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Saturday, January 23, 2021
Core Council Programme

Special Educational Needs and Disability Programme


The biggest education reform for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) became law on 1 September 2014. The act offered simpler, improved and more consistent help for children and young people with SEND and extended provision from birth to 25 years of age. The act introduced Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), to replace ‘SEND Statements’, which identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs.

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission will jointly inspect all local areas by 2020 to see how well they fulfil their responsibilities for children and young people with SEND.

In May 2017 Gloucestershire Council carried out a peer review of Somerset County Council, and partners, as part of the preparation for the Local Area Inspection. They acknowledged some good practice and initiatives throughout the services in their report but a local area inspection is likely to find ‘significant weaknesses’ in practice, based on progress to date in the implementation of SEND reforms and a lack of evidence to display the positive impact made in relation to outcomes for children across Somerset to date.

Priority areas for improvement have been agreed alongside an intervention arrangement. Areas and leads are below:

Joint Commissioning (Rowina Clift-Shanley - Strategic Commissioner, SCC) 

Preparing for Adulthood (Claire Merchant-Jones - Service Manager for Transitions, SCC)

Participation and Engagement (Ruth Hobbs, Director, Somerset Parent Carer Forum)

Assessment, Planning and Review (Sharon Longden, SEN Casework Team Manager - SCC)

Supporting Inclusive Schools (Claire Oaten - Headteacher, Greenfylde First School)

Early Years 0-5 (Jane Barnett - Lead Area SENCO, SCC) 


This is in support of the Children and Young People Plan (2016 – 2019) seven improvement programmes. 

Somerset's SEND Charter is available here. Thank you for all of your feedback and contributions to this document. Please share it with your colleagues and champion it within your settings! 

A 'quick guide' to the Ofsted inspection is available here with some useful information to read in preparation - it is only one page so please take five minutes to have a look. 

A weekly multi-agency newsletter is shared across the local area. Copies of this are available to view here and if you would like to be added to the mailing list please contact us

If you would like any further information about the intervention programme, please contact Felicity Grammer (Project and Change Officer). 


Last updated: 30th July 2018