of the assessment and planning process.
2 Agreed outcomes should raise aspirations and expectations and
encourage thinking about what the future might look like for children
from an early age.
3 The support needs to start early, and should centre on the child or
young person’s own aspirations, interests and needs.
4 The outcomes need to be multi-agency.
Key pieces of legislation set out how agencies work with children who have SEND and their families.
The Children and Families Act 2014 introduced a series of reforms relating to special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Part 3 of the Act places duties on local authorities and other services in the local area in relation to both children and young people SEND and their families.
The Reforms aim to improve outcomes for children and young people from birth to 25 years with SEND and their families by changes in the provision of services as well as greater involvement of their parents and carers over how their needs are met.
The SEND Code of Practice, January 2015, is a national Code, which will help all agencies working with children and young people who have SEND, to secure for them the outcomes from education, health and social care that will make the biggest difference to their lives.
Nottingham City sets out its vision and principles for children and young people and families in the Children’s and Young People’s Plan.
Nottingham City’s agreed vision for children and young people with SEND is
‘Your whole life, for the whole of your life’.
Our vision for children with special educational needs and disabilities is the same as for all children and young people – that they achieve well in their early years, at school and in college, and lead happy and fulfilled lives. Foreword, SEND Code of Practice, January 2015
‘With high aspirations, and the right support, the vast majority of children and young people can go on to achieve successful long-term outcomes in adult life. Local authorities, education providers and their partners should work together to help children and young people to realise their ambitions…’ Foreword, SEND Code of Practice, January 2015
Section 19 of the Act sets out the general principles that local authorities must have regard to when supporting disabled children and young people and those with SEN under Part 3 of the Act. Local authorities must pay particular attention to:
· the views, wishes and feelings of children and their parents, and young people;
· the importance of them participating as fully as possible in decision-making and providing the information and support to enable them to do so; and
· supporting children and young people’s development and helping them to achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes.
Children & Families Act 2014, Section 19
Practitioners should use this framework in the assessing, planning, doing and reviewing stages when working with a child or young person and their family to think about how to plan and set outcomes.
4.1 Ensuring that Outcomes are part of the Assess, Plan,
Do and Review Process
In the assess, plan, do and review process, when completing the assessment and planning stages, it is helpful to make links with aspirations, needs, outcomes, the steps needed towards achieving those outcomes, and provision.
4.2 Assessing and Planning for Aspirations, Needs,
Outcomes and Provision
In order to assist in the assessment and planning process, and to achieve the right outcomes for the child or young person, please refer to My SEND Outcomes Framework and the four overarching themes:
• My Skills for Living
• My Family, My Friends, My Community
• Healthy, Happy, Creative Me
• My Learning, My Earning, My Volunteering
Also, when making an assessment and preparing a plan, think about the links to: Aspirations,
Needs, Outcomes and Provision, as described below.
In section 4.4 there are three examples to show how this applies.
What are the child’s or young person’s hopes, wishes and ambitions of achieving something.
What are the child’s or young person’s needs? What is working well and what is not working
well and are there any gaps in service provision.
What are we trying to achieve for the child or young person and their family based on their
needs, their interests and their wishes.
What provision will help you achieve the desired outcome?
The plan must be regularly monitored and reviewed with the child or young person, their family and professionals.
This may be at the following meetings:
• Education, Health & Care (EHC) Plan annual reviews
• Individualised Education Plan (IEP) meetings
• Individualised Behaviour Plan (IBP) meetings
• Team around the Child/Family meetings (Early Help, Targeted Family Support)
• Child Protection Review meetings
• Children in Need meetings
• Child in Care meetings
• Short Breaks reviews
Review meetings should be combined where possible (except in individual circumstances) to avoid the duplication of children, young people and families having to re-tell their stories.
Where a statutory review meeting is taking place for a child or young person, such as a Child Protection or Child in Care review or the annual review of the EHC Plan, all professionals involved with the child or young person should attend the meeting and this will act as the single review. Where a professional needs to give apologies for the meeting, the professional must provide a written report. Where more than one statutory review is due to take place these meetings may be combined and the respective Chairs will agree with the family the structure and need for the meeting.
During the review meeting, reference to the My SEND Outcomes Framework by the child or young person, their family and professionals must be made to monitor the progress of the plan and outcomes. Professionals should incorporate the use of in house assessment, planning and reviewing tools to gather the views of the child or young person and their family.
4.4 Examples - Applying in Practice
Examples 1, 2 and 3 illustrate how to link aspirations, needs, outcomes and
provision in the assessment and planning processes when referring to the My SEND
Example 1, Laura is 16 years old.
At the assessment stage, identify Laura’s aspirations and needs.
Laura’s aspiration is to be as fit as she can be.
Laura has a metabolic disorder which leads to weight gain, and has a severe learning disability, which affects her ability to learn new tasks, including independent living skills.
At the planning stage, plan short and long-term SMART outcomes.
Laura’s outcomes are specific, measurable, achievable realistic and time-bound, in order to achieve her aspirations and consider her needs.
In examples 1, 2 and 3, in the ‘outcomes’ columns, examples have been given in relation to which outcomes will be sought for each of the 4 themes. It is not necessary to cover every theme for each child except the ones, which are more pertinent to their needs.
E.g. Under the theme: My Learning, Earning & Volunteering
The outcome identified for Laura relates to her learning needs and she wants to pass the Healthy Eating Module, which she is taking at college. The outcome is
By the end of year 13, I will pass my Healthy
Eating module of the personalised programme.
Provision identified to support and help Laura achieve her outcomes
Outcomes should be:
3. Appropriate to stage and age
4. Written in the first person
5. Written in clear language, avoiding use of acronyms
and medical terminology
6. SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic
7. Defined in the short, medium and long term
Outcomes are not provision and tasks
The My SEND Outcomes Framework on page 3 describes a set of generic outcomes. These are examples of what outcomes should be about for the child, young person and their family.
When writing individual outcomes in a child’s or young person’s plan, their outcomes should be written in such a way that they can be measured, to demonstrate whether they have been achieved.
By using the SMART approach, Specific, M easurable, Achievable, R ealistic, Time-bound, practitioners can write measurable outcomes with the child or young person and their family.
• Make it clear what the aspirations are so it is easy to see how they link to the outcomes
• Numbering the needs and keeping them separate can make it much easier to match them with provision
• Make sure each special educational need is articulated separately so you can easily check there is provision to meet each need
• Make sure the outcomes match the aspirations
• Promote a focus on outcomes that are transferable to the real world
• Where possible the outcomes should be joint across education, health and social care. For young people over 17, the education and training outcomes need to be separately identified
• Outcomes will need to be personalised and focused on the young person’s aspirations, supporting as independent a life as possible
• Outcomes can be creative to meet individual needs
• Children develop at different rates. For some young people indicators included in early childhood may continue to be outcomes they are progressing towards as they get older. Therefore, it is important that each new age/stage continues to develop and build on the previous ones
• Show exactly how views were gathered
• Writing a child or young person’s health needs, keep it simple - make sure it can be understood by a non-specialist
• Information about social needs may come from a range of people: they could be teachers, youth workers or an allocated social worker
• If a child is not known to social care it does not necessarily mean there are no social care needs
• Set out exactly what is going to happen, who is going to do it, what skills, qualifications or raining they need, how often it will made available, and when it will be reviewed