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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.

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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.

product-emotion-cards

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

widgit-symbols

widgit-symbols

Information about Widgit Symbols from www.widgit.com

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.

The-Who-Cares-Trust

Who Cares Trust

The Who Cares Trust is a voice and a champion for children and young people in the UK living in care. The Who Cares Trust believe that every child in care should receive the support, encouragement and opportunities they need to enjoy their life and to achieve.

What does The Who Cares Trust Do?

So how exactly does The Who Cares Trust make a difference to the lives and outcomes of children in care?

Here’s how:

The Who Cares Trust support and empower children in care and young care leavers through their engagement programme, including running lifeskills workshops for young care leavers, organising work experience and providing one-to-one support and guidance to young people in the programme.

They influence legislation, policy and practice by ensuring the views and experiences of young people are heard where they need to be. This work includes running the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, research reports, consultation responses and their young trainers scheme, where they support young people in and from care to devise and deliver training for professionals working with children in care

The Who Cares Trust publish magazines and publications for children in care that inspire, empower and inform them. They also publish books for foster carers and other professionals responsible for children in care that help them improve their practice and keep up to date with policies and legislation.

They develop collaborative projects which aim to improve life in and after care.

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

The Who Cares Trust >

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.

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%.