Development and Use of POET for Children and Young People with SEND

January 12, 2018

In Control publishes a report with Lancaster University using the Personal Outcome Evaluation Tool (POET) to measure the impact of education, health and care plans for children and young people with special education needs and disabilities. The report features the results of surveys completed from across 18 different local authority children's services who participated in the designing and testing of the tool, surveys were completed by 355 parents/carers and 36 young people who have experience of education, health and care plans or personal budgets and 336 practitioners working to implement EHCPs or personal budgets.

Work on the Children's Personal Evaluation and Outcomes Tool (POET) began in March 2012 through the support of funding from the Department for Education (DfE).  The children's POET has followed the same methodology as the POET which has been used widely by adult social care and health services; the adult social care POET pilot first began in January 2010 has is now central to the National Personal Budgets Report, the most recent report was published in October 2014.


The full approach, questionnaires and findings are set out in this report; they set out an interesting picture of work to introduce the new EHC Plans across 18 different services, drawing on over 350 responses from parents, 330 responses from practitioners and 36 young people. This report brings together all the work and data collected and hence is a large document - the report has three appendices; 1. Explaining the development and history of the approach, 2. a complete set of data tables showing in detail the baseline data and our analysis, 3. A full set of questionnaires used in the most recent survey.


There is clearly much work still to be done, but as the report suggests there are some clear and positive indicators of work going well.


Richard Holland from one of the participating sites, Cambridgeshire says… "It is easy to talk about developing an outcomes approach to the support we give disabled children and their families, yet so much harder to achieve. POET offers a practical tool to support what we are seeking to achieve; taking into account the experience of children, parents and the staff who support them. I look forward to seeing POETS embedded into our ongoing evaluation of how we can do better in achieving positive outcomes for disabled children and their families."


And Debbie Buckwell from West Sussex says…..."West Sussex is delighted to be working with In Control using this new outcomes focused evaluation tool (POET) which enables us to benchmark ourselves with other areas and measures in detail our performance locally so we can really understand the experience of families going through the new processes. It's great to have something that helps us measure the impact and POET has already been shared at workshops and training sessions. We are looking forward to receiving our 2nd local report soon."


As we move ahead, with a further years funding from the DfE we are aiming to consolidate work with young people with a particular programme to facilitate much greater input from a growing group of young people we are linked to, this work will be led by Miro Griffiths. As explained in this report we will be asking SQW to conduct an external 'peer review' of all our methods and approaches to analysis, this will be closely followed by the DfE Research and Analysts.



Development and use of POET for children and young people with SEND report Spring 2015



Third National Personal Budget Survey: October 2014