Measuring children and young people’s outcomes in residential education

Year: 2015
Topic: Disability, Education, Residential care
Author: Jennifer Lerpiniere, Rachel Harris, Vicki Welch

Evaluation of Educating through Care Scotland Pilot

This study evaluates Educating through Care Scotland Pilot - an outcomes framework for children and young people with significant and complex additional support needs in residential education and care settings.

The outcomes framework consisted of a bank of outcomes, a set of tools and associated processes specifically developed by the Educating through Care Scotland group for use by residential providers of education and care. A group of 11 providers piloted the framework over an 18-month period. These providers met regularly to share learning and there was further input from four secure care providers with growing experience of using outcomes.

The findings draw on data from a wide range of perspectives including workers, managers, children and young people and commissioners.

Main findings

  • The outcome framework and associated processes was a valuable development for providers.
  • Wider introduction of the framework is appropriate and will benefit commissioners, service providers, and, more importantly children and young people.
  • Future developments for the framework should consider approaches for further involvement of children and young people in the process.

Wider learning for providers

The report draws out a number of wider learning points which may be of interest to others developing or implementing outcomes approaches. Some examples include:

  • Being explicit about the purpose or aims of using an outcomes approach is critical to ensure all stakeholders share the same expectations.
  • The process of using outcomes approach – the detailed discussion and thought to select and assess outcomes -  is itself beneficial, facilitating better understanding, and increased focus and improvement in service delivery
  • Introducing an outcomes approach and large scale change across an organisation requires a multi-layered learning offer, for example: writing training materials alongside training and  face-to-face support.

We would encourage you to read the full report to understand these lessons in the context of the discussions.