The work and progress of Somerset’s Youth Offending Service (YOS) in education for all vulnerable children and young people, but especially those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), has been recognised by the national accreditation body, Achievement For All.

This week, the team received confirmation that they had achieved both Quality Mark and Quality Lead status. The process involved was exhaustive involving regularly providing evidence and case studies against a national framework to the evaluator.

Having held the Achievement for All ‘Quality Mark Award’ for the last three years, this year Somerset YOS made the decision to both review this Quality Mark validation but also seek the higher ‘Quality Lead Award’, following its own self-assessment of services provided for children and young people.

Lise Bird, Head of Service – Prevention and YOS Manager at Somerset County Council, said: “The final evaluation meeting was held on Monday (20 September) with education leads from Somerset County Council and Somerset Youth Justice Partnership Board* in attendance to support.

“The lead verifier complimented the YOS specifically on the range, depth and breadth of all the evidence provided – which he described as ‘outstanding’. This is a fantastic achievement for the service and is testimony to their strength as a truly remarkable and dedicated team, as well as to the significant and positive partnership work behind the scenes in supporting children and young people with SEND.  Well done to everyone involved.”

*Attended by:

  • Rob Hart, Assistant Director – Inclusion at Somerset County Council,
  • Claire Merchant-Jones, Strategic Manager – SEND Statutory Team at Somerset County Council, and
  • Patrick Worthington, Mental Health Commissioning Manager – Children & Young People, NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group.

Submitted by Somerset’s Youth Offending Service (YOS)