Welcome to the Spring edition of the Somerset SENDIAS (Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support) newsletter for 2023!

The SENDIAS Team provides free impartial, confidential information, advice and support about education, health and social care for children, young people and their parents on matters relating to Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND). You can read the newsletter below: 

Welcome Back!

Welcome to the Spring edition of the SENDIAS newsletter for 2023!
SENDIAS Team Update Somerset SENDIAS say a warm welcome to the new members of the team.

Richard Donley – Richard is the SENDIAS Officer for Mendip who will
be offering Information, Advice and Support on the EHC Plan process,
Annual Reviews, support with preparing for Mediation and First Tier
Debbie Mason – Debbie is the Choice Advisor who will be offering
support with school admissions and appeals. Debbie works Tuesday, Wednesday
and Thursday.
Rebecca Harrison – Rebecca is one of the administrators who will be carrying out
general admin tasks, such as answering the phones and replying to emails both for
Choice Advice and SENDIAS. Rebecca works Tuesday – Friday.

Meet the SENDIAS Team!
The Somerset SENDIAS team:
• Service Manager.
• Development Officer.
• 5 SENDIAS Officers.
• 5 SENDIAS SEN Support Workers.
▪ 2 Administrators.

SENDIAS SEN Support Workers
SEN Support Workers cover the county. Their role is to support parents/carers with
SEN support within schools. This includes school meetings and making sure the
graduated response is followed.
Please click for new graduated response tool kit for Somerset.

Did you Know?
CAOT Coffee Mornings
SENDIAS will be attending some of the CAOT coffee mornings,
which are happening around the county from 10-12. There is going
to be a member of the SENDIAS team at the following venues:
18 April – Mendip School, Shepton Mallett.
24 May – Polden Bower, Bridgwater.
12 June – Selworthy School, Taunton.

Autism Pathway
Did you know that Somerset have a pathway to start the process towards a
diagnosis of Autism and ADHD. The ASD Pathways are from 0-17 years old. The
ADHD pathway is from 6-17 years olds.
For more information go to Assessment pathway for Autism and ADHD (somerset.gov.uk)
There is also a helpline to support and answer your questions in regards to a new
This line is open to parent, carers, young people or practitioners from health,
education or social care.
Phone the Referral Query and Advice line on 0303 033 3002 – open 9am to 12pm
every Wednesday and Thursday morning.

Supported Employment Forum
There is a supported Employment group that has been set up to include the 4 areas
of Somerset being covered, Sedgemoor, Mendip, South Somerset and Taunton and
West Somerset. These are currently being chaired by Abri. Abri are a housing
association but they have several careers and skills advisors who have knowledge of
what is available to post 16 young people. There is about 80 professionals who
attend these meetings on a quarterly basis. They are informative sessions about
what is available for those young people post 16 who don’t want to go down the
college route.

Tribunal guidance
Ipsea have produced some new information packs around tribunals which give
detailed information about the processes. This is for all areas of the tribunal including
refusal to assess and appealing against the contents of an EHC Plan.
You can find information on Appealing to the SEND Tribunal | (IPSEA) Independent Provider of Special
Education Advice.

Attendance Guidance
Parents and carers must ensure their child is in education (section 7, Education Act
There is a service within Somerset Council called Education Safeguarding and they
make checks to identify any child missing from Education. Each school in Somerset
has a named Officer who can be contacted via the school.
There is recent national guidance that has been published in regards to attendance, which you can read at
Attendance is everyone’s business | Children’s Commissioner for England.

You can also access a PDF of this newsletter at SENDIAS Spring Newsletter.

Information is always available on the SENDIAS website Home (somersetsend.org.uk)

Helpline is available 9.30am – 2.30pm Monday to Fridays
01823 355578 or email somersetsendias@somerset.gov.uk



About this article

April 27, 2023

Molly Venn