Following an Ofsted and CQC inspection of its SEND services in 2018, Birmingham City Council has been engaged in an improvement journey to address the areas included in their Written Statement of Action. One area that required more targeted focus, was the quality and consistency of their EHCPs, which inspectors had observed as being “variable”.
Changing the focus of EHC plans
Today, Birmingham City Council is in a stronger position. One of the areas the Council needed to focus on was to be more inclusive of the health and social care needs of the child within EHCPs, which is now being addressed effectively in plans.
A lot of work with partners has gone into improving the quality and consistency of EHCPs, including a new SEND quality assurance framework.
This has involved taking a bold, new approach - using technology to bring services closer together and identify strengths and weaknesses in EHCP quality.
Embracing a new way of quality assuring EHCPs
As part of its improvement plan, Birmingham City Council was one of the first local authorities to utilise the Quality Assurance (QA) online audit tool, Invision EHCP.
Having already made a significant amount of progress in improving the quality and consistency of EHCPs, the council needed to improve its quality assurance framework.
As a first for the sector, and Birmingham City Council, the purpose of Invision EHCP was to directly increase the number of services involved in the quality assurance of EHCPs using a single online tool.
Reporting on the impact of Invision EHCP, Transformation lead for SEND and Inclusion for Birmingham, Vicky Robinson, said:
“Invision EHCP has given us the ability to utilise the skills and expertise across Birmingham City Council, NHS and Social Care. This has enabled us to improve the quality of our EHCPs to ensure they effectively meet the needs of our children and young people with SEND.”
The step-by-step online process and objective criteria allows professionals across all services in Birmingham to complete audits quickly and confidently.
Far more granular, accurate insights
Invision’s live dashboard and automated analysis of data are incredibly insightful. For example, Invision’s analysis of the first two cycles of Birmingham’s EHCP audits(more than a 100+ plans) showed that 92% of EHCP ‘section Bs’ were audited as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’. The data analysis Invision provided also highlighted areas that needed strengthening and the Invision reporting enables improvement cycles to be evidenced, as Vicky comments:
“Invision provides excellent oversight for our co-ordinators. We can run reports on performance, analyse our EHCP data and see the standard of each plan against each auditor.”
The automated data within Invision also helps Birmingham City Council identify areas for further development. Vicky adds:
“Through Invision, we can feedback to our plan writers and focus on specific sections of EHC plans needing improvement. We also monitor progress in these areas and ensure that the cross-network guidance is captured correctly.”
Supporting long-term transformation
With shared responsibility across services, Birmingham City Council and its partners are better able to ensure that EHCPs are meeting the needs of children and young people.
Invision EHCP is already providing strategic oversight on cross-partner contributions, as Vicky finishes:
“In the long term, we perceive the Invision tool will be essential in the delivery of the best service, support and outcomes to the children and young people of Birmingham who have an EHCP.”
We can’t wait to see the transformative impact of Invision EHCP. We will also continue to work closely with Birmingham City Council as we introduce new features and functionality.
To find out more about Invision EHCP or to book a demo, please contact us.