Our vision for children with special educational needs and disabilities is the same as for all children and young people – that they achieve well in their early years, at school and in college, and lead happy and fulfilled lives.
The SEND Code of Practice 2015 identifies in paragraph 4.32 that:
‘The local authority must set out in its Local Offer an authority-wide description of the special educational and training provision it expects to be available in its area and outside its area for children and young people in its area who have SEN or disabilities from providers of relevant early years education…’
This leaflet has been developed to provide a common framework for our area wide offers for children attending early years settings that are providing free early years education under the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS).
In summary the key points of the Code that are relevant to the area wide offer are:
- Early years providers should have arrangements in place that include a clear approach to assessing SEN. This should be part of the setting’s overall approach to monitoring the progress and development of all children.
- Where a child has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than their peers, or a disability that prevents or hinders a child from making use of the facilities in the setting and requires special educational provision, the setting should make that provision.
- It is particularly important in the early years that there is no delay in making any necessary special educational provision.
- Where a setting identifies a child as having SEN they must work in partnership with parents to establish the support the child needs.
- All settings should adopt a graduated approach with four stages of action: assess, plan, do and review.
- SEN support should include planning and preparing for transition, before a child moves into another setting or school.
- Where, despite the setting having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the special educational needs of the child, the child has not made expected progress, the setting should consider requesting an Education, Health and Care needs assessment.
- Providers should review how well equipped they are to provide support across the four broad areas of SEN which are:
- Communication and interaction (including autism).
- Cognition and learning (including global developmental delay).
- Social, emotional and mental health.
- Sensory and/or physical needs.
- Early years providers should consider how best to use their resources to support the progress of children with SEN.
- Ensure Free Entitlement hours are completely free at the point of delivery and are not subject to any additional conditions of access, for example extra hours or weeks on top of those to be funded or extra services such as lunch.
- Publish and make it clear to parents and carers what the setting’s pattern of Free Entitlement delivery is and make it available before the parent carer signs any contract to accept a place.
- Have clear policies to be made available to parent carers before they sign any contract.
- Consider the individual needs, interests and stage of development of each child and use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience for each child in all of the areas of learning and development.
- Consider whether a child may have a special educational need or disability that requires specialist support. They should link with, and help families to access, relevant services from other agencies as appropriate.
- Take steps to implement the advice given by specialists in relation to a child’s special educational needs or disability.
- Provide teaching and learning which is effective and allows children to play and explore, be active learners and creative, and think critically.
- Each child will be assigned a key person to ensure that their learning and care is tailored to meet their individual needs.
- The key person must seek to engage and support parents and carers in guiding the child’s development at home.
- Review the child’s progress at between age 2 and 3 and provide parents and carers with a short written summary of their child’s development.
- If the child has an emerging or identified special educational need develop a targeted plan to support the child’s future learning and development involving parents and carers and other professionals.
- Take all necessary steps to keep children safe and well.
- Have and implement a policy, and procedures, for administering medicines and provide training for staff where the administration of medicines requires medical or technical knowledge.
- Make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010.
- Enable a regular two-way flow of information with parents and carers, and between providers if a child is attending more than one setting.
- Make information on how the setting supports children with special educational needs and disabilities available to parents and carers.
- Provide training to staff to support them to make learning accessible through a variety of means depending on the individual needs of the child such as, visual timetables.
- Respond to behavioural needs through the flexible use of the environment and resources.