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

ePEP National Conference 2015

National ePEP conference in central London on the 5th October 2015.

Further to the overwhelming success from the Manchester ePEP conference held on November 2014, we will be hosting the national ePEP conference in Central London on the 5th October 2015.

Existing and new authorities will be invited to attend for a morning demonstration around ePEP’s new Pupil Premium tracker. The team will be showing you how ePEP links funding to SMART targets and holds professionals to account.

On the day we will be demonstrating the virtual school ePEP dashboard and providing an afternoon workshop exploring how local authorities using ePEP have been allocating and tracking the Pupil Premium. We will also be showcasing the ePEP PPR tracker demonstrating its effectiveness with tracking funding, accountability and expenditure from schools.

Afternoon workshop exploring how to make ePEP more effective in supporting LAC 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 3:00pm.

Lunch will be provided at 12:00pm.

Please register your interest if you would like to attend any of the conferences by email to adam.leavesley@egovdigital.com or please contact 0845 680 7403 for your reservation.

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Case study from the ePEP Manchester conference. November 2014

“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

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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.

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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

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widgit-symbols

Information about Widgit Symbols from www.widgit.com

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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