Members of the public in Somerset are invited to have their say on a new draft strategy for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND).
The Somerset SEND Partnership, which includes Somerset County Council, NHS Somerset, Somerset Parent Carer Forum and local education providers, have launched a consultation for the public to feedback on their updated SEND Strategy.
The strategy was shaped by extensive engagement with children, young people and families and sets out how services will be delivered and led over the next three years (2023-26).
Ruth Hobbs, CEO of Somerset Parent Carer Forum, said: “We believe that services should be designed with the people who use them, so over the past year we have been working closely with children and young people, their families, and partners in education, health, social care, and early years to help us understand the challenges people face, and also consider opportunities for improvement.”
Cllr Tessa Munt, Somerset County Council Executive Lead Member for Children and Families added: “Improving SEND services in Somerset is one of this council’s main priorities.
“We’re listening and we want to do this in partnership with parent carers. The new strategy was developed with input from young people and their parent carers, and now we want to hear from all young people, their parent carers, and everyone involved in providing SEND Services in the county.
“It’s really important to me that we have a shared vision of how we can improve the support young people with special education needs get in Somerset, and that we have a clear plan of how we can deliver that improvement.“
Jonathan Higman, Chief Executive of the Somerset NHS Integrated Care Board, said: “This strategy is the product of collaboration, with the NHS, Somerset Public Health, the County Council, Somerset’s Parent Carers and our school settings all coming together to deliver a shared ambition for the county.”
The Somerset SEND Partnership have four key themes which outline their plan for SEND services, these are:
- Working together
- Getting help as early as possible
- Access to the right support and provision
- Preparing for the future
The consultation is open and will close on Friday 23 December. To read the strategy and provide feedback visit the opens in a new windowSomerset County Council website. After the consultation closes, the Somerset SEND Partnership will review all feedback and use this to update the strategy. The final strategy will be published in Spring 2023.