Working Together to Safeguard Children
            Working Together to Safeguard Children

9.2 Supporting children with special educational needs


Policy statement


At Thorpe Acre Pre-school Playgroup, we provide an environment in which all children, including those with special educational needs, are supported to reach their full potential.


  • We have regard for the DfE Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2001).
  • We ensure our provision is inclusive to all children with special educational needs.
  • We support parents and children with special educational needs (SEN).
  • We identify the specific needs of children with special educational needs and meet those needs through a range of SEN strategies.
  • We work in partnership with parents and other agencies in meeting individual children's needs.

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



  • We designate a member of staff to be the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) and give his/her name to parents. Our SENCO is

Mrs Susan Lee

  • We ensure that the provision for children with special educational needs is the responsibility of all members of the setting.
  • We ensure that our inclusive admissions practice ensures equality of access and opportunity.
  • We use the graduated response system for identifying, assessing and responding to children's special educational needs.
  • We work closely with parents of children with special educational needs to create and maintain a positive partnership.
  • We ensure that parents are informed at all stages of the assessment, planning, provision and review of their children's education.
  • We provide parents with information on sources of independent advice and support.
  • We liaise with other professionals involved with children with special educational needs and their families, including transfer arrangements to other settings and schools.
  • We provide a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum for all children with special educational needs.
  • We use a system of planning, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reviewing individual educational plans (IEPs) for children with special educational needs.
  • We ensure that children with special educational needs are appropriately involved at all stages of the graduated response, taking into account their levels of ability.
  • We have systems in place for supporting children during the Early Years Action process (stage 2 on Continuum of Need).
  • We have systems in place for working with other agencies through the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) at each stage. Early Years Action Plus (stage 3 on Continuum of Need), Statutory Assessment and the Statementing process (stage 4 on Continuum of Need).
  • We use a system for keeping records of the assessment, planning, provision and review for children with special educational needs.
  • We provide resources (human and financial) to implement our Special Educational Needs Policy.
  • We provide in-service training for parents, practitioners and volunteers.
  • We raise awareness of any specialism the setting has to offer, e.g. Makaton trained staff.
  • We ensure the effectiveness of our special educational needs provision by collecting information from a range of sources e.g. Individual Education 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.


Admissions Procedures

  • Children with special educational needs, like other children, are admitted to the Pre-school after consultation between parents, the child’s Key Person and the Pre-school ~SENco
  • Childrens needs will be monitored through observation and assessment; these observations will be used to note any areas of difficulty and used to help children to progress, on an individual basis, in conjunction with their parents.
  • Progress and information is shared, on a regular basis, with staff at Keyperson meetings, with Parents/Carers at Parent Evenings and at SEN liaison meetings and with the Area SENco and other outside agencies who are involved such as Therapists, Health Visitors, Psychologists, Social Workers, Paediatricians and Portage Workers, through reports and meetings, to meet children’s specific needs.
  • A child’s individual needs are planned for by drawing up an Individual Education Plan for all staff to work to and also by differentiating the curriculum to meet children’s individual needs.


Partnership with Parents and Carers

  • Staff and Key Persons value the knowledge and views of parents/carers regarding their own children and will be sensitive to the need to be discreet.  All Staff will be aware of the need for confidentiality and will adhere to the settings Confidentiality Policy.  See also Positive Contribution Folder.


Identification and Assessment of Children with SEN

  • Information is gathered in a positive way at an initial visit with the Child’s Key Person and with the setting SENco if appropriate.
  • A Risk Assessment will be undertaken to ensure that the setting is well prepared to support the child.
  • The Setting SENco and Staff will be willing to undertake further training if necessary, in order to support a child’s particular needs.
  • If a child attends other settings or specialist nurseries, the setting SENco would liaise are share information with these settings.

Children are helped with transition by completing a transition form and sharing records with the receiving school, liaising with school staff at SENco Network Meetings and arranging visits with pre-school staff to a child’s school and/or visits from the child’s teacher/nursery nurse to the setting, prior to starting.


The Role of the SENco

  • To Liaise with staff, parents and other professionals, to identify which children may need support and how best to achieve it.
  • To monitor, record and evaluate the children’s progress and ensure records are collated and updated
  • To support staff in providing or adapting activities so that children with SEN can join in and progress.
  • To ensure that individual arrangements e.g. an Individual Education Plan, is being followed by all those working with the child.
  • Co-ordinating liaison between parents, other professionals, e.g. Area SENco, speech and language therapists, health visitors and specialist teams within education.
  • To monitor and review the SEN policy annually.


Resources and Training

  • The building is fitted with a ramp for easy access, disabled toilet with handrails and low-level toilet, sinks and drying facilities.
  • Staff will work with the Specialist ~Teaching Service and other professional bodies to acquire any specialist equipment that may be required.
  • The SENco will undertake the recommended training for the role of the SENco and keep updated.


Procedures for resolving a complaint

  • Complaints will be resolved following the settings Complaints Procedure Policy in Main Policy Document and also in the Protecting Children Folder, sited in the office.
  • Information will be kept on statutory and voluntary organisations that can advocate for a family, such as Parent Partnership Officer, the Parent and Carers Council and Menphys SOS.  See also Positive Relationships folder.


Further guidance

  • Issues in Earlier Intervention: Identifying and Supporting Children with Additional Needs (DCSF 2010)
  • Early Years Foundation Stage and the Disability Discrimination Act (DCSF 2010)
  • The Team Around the Child (TAC) and the Lead Professional: A Guide for Managers (CWDC 2009)
  • The Common Assessment Framework for Children and Young People: A Guide for Managers (CWDC 2010)
  • Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (DfES 2001)


This policy was adopted at a meeting of


(name of provider)

Held on



Date to be reviewed



Signed on behalf of the management committee


Name of signatory


Role of signatory (e.g. chair/owner)



Other useful Pre-school Learning Alliance publications

  • The Role of the Early Years Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator SENCO (2006)
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Thorpe Acre Pre-school Playgroup

C/O Thorpe Acre Infant School

Alan Moss Road

LE11 4SQ

Tel: 07803 054757


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