Policy and Procedure for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
Statement of Intent
At St Peter’s Nursery School, we are committed to the inclusion of all children. All children have the right to be cared for and educated to develop to their full potential alongside each other through positive experiences, to enable them to share opportunities and experiences and develop and learn from each other. We provide a positive and welcoming environment where children are supported according to their individual needs and we work hard to ensure no children are discriminated against or put at a disadvantage as a consequence of their needs.
We believe that all children have a right to experience and develop alongside their peers no matter what their individual needs. Each child’s needs are unique, therefore any attempt to categorise children is inappropriate.
We are committed to working alongside parents in the provision for their child’s individual needs to enable us to help the child to develop to their full potential. We are committed to working with any child who has a specific need and/or disability and making reasonable adjustments to enable every child to make full use of the nursery’s facilities. All children have a right to a broad and well-balanced early learning environment.
Where we believe a child may have additional needs that have previously been unacknowledged, we will work closely with the child’s parents and any relevant professionals to establish if any additional action is required.
Where a child has additional needs, we feel it is important to find out as much as possible about those needs through:
• Liaising with the child’s parents and, where appropriate, the child
• Liaising with any professional agencies
• Reading any reports that have been prepared
• Attending any review meetings with the local authority/professionals
• Observing each child’s development and monitoring such observations regularly.
All children will be given a full settling in period when joining the nursery, according to their individual needs.
• Recognise each child’s individual needs and ensure all staff are aware of, and have regard for, the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2015, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25) on the identification and assessment of any needs not being met by the universal service provided by the nursery
• Include all children and their families in our provision
• Provide well informed and suitably trained practitioners to help support parents and children with special educational difficulties and/or disabilities
• Develop and maintain a core team of staff who are experienced in the care of children with additional needs and identify a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCo) who is experienced in the care and assessment of children with additional needs. Staff will be provided with specific training relating to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and the SEND Code of Practice
• Identify the specific needs of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities and meet those needs through a range of strategies
• Ensure that children who learn quicker, e.g. gifted and talented children are also supported
• Share any statutory and other assessments made by the nursery with parents and support parents in seeking any help they or the child may need
• Work in partnership with parents and other agencies in order to meet individual children’s needs, including the education, health and care authorities, and seek advice, support and training where required
• Monitor and review our practice and provision and, if necessary, make adjustments, and seek specialist equipment and services if needed
• Ensure that all children are treated as individuals/equals and are encouraged to take part in every aspect of the nursery day according to their individual needs and abilities
• Encourage children to value and respect others
• Challenge inappropriate attitudes and practices
• Promote positive images and role models during play experiences of those with additional needs wherever possible
• Celebrate diversity in all aspects of play and learning.
Our nursery Special Education Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCo) is Jane Gyakyi.
The role of the SENDCo is to take the lead in further assessment of the child’s particular strengths and weaknesses; in planning future support for the child in discussion with colleagues, and in monitoring and subsequently reviewing the action taken. The SENDCo should also ensure that appropriate records are kept including a record of children’s SEN support and those with Education, Health and Care plans. The practitioner usually responsible for the child should remain responsible for working with the child on a daily basis and for planning and delivering an individualised programme. Parents should always be consulted and kept informed of the action taken to help the child, and of the outcome of this action (Code of Practice 2015).
She works closely with all staff to make sure there are systems in place to plan, implement, monitor, review and evaluate the special educational needs practice and policy of the nursery, always making sure plans and records are shared with parents.
• Designate a named member of staff – Jane Gyakyi – to be Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinator (SENDCo) and share her name with parents
• Undertake formal Progress Checks and Assessments of all children in accordance with the SEND Code of Practice 2015
• Provide a statement showing how we provide for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities and share this with staff, parents and other professionals
• Ensure that the provision for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities is the responsibility of all members of staff in the nursery
• Ensure that our inclusive admissions practice includes equality of access and opportunity
• Ensure that our physical environment is as far as possible suitable for children and adults with disabilities
• Work closely with parents to create and maintain a positive partnership which supports their child(ren)
• Ensure that parents are informed at all stages of the assessment, planning, provision and review of their child’s care and education
• Provide parents with information on sources of independent advice and support
• Liaise with other professionals involved with children with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their families, including transfer arrangements to other settings and schools. We work closely with the next school or care setting and meet with them to discuss the child’s needs to ensure information exchange and continuity of care
• Use the graduated response system (see explanation below) for identifying, assessing and responding to children’s special educational needs and disabilities
• Provide a broad and balanced early learning environment for all children with special educational needs and/or disabilities
• Provide differentiated activities to meet all individual needs and abilities
• Use a system of planning, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reviewing Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities and discuss these with parents
• Review IEPs regularly [insert time frame e.g. every six weeks] and hold review meetings with parents at this time
• Ensure that children with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their parents are consulted at all stages of the graduated response, taking into account their levels of ability
• Use a system for keeping records of the assessment, planning, provision and review for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities
• Provide resources (human and financial) to implement our SEND policy
• Ensure the privacy of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities when intimate care is being provided
• Use the local authorities Assessment Framework (see details below)
• Provide in-service training for practitioners and volunteers
• Raise awareness of any specialism the setting has to offer, e.g. Makaton trained staff
• Ensure the effectiveness of our SEN/disability provision by collecting information from a range of sources e.g. IEP reviews, staff and management meetings, parental and external agencies’ views, inspections and complaints. This information is collated, evaluated and reviewed annually
• Provide a complaints procedure and make available to all parents in a format that meets their needs e.g. Braille, audio, large print, additional languages
• Monitor and review our policy annually.
Effective assessment of the need for early help
Local agencies should work together to put processes in place for the effective assessment of the needs of individual children who may benefit from early help services.
Children and families may need support from a wide range of local agencies.
Where a child and family would benefit from coordinated support from more than one agency (e.g. education, health, housing, police) there should be an inter-agency assessment. These early help assessments, such as the Common Assessment Framework, should identify what help the child and family require to prevent needs escalating to a point where intervention would be needed via a statutory assessment under the Children Act 1989.
The early help assessment should be undertaken by a lead professional who
should provide support to the child and family, act as an advocate on their behalf and coordinate the delivery of support services. The lead professional role could be undertaken by a General Practitioner (GP), family support worker, teacher, health visitor and/or special educational needs coordinator. Decisions about who should be the lead professional should be taken on a case by case basis and should be informed by the child and their family.
For an early help assessment to be effective:
• the assessment should be undertaken with the agreement of the child and their parents or carers. It should involve the child and family as well as all the professionals who are working with them;
• a teacher, GP, health visitor, early years’ worker or other professional should be able to discuss concerns they may have about a child and family with a social worker in the local authority. Local authority children’s social care should set out the process for how this will happen; and
• if parents and/or the child do not consent to an early help assessment, then the lead professional should make a judgement as to whether, without help, the needs of the child will escalate. If so, a referral into local authority children’s social care may be necessary.
If at any time it is considered that the child may be a child in need as defined in the Children Act 1989, or that the child has suffered significant harm or is likely to do so, a referral should be made immediately to local authority children’s social care. This referral can be made by any professional.
Working together to safeguard children 2015
Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice
The nursery has regard to the statutory guidance set out in the Special Educational Needs and Disability code of practice (DfE, 2015) to identify, assess and make provision for children’s special educational needs.
The nursery will undertake a Progress Check of all children at age two in accordance with the Code of Practice. The early years provider will also undertake an assessment at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage (in the final term of the year in which a child turns 5) to prepare an EYFS Profile of the child.
The Code of Practice recommends that, in addition to the formal checks above, the nursery should adopt a graduated approach to assessment and planning, led and coordinated by the SENDCo. Good practice of working together with parents, and the observation and monitoring of children’s individual progress, will help identify any child with special educational needs or disability. Our SENDCo will work alongside parents to assess the child’s strengths and plan for future support. The SENDCo will ensure that appropriate records are kept according to the Code of Practice.
Where a practitioner or SENDCo identifies a child with special educational needs, she will assess and record those needs and provide a number of key actions to help the child. As part of this process the nursery will consult with parents and seek any additional information from external professionals. The targets for the child, any teaching strategies or changes to provision are set out in an Individual Education Plan (IEP). The plan will be continually under review in consultation with the child and his/her parent(s). This stage will involve a cycle of assessment, planning and review in increasing detail, with increasing frequency, to identify the best ways of securing and maintaining progress.
This is where a practitioner or SENDCo, in consultation with the child’s parents, decide external support services are required usually following a review of the IEP. After seeking parental consent, the nursery will share its records on the child with those services so that they can advise on any IEP targets and appropriate strategies to help the child.
If the help given through an IEP is not sufficient to enable the child to progress satisfactorily, it may be necessary for the nursery, in consultation with the parents and any external agencies already involved, to request a statutory assessment by the local authority. This may lead to the child receiving an education, health and care plan.