Assessment and Reviewing Officer (ARO)An ARO will coordinate the statutory needs assessment process and book the COM. They ensure legal statutory timeframes are met. The ARO will attend the COM and keep a record of what is discussed in the meeting.
Educational Psychologist (EP)Educational Psychologist – an EP will work with your child as part of the statutory needs assessment process. They will often observe and/or work with a child/young person them to complete some assessments to understand their strengths and identify any special educational needs. They will lead the COM and ensure everyone has a chance to share their thoughts and feelings.
Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities Coordinator(SENCO/ SENDCO)The SENCO is the person in school who has responsibility for coordinating support for any pupils with Special Educational Needs. They promote inclusion within schools and liaise with external professionals as needed. Sometimes they are called SENDCO – Special Educational Needs and/or Disability Coordinator. They will be at the COMs to share the views and thoughts on behalf of the educational setting.
Education Health and Care needs assessment (EHC needs assessment)An EHC needs assessment is the start of the process to see whether an EHC plan is required. Many different many different assessments and pieces of evidence are analysed to identify if the needs impact on a child or young person’s ability to access education in a way that cannot be supported through the setting’s own SEN support.Find out more on Somerset’s SEND Local Offer
Education Health and Care plan(EHC plan)A statutory document which outlines strengths, areas of need, outcomes, and provision needed for a child/young person. This is a legal document and should be reviewed annually by the child/young person and the team supporting them.Find out more on Somerset’s SEND Local Offer
Collaborative Outcomes Meeting (COM)The Collaborative Outcomes Meeting is part of the statutory needs assessment process and aims to bring together the family and child/young person with any professionals involved, to work together to agree the support needed (provisions) and goals (outcomes) for the child/young person. Everyone in the meeting has a unique perspective and will be able to share their views and expertise to provide a personalised plan to support.
Strengths and NeedsThese will outline a child/young person’s strengths (things they enjoy/can do well) and needs (things they find difficult). The needs identified will inform the outcomes and provision. They are divided into four areas:
  • Cognition and Learning – how a child/young person learns and might include literacy, numeracy, and other academic skills.
  • Communication and Interaction – how a child/young person communicates with and interacts with other people, including children and adults. This might include how they play, who they play with, and the language they use.
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health – how a child/young person recognises and regulates their emotions, and how they feel about themselves.
  • OutcomesOutcomes are statements which explain the short- and long-term goals to promote a child/young person’s progress towards their aspirations. Outcomes will be specific and measurable. These will be reviewed each year and adapted as needed. Part of the COMs discussion will be focused on agreeing which outcomes are most important.
    Provision At the COMs, support and strategies that will be needed to help a child/young person achieve their outcomes is agreed.You may hear the following terms used when talking about provision:
  • Universal Provision – this is what schools provide as the foundation of all other support and provisions. It comprises of high-quality teaching that is available to all children/young people and is based on inclusive approaches which benefit all children and are essential for SEN children.
  • SEN support – this is targeted provision for some children/young people who may need additional support. Schools and colleges must use their best endeavours to provide this.
  • High Needs provision – a few children and young people, such as those with complex and long-term special educational needs, may need specific high needs provision. This is likely to be highly specialist and personalised. It will be described in the EHC plan.
  • Find out more on Somerset’s SEND Local Offer