Capita has launched new software to assist local authorities with meeting their statutory requirement to provide a Personal Education Plan (PEP) for every looked-after child in the UK. There are more than 80,000 ‘at-risk’ children recognised by the government as requiring support under the 1989 Children’s Act.
The traditional, paper-based process of compiling a PEP for an at-risk child can be time-consuming and inefficient, an issue compounded by the surge in the number of children requiring support during the pandemic. Capita’s new software, PEP Online, makes it easier for social workers, teachers and the child to collaborate on a care plan and monitor its progress. By encouraging input from the child, the software is designed to empower children to play an active role in their own educational and social development.
By streamlining school attendance, educational attainment and other important recordkeeping in a shared online portal, the software is designed to prevent the oversight of at-risk children slipping from the relevant authorities. The software will also free up the time carers must spend on administrative tasks by pulling information from a child’s existing PEP, eliminating the need for duplicate forms.
New polling conducted by YouGov for Capita reveals widespread agreement amongst the public of the benefits that technology – such as emergency out-of-hours appointments and online progress reports – can bring to vulnerable children. Almost seven in ten people (69%) believe that technology facilitating remote communication between teachers, social workers and at-risk children should continue to play a key role in supporting children as social distancing restrictions are eased, with only 7% disagreeing.
Andy Hamlyn, managing director at Capita One, says:
“The British public overwhelmingly recognises that giving caregivers and teachers access to technology that supports the development of at-risk children, especially out-of-hours, can positively impact their lives. “A missed appointment or even a temporary breakdown in communication between carers can have debilitating consequences for a child. By joining the dots between teachers and social workers, effective collaboration can improve the outcomes and life chances of vulnerable children.”
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