Health Outcomes for young People throughout Education (HOPE) Study
Overview of the HOPE Study
Support provided for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) aims to improve their education, health, and wellbeing. However, substantial underfunding and implementation failures have prevented available provision fully meeting the needs of children with SEND (House of Commons Education Committee, 2019).
It is critical that research establishes a current picture of SEND provision in the UK. This includes how it varies across Local Authorities, and how it links to health outcomes in children and young people.
Aims of the HOPE Study
The HOPE study aims to provide ongoing evaluation, monitoring, and improvement of SEND services to achieve enduring benefits for children and young people’s health and wellbeing.
The overall research question is: “What is the impact of SEND provision in schools on health outcomes for children and young people?”
These findings will enable policy makers, service providers, and service users to make informed decisions about who might most benefit from SEND provision.
Methods being used
The HOPE Study is separated into four work packages across University College London (UCL) and University of Cambridge:
Work Package 1: Using a database of health and education data to establish which health indicators represent children with likely SEND needs, and which health outcomes could be impacted by SEND provision.
Work Package 2: Providing comprehensive data across the Local Authorities of England, detailing who receives SEND provision, when, what type, and for how long.
Work Package 3: Quantifying the impact of SEND provision on health outcomes.
Work Package 4: Further assessing the impact of timing and duration of SEND provision on health outcomes.
The University of Cambridge is completing Work Package 2 of the HOPE Study, using mixed methods to evaluate and map variation across England according to criteria, policies, and user experiences of SEND provision, with a particular focus on timing, setting, and duration.
Several research components are underway as part of Work Package 2, alongside other collaborations and side projects:
• National Surveys
The initial analysis of the three national surveys that aimed to assess the variation in SEND identification and provision across England was completed in October 2022.
We have produced key findings flyers from all three surveys (children and young people, parent and carer, wider stakeholders) and these can be found by following the links at the top of this webpage.
The team have also begun writing the first manuscript for the findings and we are hopeful that this will be submitted to a journal in the coming months.
• Qualitative Work
We have completed timeline interviews with children and young people, and parents and carers about their experiences of the SEN system. Transcription and analysis is underway.
• Local Offer Study
Completed a review of 151 Local Authorities Local Offer Webpages against 51 criteria outlined within the SEND Code of Practice. The aim of the study was to assess the extent that Local Authorities in England are providing clear, comprehensive, accessible and up-to-date information about available SEND provision and how to access it.
The team have submitted this manuscript for review and are hopeful this will be published in the coming months.
• Grey Literature Review
We have now completed all interviews with young people, parents and carers and have begun analysis on
A review of SEND-related grey literature summarising publications from across English local authorities to paint a clearer picture of the current state of research in the field is nearing completion.
The team are currently in the final stages of writing the manuscript for this project and are hopeful that it will be submitted to a journal very soon.
• Local Area SEND Inspections
HOPE researchers are currently analysing all of the local area SEND inspections published by OFSTED over the past 7 years. These are inspection outcomes from reviews of SEND services in each local authority across England. By collating these documents and assessing their commonalities and differences, the HOPE team aims to gain an understanding of what good and bad practice in SEND provision looks like across the country.
The analysis for this project has entered the final stages, with the writing of the manuscript starting shortly.
We have also started to explore the Ombudsman data relating to SEND across all Local Authorities in England. We will be using this to build on findings from the Local Offer and Local Area SEND inspections projects by investigating whether there are any similarities and differences across the country with regards to why some decisions are upheld and others are not.
For more information about any of these projects, including how to be involved, please see below, or contact us at email@example.com
The HOPE team has also submitted a response to the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Review: Right Support, Right Place, Right Time (Green Paper) consultation. Please see our response by clicking on the link below.
We have also recently visited our colleagues at UCL to discuss the final stages of the project.
Future work & how to get involved:
The HOPE team greatly values hearing from those with experience of navigating, receiving, or providing SEND provision. The more people who share their experience, the more chance our research has of influencing meaningful change. There are several ways you can get involved with our research.
If you have any other questions, or would like any further information about the HOPE study, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow us on twitter @HOPEStudy_
- Join our advisory groups
The HOPE study has three advisory groups, for: children and young people with SEND, parents and carers of children with SEND, and SEND professionals (those working in/closely with education setting, health services, and Local Authorities). These groups share their experiences to guide our research. For more information about the role of these groups or how to join, please contact: email@example.com