More than 1.2 million children in England have special educational needs. And only a fraction of these children have special educational needs statements or education health and care plans that provide access to additional support.
Recently, we worked with the children’s services team at Dorset County Council to look at how they could improve the process for children and young people with Special Education Needs (SEN) to apply for and receive education, health and care plans (EHCP). This project is part of the council’s digital strategy, wanting to help the organisation develop the skills to adopt a design-led approach.
It was an exciting challenge: a dynamic team, wanting to build a more user-centred service that faces increasing demand, all to support the families and children most in need of special education support.
My role was to help this ambitious team understand where to start and demonstrate that positive change can happen simply and quickly.
Working as a team
Bringing together a multidisciplinary team was one of the first things we did in Dorset. With different perspectives focused on the challenge, we knew we could unearth new ideas. Working with a data specialist and a communications officer from the SEN team, we found the perfect blend of skills and experience, as well as a genuinely fabulous group of passionate and empathetic individuals.