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The Children and Families Act 2014 requires clinical commissioning groups and local authorities to work together to provide appropriate support in respect of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

One of the requirements of this legislation is to provide clear and transparent information about the services in respect of education, health and social care for children, young people and parents/carers.  This is known as the Local Offer and is available on the Somerset Choices website.

What can I do if I think my child has SEND?

We commission a variety of services that can support children with SEND and their families.  These are listed below with links to the providers where you can find further information.  Note that some of these services will require a referral from a GP or health care professional.  If you would like to contact someone to help explain any of the services, please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service, or the Somerset Parent Carer Forum.  Alternatively, you can find information on parenting children of all ages, including specific information relating to SEND at the Somerset Children and Young People, Health and Wellbeing website, which includes a Parent and Carer Toolkit.

Other services that are commissioned by us include:

In addition to the services detailed above, some people might be entitled to a Personal Health Budget (PHB).  A PHB is money that can be used to support the health and wellbeing needs, such as particular treatments, equipment or personal care.  Not everyone is entitled to a PHB and you can find further information about Personal Health Budgets at NHS Choices.  If you would like to discuss PHBs in more detail, please contact us.

You can find further information about the duties of SEND, click here to see the government’s code of practice, or click here if you want to see the duties specific to Health Care Plans (HCPs).

If you wish to know more about the SEND Reforms which were introduced in 2014, Dorset County Council has created the video below explaining the key changes to SEND.

Joint Commissioning

In line with the guiding principles outlined in Somerset’s Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) Strategy for Children and Young People ages 0-25, we have published our joint commissioning strategy in partnership with Somerset County Council and Somerset Parent Carer Forum.

SEND Newsletters

Somerset County Council regularly publishes a SEND newsletter which gives information about the activities that are taking place across education, health and social care in Somerset. 

SEND Inspection 2020

A report into how well Somerset meets the needs of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their families was published in May 2020 by Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) and Care Quality Commission (CQC ).

Inspectors visited and undertook a joint inspection of SEND Services in the local area of Somerset in March. They judged how well the local area has worked together to put the 2014 SEND reforms into place which includes services that are available to support children and young people with SEND.