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Applying the evidence to the commissioning cycle – understand and plan

This section is about the evidence within the BCRP outputs that inform the needs analysis and specification development for provision needed13.

Cycle diagram

For Local Authority and CCG joint commissioning, the needs analysis would sit at the level of the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) with the specification reflected in the Local Offer supported by contracts with a range of potential providers.

There is a requirement for joint commissioning at Local Authority level.

For an individual school or cluster of schools, as commissioner, the needs analysis would be of the relevant school population. For example, if a school or cluster of schools serves a community with a higher level of social deprivation, then the need for targeted interventions in the early years and Key Stage 1 can be predicted to be higher. The specification is a strategic document that describes the outcomes the school aims to achieve and the support which the school will provide.  These outcomes will be achieved both through high quality teaching and support, but also by commissioning additional support from external professionals to provide more specific training, advice and direct support for children and young people as required. 

There is a requirement for schools to publish an outline of the support they provide. Schools may choose to define this as a ‘school offer’ that reflects the schools level provision as opposed to the Local Offer at Local Authority level.

A summary of the BCRP papers that inform the "understand and plan" phases of the commissioning cycle can be found here. Specific quotes are referenced throughout the text. 

13. In this context, a specification is defined as a clearly articulated set of desired outcomes with outcomes measures and expected standards that providers will need to evidence they are delivering against.  The service delivery model will be influenced by the specification but there will be a variety of ways in which outcomes might be appropriately achieved by different providers in different contexts.