Special Educational Needs
It is our aim at Chingford House Nursery that all children should have equal access to our educational provision. We feel that it is important that children receive a broad and balanced curriculum which reflects their stages of learning and development as well as incorporating their individual interests, whatever their educational status may be. We are committed to the philosophy that children with special educational needs and disability (SEND) have the right to be educated alongside their peers. Further to this it is important, as with all children, that we take their views and opinions into account when planning for their needs.
We believe that the key to supporting children with SEND, and to enable them to progress and develop as fully as possible, is early identification and intervention. Therefore, we aim to establish effective relationships with the child and parents and start to plan for the needs of all children from as early as their first day. The ‘All About Me’ document that we ask the parents to complete will not only smooth the child’s transition into nursery life but it also enables us to assess the child’s starting points as well as their developmental needs.
The nursery has a duty to children to ensure that any concerns identified are catered for accordingly; to this end we have two Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators who are responsible for co-ordinating the educational provision for each child identified as having a developmental concern, a special educational need or a disability.
It is also our aim to ensure that Chingford House Nursery provides an inclusive environment in line with the Equalities Act 2010; we will not discriminate or treat children, staff, families or users of the nursery less favourably based on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.
We adhere to many regulations, guidance and policies to ensure that we are meeting regulatory conditions. In showing due regard to this policy, it is informed by the:
Equalities Act 2010
Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2021)
Special Educational Needs Disability Code of Practice: 0-25yrs (2015)
Children and Families Act (2014)
At Chingford House we want the children to become confident learners with a growing ability to communicate their own views, who are eager to learn and in time will be ready to make the transition to school. The Early Years Foundation Stage is our tool for planning to meet the specific needs of the individual child. When planning, staff set appropriate learning challenges and respond to children’s individual and diverse learning needs.
Where it seems that a child is not meeting expected levels of development, or where a child’s progress gives cause for concern, staff will take information from the child’s parents, as well as advice and reports from external professionals to form a more detailed assessment of the child’s needs.
A delay in learning and development in the early years may indicate that a child has special educational needs, that is, that they have a ‘learning difficulty or disability that calls for special educational provision’. However, ‘difficult’ or withdrawn behaviour does not automatically mean that a child has special educational needs. Where there are concerns, an assessment will take place to determine whether a child has an underlying learning or communication difficulty
Aims and objectives in supporting children with concerns or SEND:
To enable all children to have full access to the curriculum
To create an environment which meets the needs of ALL children
To ensure that children’s special educational needs are identified, assessed and catered for
To be transparent about how children with special educational needs are supported
To ensure that staff understand their roles and responsibilities in providing for children’s special educational needs
To ensure that parents are true partners and that they contribute to supporting their child’s education
To ensure that children have a 'voice' and are involved in the process (age appropriate)
Through an enriched curriculum and environment as well as knowledgeable staff, we respect the fact that children:
have different educational and behavioural needs and aspirations
require different strategies for learning
acquire, assimilate and learn at different rates
need a range of different teaching approaches and experiences
The nursery has an Admissions Policy which is fair, equitable and inclusive; the nursery will not discriminate against a child because they may be deemed as having a special educational need or disability (please see our Admissions Policy).
Access to the curriculum:
We support children in a manner that acknowledges their entitlement to access the same learning experiences as their peers (although it may need to be modified or differentiated to meet their identified needs). We do not withdraw children from their rooms, unless we feel it will have a positive impact on their learning; we work in small groups or on a one-to-one basis to maximise their learning. We want children to feel that they are succeeding and that they have aspirations and have enthusiasm for their own learning, and having equal access to the curriculum will enable that.
Role of the Manager and SENCO:
In ensuring that we are meeting the needs of the children, especially where there are some concerns or identified delays in a child’s development, it is important to have an identified person who can support the child and family and assist the staff.
Nargis Ibrahim (Deputy Manager) is the Lead SENCO and she is supported by Yolande Farrell (Manager). Their respective or combined roles are to:
manage the day-to-day operation of the policy
co-ordinate and liaise with external professionals
guide, advise and train colleagues in planning an appropriate programme of support
oversee the records of all children with special educational needs
listen and respond to concerns that parents may raise about their child
liaise with parents by alerting them to your concerns and enlisting their active help and participation
monitor and evaluate the special educational needs provision
manage a range of resources, financial and material, to enable appropriate provision for children with special educational needs
co-ordinate the provision of any bespoke training that staff may need to support children with special educational needs or disabilities
In addition to the named SENCOs all staff have a duty to observe and monitor children’s progress regarding their development and early identification of any special educational needs.
As part of the Induction Process, staff will familiarise themselves with all the nursery’s policies including the Special Educational Needs and Disability policy.
We are committed to providing regular training and discussions as part of the staff’s continuous professional development; training such as child development, Makaton or Early Language will enable the staff to have a better understanding of children’s needs.
Identifying Children with SEND:
A child or young person has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.
(Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2015: 0 to 25 years).
A child is identified as having a learning difficulty if:
they have significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age
they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities that are provided for children of the same age.
It is important that we identify a concern as early as possible to support the child’s needs; early intervention has been shown to improve children’s long term outcomes.
Children will be assessed through the Two Year Progress Check which looks at the prime areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (Personal, Social & Emotional Development; Communication & Language and Physical Development). The Progress Check identifies children’s strengths as well as any concerns (if appropriate); strategies will be put in place if there are any concerns and the nursery will take steps to inform other professionals such as the Area SENCO or Speech and Language Therapist etc (with parental consent).
The SENCO/Manager may be asked to liaise with the Health Visitor regarding any checks and assessments that have been carried out; this will help us to form a fuller assessment of a child’s global development.
At Chingford House Nursery we carry out consistent and ongoing assessments; this information, along with parents’ views, enables us to determine if a child has a special educational need due to a learning difficulty or whether it may be due to other factors that may affect their learning, such as housing conditions or financial matters etc. If this is the case, the nursery, with consent, can get in touch with the Named Early Help Co-ordinator in Waltham Forest.
It is considered that children may be identified as having difficulties in one or more of the following four broad areas of need:
communication and interaction • cognition and learning • social, emotional and mental health • sensory and/or physical needs
Communication and Interaction:
Children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication.
Cognition and Learning:
This is when children learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs including moderate learning difficulties (MLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD) and profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD). Specific learning difficulties (SpLD), such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, affect one or more specific aspects of learning.
Social, emotional and mental health:
Some children may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours can reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, attention deficit disorder or an attachment disorder.
Sensory and/or physical needs: s
Some children may have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. This may include vision impairment, hearing impairment or multisensory impairment. Some children with a physical disability require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers.
(taken from Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2015: 0 to 25 years).
Children whose first language is not English does not mean that they have a special educational need; staff will look carefully at all aspects of the child’s learning and development to establish whether any delay is related to learning English or if it arises from a special educational need or a disability. The Key Person will speak with the parents to assess the child’s communication skills in their home language.
Staff’s response to supporting children:
Staff respond to children’s needs by:
providing support for children who need help with communication and language
developing children’s understanding through the use of their available senses and experiences
encouraging children’s full participation in learning, physical and practical activities
helping children to manage their behaviour and to take part in learning effectively and safely
helping children to manage their emotions, particularly any trauma or stress
In order to gain a clear picture of each child, all our children are assessed on entry (All About Me) and staff’s initial observations. Where we believe there might be a need, we provide strategies to support a specific area of development through ‘Focused Next Steps.’ We then consider whether a ‘Short Term Plan’ is needed (targeted strategy in meeting the child’s needs), which is the introductory step in meeting with the parents.
We use the ‘Assess, Plan, Do & Review’ as a tool in further supporting identified needs.
Plan: Early Years Support Plans:
Staff will have monitored the child closely and employed the Short Term Plan. If, after reviewing the short term plan at least twice, we will decide at the review meeting with the parents what further strategies are needed to initiate an Early Years Support Plan. Early Years Support Plans employs a ‘small-steps’ approach; these highlight achievable graded steps and targets to ensure that children experience success from their own starting points. Parents and children’s views (where age appropriate) form part of the Early Years Support Plan.
It is the responsibility of the Key Person and other familiar staff to ensure that they are working on the strategies within the plan on a daily basis (or agreed timeframe). The SENCO will oversee the implementation of the plan and together with the Key Person assess and determine any progress made.
The SENCO and Key Person must meet the child’s parents to discuss the progress; at the meeting: they should give an overview of the strategies, how the child was supported, any barriers to learning and the progress made. At the meeting they can decide to keep or employ other strategies that will support the child in meeting the targets.
We continue the cycle of reviewing the Early Years Support Plan and meeting the parents to discuss progress. If significant improvement is not identified, we hope to agree that further intervention is necessary. Children at this stage ‘require provision different from, or additional to, what is provided’ at the nursery. With parental consent, Chingford House Nursery will liaise with Mary Arthur, our Lead Early Years Area SENCO in Waltham Forest, or other specialists such as Speech and Language Therapists etc.
Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan)
The assess, plan, do and review is a graduated response in which we support identified needs. Parents or nursery staff may apply for an Education Health Care Plan assessment from the Local Authority. Having made an application, the Local Authority must respond within 6 weeks of receiving it and inform us as to whether the EHCP is necessary. The Local Authority will contact the parents to ensure that the child’s and their views form part of the application and that they have been involved throughout the process.
To inform their decision the local authority will need to consider a range of evidence, such as:
• the child’s developmental milestones in younger children and rate of progress
• information about the nature, extent and context of the child’s SEND
• the action already being taken by the nursery to meet the child’s SEND needs
• whether progress has been made, and if it has only been because of the result of much additional intervention and support over and above that which is usually provided
• the child’s physical, emotional and social development and health needs, drawing on advice from other specialists or agencies.
(taken from Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2015: 0 to 25 years).
We are required to keep individual records about the children’s learning and development in accordance with the Statutory Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage. This also includes evidence of how we support children who have identified needs.
Promoting children’s emotional wellbeing:
The staff work closely with children who are deemed to have a special educational need or disability; we feel that it is important to their emotional wellbeing that they feel good about themselves.
It is important that all children feel valued and respected – we encourage the children to be aware of and celebrate their differences and similarities. At Chingford House Nursery, we acknowledge and value the rights of all of children and we endeavour to ascertain their views and opinions in matters that affect them.
‘Children, who are capable of forming views, have a right to receive and make known information, to express an opinion, and to have that opinion taken into account in any matters affecting them. The views of the child should be given due weight according to the age, maturity and capability of the child’.
(Articles 12, The United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child.
Partnership with parents
At Chingford House Nursery we work closely with parents in the support of children with special educational needs or a disability. We encourage an active partnership through an on-going dialogue with parents. They are vital to the support that children need (whether they have additional needs or not). Parents are kept abreast of any outside intervention and advice and we ensure that decision-making is a joint one.
Parents can request other services outside the nursery or we can signpost them to services which may also offer support for the child and family.
Working in partnership with outside agencies:
Chingford House Nursery has developed and maintained effective partnerships with other professionals; the nursery recognises the need to work collaboratively with external services thus adopting a multi-disciplinarian approach. This in turn ensures that children are well supported.
Allocation of funding:
We do not possess a budget solely for children with special educational needs or disabilities, however, the nursery can access funding to support the children’s needs which may include additional staff, resources and services. Some children may be entitled to ‘Disability Access Funding’, ‘Early Years Pupil Premium’ or ‘SENIF’ funding. London Borough of Waltham Forest has a special educational needs panel which allocates funding based on children’s needs.
Chingford House Nursery has a commitment in maintaining confidentiality – however once there is a need for external agencies we have to share information regarding the child and the support needed. Parents will be made aware of this and will be asked to sign their consent. The external agencies will review any plans that we have in place, i.e. Early Years Support Plan and may help us to employ new strategies and targets.
Before a child moves on to another setting or school, we will work with their parents and their new school to plan and prepare for the transition. This will include a review of the support being provided as documented in the Short Term Plan, or Early Years Support Plan or the Education Health Care Plan (where appropriate). To support the transition, information will be shared by Chingford House Nursery and the receiving setting (with parental consent). We will also arrange for visits to the new setting if possible.
Reviewing the special educational needs policy:
This policy will be reviewed annually but updates and changes can be made throughout the year. The Manager and the SENCO have the responsibility of ensuring that the special educational needs and disability policy fully supports the children’s needs – the effectiveness of the policy and how it is implemented and managed is part of their remit.
It is our aim to provide a high quality childcare service and we continue to work towards raising standards. We acknowledge how difficult issues surrounding special educational needs can be and, as such, we are sensitive to the child and family. However, if parents feel that we have not acted appropriately, or they are dissatisfied with any aspects of our service, they are entitled to raise their concerns through the appropriate channels (see our Complaints Policy & Procedure).
Policy Revised by: Yolande Farrell Manager
Signed off by: Zarkar Akhtar Owner
Date: September 2023