This policy is a statement of the aims, practices and strategies we have agreed to ensure the effective and efficient provision for children with special Educational Needs (SEN) at Pebbles. It takes into account the Education Act 1996, the Special Needs & Disability Act 2001 and the Code of Practice 2002.

Definition of SEN

‘Children have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.’

Admissions Policy

Pebbles adheres to the admission policy of the LEA and endeavours to provide appropriate support for pupils with a range of special educational needs.

Children have a learning difficulty if they:

  1. Have significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age.
  2. Have a disability which prevents of hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in schools within the area of the local education authority.
  3. Are under compulsory school age and fall within the definition above or would do so if special educational provision was not made for them.

We follow the fundamental principles of the SEN Code of Practice and these are:

  • To identify at the earliest opportunity all children who need special consideration to support their physical, sensory, emotional, communication or cognitive development.
  • A child with SEN should have their needs met.
  • The view of the child, if possible, should be sought and taken into account.
  • Parents have a vital role in supporting the child’s education.
  • Children with SEN should be offered full access to a broad-balanced and relevant education, including an appropriate curriculum for the foundation stage.

Special Education provision means:

  • Children who are 2 or over any education provision which is additional to, or different from the provision made generally for children of the age in schools maintained by the LEA, other than special schools, in the area.
  • Children under 2, education provision of any kind.

English as Additional Language

Children must not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the language or form of language of their home is different from the language in which they will be taught.

SEN Support

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. The EYFS framework also requires practitioners to review children’s progress and share a summary with parents, keeping them informed at all stages. In addition, the Early Years Outcomes is an aid for all practitioners to help them to understand the outcomes they should be working towards.

Some children need support for SEN and disabilities at home or in informal settings before, as well as, the support they receive from an early year’s provider. Provision for children who such need support should form part of the local joint commissioning arrangements and be included in the ‘Local Offer’

We carry out ‘Progress Check’ on children aged between 2 and 3 years of age. This reviews progress and provides parents with a short written summary of their child’s development, focusing in particular on communication & language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development.

Identification, Assessment and Provision in Early Education Settings

The Government’s Early Learning Goals set out what most children will have achieved by the end of the foundation stage (the end of school reception year). Children will progress at different rates during the foundation stage and some children may not reach the goals by the end of their reception year. These children will need differentiated learning opportunities and regular monitoring within our setting to help them make progress.

The SEN Coordinator (SENCo) Sarah Gatehouse

The SENCo will have responsibility for:

  • Liaison with parents and other professionals in respect of children with special educational needs.
  • Taking the lead in further assessments and planning support.
  • Advising and supporting other practitioners in the setting.
  • Ensuring that appropriate Targeted Plans are in place and that these are reviewed regularly.
  • Ensuring that relevant background information about individual children with SEN is collected, recorded and updated at Early Years Action, Early Years Action Plus and for those with a EHCP.

Graduated Response

If a child is not making the expected progress it may be necessary to use alternative approaches to learning. We operate a graduated response system where staff initially:

  • Bring the issue to the SENCo
  • Observe, monitor and share their findings with staff & parents
  • Allocated time to devise planned intervention and monitor.
  • Adapt working practices and the environment to suit the needs of the child.
  • Produce a targeted plan with achievable targets for the child.
  • Attend regular staff training to provide effective intervention.

A graduated response recognizes that there is a continuum of special educational needs and, where necessary and with parental permission, draws support from a range of specialists to support the child. These may include:

  • An initial visit from Area SENCo
  • Health Visitors
  • Referrals to outside agencies including speech therapists, paediatricians, educational psychologists etc.
  • Support from the Early Years Team/LEA support services for advice or equipment.

Discussion with Parents

If staff feel that there is still cause for concern after their initial observations parents will be invited in to discuss these. Parents will be invited to contribute their knowledge and understanding of their child and raise any concerns, they can contribute to targets if a Targeted Plan is produced and their permission will be sought if staff need to contact outside agencies.

Targeted Support

This is planning for the child which is additional to, or different from the standard provision and includes:

  • Short term strategies set for the child
  • Teaching strategies
  • The provision to put in place
  • When/how the plan is to be reviewed.
  • The outcome of the action taken.

The Targeted Support will be reviewed half termly with parents and, if appropriate, the child and outside agencies. Where it is deemed not applicable for the child to attend their views and needs should be taken into consideration.

Requests for an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment

For a very few children the help given by the early education setting through SEN Support will not be sufficiently effective to enable the child to progress satisfactorily. It will then be necessary for the setting, in consultation with the parents and any external agencies already involved, to consider whether a statutory multi-disciplinary assessment may be appropriate. Where a request for an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment is made to the LA, the child will have demonstrated significant cause for concern and the setting will have evidence gathered throughout the stages listed below:

Parents are kept informed at all stages of intervention. This partnership and the exchange of information with external agencies are particularly important in order that the needs of children with SEN are met effectively

Reviewed by The SENCO July 2016