We are committed to the early identification of special educational needs.
We are committed to the early identification of special educational needs. We use the graduated response process of ‘Assess – Plan – Do – Review’ in line with the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2014) to meet children’s special educational needs in our setting. Our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-Ordinator (SENDCO) is Rachel Richardson. However, the special educational needs of children are met by all practitioners within the setting.
When there are concerns about a child’s development a discussion will take place between the child’s parents, their keyperson and the SENDCO. Children’s development is assessed using the Early Years Foundation Stage developmental milestones and the Department for Education document ‘Early Years Outcomes’. Along with practitioner observation and parental information, children’s developmental levels are continually assessed. For further advice we also refer to the Central Bedfordshire ‘Guidance on SEND in the Early Years – A Graduated Approach’ (2018).
When a child’s development is considered to be below that of their chronological age, a SEND Support Plan is written by the SENDCO in conjunction with the parents and keyperson. The SEND Support Plan sets out long and short-term outcomes that everyone is working towards to help the child’s development in the area(s) that are considered to be of concern. Progress meetings are held half-termly (every 6-8 weeks) to review the child’s progress and the support they are receiving. These meetings involve the child’s parents, the keyperson and SENDCO, as well as any other agencies who may be involved in supporting the child.
A referral may be made to the Central Bedfordshire Early Years Allocation Meeting, requesting an Initial Assessment by an Early Years Advisory Teacher. Where necessary, we can apply for funding to provide an additional practitioner to support the child in the setting. We may also refer the child to other health services such as speech and language therapy, community paediatrician, audiology and optometry services. Any medical needs that a child has are addressed in an individual care plan which is written in conjunction with parents and health professionals. Medicines are administered according to our policy on this.
What kind of SEND support do we provide?
Support for children with SEND differs according to their individual needs. Some examples of support we can provide are:
- Participation in small group activities which help children to develop play skills and/or communication and language
- Support in following routines through use of visual timetables and other visual aids
- Alternative communication systems such as Makaton or PECS as advised by speech and language therapists or EYAT
- Advice provided by EYAT, who will visit the setting to observe the child and offer advice and support
- Strategies as set out in the child’s SEND Support Plan.
- Advice will be followed as provided by physiotherapist or occupational therapist
- Our building provides inclusive access to those with physical disabilities, including step-free access, a lift between both floors and accessible toilets
- Our staff are paediatric first aid and EPI-PEN trained
- Risk assessments for individual children and activities are carried out by the manager and SENDCO as necessary
- Our setting complies with the Disability Discrimination Act (2010) in making reasonable adjustments for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Practitioners have experience of a wide-range of special educational needs and we recognise that all children are different, as are their needs. For the most part, children’s needs are met through differentiation of activities.
The specialist training that our staff have undertaken is as follows:
- SENDCO has completed the statutory three-day SENDCO qualification
- SENDCO and additional practitioners who support children with special educational needs have completed training in recording SEND support
- Practitioners supporting children with SEND have attended social-communication workshops
- We have two Lift Off To Language (LOTL) accredited practitioners who provide support to children in the area of communication and language
- SENDCO and Equal Opportunities Co-Ordinator have received training in Makaton stages 1-4