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.

Improvement Priority 2 – Leadership

What is Improvement Priority 2 and why does it matter?

Improvement Priority 2 (IP2) is about addressing concerns around leadership capacity and quality across area services. This includes our culture and behaviours and how we work together and with our families.

What are we aiming for?

Joined up services where each part of our “system” knows about and understands the contributions that other parts can make to improve the lives and wellbeing of our children and young people and their parent carers. A network of professionals at all levels that support each other to support our families. An understanding and principle that “SEND is everyone’s business”.

What is being done to make this happen?

  • Working with our partners (including our parent carer reps) to understand the current situation and how things can be improved.
  • Asking new and specific questions in surveys to different groups (young people, parent carers, practitioners), to find out current view points and to enable us to measure improvements over time.
  • Mapping the workforce involved in SEND across the whole of the Somerset system.
  • Working with experts to design a variety of leadership and culture session aimed at different groups from the autumn onwards in order to learn together and build new networks of professionals and support.
  • Create a shared workforce development plan to ensure consistency of SEND knowledge and professional practise.
  • Identifying gaps in resource or skill sets and creating a workforce plan focusing on sustainability and quality.
  • Establishing quality improvement methodologies and training to get groups of staff working from the same background knowledge to work together on projects in order to make sustainable change.

What has been done so far?

  • Developed the business case for the leadership development and culture sessions to bring colleagues together and change the narrative.
  • Gained commitment and funding to develop and deliver the sessions described above.
  • Creating a workforce map so that we can clearly see who is involved in SEND within Somerset and get all areas involved and part of our offer to families.
  • Establishing our questions within surveys to set baseline views and ensure measurement.
  • Established Quality Improvement Training which is now on offer at Bronze and Silver levels and has led to 2 project groups which are now active.

Who is involved?

Human Resources senior managers from Somerset County Council (SCC) and the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are leading this work. A project group has been set up including Parent Carer representatives, operational mangers, schools, the Unstoppables group (which represents young people with SEND), commissioners and a GP representative. As we progress with mapping the workforce we expect more involvement from across the Somerset system.

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.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about IP2 work please contact SENDImprovement1@Somerset.gov.uk