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Alison Wilcox, Head of Education for NASEN, offers the organisation's view on Provision Tracker and the benefit it could provide your school.

NASEN, National Association of Special Educational Needs are a charitable organisation who have been operating since 1992.

They support thousands of practitioners by providing relevant information, training and resources to enable staff to meet all pupils’ needs. Working with dedicated education professionals, NASEN aims to ensure that practice for special and additional needs is both effective and current.

Find out more by visiting http://www.nasen.org.uk/

Product Review, Nasen

Introduction

Provision Tracker is a web-based tool for managing provision, enabling users to create all necessary records, monitor performance, assess progress and cost and ultimately evaluate the full range of provision they offer. Schools must ensure that all children and young people achieve and progress as well as they can. To do this effectively, it is crucial to work in as an informed way as possible. Knowing what provision really works for whom and understanding why is key to making decisions about future provision, decisions which are based on evidence in context and which are most likely to deliver the best possible value for money. Whilst the analysis of provision remains the domain of staff, Provision Tracker offers real benefits to all users in terms of time-saving, keeping everything in one manageable system and being easily accessible to everyone in the way they require. Managing provision often involves creating and maintaining lots of different records, including spreadsheets and subsequent data-crunching to present information in graphs and charts, all of which can be really time-consuming and labour-intensive. Provision Tracker is a system through which all of this can be done in a simple and time-effective way, enabling everyone to invest much more time in the key activities of provision analysis and evaluation.

How Provision Tracker can help you?

Issue Solution(s) within Provision Tracker
Different assessment systems with unique measurements of attainment and progress Able to easily import any assessment system(s) Enables fine granularity of progress and attainment to be captured
Valuable staff time taken in:
  • creating manual records and complex spreadsheets to describe provision
  • organising data to show group and individual performance
Able to import data from other school systems. Simple record template to complete once per provision. All performance data is easily organised into charts and graphs to inform analysis. One click options to be able to view progress and attainment of individuals or whole groups
Knowing whether provision is value for money Cost vs benefit analysis function; see how much any provision cost overall and per child compared to their progress Compare actual interventions to how they were originally planned; analyse impacting factors Input all residual/relevant costs just once (eg. staff costs per hour) Forecast costs before interventions start
Producing multiple copies of provision records or data for different staff Provision Impact reports can be printed to PDF and easily shared
SENCO has to organise data and evidence collection for interventions Everyone has appropriate access and so shared responsibility
Collating information about interventions from different sources (eg. for conversations with parents or Ofsted) All associated information in one place; a single point of access
Complex systems of provision tracking presenting a barrier to users Simple and intuitive system with options for adding all relevant evidence and notes, as well as making mid-provision amendments
Evaluating and comparing provision across schools (for example within a multi-academy trust) Consistent tool to enable comparison of attainment, progress and cost of provision

Provision Tracker and SEND

Some of the additional provision in schools is created to respond to the range of special educational needs (SEN) of students. It is essential that this provision is as effective as possible; helping to ensure better outcomes by securing good progress and attainment. Whilst it is schools who decide how to measure this attainment and progress, Provision Tracker can be the tool to actually plan provision, capture, record and present the data for schools to then analyse and evaluate. It makes economic sense to free staff from this part of the process wherever possible so that they can spend their time doing what only they can; making sense of the data stories. Where provision is to be judged according to value for money, this must be done on an individual basis; what might appear as expensive for seemingly small steps of progress, for example, might actually represent accelerated or valuable progress for particular learners. It is this interpretation of data which is most important. Use of Provision Tracker’s features enables schools to respond to many of the questions asked about their range of provision on offer and also affords staff the time to then dig deeper and really understand the impact and efficacy of their provision decisions.

Why hasn’t this provision worked?

Using Provision Tracker can support the analysis of provision by clearly recording potential causal factors when outcomes may not be as expected. It is easy to see at a glance where intervention delivery has been affected by a change of staff or missed sessions, for example. Some of this information can enable schools to identify where they may need to invest in staff training or more professional development opportunities to maximise the effectiveness of different provision on offer. This could be training for new interventions; where what is known to be an effective intervention isn’t working or where strategies are needed for teachers to help them to incorporate what is covered by the intervention into daily teaching.

How can Provision Tracker help you with provision for SEND?

Are you a SENCO?

As a SENCO, you need to make informed decisions about provision for SEND across the school. You need to do this in partnership with parents and children. This means being confident about what is working in your school and how well it is working. Provision Tracker can help you to with both of these aspects. Do you want to be able to see at a glance the effectiveness of any particular intervention; compare rates of progress across interventions; understand how much interventions are costing and be able to drill down to the level of individual learners? These are all features of Provision Tracker’s functionality which help you to hold confident conversations with parents, teachers, senior leaders and outside agencies about provision choices. As a SENCO you are likely to also have some responsibility for the deployment of teaching assistants, many of whom will be delivering provision. Where they are confident in the use of Provision Tracker, your system for recording all aspects of this provision will then be consistent, can save valuable time and will be useful as meaningful evidence for all accountability requirements, not least to the child who is benefiting from the provision. In turn, all of this has the potential to save you time spent in management of the team, as staff become more independent. Equally, as teachers take on more responsibility for managing additional provision, particularly for their students with SEND, Provision Tracker enables them to do this in a way which is consistent across the school. Once staff are trained in the use of it, Provision Tracker will help them to organise provision records and produce summary data whenever it is needed. This facilitates some of their key role in the graduated approach to meeting needs and frees the SENCO to assume more of the strategic decision-making for school improvement in SEND.

Are you a teacher?

As a teacher you need to know that what you are delivering is working. For children with special educational needs, this may be additional provision for which you are still responsible. Being able to set up separate intervention groups, keep a record of their progress and evidence the attainment of each child involved helps you to be able to hold informed discussions with parents and line managers. Most importantly, though, it helps you to be confident about selecting interventions, making decisions about whether to continue with them and knowing how effective they have been for your learners. Provision Tracker is a system which can make this easy for you and save you time.

Are you a school leader?

As a school leader you need to have confidence that all provision is effective; ensuring that all learners attain and make progress. Often a range of additional provision is put in place for children with special educational needs across the school. Monitoring, analysing and evaluating this is essential good practice and you need to be confident in the resulting evidence of effectiveness. All staff have responsibilities towards securing progress through intervention, from assessing, planning and delivery through to transference and maintenance of learning back in class and ultimately reviewing impact. For each of these staff there will be resulting demands upon their time and so making all necessary processes as efficient as possible for everyone makes sense. Provision Tracker is a tool which can help you to do that. It also enables the whole school to benefit from a consistent approach to planning and recording interventions and offers a central shared space for all staff to see exactly what’s happening for their learners. The cost, benefit relationship of provision is easy to produce allowing your staff more time to analyse this using information about individual children; the essential stories behind the data.

Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) and Federations

One of the benefits of schools joining together is the opportunity to share expertise and compare practice. One of the challenges in this is trying to make comparisons across many different systems and based on data which can be collected in very different ways. Offering all schools use of Provision Tracker can make that collaboration much easier. Even where assessment and tracking data vary, the recording and presentation of data in a common and consistent format can enable schools to hold more meaning discussions about effective provision.

Benefits Summary

  • Time-saving and efficient (planning, recording, collating evidence, presenting data)
  • Offers consistency (one way of managing provision across a school or group of schools)
  • Shared responsibility for provision organisation and management
  • Easy access to provision data (choice of presentation, eg, graphs, and variables, eg. cost)
  • At a glance records of progress, attainment and cost