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9.2 Supporting children with special educational needs


Policy statement


We provide an environment in which all children with special educational needs (SEN) are supported to reach their full potential.

We have regard for the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) (DfE and DoH 2015) which states that local authorities must ensure that all early years providers that they fund in the maintained, private, voluntary and independent sectors are aware of the requirement on them to meet the needs of children with SEN and disabilities. When securing funded early education for two, three- and four-year-olds local authorities should promote equality and inclusion for children with disabilities or SEN; this includes removing barriers that prevent access to early education and working with parents to give each child support to fulfil their potential. During the Covid outbreak we will review and update children’s SEN support plans more frequently to ensure their progress and well-being. 

The term SEN support defines arrangements for identifying and supporting children with special educational needs and/or disabilities. We are required to offer appropriate support and intervention and to promote equality of opportunity for children that we care for. Children’s SEND generally falls within the following four broad areas of need and support:

  • communication and interaction

  • cognition and learning

  • social, emotional and mental health

  • sensory and/or physical needs


  • We have a designated member of staff to be the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) and give her name to parents. Our SENCO is: Janie Muir who can be contacted by telephone on 0118 9429865 or 07591 750224 or email:


  • We have in place a clear approach for identifying, responding to, and meeting children’s SEN.

  • We support and involve parents (and where relevant children), actively listening to, and acting on their wishes and concerns.

  • We work in partnership with the local authority and other external agencies to ensure the best outcomes for children with SEN and their families.

  • We regularly monitor and review our policy, practice and provision and, if necessary, make adjustments.



  • The SENCO works closely with our manager and other colleagues and has responsibility for the day-to-day operation of our Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs Policy and for co-ordinating provision for children with SEN.

  • We ensure that the provision for children with SEN is the responsibility of all members of the setting.

  • We ensure that our inclusive admissions practice ensures equality of access and opportunity.

  • We provide a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum for all children.

  • We apply SEN support to ensure early identification of children with SEN.

  • We use the graduated approach system (assess, plan, do and review) applied in increasing detail and frequency to ensure that children progress.

  • We ensure that parents are involved at all stages of the assessment, planning, provision and review of their children's special education including all decision-making processes

  • Where appropriate we consider children’s views and wishes in decisions being made about them, relevant to their level understanding.

  • We provide parents with information on local sources of support and advice e.g. Local Offer, Information, Advice and Support Service.

  • We liaise and work with other external agencies to help improve outcomes for children with SEN.

  • We have systems in place for referring children for further assessment e.g. Early Help Assessment and Education, Health and Care (EHC) assessment.

  • We provide resources (human and financial) to implement our Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs Policy.

  • We ensure that all our staff are aware of our Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs Policy and the procedures for identifying, assessing and making provision for children with SEN.

  • We raise awareness of our special education provision via our website and or promotional materials.

  • We ensure the effectiveness of our special educational needs provision by collecting information from a range of sources e.g. action plan reviews, staff and management meetings, parental and external agency's views, inspections and complaints. This information is collated, evaluated and reviewed annually.

  • We provide a complaints procedure.

  • We monitor and review our policy annually.

  • Risk assessments are carried out where required to ensure the safety and opportunities available to every child.

  • There is a notice board in the entrance hall for parents to see.  This includes useful information such as speech and language drop ins.








Seeking additional funding/enhanced/top up

If the child’s needs cannot be met from within the setting’s core funding, then it will be at this point that the evidence collated will be used to apply for top up/enhanced funding from the local authority’s inclusion fund. If a new or existing child is disabled, then the setting should check if the family is in receipt or have applied for Disability Living Allowance. If so, the setting will be able to apply to their local authority for the local Disability Access Fund.


Further guidance

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) (DfE and DoH 2015)

Ready, Steady, SENCO (Pre-school Learning Alliance 2018)

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