Evaluating the quality of outcomes defined for children with Education Health and Care plans in England: a local picture with global implications

Susana Castro, Catarina Grande, Olympia Palikara

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Abstract: Recently, the Children and Families Act 2014 was introduced in
England to regulate provision for children with disabilities. According
to this policy, statements of special educational needs were replaced
with education, health and care plans, which should include SMART,
holistic and participation-focused outcomes; this change aligns with
international recommendations regarding provision for children with
disabilities. This study aimed to evaluate the outcomes defined for children with
education, health and care plans in England. 236 Education Health and Care plans were included in the analysis, providing 2813 outcomes to be examined, which came from 11 local authorities and 42 schools and belong to 69 girls and 167 boys from 4 to 21 years of age. The outcomes were independently rated by two experienced researchers using a Goal Functionality Scale. Inter-rater agreement was calculated for 10% of the outcomes. Most outcomes were considered not to be functional or SMART; differences in the quality of the outcomes were found between local authorities, types of school, type of outcome, and the children's main need. There are important quality concerns regarding the outcomes that have been designed for children with disabilities in England, which should be addressed through standardised training and guidelines on procedures.

© 2019, Elsevier. The attached document (embargoed until 15/01/2021) is an author produced version of a paper published in RESEARCH IN DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link below. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-52
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2019

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