Back when I started provision mapping (which feels like a century ago) I had a lovely collection of sticky sheets with the relevant information that would get duly moved around a board in my office as required. 

No one asked me how much something cost, or what an individual child’s menu looked like. That changed over time and trying to check each note to see if a student was involved and then how many hours and how much it cost could take the best part of a morning. Even transferred to an Excel spreadsheet I found that I could pull the child and the costs but then couldn’t easily record the ‘additional information’ such as what was happening in the provision or the outcomes expected. It is one of the reasons I was an early adopter of the Provision Map software. 

First, let’s address what goes in the provision section. I have a simple rule, if it costs me money, time, resources, or staff, or I want to track an outcome then it probably needs to go in. That doesn’t mean it needs to cost me money, time, resources, staff, AND I want an outcome – it could be any one or more of those things. 

I did a quick survey of the product specialist team over at Provision Map around what the difficulties seem to be when talking with users, and it seems that understanding how best to enter staffing when it comes to 1:1 or group provisions causes some confusionSo, here are some suggestions and solutions. 

Let’s start with some scenarios 

Scenario 1 

I have 3 children in one lesson all of whom have 1:1 support from 1 member of staff for at least part of that lesson. 

Which of the following is most important to you? 

  1. To reflect the name of the right member of staff…add all the students to the provision and the name of the member of staffThe time allocation will be evenly ‘split’ between the three students. 
  2. To count the exact hours a child receives…add all the students to the provision along with the member of staffGo back up the screen to session length and frequency and change it to say set per pupilScroll back down to the students and adjust for each one(For example, in a 1-hour lesson, child A receives an average of 30 minutes 1:1, Child B 20 minutes and Child C 10 minutes.) 
  3. To just show that they have support in that lesson (And you’re not bothered about costs) …just add the students. 
  4. To hold someone accountable for the outcomes of that support…ensure that the named member of staff is assigned at the bottom and that the track grades option is turned onIn-class support is a tricky one to track outcomes for, but the question is ‘why’ they are therePerhaps it is to ensure that they ‘complete’ 5 questions or 50% of the class set task rather than 1 question or 10% that they achieve without support. 
  5. To create a costed map for an individual pupil…two options here, and I’m not making judgmentsThe first is whether you are trying to show they have a 1:1 available for the whole lesson – in which case add the 3 students, 1 member of staff and click the ‘count individual pupils separately’This is in effect telling the system that the member of staff works with Child A for 1 hour, Child B for 1 hour and Child C for 1 hour(It isn’t strictly ‘true’ or financially correct.) The second option is to add the pupils and the member of staff and show the accurate reflection as in number 1 that even split of the time available. 

Scenario 2. 

I have 1 student who has different 1:1 TA support across their lessons. 

Which is most important? 

  1. To hold someone accountable/name the correct member of staff/have something the staff member can access quickly to enter their reviews…See ‘3 
  2. To just show they have support…Add a new staff member called “TA support,” allocate this member of staff for the total number of hours supported, regardless of who it is that actually does the role. 
  3. To accurately reflect costs (where TA salaries differ) … Option 1Set up a provision for each staff member – think of it as ‘their provision,’ what does that TA provide/doAdd the student and the correct number of hoursIt is sometimes easier to do this as the number of hours across the week rather than per dayOption 2Set up the provision and all relevant staff then adjust the number of hours each one coversI prefer the first option because I could add the other students they support across the week and put the responsibility into their hands to review the provision. 

Scenario 3 

I have a student who has 1:1 support but doesn’t need it all the time, so the TA also helps some of the other pupils. 

In this scenario, the SENCO is trying to reflect the cost of the TA against the 1:1 but demonstrate that other students also need support (perhaps they are on the pathway.) 

My suggestion for this is to set it up twiceOnce for the 1:1 support to accurately reflect against their provisionThen set it up a second time but remove the cost of the TA (don’t include in provision costs)This means the support (and hours) are reflected against the children, but the TA is only being ‘paid’ onceIf you needed to work out the ‘cost’ for one of the group children at a later point then you would have to go in and add the tick back in temporarily whilst you run your report. 

Let’s also address a question we get asked; can we rename it ‘interventions’ rather than provisions, and why we don’t. 

First of all, it makes a nice alliterative pattern: plans, passports, provisions! 

Secondly, though, interventions are an aspect of provisionsA provision is something put in place to support a student, it could be a coloured overlay, a toilet pass, an early or late start – none of which you would call ‘interventions’ but all of which could have a cost implication in terms of money, resources, staff or timeAn intervention is an aspect of this…it is a type of provision that intervenes and usually involves an adult (staff) to deliver it.