Case study

A future-proof EHCP audit solution for Knowsley council

by
Mark Andrews
invision ehcp audit tool, ehc plans, ehcps, Mike Wharton, Knowsley metropolitan council, ehcp planning, ehcp, ehc plans audited

“It’s brilliant to have the quality assurance data at my fingertips. I always drive decisions from reporting. The data from Invision EHCP allows me to drill down into each service provision and talk to leadership about specific issues.”
Mike Wharton, Head of Inclusion at Knowsley Metropolitan Council

Key benefits:

• Informs what ‘Good’ EHCP looks like

• Removes individual subjectivity from EHCPs

• Provides consistency in the quality of EHCPs

When Knowsley Council first engaged with Innovate Services in August 2020, it was evident the LA were acutely aware of the need to improve the standard of EHCPs. There were improvements to be made with regards to the consistency and quality of their EHCPs.

A single EHCP audit tool that could be used by all partners was needed, yet Knowsley Council did not have the luxury of time or capacity to develop a solution itself.

Knowsley was aware that Invision’s online EHCP audit tool was already being used by other local authorities and was exactly what the Council needed to provide expert knowledge and advice to contribute to the improvement.

Invision was born from a concept that was developed from first-hand experiences of local authority SEND Services and the challenges that exist within plans.

The expertise from the Invision team is engrained within the tool, along with utilising guidance documents such as CDC and IPSEA best practice and relevant legislation (including the SEND Code of Practice) to develop a comprehensive and credible quality assurance criteria.

Innovate Invision allows a flow of knowledge and skill sharing from experts to staff using the tool every time a EHCP is audited.

Mike Wharton, Head of Inclusion at Knowsley Metropolitan Council, discusses how Invision EHCP, is helping to improve the quality of EHCPs:

“We lacked objectivity and knowledge on how to order the outcomes for each section of an EHCP audit. With the Invision EHCP audit tool, this has already been fully considered. This means, we’re able to evidence, with confidence, where there are any concerns over consistency and quality.”

A cross-departmental tool

“We’ve used Invision EHCP to speak to other departments and hold each other to account. We’ve been able to evidence that we can only make the EHCP improvements we wish to see if we work together.

“Following the first 20 audits, we created a briefing document, which was sent to core leadership identifying exactly where EHCP improvements were required.

“It’s brilliant to have the data at my fingertips. I always drive decisions from reporting. Before the tool we were unable to accurately report how many children are on plans or discover why children with certain needs had appropriate plans, and others did not. The data set allows me to drill down into each service provision and talk to leadership about specific issues.

“Our audit lead goes through the tool ‘live’ with staff so that they understand what their plan is being ‘marked against’ and what they need to include.

“As a result, there’s now a much better understanding of what a ‘Good’ EHCP looks like. It’s also helped to boost morale as we’ve been able to identify the positive work and show staff how to improve their EHCPs.”

Closing the gap with Invision EHCP

“Realising the depth of information Invision EHCP provides, we secured funding for a Quality Assurance officer. Using the tool, they liaise directly with the team manager to identify any inconsistences and the issues that need to be rectified. As an example, it was identified that there were some teams providing health advice that had not written-up their actions. This was creating inconsistencies in EHCPs.

“The tool also helps us identify where there is a need for performance plans or workforce development to close the gap.

“Being able to access Invision EHCP remotely is also useful. As there’s no identifiable information held on the system, I can quickly use my laptop to call upon the data when I need it. This is especially useful when communicating with partners.”

A future-proof solution

“A huge factor in our decision to use Invision EHCP is that it is constantly being developed. As a tool, I know it will continue to help me ensure that our EHCPs are of a high standard. Crucially, we’ll be benchmarking at the same standard as the other local authorities using it.

“We knew we needed to drastically improve EHCPs. The difference now, is that we know what we need to do to improve. We’ve identified the journey we must be on to be able to consistently be ‘good’. I’m excited for the future.”


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