The Department for Education (DfE) are undertaking a large scale survey of families with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) this summer. They are asking parents, carers and young people about their experiences of gaining a plan and how the plan is affecting their lives.
The survey is being carried out by IFF Research and Derby University and we will be working with partner organisations to help raise awareness of this survey so it is completed by as many families as possible. This will ensure that the results reflect the picture nationally, giving the Department and local areas comprehensive evidence of how families are experiencing the EHCP process.
Pilot survey results
The questionnaire has been developed with an independent advisory group including parent/carer representatives and was piloted in April and May this year. The pilot survey was small scale and based on 317 families with plans in 2014, so the findings are only indicative of the first four months following the September reforms – they are not up to date or nationally representative .
When asked about overall satisfaction with the EHC process, most respondents (63%) were satisfied or very satisfied; 13% were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the remainder being unsure or preferring not to answer.
Families were also asked how much they agreed/disagreed with four statements about what difference their EHCP had already made:
- 67% agreed that their EHC plan led to the child or young person getting the help and support they need.
- 62% agreed their plan improved the child or young person’s experience of education.
- 50% agreed their plan improved the child or young person’s health or wellbeing.
- 42% agreed their plan enabled the family to live the life they want to lead.
Fewer respondents disagreed with these statements: 12%, 13%, 19%, and 22% respectively; the remaining respondents were unsure or preferred not to answer the question.
The full questionnaire, which will be used again in the main survey, asks for families’ opinions on: initiating the EHCP process; assessment; information and advice; person centred service; personal budgets; agencies working together; duration of process; complaints procedure; and perceived impact on future outcomes. The full results tables of the pilot survey are provided in an accompanying document.
Survey invitation letters will be sent to families in the sample of individuals with an EHCP in place in 2015 and the survey will be completed in July-September 2016. The results will be published in the New Year with updates to follow before then.
For details of IFF’s work with DfE on the EHC Experience pilot survey follow the link: Click here
 Respondents were drawn from the National Pupil Database and Individual Learner Records. Results relate to perceptions of 317 respondents with plans in place 2014 (225 parents or carers and 92 young people). Within this, at least 254 cases related to statement transfers and at least 65 cases related to new plans. Analysis indicates that non-white / non-British children are underrepresented. The results are unweighted and are only representative of this small sample. Families who received plans in 2015 were not surveyed so that they could be involved in the main survey this summer.