The objective of this alpha was to redesign the current Education, Health and Care Plans system to make it more user centred, simpler, faster, and more cost-effective. The project aimed to automate and integrate many of the processes and sub-processes around well-defined user needs and outcomes.
The Special Educational Needs (SEN) assessment process is overly complex, convoluted and bureaucratic. There is too much paperwork and forms that require extensive manual data-processing, and the system is difficult for parents, children and young people, and professionals to understand and navigate.
The project team’s research indicates that by applying digital processes, analytics and AI, the production of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) can be greatly enhanced.
All Local Digital Fund Alpha projects were asked to provide the following information at completion:
- User research report
- Benefits case
- A user experience demo or design pattern, a data model or a set of instructions
- Recommendations for next steps
In May 2019, the project team submitted the following documents:
- Final project report (PDF, 4.7MB)
- User research report (PDF, 3.4MB)
- Glossary and acronyms (PDF, 897KB)
- Online bench-marking tool notes (PDF, 903KB)
- Technical analytics pack (PDF, 3.1MB)
- Value model (Excel worksheet, 80KB)
- Value model notes (Word document, 503KB)
- Alpha closing workshop notes (PDF, 818KB)
If you cannot access these documents, please contact the Local Digital team to receive them in an alternative format.
Each project was assessed using these lenses by the Local Digital Collaboration Unit. We have provided feedback directly to the project teams and this is a summary of what we shared with them.
It aims to be constructive for both the project team and any other organisation wishing to learn about the project or make use of the work done.
- The project team examined how analytics and artificial intelligence might be used within the context of an emotive service area; exploring the use of emerging technology to support early intervention, aiming to deliver better outcomes for some of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.
- The team did user research and produced personas. User research included consultation with over 250 parents, school visits and shadowing which other authorities may find useful. The team should consider sharing research findings within their main documentation and validating this further through user research with partner organisations.
- The team used Wardley mapping (find out more on Medium) to examine the process, data, tools and transformational potential in special educational needs service provision, which is likely to be of interest to other local authorities.
- The project outputs provide a high-level overview of the work undertaken; the project team should consider bringing the findings of user research at discovery and alpha stages into this overview focusing on language and narrative, which will make the outputs accessible to readers with differing levels of technical understanding.
- The project team provided an alpha prototype which defines how a product may be developed and meet user needs in the future. The team should consider developing a features roadmap linked to a backlog of prioritised user stories. This would enable others to see how the service will develop at the beta stage, and would give confidence that the recommended approach is feasible.
- The team engaged with partner local authorities in the alpha stage and should consider using blogging, events and utilising existing networks as well as engagement with interested parties such as Department for Education and Educational Psychologists in order to give confidence that the recommended approach is scalable.