Hello and welcome to the first SEND Newsletter of 2024. I am delighted to have this first chance to speak to you all.

From the first of this month, I have had the privilege of taking on the role of Lead Member for Children, Families and Education – one that my colleague and friend Tessa Munt has done so well. I intend to continue as she has started, by listening to you and enabling our whole team to do that too.

I use the word privilege sincerely and deliberately. It is also a responsibility. We hear your stories; we share your concerns, and we work with your most precious family members with the shared aim that they have the best start in life. It is also a place for challenge; I am here to support and understand the work we do in Somerset but also to hold us to account, to ensure we do our best work for all our children.

I hope to get to know more of you over the coming months but in the meantime, I hope you find out Newsletter helpful. In this edition we have a reminder to have your say in the Schools Admissions Consultation, which closes on the 26th of January. Admissions arrangements can be around catchment areas and the criteria used to allocate places, amongst other things, so it is a great opportunity to share your views. We also have some great events and workshops from the Somerset Parent Carer Forum and are gearing up for The Somerset Local Offer Live Roadshow – more details to come but make sure you save the dates!

All the best,


Councillor Heather Shearer

About this article

January 25, 2024

Molly Venn