About the Toolkit

The Toolkit acts as a tool for local authorities to support them in investigating areas to improve the SEND and alternative provision system in alignment with the SEND & AP mission to:

Fulfil children’s potential

Children and young people with SEND (or attending alternative provision) enjoy their childhood, achieve good outcomes and are well prepared for adulthood and employment.

Build parents and carers’ trust

Parents and carers experience a fairer, easily navigable system (across education, health and care) that restores their confidence that their children will get the right support, in the right place, at the right time.

Provide financial sustainability

Local leaders make the best use of the high needs block to meet children and young people’s needs and improve outcomes, while placing local areas on a stable financial footing.

The Toolkit will focus on the diagnostic stage of the transformation journey, which can be broken down into the six stages outlined below. The information at each stage represents the learnings and experiences from the 54 local areas that have taken part in the DBV programme.

Setting up for Success
Prioritising Focus Areas
Identifying Root Causes: Quantitative Evidence
Identifying Root Causes: Qualitative Evidence
Quantifying Impact
Planning for Implementation
Explore toolkit areas

How should the Toolkit be used?

Many local areas (LAs) will have existing transformation programmes and ongoing initiatives to tackle challenges they are facing within the SEND & AP system.

The Toolkit is intended to provide guidance on the diagnostic approach used during the Delivering Better Value programme and how it could be adapted to support other approaches that you have come across or used in the past. It is a collection of exercises and activities that can help form a strong foundation for a programme aiming to make changes in a local SEND & AP system.

Each section of the Toolkit will look at a different diagnostic activity, explain what the exercise is, what the potential benefits are, and some example outputs from LAs that have participated in the DBV programme, so that you can learn from their experience.

three illustrated groups of individuals surrounded by trees

What the Toolkit is...

A tool for local areas to refer to on an ongoing basis, at any stage in their improvement journey

A collection of case studies and insights from the first phase of the DBV programme, demonstrating how to determine the changes to prioritise and focus efforts on, to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND

It is a document to be used voluntarily by LAs but can be helpful in preparing for some elements of statutory returns or inspections

It is a collection of lessons and examples from LAs who participated in the DBV programme rather than a prescriptive step-by-step breakdown of activities

Explore the Stages of the Diagnostic Journey

1. Setting up for Success

How do you prepare for the system engagement and data elements of the diagnostic?

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2. Prioritising Focus Areas

What are the key levers driving caseload and spend in the HNB?

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3. Identifying Root Causes: Quantitative Evidence

How do you gather quantitative evidence to understand what needs to improve in the areas identified in step 2?

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4. Identifying Root Causes: Qualitative Evidence

How can you supplement this insight with lived experience from all partners to maximise your understanding of the opportunities for improvement?

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5. Quantifying Impact

How do you model the anticipated impacts of improvements on outcomes and finances?

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6. Building an Evidence-based Improvement Plan

How do you identify the right outcomes and approach for your improvement workstreams?

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