The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Gareth D Morewood

EHCP transition reviews: reflecting on the process

One of the biggest challenges that SENCos face is ensuring the facilitation of multi-agency involvement. Although there clearly isn’t any ‘magic bullet’ here, and local issues are most definitely a significant factor, the following action plan ensured the best outcomes for our reviews.

  • Ensure early initial engagement.
  • Provide timely reminders.
  • Be as positive as possible.
  • Consider engaging parents/carers in ‘chasing’ too.
  • Provide clear time frames and early dates – leave plenty of notice.
  • For essential professionals: arrange around them.

Whilst our reviews were very successful, I am always thinking of how to improve things and make them more efficient.  Some suggestions by staff involved are as follows:

  • Check through documents beforehand, and number them too (I got in a bit of a mess with my first couple as the report format looked similar to SALT/EP etc.)
  • Make sure the kettle is boiled ready (nothing worse than waiting for 10 mins to brew up – a prompt start is useful)!
  • Always start with the child/young person and keep them central – good reviews have always done this!
  • Give parents/carers time to speak and engage in a discussion. This is very important – poor exchanges don’t give parents/carers time to respond.
  • Management of the meeting is key – maintaining a positive, solution-focused approach is important.

So what went well?

  • Excellent reports – thorough, really impressive and very much in line with the desired ‘outcomes’ for the new Plans. I’ve been really impressed by how these were presented.
  • All students and parents/carers attended the reviews. They were very polite and engaged – a thoroughly positive engagement. We celebrated the Year 11’s and their five years of hard work.
  • Refreshments were available and promptly served!
  • Everyone worked really hard to pull it all together – a great team effort with everyone supporting each other.
  • Good time management – no rushing! We allocated 2 hours for each review meeting.

How could the process be improved?

  • Possibly develop a pro forma so we know what documentation is required for each meeting – not all meetings are the same.
  • To have spare copies of referral forms (just in case need to commission additional assessment as part of the process) – some referrals were commissioned as part of the review meeting.
  • To have packs ready for Travel Training (a very popular provision for our Year 11 students) in supporting independence.
  • To agree on a set order for the packs of documentation to be put together – although sometimes a different approach is required. Be flexible and consider each individual.
  • To identify who needs to receive emails with reports/documentation to ensure nothing is overlooked or misplaced – confirming ‘mailing lists’ and the preferred method of communication is always important.

Ideas and strategies for getting students and parents/carers fully involved in the process

  • Early discussions – be open and honest about legal requirements, providing information/handouts if necessary.
  • Allow time for consideration and thinking – plan well in advance.
  • Don’t rush discussions – allowing enough time is important.
  • Ensure positive, open communication at all times.
  • Stress that the process is looking for outcomes – what do they want for their child?
  • How can these outcomes be achieved? Be solution focused.

Key Advice

 

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