The Board heard last Thursday (18 March) how understanding children’s and families’ ‘lived SEND experience’ is at the heart of improvement work and decisions made. Through more parents and young people getting involved to help shape services, families are able to see how their feedback is influencing SEND improvements – and decision-makers are gaining greater understanding of what’s important to them.
The Board heard how early progress has seen the following key improvements:
- Increasing the capacity of the SEND Casework Team and the SENDIAS (Special Educational Needs and Disability
- Information, Advice and Support) to ensure education, health and care plans are produced in a timely manner.
- More parents and children are signing up to help in the design of improved services.
- Relaunch of Early Help Processes in Schools which ensures families and schools know where and how they can access the right support to meet their SEND needs.
- Launched a pilot app called ‘MeeTwo’, which provides peer support for young people experiencing mental health difficulties.
- Mental Health support teams are now working in pilot areas across Somerset to support schools and pupils with emotional health and wellbeing as part of a Mental Health Trail Blazer project.
James Rimmer, Chief Executive, NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group said: “When we developed the Written Statement of Action for Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND), we made a promise to the children, young people and families of Somerset that we would do more to listen, engage and involve them in helping to shape services which make a difference. It is important that the work we do, and the decisions we make have their ‘lived experiences’ at the very core. This report demonstrates the positive steps already taken and shows the commitment of all involved to continue this journey of improvement.”
For more information and advice about Somerset SEND services, from what local support is available to education or childcare – or to share your feedback on your experiences – please visit the Local Offer website here or email SENDImprovement1@somerset.gov.uk
Sign up to receive Somerset’s weekly SEND News email update here.