More spaces at Somerset’s autism bases

Somerset County Council is making support for children and young people with autism more evenly and readily available across the County.

By September 2018, the number of spaces available in autism resources bases will increase from 71 to 91 and all the bases will be managed by schools and located on, or next to, school sites.

At the moment more support is provided in the east of the County than the west and some current resource bases have very few pupils. By realigning the spaces available in resource bases, the Council can ensure that support is more evenly distributed.

The reorganisation will also make sure there is be primary and secondary level support across the county so all children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) can have their needs met as close to home as possible.

Councillor Frances Nicholson, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “Currently, many children with SEND are spending too much of their day travelling and we are determined to reduce this time wherever possible to ensure they are receiving the same quality of education as their peers and that they can enjoy their free time outside of school as any child should.

“These plans reflect our new SEND strategy; we are committed to meeting the needs of all children and young people with SEND as close to home as possible.”

Somerset County Council has also supported The Mendip School, a special free school which opened recently. The Mendip School provides 120 places for children between 4 and 19 years with Autistic Spectrum Disorder or Speech, Language and Communication Needs.