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ePEP National Advisory Group 2017

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from eGov Digital.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your outstanding support to a fantastic year for ePEP Online.

Thank you for making our ePEP the most commonly used PEP platform with Virtual Schools across the country.

Your contributions have been invaluable.

With that in mind, we’d like to invite you to attend:

National ePEP Conference Future of ePEP:

How the Virtual School is reshaping the outcomes of LAC using ePEP Online

on the Morning of the 2nd of March

eNAG (ePEP National Advisory Group)

on the Afternoon of the 2nd of March

Please note the afternoon session is only open to existing clients.

For more details, please email to reserve your space.

Hope to see you in the New Year!

Gary Daniels, Director and founder of ePEP

Tel: 0845 6807403




Come see us at Bett ExCel London!

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The Bett Show is the ‘British Educational Training and Technology show’ is the place to be if you’d like to trade or showcase the use of Education Information Technology.

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With eGov Digital’s ePEP being the most nationally used ePEP we thought it’d be a good idea to come down and show you what we’ve got.

We will be exhibiting from the 25th to the 28th of January at the Royal Victoria Dock. If you’d like to make a personal booking for a demo, ring ahead to reserve some space and time with Gary Daniels.

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If you’d like to make a booking for a personal ePEP showcase, please email ahead of time to reserve some space and time with Gary Daniels.

Look forward to seeing you there!!

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eNAG 2016

Thank you to all the Virtual Heads and Virtual School staff who came together for the 2nd eNAG (ePEP National Advisory Group) board meeting, located in the lovely city of Liverpool.

All UK regions were represented by existing authorities using the ePEP.  The advisory board worked in joint collaboration as a single voice towards national solidarity to benefit the virtual school and the role of the virtual head.

The discussions that have taken place has become a fantastic way for central government to really understand and listen to the Virtual Schools needs, and how ePEP-VSP facilitates there their statutory responsibilities.

As a national group we spoke about how to create better PEPs for Post 16, Early Years and SEN children.

The feedback from the group has been extremely useful and we will use this feedback to further enhance the platform to benefit the aforementioned children.

Every council has a voice in ePEP and we work together to create solutions that will be indispensable for all councils (especially when Ofsted come around.)

We asked the members for their views of ePEP-VSP so far, and here are some of their responses.

Debby Rigby – Interim Virtual Head Teacher of Children Looked After Slough Children’s Services Trust

“The support given by eGov Digital staff has been invaluable”

Adam Palmer – Team Coordinator Virtual School for Children in Care, Young People and Families Service Directorate

“My favorite part of ePEP is the pupil premium requests and the target setting section. This allows for us to effectively track and monitor where Pupil Premium is being spent.”

“We can gather all the data and information regarding the progress of our children – directly from the school through ePEP.”

Sue Faulkner – Personal Education Plan and Progress Lead Gloucestershire

“Pupil premium is very effective,  I can easily identify the progress of my LAC including the progress of disadvantaged children. My favorite part of ePEP is the Pupil Premium Plus Tracker.”

Paul Andrews – Post 16 Education & Skills Officer for Looked After Children Northampton

Can you see the personal views of your children?

“Yes, as new users to ePEP, we are starting to see a real uplift in the number of responses we receive. – The interactive section for young people is my favorite feature.”

Jenny Lockwood -Virtual Head Teacher for Secondary Schools Royal Borough of Windsor

“All of our children in care are effectively disadvantaged in one or more ways – we are pleased to be able to extend ePEPs to adopted and children on the edge of care.”

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If you’d like to join our ePEP journey or arrange an ePEP Demo, please do not hesitate to contact us either by email: or by telephone: 0845 680 7403

Squiddle Platform

Squiddle Private Space for Children

Squiddle is a new development due to launched in Mayfair London on the 9th of June 2015 .

The secure Squiddle platform provides a private space for young people to communicate with their teacher, social worker or any other professional supporting the child. The concept turns Facebook upside down allowing the child to securely record chronological events and educational achievements privately. This Private space allows the teacher to communicate directly to the young person about anything supporting the child’s educational progress.

This platform will allow the young person to upload photographs, documents and videos from any device connected to the Internet. Teachers and Social Workers can also upload supporting evidence including exam results, attainment information, attendance history, to support and in rich the child’s record of achievement.

Importing documents and photographs can also be uploaded via the ePEP timeline, allowing professionals total control over content released to the young person. Sensitivity has also been accounted for with unique disclosure tools to allow teachers and social workers the facility to time-lock photographs and documents for when the child comes of age.

Birth history including life story work can also be recorded using this platform enabling Social Workers and Carers to record chronological events starting from when a child is born.

The ePEP Timeline will allow professionals a secure platform to communicate with the young person via internal chat email within the private space. The young person cannot directly communicate with friends from within this private space, this environment will only allow direct access to their own educational information and achievements.

Squiddle also has an educational calendar allowing Teachers to enter event’s and educational reminders for the children. Young people can also use the calendar to record and track homework, timetables, and exam dates. The new platform can be accessed from mobile devices such as iPads and mobile phones. This secure environment is hosted via https: platform similar to ePEP online.  Squiddle has been developed with young people and professionals from local authorities currently using ePEP online. This new feature will be available soon.


FFT & The Fischer Family Trust

Who are FFT?

FFT is a non-profit company established in 2001 with links to the Fischer Family Trust. We are solely focussed on providing accurate and insightful information to schools which enables pupils achieve their full potential and schools to improve. We have been processing the National Pupil Database for the DFE since  2004 and providing analyses to all schools and LAs in England and Wales for over for 10 years.

What do FFT do?

FFTLive is a powerful online reporting system used by school leaders. We process data for all schools and pupils in England and Wales and provide online reports which analyse pupil results and pupils progress across all subjects and key stages, comparing performance to similar schools and the national average. FFTLive provides estimates of future pupil performance using FFT’s unique models which have been developed over 10 years. Last year FFTLive was used by over 75,000 unique school users to view 4 million reports.

FFT provides data and analyses to all schools and LAs in England and Wales. Our estimates are used by teachers to inform the setting of ambitious and aspirational targets for students. We analyse pupil results and pupil progress and provide school leaders with insightful data to support school improvement and self-evaluation.

Government Data Processing

FFT has managed the National Pupil Database for the DFE since 2004. Working in partnership with RM, our data analysts match and process pupil results and census information and calculate school performance indicators. We also match and process additional education datasets including data student outcomes from further and higher education. In Wales, FFT has contracts with the Welsh Assembly Government to process data and calculate value added progress indicators for all pupils and schools.

Schools & Academies

You can access FFT Aspire data and support in one of the following ways:

  • Option 1: Via your Local Authority (including Academies) – please contact your LA for further details
  • Option 2: Via FFT direct through an individual School subscription
  • Option 3: Via FFT direct through a School Group subscription (discounted rate for groups of 10 or more schools)

Because we process national census and examination data on behalf of the Department for Education, your data is automatically updated online each term as new pupils enter and leave your school. So, you get the latest data for EVERY pupil in your school – plus much more!

Individual School Subscriptions Costs Direct From FFT: 

£250 plus vat for Infant Schools

£300 plus vat for Primary Schools

£1,250 plus vat for Secondary Schools

What your FFT direct school subscription includes
(options 2 & 3)

  • 1 year’s online access to FFT Aspire
  • Access to all FFT reports and data
  • Access to new Governor Dashboard and Self Evaluation reports
  • Automatic census and exam updates every term
  • Automatic access to all new FFT Aspire innovations – including new features, new reports and enhancements
  • The ability to create and manage your own FFT Aspire accounts for school staff
  • Access to FFT training and support materials
  • FFT email support
  • Free autumn update service – early estimates for new pupils entering your school in autumn

For more information on FFT direct subscriptions or to subscribe via FFT, please email or call 01446 776262.

Local Authorities

To access the full range of FFT data for your LA and schools including FFT Aspire and your own FFT database, please email or call 01446 776262.

Academy Chains & Sponsors

If you’d like to access FFT Aspire school and Sponsor level data, please email or call 01446 776262.

All content provided is copyright of FFT. Please find links below to the source information and use the following useful links provided to find out more.

FFT Aspire Subscriptions >


PEP completion rates increase

PEP completion rates have significantly increased for authorities using ePEP’s new feature (Mandatory Data Fields).

System administrators can now customise the professional section within ePEP’s user matrix to ensure Social workers and Designated teachers complete important data requirements and questions.

The system alerts professionals if targets are not completed

PEP’s are not completed within  timescale, and when a PEP meeting has been organised. The ePEP alert notification is sent via external e-mail and duplicated to the internal messaging system.

The PEP meeting can be completely organised remotely allowing the administrator to set the venue and time of the meeting.

Invitations will be automatically sent to all individuals connected to the child via e-mail, saving a significant amount of time on the telephone.

The platform can link directly into databases for education social care.

Collecting vital information about the child before the meeting takes place this saves any duplication from the social worker or designated teacher.

Communication between professionals online plays a significant role with increasing the speed and efficiency of PEP completion.

The Social worker can support the Designated teacher prior to the meeting ensuring the child’s voice is heard. Teachers can also track termly attainment automatically with information gathered from the Sims database or any other supplier. Attainment data it can also be collected manually on the child by the designated teacher. Historical results for all Key stages are chronologically recorded within ePEP.

Reports can be generated into XML spreadsheets or graphically illustrated within the main ePEP dashboard.


Widgit Symbols

One of the great features of ePEP are the sections for the young people to complete using interactive avatars. The young person has numerous options to choose from, children with reading difficulties or a visual impairment significantly benefit from the spoken questions by the avatar.

This technique guarantees for whatever reason the child cannot read or has difficulty communicating by the written word to have their say.

The company has worked closely with Gloucestershire Council in developing a questionnaire for youngsters who have difficulty communicating using symbols used by Widgit Symbols software. Many local authorities already have access to Widgit software so can freely use the questionnaire in the SEN module of ePEP. This technique using symbols might look simple compared to ePEP’s under-water environment, however this could over excited SEN children. The symbols have been an overwhelming success with young people enabling them to easily participating with the familiar language.

Many SEN special schools are also very familiar with these symbols.

More Information about Widgit Symbols

The ever expanding Widgit Symbols Set has been terms of the past 30 years and now contains more than 12,000 symbols, which cover an English vocabulary of over 40,000 words. Widgit’s simply-drawn, colourful symbols each illustrate a single concept, in a clear and concise way, and cover a range of topics (including many curricular areas) wide enough to make them suitable for symbol users of all ages and abilities.

Widgit Symbols are used all over the world, supporting 17 languages, increasing the accessibility of written text, giving readers of all literacy levels greater access to information. As the Widgit Symbols Set is designed specifically for written information, Widgit Symbols users can develop a real independence in the reading and writing.

The new Widgit Symbols Set was launched in October 2002. This is a result of a two year development project involving many practitioners.

More information on the design rules and schema

More information about the development project



Information about Widgit Symbols from


Pupil Premium Plus

Additional funds for children in care become available from April 2014 through the Pupil Premium Plus (PP+). Besides increasing the amount to £1900 per child, the funds will be available from the first day a child comes in to care.

The Virtual School head in each local authority will be responsible for administrating the Pupil Premium Plus (PP+). Any spend will have to be accounted through the child’s personal education plan and will have to be targeted on the educational needs of the young person. If the local authority fails to distribute the allocated funds they will be clawed back by the government.

It is statutory that every child in care, in education, should have an up to date Personal Education Plan. The government is making it a requirement that details of the Pupil Premium will need to be recorded in the PEP and how it addresses their educational needs This will make the local authority and schools more accountable.

Schools can expect Ofsted to look in detail how the Pupil Premium is spent for individual children in care.

Department of Education Pupil Premium website

Ofsted School Inspection Handbook


Statutory Guidance ePEP

Statutory Guidance and Personal Education Plans

There are four pieces of statutory guidance that determine what a PEP contains, how it should be used, who does what and when it needs to be completed and reviewed.

For social workers,  The Children Act 1989 Guidance and RegulationsVolume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review,covers the PEP and how it should be completed from a social care view point.

Being part of the care plan Independent Reviewing Officers (IROs) need to review PEPs. TheIRO Handbook says IRO’s need access to a completed PEP at least three days before the care planning meeting. Something ePEP easily accomplishes as IRO’s can have access to a young person’s EPEP at anytime.

Local authorities have a statutory duty in Promoting the Educational Achievement of Looked After Children. This guidance cover their role in supporting the PEP process.

The post of Designated Teacher, like the Special Needs Co-ordinator, is statutory in schools. The school governing body has to make sure their school is meeting all its lawful obligations regarding children in care.

These are defined in, The Role and Responsibilities of the Designated Teacher for Looked After Children: Statutory Guidance for school governing bodies. Chapter 4 of the guidance is about Designated Teacher and their role in its completion. It gives a good overview of the whole process.

There is no single clear cut guide, just for PEP’s. It is a matter of reading the four bits of guidance together about PEPs that gives an overall view of what is expected.

From time to time the DfE re writes or updates parts of guidance, such as the guidance on the Pupil Premium ,which did not exist when the above guidance was published.

The PEP is part of the care plan and school record.

Where they are used effectively, PEPs improve the educational experience of the child by helping everyone gain that clear and shared understanding about the teaching and learning provision necessary to meet the child’s education needs and how that will be provided.

For this reason the school and local authority (through strong links between the designated teacher and, for example, the local authority virtual school head) have a shared responsibility for making the PEP a living and useful document.

The role and responsibilities of the designated teacher for looked after children:  Statutory Guidance for school governing bodies, section 4.1.4.

The PEPs have come about because children in care, overall, fail in education. The PEP is a tool to help focus on a child’s progress through education.

The ePEP platform has been developed with local authorities, schools and young people to meet the government’s PEP requirements but brings greater transparency on everyone’s roll in making a child’s education a success.  EPEP is a very flexible platform, catering for children in early years, statutory school age and post -16.

Local authorities can individually program facets of the ePEP environment to respond to localised need. Thus being able to tailor how professionals and young people access and complete the PEP.

Provided an ePEP user logs on to the internet, an ePEP can be opened at any time, this allows easy on the move, office, school or home access.