Introduction of Valuing SEND to all Somerset schools to help children and young people with SEND receive the right support at the right time

From spring term 2023, schools in Somerset will have access to the Valuing SEND tool.

What is the Valuing SEND approach? 

  • Valuing SEND is a tool that’s been designed to help understand a child’s needs and the readiness of their school to meet these needs.
  • It was developed in 2019 by three local authorities, the schools and parent carers in those areas. It has now been used in over 1000 schools nationally.
  • It can also help schools to understand how ready they are to meet SEND needs as a whole and think about where they may need to improve.

How has the Valuing SEND approach been used in Somerset so far?

  • Valuing SEND has now been tested in 40+ Somerset schools in two pilots. Each pilot demonstrated a positive impact for children, helping to ensure the right support was provided at the right time.
  • Importantly, the schools involved in the pilots shared how helpful they found the tool to:
    • Support phase transfers for children moving between primary and secondary school
    • Explore children’s emerging needs
    • Support conversations with children and their families by providing additional, clear information about their child’s needs and how the school can meet them.

How will the Valuing SEND approach be used in Somerset moving forward?

  • All Somerset schools will have access to Valuing SEND. This will start with mainstream schools and special schools and will include Early Years settings and FE at a later date.  
  • Schools will be able to use the tool to explore children’s needs. This should always be done in collaboration with families, and where possible, with children, to ensure it includes the richest information about the child possible.
  • In the future, the tool will likely be used to support the phase transfer process (for example children moving between primary and secondary school), building on the pilots. Families have told us that this time can often be a worry, and the Valuing SEND tool can be used to aid planning, support and information for families.

What are the next steps?

  • We want parent carers of children and young people with SEND to understand the Valuing SEND tool.
  • Two Local Offer Live Sessions will be held – one on Wednesday 8 March and one on Friday 10 March. These sessions will help share information on the tool and provide plenty of time to ask questions.
  • If you would like to attend one of these sessions, please register here – (Link coming soon)
  • The session will be recorded for those who cannot make it
  • You can also send your questions to Somerset Parent Carer Forum who will work with the Council to answer them and respond. Please email