Somerset County Council and NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group are working in partnership to improve Somerset’s services for children and young people (aged 0 to 25) with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND). The work taking place is outlined within the Written Statement of Action (WSoA) and divided into Improvement Priority (IP) areas.

What is Improvement Priority  7 and why does it matter? 

Improvement Priority 7 (IP7) is about addressing the poor assessment and meeting of need caused by inconsistent practice leading to poor outcomes for children and young people with SEND.

What are we aiming for? 

Aiming for a multi-agency consistent approach to meet children and young people’s needs so that families have confidence in our SEND system.

What is being done to make this happen? 

We have developed IP7 actions and are clear who is doing what. As an Improvement Priority we meet monthly and share our progress and worries. We work with the other Improvement Priority areas when needed.

What has been done so far? 

  • Risk registers are established that will capture data for all children and young people who have a learning disability and/or autism who display behaviours that challenge.
  • Routine multi-agency meetings to share risk and gather input from Education, Health and Social Care are established.
  • Through mapping of pathways, capacity and joint working across Health Therapy Services and Local Authority Advisory Teams there is an understanding of opportunities for improvement to reduce duplication and provide a better experience for children and young people with SEND and their families.
  • Priority pathways are identified for publication on the Local Offer in agreement with the Local Offer Steering Group. The information about existing pathways is coproduced with families to ensure that it accessible and published on the Local Offer.
  • A coproduced pathway for direct referrals from Therapy Services to the Community Paediatrician is established, avoiding the need for further General Practitioner (GPs) referral.
  • The SENDIAS Service (Early Support) is supporting parent carers and young people in ensuring that their needs are fully met at SEND Support.
  • Maternity services are routinely updating Child Health Information (CHIS) records, improving timely notification of new birth visits for Health Visiting Teams.
  • System is in place to report any late or missed notification by the Public Health Nursing (PHN) service via the clinical incident reporting system in SCC. Trends and themes are shared with the appropriate Maternity Provider.
  • PHN locality Leads are raising any gaps in data with the Community Nursing Managers and agreeing systems for escalation in order to close the gaps.
  • There are increased notifications from GPs sharing details with Health Visitors of pregnant women and families who transfer out of the practice.
  • The outcomes of the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) are routinely reviewed by Public Health Nursing and early years providers at the 2 to 2.5 year developmental review, to enable early identification of developmental delay and an appropriate plan including support is coproduced with the individual family.
  • School Health Profiles have been developed by school nursing in collaboration with the local Public Health Intelligence Team. The first phase of these is introduced into secondary settings.
  • The profiles will use a combination of school census, national and local Public Health data and require joint working with education and Public Health Commissioners to identify community, whole school and individual pupil needs and agree a focussed offer.
  • The profiles are linked to the Somerset Wellbeing Framework which is our local programme for delivering a whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing that allows schools to record their health-related work, leading to their formal recognition by Public Health Somerset as health improving organisations.
  • The School Nursing Core Offer has been completed, shared widely with schools and is accessible on the Local Offer. It details the seven strands of intervention that make up the core universal and targeted school nurse role for children and young people in education and for those not in school.
  • A School Readiness programme for all children is embedded within Public Health Nursing (PHN) practice. This is delivered through a multiagency approach with PHN (health visitors and school nurses) working alongside partners in Early Years provision, schools and parents to identify inequality and need as early as possible. Services use relevant evidence-based assessment and PHN’s share identified needs with early years providers as appropriate.
  • Pre-school workshops to targeted primary settings for families with identified needs including a virtual offer are available with the School Health Nursing Team.
  • The school nursing offer to special schools includes specific support for children in relation to continence, CLA and safeguarding. Alongside identification of whole school training needs that sit within the scope of the School Nurse Core Offer,
  • Good practice in play therapy within our special schools is shared, with opportunities identified to extend trainee practitioner support,
  • Awareness of annual health checks (AHCs) has increased through communications and a review of information available on the Local Offer, co-producing any changes.
  • National data along with specific GP location data and percentage of uptake (all age) will be included on the SEND Dashboard and used to monitor take up of AHCs.
  • Work with SEND team to raise awareness of AHC at annual reviews for the 14 year olds and above.
  • Health Practitioners who contribute to the Education, Health and Care needs assessment process are clearly defining outcomes and being clear about any service specific provision required that is over and above that which is usually available to children and young people of a similar age, aptitude and ability.
  • There has been a review of current processes and ways of working and the insight gained from lived experiences lead to changes in working practices and improved experiences for families are evident through the EHCP feedback process.
  • A new, co-produced EHC plan template for Appendix C (Health Advice) is available and being used, establishing consistency in the way professional advice is provided for the assessment process by relevant medical practitioners.
  • All health professionals are aware of the early years support systems and how these link to the appropriate SEND pathway and of their duties under Section 23 of The Children and Families Act.

Who is involved? 

The Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are working with Children and Young People’s Therapy Services, the Virtual School, maternity services, public health nursing, Statutory SEND Team and Somerset Parent Carer Forum.

Where can I find out more? 

  • SEND News – Sign up to our newsletter for weekly SEND news updates during term time for SEND improvement updates, parent carer and youth voice engagement and events or activities.
  • SEND Improvement Board Papers and Exceptions Report

Get in touch

If you have any questions about IP7 work please contact

Last reviewed:June 22, 2022 byJennifer

Next review due:December 22, 2022

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