Over the last four months, IMPOWER have been working across the Somerset SEND Partnership to help us review our transformation work.  Our aim is to make sure that children and young people receive the right support at the right time. 


IMPOWER’s work included panel observations, multidisciplinary case reviews and parent carer, child and young person surveys with Somerset Parent Carer Forum. Through this work, IMPOWER highlighted achievements from the last two years including: joined-up working, system leadership and the autism pathway. 


However, we can go further to meet our ambitions for children and young people in Somerset. This includes embedding the graduated response in all schools, strengthening partnership working and fully including the voice of children and young people in all practice and decision making.  


They identified opportunities to improve how we support children and young people with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs, and how we prepare and be ambitious about children’s futures, including supporting them through phase transfers at school.  


In June, IMPOWER facilitated workshops with partners across Education, Health and Social Care settings and parent carers. In these sessions, partners from across the system identified what needs to happen now to address these findings quickly and deliver meaningful change for children, young people and families.  


SEND Advice Line: 

  • 136 calls were made to the SEND Advice Line in three weeks.  
  • 92% of callers said it helped them to access advice in a timely way.  
  • 93% said it left them feeling more confident about how to meet the child’s needs 
  • 88% said they were very likely to call back.  
  • Several schools reported that the specialist advice they received on the call helped to reduce the risk of the child being suspended or excluded.  


Valuing SEND  

  • The Valuing SEND trial settings reported finding the tool useful for capturing children’s needs, identifying any gaps in current provision, AND thinking about how to fill them.  
  • They felt it would be helpful to strengthen conversations with families professionals, and help monitor the child’s progress over time.  



What’s next? 

Both trials demonstrated the potential impact of continuing these approaches moving forward and were confirmed as priorities at the co-design workshops.  Because of this, the Advice Line will return during the current academic year. Valuing SEND will continue to be tested, helping to ensure that children receive the right support at the right time, including during the phase transfer process (such as from primary to secondary school).  


IMPOWER will be supporting us to deliver this work between now and December. The work will take place alongside, and feed into, the development of the SEND Strategy and will be focused on impact and outcomes. The SEND Strategy will be published for consultation in the autumn.  


Please look out for further information coming soon including how you can get involved or access this support!  

Hands supporting each other

Hands supporting each other

General information

September 16, 2022

Is this information correct?

If information on this record is incorrect or outdated please let us know