Share your experience of the SEN&D Reforms

Children and young people, families and practitioners in Somerset are urged to share their experiences of the national special educational needs and disability (SEN&D) reforms that came into force last September.

The reforms require health, education and social care to plan and work together with parents and carers to meet the needs of children and young people with SEN&D.

Somerset is one of 75 councils in England selected for a national programme looking at the impact of parts of the SEN&D reforms.

Everyone involved in or affected by the reforms is encouraged to complete a new questionnaire to help measure what is working well or not working well with the Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans and Personal Budgets and whether they have made a difference to children and young people’s lives.

Led by the charity ‘In Control’ with Lancaster University, and supported by the Department for Education (DfE), the national programme involves questionnaires called the Personal Outcomes Evaluation Tool (POET).

Children, young people, families and people who work with children with SEN&D are encouraged to complete the POET questionnaires to help measure how effective the new EHC plans are, and whether they have made a difference to children and young people’s lives. It will also help measure how many children and young people have personal budgets and what impact that is having on their lives.

The results from the questionnaires will be used to help improve what happens in Somerset and will also be used to influence the reforms at a national level.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “This is an opportunity for all those who are being affected by the SEN&D reforms to have their say. Whether your experience has been positive or whether you think the EHC planning process needs further changes, we want to hear from you.

“Your views could have a significant effect on the future of SEN&D services, both nationally and locally, so please do take the time to complete the POET questionnaires.”

The links for the questionnaires are below:

Survey for practitioners working with children and young people who have an Education Health and Care Plan –

Survey for parents of children and young people who have an Education Health and Care Plan

Survey for children and young people who have a Education Health and Care Plan, their life and the support they get

EHC Plans
An education, health and care ( EHC ) plan is for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special educational needs support. EHC plans identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs.

An EHC plan is the document which replaces Statements of SEN and Learning Difficulties Assessments for children and young people with special educational needs.

An EHC plan can only be issued after a child or young person has gone through the process of EHC needs assessment.

The child or young person and their parents are involved in the development of an EHC plan and will have an input about the care and support they receive.

Personal budgets
A personal budget is money which may be allocated to a child or young person for their support because of their education, health or social care needs.