Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities Policy

This policy forms part of the Norfolk Local Offer for SEND. The Local Offer is an authority’s publication of all the provision they expect to be available across education, health and social care for children in their area who have SEND.

More information on the Local Offer can be found here.

I have a duty to publish information about how my setting’s policy for SEND is implemented and this can be found in my separate SEND Information Report.

My Vision

This SEND Policy supports my whole setting vision of “The Treasure Box: A treasure trove for learning; where curious children love to play”.

I work in the best interests of every child and I am committed to a policy of inclusion. My aims for SEND are:

All children with Special Educational Needs &/or Disabilities (SEND) will be able to access a broad and balanced curriculum.

My work will always be child-centred with the views of the child taken into account in light of their age and understanding, or through understanding their behaviours.

Every effort will be made to include parents / carers in the education of their children, through regular contact and engagement.

Policy Development

This policy has been written in line with the requirements of:

The Children & Families Act 2014 The Equality Act 2010

The SEN Code of Practice 2014

It has also been written with reference to the following guidance and documents:

Norfolk County Council SEN Support Guidance: Provision Expected at SEN Support.

Statutory Guidance on Supporting Children in School with Medical Conditions. 2014. Updated August 2017.

The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2020.

Policy Consultation & Review

This policy is reviewed annually. I inform all new parents / carers about this policy and it is always available on my website. A hard copy can be obtained from me, upon request.

I would welcome your feedback and future involvement in the review process every September.

As the Designated Setting SEND Coordinator, I, Louise Lawson will comply with the Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) Code of Practice (2015), the Equalities Act 2010, and follow the requirements of the EYFS (2020). 

The role of the SENCo involves:

• ensuring everyone in the setting understands their responsibilities to children with SEN and the setting’s approach to identifying and meeting SEN

• advising and supporting everyone

• ensuring parents are closely involved throughout and that their insights inform action taken by the setting, and

• liaising with professionals or agencies beyond the setting.

I will ensure I have an up to date copy of the SEND Code of Practice and I will make this document available to parents if required. 

Progress and Development

The progress and development of all children will be monitored and reviewed. I will work closely with parents and listen to their views, so as to build on children’s previous experiences, knowledge, understanding and skills, and provide opportunities to develop… 

in the Prime areas of learning and development in the Early Years Foundation Stage: 

1. Personal, social and emotional development 

2. Physical development 

3. Communication and language 

and the Specific areas of learning and development: 

1. Literacy 

2. Mathematics 

3. Understanding the world 

4. Expressive arts and design 

I will observe and monitor individual children’s progress throughout the Foundation Stage, and where a child appears not to be making progress either generally or in a specific aspect of learning, I will present them with different opportunities or use alternative ways of learning. 

If a child appears to be behind expected levels of development, or where a child’s progress gives cause for concern and I identify that a child has special educational needs, then I will use the graduated approach with 4 stages of action (assess, plan, do, review) as described in the SEND Code of Practice. This is SEN Support. The four stages of the cycle mean:

Assess – What are the child’s successes? What are their challenges?

Plan – What can be put in place?

Do – Take action.

Review – Does it work?

I will discuss my observations and any proposed plans with the parents, in a way that encourages them to contribute their knowledge and understanding of their child and allows them to raise any concerns they may have about their child’s needs and the provision that is being made for them. With each cycle of the graduated approach, SEN Support becomes more personalised, because individual assessment leads to a growing understanding of the child’s barriers and gaps in learning. Continual reflection on approaches to meeting the child’s needs, lead to a growing understanding of the strategies that enable the child to make progress.

Identification of Special Educational Needs (SEN)

In accordance with the SEND Code of Practice there are four broad areas of need and support. These are:

Cognition & Learning

Communication & Interaction

Social, Emotional & Mental Health

Sensory and/or Physical Disability

When assessing a child and identifying if they have an additional need, they will be assessed using these four areas and, after close consultation with parents, may be put on my SEN Register / Inclusion Log, under one of the above categories, as a primary need is identified.

Quality First Teaching

All children should expect to receive good quality and differentiated teaching. This is the first step in responding to children who may have SEN. I partake in continued professional development (CPD) and as the SENCO, I attend specific SEN CPD sessions throughout the year.

Where a child is identified as having SEN, to enable the child to participate, learn and make progress, settings I will take action to:

Remove barriers to learning.

Put effective special educational provision in place.

Partnership with parents

I know that effective partnerships between myself and home, help to secure better outcomes for children. Parents of children with SEN are regularly informed of their child’s learning via face to face meetings with me, and through their children’s Learning Folders.

Parents and carers will be treated as partners and encouraged to:

Recognise and fulfil their responsibilities as parents and play an active and valued role in their child’s education.

Have knowledge of their child’s entitlement within the SEND Framework.

Make their views known about how their child is educated.

Have access to information, advice and support about their child’s special educational provision.

Supporting children’s learning

With parents’ permission, I will use learning Support Plans. These will record information about the short-term targets set for the child, the teaching strategies and the provision to be put in place, when the plan will be reviewed and the outcome of the action taken. Support Plans are normally reviewed every 4 to 6 weeks, to gauge the amount of progress that the child has made, before adjusting and amending the next steps. Support Plans detail the interventions that will take place, to help the child make progress towards their agreed next steps. These interventions take place at home and in the setting, to maximise learning and development. Outcomes are evaluated and the impact of interventions are measured against my setting’s Provision Map; appropriate adjustments are made to the Provision Map in order to develop it further, and to better meet the needs of the children in attendance. I will continually review the Support Plans and seek the parents’ views on the child’s progress. All assessments made of the child’s progress, feed into their Learning Folder of developmental achievements, and these are shared with parents on a daily basis and during review meetings. Review meetings can be requested by families at any mutually convenient time.

I will work in partnership with parents, as they are the experts on their child, and I will provide information on how I am supporting their child’s development and/or meeting any medical needs. I will seek consent to request support from outside agencies where necessary. 

I will seek support from an Early Years Advisor from Norfolk County Council. I will continue to develop my knowledge of special educational needs, by attending training, and by reading literature provided to me by the Professionals involved with the child. The outside agencies that I currently work with include an Educational Psychologist, School 2 School support, Speech and Language Therapist, Portage, Children’s Centre, etc.

Should concerns about a child’s development continue, without improvement, discussions will take place as to whether an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment should be requested. These concerns may be raised by parents / carers, other professionals involved with the child, or myself.

If a child is invited for an EHC Needs Assessment, and then the result is a request for an Education, Health and Care Plan, I will support families throughout this process.

Education, Health and Care Plans

Not all children who have SEN need an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP) in order to have their needs met. Most children with SEN have their needs met with SEN Support.

An EHCP is for children who have complex special educational needs and/or disabilities that cannot be met through SEN Support.

Children with EHCPs also have Support Plans and their EHCP will be formally reviewed termly.

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

The identification and assessment of the special educational needs of children whose first language is not English requires particular care. Children at the early stages of acquiring English should not be regarded as having learning difficulties. However, if a child with EAL is making slow progress, it should not be assumed that this is only due to their additional language needs. They may, for example have a learning, speech and language, sensory or emotional difficulty. The 2015 SEND Code of Practice makes this very clear:

I should look carefully at all aspects of a child’s performance in different areas of learning and development, to establish whether lack of progress is due to limitations in their command of English or if it arises from SEN or a disability. Difficulties related solely to limitations in English as an additional language are not SEN.

Using the EAL Assessment Framework (EYFS Edition) materials from The Northern Association of Support Services for Equality and Achievement (NASSEA), I will assess children for whom English is an additional language. 

Children with both EAL and SEND will be supported in accordance with the Provision Map for my setting.

It is important that careful tracking and assessment is used for all children, to identify the difficulties a child faces, so that appropriate support can be put in place as soon as possible. Involving parents is a very important part of this.

A final word

Children are encouraged and supported to develop their independence, so that they are prepared for the future.

I have a responsibility to identify groups of disadvantaged children who attend my setting and will apply for additional funding available locally, if families meet certain criteria. I will use this funding to ensure support is in place to improve children’s outcomes. 

I will work with the local authority via ‘SEN Local Offer’ to ensure information is available locally to parents, to ensure they are able to make choices about the right childcare provision, for their child with SEN.

I constantly evaluate the setting’s provision, to ensure it meets the needs of children, now and in the future. I do this using self-evaluation, through training, through the expertise of the NCC Early Years Team and through conversations with other professionals involved in the setting.