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Person Centred Planning

Person Centre Planning (PCP) pilot in Solihull 2018-19

In the Autumn term of 2018 Solihull LA held a Person Centred Approaches training day for staff from education, health and social care services, Solihull’s Parent Carer Forum and SENDIAS.  The day was attended by approximately 80 people and was facilitated by Inclusive Solutions UK.

Following the PCP training day, 10 schools from across the five Collaborative areas in Solihull, volunteered to attend further training days to enable them to pilot PCP planning meetings during 2018-19.  Staff from different schools worked together, or carried out the PCP pilot with staff from the LA Specialist Inclusion Support Service, or SENDIAS.  Mainstream primary and secondary schools were involved, including an Additionally Resourced Provision and two of our special schools.

What are Person Centred Approaches?

Person Centred Approaches are about discovering and acting on what is important to a person and what is important for them and finding the balance between them. It is a process of continual listening and learning, focusing on what is important to someone now and in their future, and acting on this. The listening is used to understand a person’s capacities and choices.   Person Centred Approaches form a basis for problem solving and negotiation to mobilise the necessary resources to pursue a person’s aspirations. Department of Health (2001).

Why use Person Centre Planning Approaches?

The Children and Families Act sets out clear principles for supporting and involving children and young people in all aspects of the support and planning of their special educational need (SEND). Local Authorities (LAs) must have regard to the views, wishes and feelings of the child or young person and their parent. There is a duty to ensure participation as fully as possible in decisions, and to be provided with the information to ensure the enablement of participation in those decisions.

There must be mechanisms in place which support their parent/carer to facilitate the development of the child or young person, and to help him or her to achieve the best possible outcomes.

The Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)  Code of Practice: 0 – 25 years provides the statutory guidance relating to part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014. Embedded in its principles is the need for a stronger focus on the participation of children, young people and their parents/carers in decision making at both individual and strategic levels. The use of Person Centred Approaches provides the opportunity to fulfil those principles. Working in this way ensures the CYP and their parents/carers are at the centre of all decision making and future planning.


It provides an opportunity to engage directly with children and young people to discuss their needs, and plan how they can achieve the best possible outcomes. This should be integral to all planning for children and young people with SEND throughout their lives.

PCP Tools

To understand PCP and the range of planning tools that can be used click on the attached link to SEND guidance – Person Centred Planning Toolkit.

During the pilot staff trialled the P.A.T.H (Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope) Tool and then later in the year reviewed the outcomes from the PCP meetings.  Feedback about the process was overwhelmingly positive from the children included, parents and schools.

There were however a range of challenges. Two case studies reflect the findings of the pilot.

Outcomes and Next Steps
  • The greatest success was where one or two schools, worked with a LA specialist teacher from SISS, or a member of staff from SENDIAS. They all completed the project and case studies.
  • Several schools did not complete the pilot for a number of reasons, these included; key staff leaving the school/project, or taking maternity leave and in specialist provision, parental engagement with the process was a barrier. As a result no outcomes were gained from the special schools involved, or the one secondary school.
  • A study to analyse the PCP pilot outcomes was planned, unfortunately the trainee Educational Psychologist given this task then left Solihull before completing it.
  • The plan for schools to lead on the training within their Collaborative was not feasible due to the number of schools who did not complete the pilot. One group did share the tools and learning within their Collaborative of schools.
  • Schools have shared their use of PCP with SENCos at SENCo network meetings and the PCP Toolkit has been distributed.
  • Tools from the PCP toolkit have been included in the EHCP paperwork, to encourage schools to use some of the basic tools when planning and reviewing pupils targets and outcomes.
Plans for 2020
  • An afternoon of training is planned for all schools at the February 2020 primary and secondary Senco network meetings. This will be delivered by a SISS teacher who was part of the 18-19 project and a Community Educational Psychologist.  .The training will give SENCOs an awareness of the PCP Toolkit and how they can use the tools for children in their schools who have SEND.
  • The project schools will continue to use the PCP Tools and be supported by LA staff, where required. The Specialist inclusion Support Service and Community Education Psychology Service will develop a training package that will be available to schools in 2020/21 so that schools can access this approach for some of their most vulnerable learners, where the Team Around the Child feels stuck and feels the use of the PATH Tool will be helpful in supporting the young person and their families.
  • PCP tools are core to the processes of the new High Needs SEMH Team and their work with young people who are at risk of permanent exclusion – the use of this model will be reviewed in July 2020.