Welcome to the latest edition of SEND News, this week we wanted to give you an update on the outcomes of the recent Ofsted and Care Quality Commission (CQC) local area re-visit.  

Inspectors visited Somerset in late 2022 to understand whether we had made sufficient improvements to our SEND services following the initial inspection in 2020 where nine areas of significant weakness were found. These services are delivered in partnership with NHS Somerset, Somerset Council and local schools, known as the SEND Local Area Partnership.  

Ahead of their visit, inspectors sought feedback from you via a parent carer survey, they also spent time during the re-visit listening to children and young people with SEND.  

Last week we received a letter which said that we had made progress in seven out of the nine areas of weakness found during the 2020 inspection. 

We are pleased that the efforts of our teams mean that outcomes for some children and young people are starting to improve. In particular, inspectors noted:  

  • leaders across the partnership have worked together to make improvements and sought feedback from the families who use the services to guide the changes  
  • a better service for autism assessments 
  • improved assessment times and quality of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) for children with the most complex needs 

We know that some of you have not yet felt the impact of improvements. We now need to continue to build on our commitment to work with you and listen to you and your children. We will continue to use your feedback to drive improvements across all our SEND services.  

The letter from inspectors can be read in full on Somerset’s SEND Local Offer website. 

Claire and Jonathan

Claire Winter

Acting Director of Children Services, Somerset Council

Jonathan Higman

Chief Executive, NHS Somerset

Classroom photograph

About this article

February 6, 2023