UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


HOPE study outputs

How is the HOPE Study's research being carried out?

The HOPE Study will use diverse methodologies and involve young people, parents and practitioners.  Our research methods will use the fact that SEN provision has not been evenly distributed across local authorities and the amount of provision has varied over time. This will make it possible to compare outcomes in children who received support with similar children who did not receive support for SEN. Different methods are being used to analyse how certain we can be that SEN provision causes a change in health outcomes. Four interlinked work packages within the HOPE Study will work on developing iteratively investigate and inform each other's findings throughout the programme. 


HOPE Study Work Packages
Work package 1 - Do outcomes vary compared to peers?

In the first work package, we define a range of health phenotypes, that is, health conditions captured in Health Episode Statistics data that are expected to need SEN provision in primary school. We explore how health and education outcomes vary for children with different health phenotypes and compared with unaffected peers.

Methods: Systematic reviews and qualitative synthesis of stakeholder views to define key health indicators and outcomes; quantitative methods to define health indicators of need for SEN and outcomes and descriptive analyses of prognosis and risk factors associated with need for SEN provision.

Work package 2 - Which factors contribute to variation in SEN provision?

In work package 2, we describe how child, social and area-level factors contribute to variation in SEN provision for children with similar health needs indicated using the phenotypes identified in work package 1.  The findings help us understand the key drivers of variation in SEN provision to determine whether the impact of SEN provision (examined in work package 3) can be evaluated using natural policy experiment designs (eg, due to changes in policy over time).

Methods: Quantitative data analyses using multilevel regression models.

Work package 3 - What is the impact of SEN provision?

In work package 3, we assess the impact of SEN provision on health and education outcomes for children with specific health phenotypes (defined in work package 1) considering timing, duration and level of provision. We bring together analyses using  a range of causal inference methods to address possible biases arising from using observational data (such as unmeasured confounding or possible selection bias).

Methods: Quantitative data analyses using biostatistical and econometric causal methods to evaluate the impact of the timing and duration of SEND provision on specific groups and over an extended period; stakeholder involvement to inform prioritisation of target interventions and eligible groups

Work package 4 - What are experiences of SEND provision?

The ECHILD database contains termly records indicating provision for SEN, but no information about whether or when any provision was actually received, its type or quality.  This work package uses mixed methods to understand geographical variation in local policies and the underlying processes of identification, assessment and provision, and how these processes are experienced by families. Findings are compared, reconciled and summarised in a systems analysis. The final output will be metadata of indicators of timing and location of various policies and practices to be used in analyses in other work packages.

Methods: Qualitative evaluation of practices reported by stakeholders and service users and literature reviews; descriptive data analyses; systems analysis to integrate findings; quantitative methods to derive metadata combining linked hospital and education data for all children with information on variation in policies and local practices.

HOPE Study's outputs

1. Publication: HOPE study research protocol: Evaluation of variation in special educational needs provision and its impact on health and education using administrative records for England: umbrella protocol for a mixed-methods research programme: 

https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/13/11/e072531 (DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2023-072531). November 2023.

2. Publication: Protocol: Primary school attainment outcomes in children with neurodisability: Protocol for a population-based cohort study using linked education and hospital data from England

https://openresearch.nihr.ac.uk/articles/4-28/v1 (DOI: https://doi.org/10.3310/nihropenres.13588.1). May 2024.

3. Publication: Protocol: Planned and unplanned hospital admissions and health-related school absence rates in children with neurodisability: Protocol for a population-based study using linked education and hospital data from England

https://openresearch.nihr.ac.uk/articles/4-26/v1 (DOI: https://doi.org/10.3310/nihropenres.13558.1). May 2024.

4. Publication: Protocol: Local authority variation in primary school-recorded special educational needs provision among children with major congenital anomalies: A research protocol

https://openresearch.nihr.ac.uk/articles/3-50/v1 (DOI: https://doi.org/10.3310/nihropenres.13466.1). October 2023.

5. Abstract, Conference Proceedings School-recorded special educational needs in children with major congenital anomalies: a linked administrative records study of births in England:

https://ijpds.org/article/view/2340 (DOI: https://doi.org/10.23889/ijpds.v8i2.2340). September 2023.

6. Publication: Protocol: Early special educational needs provision and its impact on unplanned hospital utilisation and school absences in children with isolated cleft lip and/or palate: a demonstration target trial emulation study protocol using ECHILD

https://openresearch.nihr.ac.uk/articles/3-54/v1 (DOI: https://doi.org/10.3310/nihropenres.13472.1). October 2023.

7. Publication: Protocol: Impact of special educational needs provision on hospital utilisation, school attainment and absences for children in English primary schools stratified by gestational age at birth: A target trial emulation study protocol

https://openresearch.nihr.ac.uk/articles/3-59/v1 (DOI: https://doi.org/10.3310/nihropenres.13471.1). November 2023.

8. Publication: To what extent do England's local offer websites adhere to the statutory guidance as set out in the special educational needs and disabilities code of practice?

https://acamh.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcpp.13561 (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.13561). February 2024.

9. Guest Article: Do England’s Local Offer websites meet the expectations of the SEND Code of Practice?

https://www.specialneedsjungle.com/research-critical-information-gaps-send-local-offer-websites-ehcp-eligibility-criteria/. May 2024.

10. Survey report: Priorities for research using the ECHILD (Education and Child Health Insights from Linked Data) database – A survey of views from children and families conducted in collaboration with Scope

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/child-health/sites/child_health/files/scope_survey_report_0.pdf. April 2023.

11. National Survey: Key findings flyers 

December 2022.