SCERTS Overview for Somerset Families & Carers – A framework to foster active engagement in autistic children and young people

Presenter:                               Emily Rubin, MS, CCC-SLP Co-Author, The SCERTS Model

Host:                                        Somerset Council

Course Time:                         10:00am – 2:00pm 

Date:                                        03 January 2024

Location:                                 Via Zoom:  Register here:


This workshop will provide an overview of the SCERTS® (Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, Transactional Support), a comprehensive, multidisciplinary educational approach designed for autistic children and young people. The ethos of SCERTS emphasizes the presence of positive, supportive and trustworthy relationships as the foundation of an effective educational programming. When we, as interactive partners, modify our interactive style and the environment, we can help our neurodivergent learners feel safe, connected, and actively engaged.  

This workshop will begin with a review of neurodevelopment and the critical role of the interactive partner in providing transactional support for children at different developmental stages. The core developmental domains of SCERTS will be introduced along with the empirical evidence of the model. 

Emily Rubin, MS, CCC-SLP is the Director of Communication Crossroads in Atlanta, GA, a private practice specialized in providing professional learning focused on helping families, caregivers, and educators create positive learning environments focused on relationships and an appreciation of the neurodiversity of children. She is a co-author of the SCERTS Model and a a speech-language pathologist who is passionate about the relationship between social emotional engagement and the development of language, learning, and well-being. She lectures internationally and provides ongoing technical assistance to school systems and other agencies that care for children and their families.

Dyslexia Information Morning for Parents and Carers

Saturday 7 October 2023, 10.30 to 12.30 Taunton Library Meeting Room

Somerset Dyslexia Association, supported by Somerset Parent Carer Forum CIC, are offering a morning of dyslexia information to parents and carers. Teachers, Learning Support Assistants and others are also welcome.

Claire Harvey, Head of Education at Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity, will:

  • describe dyslexia and its impact
  • provide hand-on activities to help you support your child at home with reading, comprehension, writing and spelling
  • offer tips to boost self-esteem

Tickets are £10 per person. If payment is a barrier, please phone SPCF on 01458 259384.

To find out more and book visit our workshops and information page here.

Be Part of Technology Enabled Care in Somerset

Somerset Council are looking for people aged 18+ to help them design Technology Enabled Care (TEC)
services in Somerset. Involving people in the design of services is often called co-design.
Technology Enabled Care (TEC) can be used to help people live longer, healthier and more
independent lives. This could include helping manage health conditions, reducing the risk of
falls or making daily living tasks easier.
You can take part in the co-design sessions in person or online. You will get to try different types of
technology and talk to us about how people could use these services in the future. We particularly
want to hear from you if you currently use care services or if you support someone who does (carers).
For those taking part in person, refreshments will be provided along with reasonable travel expenses.
The co-design sessions will be held at our Independent Living Centres which are fully accessible with
free parking close to the venues. Please let us know if you have any particular requirements we
need to consider so you can attend.
You will play a key part in designing the TEC service and how it will be used in Somerset. We will listen
to your views and ideas, and make sure that your experience of being involved is clear,
interesting and respectful.

Activity morning at Kilve Court

Saturday 24th June 9:30-12:30

Join us at Kilve Court Bridgwater for an inclusive activity session. This is open to any child with additional needs up to the age of 18. Siblings are welcome to attend.

We ask that parents stay with their children during the session as they remain your responsibility. 

The activity is subsidised by funding from the CIA team (part of Somerset Council) so will be reduced to £6 per child.

To reserve your space click here. We will then contact you to collect the details of the children attending.

Special School In Ash delayed (again)

The Department for Education has announced that the school opening has now been pushed back to Sept 2024 (2 year delay). The Multi Academy Trust which was due to run the school has had several of its school inspected as inadequate and the DFE are now looking for an alternative trust.

We are obviously very frustrated to hear about the delay in opening the new school at Ash and are concerned about the impact on our local children due to this.  It is disappointing that the communication from the DFE to parents around the school is lacking. Parents were consulted at the start of the process but have not been kept informed of the plans and subsequent delays by the DFE.

We understand that students will continue to be or will be placed in mainstream schools but many of these schools are struggling to meet needs. We can see this from the increase in suspensions and exclusions we are seeing. The rates are the highest we have since we started in 2014.

We think there are bigger questions to be asked around the number of schools who are now going into requires improvement or inadequate following inspections and the impact this is having on finding suitable education. The combination of this and increased suspensions is impacting on families, and it is not unusual for us to hear that parents are having to give up work due to unstable education provision.

As a forum we have taken part in a radio interview to raise aware of this issue which you can listen to here (2 hours and 10 minutes in).

We will continue to raise these issues locally and nationally through the work of the NNPCF. We will provide you with updates as soon as we have any new information.

Family Fun Day

The Community Inclusion and Activity Team and the Somerset Parent Carer Forum are holding a Family Fun Day on the 8th July at Brookside Academy. It’ll be a fun opportunity to meet Providers of inclusive activities, including meeting guinea pigs, trying out cricket, circus skills and much more! Lets hope the sun shines for us! 

There is no need to prebook, just turn up on the day. If you have not been to one before and would like to talk to someone about the day so you can plan for your child then pop us a message via Facebook, text us on 07543 680365 or give us a call on 01458 259384.

Inclusive Soft Play Session

Ocean Adventures, Cheddar. Friday 9th June @ 4-6pm

Join us at Ocean Adventure for an inclusive play session. This is open to any child with additional needs up to the age of 18. Siblings are welcome to attend.

We ask that parents stay with their children during the session as they remain your responsibility.

Free drinks will be available for the children attending and the cafe will be open to purchase drinks for adults.

The activity is subsidised by funding from the CIA team (part of Somerset Council) so will be reduced to £6 per child.

To reserve your space click here. We will then contact you to collect the details of the children attending.

Support Group Forum update

Do you run a support group or coffee morning for parent carers in Somerset? We invite you to join us on the evening of Monday 19th June, along with other support group leaders.

The sessions will provide an opportunity to meet with the leads of the Accelerated Progress Plan (APP) and discuss the work that is taking place. Claire and Camilla would like to hear from you, to understand the experiences of families, and if the impact of the work is being felt.

The Accelerated Progress Plan (APP) outlines how Somerset services will address the remaining 2 areas of weakness following the OFSTED and CQC visit in December 2022. You can read the APP on Somerset’s SEND Local Offer in the section Somerset’s plan for improving SEND services.

The session are free to attend and will run online via Microsoft teams.

This session forms part of of our ongoing network of meetings, so if you can not attend this one check out the future dates below:

  • 15th September 2023 10:00-14:00 (Face to Face venue TBC)
  • 4th December 2023 19:00-20:30 (Online via Microsoft teams)
  • 12th March 2024 10:00-14:00 (Face to Face venue TBC)

The future of SEND services – Listening event

Join us for this online session to hear about the plans for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in Somerset.

With the development of the SEND Strategy and the publication of the Accelerated Progress Plan (APP) this session will focus on what will be happening next. We will be joined by Rob Heart (Assistant Director of Inclusion) and Andrew Keefe (Deputy Director of commissioning) who will provide the update and answer any  questions.

You can find the SEND Strategy and the APP on Somerset’s SEND Local Offer.

Book your space here.