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SEND What to expect from your early years provider

Boy blowing bubbles

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework requires early years providers to have arrangements in place for meeting children’s SEN.  A group setting, such as a school, day nursery or preschool playgroup, is expected to identify a SENCO. 

The role of the SENCO involves:

  • ensuring all practitioners in the setting understand their responsibilities to children with SEN and the setting’s approach to identifying and meeting SEN
  • advising and supporting colleagues
  • ensuring parents are closely involved throughout and that their insights inform action taken by the setting
  • liaising with professionals or agencies beyond the setting 

 

Identifying and assessing children's needs

Early years practitioners working with children should monitor and review the progress and development of all children throughout the early years. 

Where a child appears to be behind expected levels, or where a child’s progress gives cause for concern, practitioners should consider all the information about the child’s learning and development from within and beyond the setting, from formal checks, from practitioner observations and from any more detailed assessment of the child’s needs. Where any specialist advice has been sought from beyond the setting, this should also inform decisions about whether or not a child has SEN. All the information should be brought together with the observations of parents and considered with them. 

All early years providers are required to have arrangements in place to identify and support children with SEN or disabilities and to promote equality of opportunity for children in their care. These requirements are set out in the EYFS Framework

A graduated approach to meeting special educational needs

A graduated approach is a model of action and intervention in early education settings, schools and colleges to help children and young people who have special educational needs. It recognises that children learn in different ways and can have different kinds or levels of SEN. So increasingly, step by step, specialist expertise can be brought in to help with the difficulties that a child may have.

Our Graduated Approach Guidance document explains the provision for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) which should be available. The Graduated approach guidance also provides the threshold for access to the high needs funding block.

Most pupils with SEN in mainstream schools have their needs met at SEN Support.

SEN Support is provided through a graduated approach . The SEND Code of Practice (p.100), supported by the Children and Families Act 2014, state very clearly that early years settings, schools and colleges have to meet the needs of all children and young people with Special Educational Needs, including those that do not have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

The graduated approach recognises that children learn in different ways and can have different kinds or levels of SEN. So increasingly, step by step, specialist expertise can be brought in to help with the difficulties that a child may have

Staff in early years settings, schools and colleges must use the graduated approach four step process: Assess, Plan, Do, Review.

 

AssessPlanDoReview

  • Assess - analyse the child or young person’s special educational needs
  • Plan - identify the additional and different support needed
  • Do - put the support in place and
  • Review - regularly check how well it is working so that they can change the amount or kind of support if needed

The Graduated Response document gives the expected standards and provision for pupils across Trafford.

A very small number of children and young people may not make progress despite SEN support. In these cases an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment may be appropriate. This is a detailed assessment of a child or young person’s special educational needs and the support they may need in order to learn and progress.

Services that support early years providers

There is a wide variety of services across education, health and social care that provide advice about children with SEN or who are disabled. These services offer training, advice and guidance to early years providers, other services, parents and carers:

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