Children and young people with SEND may need extra support at nursery, school or college, or may have health and care support needs. It is the responsibility of Somerset County Council and the Somerset NHS Clinical Commissioning Group alongside schools, education providers and other Local Area partners, to make sure they get that support.

In March 2020, Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) and the CQC (Care Quality Commission) inspected Somerset’s SEND services to ensure children and young people across the county are being given the best support possible. Inspectors spoke with children, young people, families and the people who run the services. Ofsted and CQC said that Somerset is not doing well enough and needs to do better.

Our new SEND strategy

The Somerset SEND Partnership, which includes Somerset County Council, NHS Somerset, Somerset Parent Carer Forum and local education providers, have launched a consultation for the public to feedback on their updated SEND Strategy.

We’d like you to give your thoughts on the new draft strategy for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND).

The strategy was shaped by extensive engagement with children, young people and families and sets out how services will be delivered and led over the next three years (2023-26).

The Somerset SEND Partnership have four key themes which outline their plan for SEND services, these are:

  • Working together
  • Getting help as early as possible
  • Access to the right support and provision
  • Preparing for the future

The consultation will close on Friday 23 December.

To provide feedback visit

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC): re-visit 28 November to 1 December 2022

Ofsted and the CQC are carrying out jointly a re-visit of Somerset local area following the previous inspection that took place in March 2020. The re-visit will evaluate how effectively leaders have addressed the areas of significant weaknesses detailed in the written statement of action (WSOA).

During the re-visit, Ofsted and CQC inspectors will be keen to speak to as many children and young people and their parents and carers as possible, specifically about the weaknesses identified in the WSOA.

Written Statement of Action

In December 2020, Somerset County Council and Somerset NHS Clinical Commissioning Group published its ‘Written Statement of Action’ (WSoA). This is a detailed plan to improve the SEND service areas identified in the Ofsted and CQC inspection report.

You can read the Written Statement of Action’ (WSoA) by using the links below.

Document preview

Full version

PDF, 2.20MB
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Easy read version

PDF, 1.47MB

We know we have lots of work to do to make SEND services the best they can be. We have agreed to work hard together to make these improvements.

Areas of work

In this section you will find everything you need to know about improving services for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) in Somerset.

A significant amount of work is taking place across Somerset on the following themes:

Theme 1: Culture of inclusion and collaboration

  • Children, young people and their families have regular opportunities through listening events to work with Senior Leaders and key staff across the area to review how services are meeting needs, identify gaps and share ideas
  • Improve information sharing across services to ensure practitioners can see the full picture and support a ‘tell it once’ culture
  • Develop an evidence-based performance culture across SEND services which fosters multi-agency ownership and engagement
  • Review our leadership capacity across the local area and develop a plan to address identified gaps
  • Develop a programme for growing our SEND leaders of the future to ensure we always have staff with the right skills in leadership roles

Theme 2: Joint commissioning

  • Develop and embed clear and transparent accountability arrangements for joint programmes of work
  • Coproduce a set of principles for quality assurance across all SEND system processes so that children, young people and families are clear what they can expect from services and how service will work with them
  • Co-produce a outcomes-based framework
  • Establish the post diagnosis and transition support offer in the Autism and ADHD Pathway using the lived experiences of Somerset families
  • Formalise the new Autism and ADHD Pathway within the contracts, including data and reporting
  • Develop and publish a clear pathway from pre-diagnosis through to diagnosis using information gained from the lived experiences of children and young people with SEND and their families

Theme 3: Inclusive education and communities

  • Agree what good evidence-based inclusive practice looks like
  • Understand our strengths and weaknesses in inclusion, and hold accountable through school performance data
  • Co-produce and redesign partnership structures between schools and multi-agency partners
  • Create an inclusive and good practice model of pupil voice and participation across every school
  • Ensure that children and young people identified as SEND support have their needs met through an appropriate graduated response
  • Reduce the number of children who are not identified in a timely manner in early years and who are later identified as SEND
  • Review the School Nursing service and develop where it can support children and young people with SEND
  • Improve use of the Learning Disabilities Annual Health Check for young people over 14 years of age

Theme 4: Better assessment and planning

Review and, through co-production, revise advice templates to ensure professionals contributing to the EHC needs assessment process do so in a consistent and timely way

More information

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30 November 2020

PDF, 96.5KB


Get in touch

If you have any questions or would like to tell us about your experiences of using SEND in Somerset, you can contact us:

On Facebook: @SENDParticipationTeam
By What’s App or text message: 07976 809 773

Updated 9 June 2021

Last reviewed:November 22, 2022 byGemma

Next review due:May 22, 2023

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