Agenda item

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) update

To consider this report.


The Committee considered this report that provided a summary of the activity and progress made by the Local Area Improvement Network (LAIN) and Officer led activity since the previous update, last June. Members were reminded that the progress against the SEND Strategy Outcomes were monitored through the Local Area Improvement Network (LAIN), which

was accountable to the SEND Improvement Board, Children’s Trust Board (as part of the CYPP) and to the Health and Well-Being Board. 


It was reported that the LAIN has 6 programmes and each programme had a committed SEND champion to lead the programme and worked collaboratively across multi-agency partners to increase the pace of transformation across the Local Area. The LAIN also assisted SEND inspection preparation and communications to partners. the 6 LAIN programmes had been broadly shaped into 3 themes, all which supported the 5 Somerset SEND strategy objectives.


The report contained an update on ‘getting a good operational grip’, ‘resetting the strategic partnerships’ and ‘making it feel different’. Members considered the report and answers were provided to questions about resources and capacity particularly to support geographical equity. It was also noted an application for a Special free school had been made to the Department for Education for South Somerset to provide for children with social, emotional and health needs and speech, language and communication needs.


The report also provided an update on the implementation of changes to the Physical Impairment and Medical Support team (PIMs) team, with feedback from the engagement events which had been held with families and updates from plans to co-produce a new service delivery model.


A series of events for parents had been held across Somerset and over 700 invitations were sent to parents/partners. Parents were asked to identify what they felt was currently working well children and young people. It was noted that when asked what wasn’t working so well the comments focused on the need for education and health care professionals to interact and a lack of clarity regarding who co-ordinates support for a child with multiple needs.


The current operating model in Somerset was reviewed and models from other areas were considered. Opinions were sought on 3 proposed models for Somerset and parents were asked to comment on the perceived benefits and drawbacks of each model. 


It was explained that a co-produced service design would realise efficiencies for the Council with a minimum impact on the level of delivery, whilst improving the clarity of co-ordination of support to the children and young people in line with parents and young people’s wishes. Officers would arrange a task and finish group to assist with the design of the new integrated PIMS and Sensory service.


The update was accepted.

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