Somerset SEND Improvement Plan – Executive Summary

As part of our ongoing self-assessment of SEND arrangements in Somerset, Somerset County Council (SCC) and Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) conducted an intensive review of the SEND system, with key practitioners leads and Parent Carer Forum representatives, between 10 and 14 June 2019.

The self-assessment identified seven priority areas requiring urgent action and determined that a “joint written statement of action” for SCC and CCG would be required to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND and their families.

The seven priority areas for improvement identified by SCC and the CCG are:

1. Governance arrangements in place in Somerset are not effective in holding leaders to account sufficiently to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND.

2. There is currently limited joint planning and commissioning of services, between education, health and care, to meet the needs of those with SEND.

3. There is inconsistent application of Somerset’s strategy for identifying, assessing and meeting the needs of children and young people at the SEN support stage across the partnership.

4. A need to strengthen the Local Offer from providers to address the inconsistency of experience reported by families.

5. The time it takes to issue EHC plans and the variable quality of these plans, the fact that these plans do not consistently capture a child or young person’s needs and aspirations and that EHC plans are not able to be used as a valuable tool to support the planning and implementation of education, health and care provision to lead to better lived experiences for the child and their families.

6. Weaknesses in our approach to supporting the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children and young people with SEND who face challenges in relation to their social, emotional and mental health.

7. Weaknesses in the identification, assessment, diagnosis and support of those children and young people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

You can read the full report here.