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Speaker on the podium. People at conference hall, rear view

ePEP Online National Conference 2019

National ePEP conference in central London on the 8th February 2019.

Further to the overwhelming success from the Birmingham ePEP conference, we will be hosting the national ePEP conference in Central London on the 8th February 2019.

Existing and new authorities will be invited to attend for a morning demonstration around ePEP’s new eReport Builder. The team will be showing you how ePEP Online tracks progress of looked after children and highlights potential vulnerabilities.

On the day we will be demonstrating the virtual school ePEP cloud dashboard and providing an afternoon workshop exploring how local authorities using ePEP have been working together to provide consistency across the country.

Afternoon workshop exploring how to make ePEP more effective in supporting all vulnerable children and professionals.

Finally an ePEP questions and answer session to end the afternoon.

The conference is free to attend and will start from 10:00am until 4:00pm.

Lunch will be provided at 12:00pm.

Please register your interest if you would like to attend by email to victoria@egovdigital.com or please contact 0333 772 0944.

Send us mail

Case study from the ePEP Manchester conference. 

“Just wanted to say a massive thanks for yesterday’s event, it was great to be involved, to see the new dashboard and be encouraged to speak up about any advancements we’d like (which, as you know, I’m quite fond of doing anyway. I valued, incredibly, the networking with other Virtual School team members with people in similar roles to myself, understanding their current processes, discussing our own around Pupil Premium expenditure and I’ve left with some good ideas for our own authority moving forward. I was more than happy to recommend ePEP. Also, it was great to finally meet Ewen, and AJ who we sat with at lunch was a really personable lad with a lot of passion for doing what he does in your team, which is always good to see.

If the next event, in January, was open to me too I’d really value a place. It’s incredibly rare I get to meet others with similar job roles to be able to discuss ideas with, especially surrounding ePEP which is obviously a huge part of my job here. Granted, it’s a long way to go to London for a few hours spent in a conference but I valued yesterday enough to want to be able to do it and to meet more new faces and share more ideas with others.

Excellent event, really enjoyed it.”

Adam Palmer

Team Coordinator
Virtual School for Looked After Children Hull CC

Squiddle Platform

Squiddle Private Space for Children

Squiddle – Online chronological archive for vulnerable children.

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.

Electronic-Personal-Education-Plan

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.

Pupil-Premium-Plus

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

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.

Pupil-Premium-Resource-Tracking

NEW Pupil Premium Resource Tracker

The Virtual School Heads will be responsible for managing the Pupil Premium. The Pupil Premium must be used for the looked after child’s educational needs as described in their Personal Education Plan (PEP). 

ePEP online has launched the new Pupil Premium Resource Tracker developed with Stoke-on-Trent and Kent County Council.

The Pupil Premium Resource Tracker (PPR) enables local authorities to track expenditure against individual targets for looked after children. The Virtual School will now be able to see how much money has been spent on different types of interventions based on the Sutton Trust (categories).

From the financial year 2014 to 2015, the VSH will have control for funding for looked-after children. The ePEP will link directly to funding for the young person – Pupil Premium Plus, currently set at £1900 per annum which will only go to schools with a high quality up to date PEP: so ‘no PEP: no Premium’

Virtual Schools will be expected to distribute Pupil Premium Plus termly and this will need to link to a termly PEP, which fits with education timescales. Pupil Premium Plus will be available to a larger number of LAC (the criteria has moved to the first day in care, increasing the average local authorities expenditure from 120k to 700k).

From September 2014 we would like to encourage local authorities using paper based PEP’s to consider using ePEP online (the Electronic Personal Education Plan). The system is being used with some of the largest authorities within the country including Lincolnshire, Gloucestershire and Kent County Council.

Once ePEP is up and running, there will be a reduction in workload for social workers but higher expectations in terms of termly PEPs, quality and completion rates.

Government-Statistics-Looked-After-Children

Government Statistics: Looked-After Children

Government Statistics from May 2010 onwards are available on GOV.UK. You can find our archived statistics on the National Archives. Note: the search function is not available on archived content so please use the filters on the left of each page.

A document reviewing the comparability of government statistics of children looked after by local authorities in the different countries of the United Kingdom was published on 30 May 2014.

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

Gov.uk original source >

DFE-Clarify-Virtual-Head's-Responsibility

DFE Clarify Virtual School Head’s Responsibility

FAQ ‘s – Pupil Premium and the role of the Virtual School Head.

The Department for Education clarified how the Virtual School Head (VSH) has a pivotal role in distributing and monitoring the pupil premium for looked after children on the 20 March 2014.

The pupil premium will be managed by the Virtual School Head who will be responsible for its distribution and effectiveness in raising achievement and will be accountable to the Director of Children’s Services and/or Chief Executive and the Lead Member for Children.

There is no requirement for an authority to pass the funding on to school to meet the needs identified in the personal education plan. The expectation is that funding will go to schools via the Virtual Head.

Key points of the guidance:

  • The virtual school head decides how the funding is distributed
  • The VSH is expected to pass on the pupil premium to a child’s education setting  to meet additional needs set out in the PEP.
  • The pupil premium can be passed on termly or annually.
  • Funding not used by the end of the financial year goes back to the department.
  • The VSH decides the amount of funding – it can be higher or lower than the £1900 of grant allocation per child.
  • Funding can be pooled.
  • The pupil premium should not be used to fund central services – it is to be used expressly to raise the achievement of disadvantaged pupils.
  • The pupil premium does not replace the personal education allowance.
  • The pupil premium is more focussed on support to improve the educational achievement of LAC and close the gap between LAC and none LAC.
  • The pupil premium should always support the educational achievement as described in the personal education plan.
ePEP-Attendance-Tracker

ePEP Attendance Tracker Hits Target

We have recently added the ePEP Attendance Tracker feature allowing third party suppliers to feed weekly or live attendance figures directly into the ePEP via our new API plug-in.

The ePEP Attendance Tracker also allows teachers to manually enter attendance data before the PEP meeting takes place, including notes and explanations on why the child might have been absent. The live attendance information can be recorded weekly or monthly and is displayed through the NEW Control Panel and within the Professional section.

Attendants can now be tracked graphically on individual children, year groups or total number of children with schools by the Virtual School.

The two main suppliers for providing within and outside attendance data are Welfare Call Ltd and Contact Group Ltd.

Both organisations have full access to our ePEP API plug-in. Reports can be directly accessed from within the ePEP platform by the Virtual School, designated teacher and social worker, manual attendance data can recorded if no third-party supplier collects data for your authority.

The ePEP system will alert professionals via e-mail externally if the child’s attendance drops below 85%. 

Ewen Godfrey

Sutton Trust Interventions

The Sutton Trust Interventions.

What is the most cost effective intervention to bring about a rise in educational performance? The Sutton Trust-EEF Teaching and Learning toolkit has been produced for several years.

The trust has analysed the combined educational research on thirty four (at the last count) types of intervention. It has looked at the the cost effectiveness of each intervention and the likely educational improvement to expect from each.

The toolkit is very useful to schools planning how to spend pupil premium funding so they can resource and monitor the progress of pupils receiving the pupil premium grant.

For children in care, the Virtual School Head, will be responsible for distributing the pupil premium to schools. The epep Pupil Premium Resource Tracker makes use of the Sutton Trust categories to allow the Virtual Head to track the progress of pupils.

Schools will have to show in the PEP how the pupil premium will be used to meet the needs of individual and the progress they make. The tracker is used to set the targets, measure progress and allow the Virtual School Head to agree to funding requests.

Ewen Godfrey

eGov Digital.

Read more at http://www.suttontrust.com