To ensure Somerset’s SEND Local Offer is accessible to all, we need to focus on helping people work their way around it, removing barriers to navigating the Local Offer website and the wider SEND system.
Work on SEND Strategy has been looking to develop and publish clear pathways using information gained from the lived experiences of children and young people with SEND and their families. The aim is to work together to enable people to get help as early as possible, accessing the right support and provision enabling them to prepare for the future. Somerset’s SEND Local Offer is the host and gateway to further information for these pathways. These include the Autism and/or ADHD Pathway but also others including both therapies and health services and the Graduated Response and Education Health and Care plans.
In Somerset, practitioners have been and will continue to be encouraged to support families in their awareness of and use of Somerset’s SEND Local Offer website. We are developing a training course to be included in inductions and team refreshers to ensure professionals that have a role sharing information with parent carers can do so confidently and consistently using the Local Offer (for example Contact Centre Advisors, Parent and Family Support Advisors (PFSAs), and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs).
Key workers are encouraged to signpost and mentor users to use Somerset’s SEND Local Offer website and to promote ‘self-service’. Users are encouraged to search for, find and know how to access services that meet their need.
An online resource was developed to be used by key workers to build a personalised person centred printed version of the Local Offer, it hasn’t been downloaded recently by users and so this is being reviewed by the Young Person’s Champion for the Local Offer.