Special Educational Needs (SEN) Policy

We have regard for:

  • Special Educational needs and disability code of practice 0-25 years.
  • Equality Act 2010
  • The children and families act 2014
  • Statutory framework for the EYFS.
  • Working together to safe guard children 2013.


“All early year’s providers have duties under the Equality Act 2010. In particular they must NOT discriminate against, harass or victimise disabled children”. (Equality Act 2010). At Footsteps “our vision for children with SEN and disabilities is the same 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”. (Code of practice 2014, pg11)

Footsteps are committed to the inclusion of all children. We welcome children regardless of gender, disabilities, abilities, SEN, religion or culture. The nursery believes that all children have a right to experience and develop individually and collectively despite what their individual needs may be. Practitioners are acknowledged that they MUST include all children making adaptions to meet all children’s needs, so that all children can join and have exciting learning opportunities.

  1. Valuing parents/careers.

We value all parents ensuring we are working in partnership with them. We emphasize with all parents and help guide and support them through exciting and difficult times they may face. We involve parents in every aspect of their child’s experience inviting them to attend all review meetings, other professional meetings, parent’s evenings, coffee mornings, stay and play sessions and other planned events. Footsteps offer an open door policy where parents can discuss any concerns/questions with the SENCo.

Parent’s views are considered in the children’s action plans, one page profile, risk assessments, developmental profile checklist.

EHC’S and other relevant documentation. A meeting shall be arranged to ensure parents can convey and have input with their wishes and views. On each child’s action plan there is an allocated space for parent’s comments.

  1. Admissions and Transitions.

We ensure that we follow the Admissions and Transition policy, allowing adaptations to meet all individual children’s needs. To help support SEN children the SENCo when possible will visit the school with the child and take photos of teachers, classroom and areas of the school this is to make a transition book which can be shared at home and at the setting to help the child be familiar and give them an insight of what is to come.

When a child whom has a SEN or disability it is important that practitioners are trained and are acknowledge so that the child’s needs and wellbeing can be met.

If the setting is aware that they have a child that will be joining them and they have a diagnosed disability or SEN, the setting will when possible make adaptions and adjustments to meet the child’s individual needs. When a child requires individual support, we will seek the required training and make applications for high needs funding. The setting will work with the SSS team, parents and other professionals in the transition to school.

  1. Identification of SEN.

The setting recognises that children with disabilities may not always have SEN.

  • All practitioners are acknowledged of the different ages and stages of child development and have a good understanding of this; practitioners continually are working alongside the Early Years foundation stage framework.
  • Practitioners carry out regular snapshot observations on each child. Narrative observations are gathered every 3 months (or when a practitioner has concerns with regards to a child’s development) and tracking is carried out termly. These forms of observation and the practitioner’s knowledge and experience help detect if a child is delayed and if there is cause for concern.
  • Progress 2 checks are carried out when a child turns 2 years 6months. The key person is reasonable for ensuring these are completed and must liaise with the child’s Health Visitor and parents. Progress 2 checks are carried out to help any early identification of SEN or a disability. (Send code of practice 2014, pg12)
  • Where a child appears to be showing delays in expected levels, or where a child’s progress gives cause for concern, practitioners will consider all the information about the child’s learning and development from within and beyond the setting. From within the setting practitioners concentrate highly on the three prime areas which are personal, social and emotional development, communication and language and physical development. (SEND COP 2014 Pg 12) With all the information gathered practitioners will arrange a suitable time around the parent to discuss the concerns and possible next steps for their child.
  • Practitioners are aware of the importance of early identification and will always liaise with the nursery SENCo if they have any concerns or queries with regards to any children, practitioners understand that the early they intervene the better the child’s life experiences will be.
  • Open door policy-Parents can discuss if they ever have any concerns regarding their child’s development.
  • Footsteps adopt a graduated approach with four stages of action (assess, plan do review) to identify, assessing and respond to children’s special educational needs.
  • Practitioners ensure they develop strong secure bonds with the children which allows them to identify additional needs that may be required.
  1. Training.

The nursery SENCo is Clairee Wright who has attended numerous training which include qualifying SENCo, enhanced skilled SENCo and Early Identification of SEN.

Alexia Benjamin is the supporting SENCo who has also attended the qualifying SENCo training and other relevant SEN training. They are responsible for caring for the children with high needs funding.

The SENCo attends all inclusion network meetings. And all the practitioners regularly undertake SEN and NIMP training.

Alexia Benjamin is the nursery Communication Champion and has attended the relevant training to support other staff members.

Footsteps emphasise the importance of undertaking regular training to continue good effective practice.

  1. Supported Documentation.

Footsteps work with children and their parents/careers and also other professionals to help implement required documentation to support the needs of their child. These can be:

  • One Page Profiles
  • Action Plans
  • Risk Assessments
  • Developmental Profile Check
  • Educational Health Care Plans
  • PEC’s

When drawing up relevant documentation the child and parents voice is paramount. We are able to capture their voice via observations, pictures, and their interests, use of PEC and props, and also from them verbally. Documentation and progress is continually reviewed to ensure that the child’s needs continue to be met.

  1. The local offer.

The local offer publishes services available for children and young people (aged 0-25) with special educational needs and disabilities. We inform our parents of the local offer and the services it provides the local offer:

  • Improves choice and transparency for families.
  • Helps professionals to understand the range of services and provision available locally.

The local offer covers:

  • Special educational provision.
  • Health Provision.
  • Social Care Provision.
  • Training Provision.
  • Arrangements for children and young people to travel to schools, colleges and early year’s education.
  1. Roles and Responsibilities of the special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo).

Clairee Wright is the Footsteps SENCo, supported by Alexia Benjamin.

The responsibilities of the SENCo are:

  • Gaining parental permission via written consent before carrying out any assessments, documentation and liaising with other professionals.
  • Working closely with parents/carers, practitioners and other professionals in supporting the best interests for children’s needs including completely EHC plans.
  • Valuing and supporting parents and children’s views and taking into account their opinions, keeping parents updated and making arrangements for review meetings.
  • Undertaking regular training and filter new information to all practitioners and parents.
  • Assisting in identifying any additional needs a child may have.
  • To continue to assess and observe all children’s development.
  • To plan with relevant professionals and parents approaches and strategies to support the child and family.
  • To ensure children have in place the correct documentation ensuring that it is reviewed when applicable.
  • To contact or make referrals to outside agencies who can offer support and advice.
  • Where possible to apply for funding for a child who meets the criteria.
  • Being a support for all practitioners giving them assistance and advice with regards to SEN and disability.

We will regularly review this policy on an annual basis but sooner if required to ensure the policy still meets legal requirements, is being implemented effectively and is working in practice. It will be the responsibility of the Senco although all staff will have input.

We will use the following audit tools to review inclusive practice

– Inclusion Development Programmes, SEAD, METAS (Diversity), Barriers to Learning and Participation (SEN Handbook)

The Non-Collection of Children Policy

In the event that a child is not collected by an authorised adult, we will ensure that the child receives a high standard of care in order to cause as little distress as possible.  We inform parents/carers of our procedures so that, if they are unavoidably delayed, they will be reassured that their children will be properly cared for.


  1. Parents of children starting at the nursery are asked to provide specific information which is recorded on our Registration Form, including:
  • Home address and telephone number – if the parents do not have a telephone, an alternative number must be given, perhaps a neighbour’s;
  • Place of work, address and telephone number (if applicable);
  • Mobile telephone number (if applicable);
  • Names, addresses, telephone numbers, photos and passwords of adults who are authorised by the parents to collect their child from the nursery, for example a childminder or grandparent, information about any person who does not have legal access to the child.
  1. On occasions when parents are aware that they will not be at home or in their usual place of work, they will inform us of who to contact in case of emergency.
  2. On occasions when parents or the persons normally authorised to collect the child are not able to collect the child, they inform us who will be collecting their child. We agree with parents how the identification of the person who is to collect their child will be verified.
  3. Parents are informed that if they are not able to collect the child as planned, they must inform us so that we can begin to take back-up procedures. We provide parents with our contact telephone number.   We also inform parents that – in the event that their children are not collected from nursery by an authorised adult and the staff can no longer supervise the child in our premises – we apply our safe guarding procedures as set out in our safeguarding children policy.
  4. If a child is not collected at the end of the session/day, we follow the following procedures:
  • The message Book is checked for any information about changes to the normal collection routines;
  • If no information is available, parents/carers are contacted at home or at work;
  • If this is unsuccessful, the adults who are authorised by the parents to collect their child from pre-school – and whose telephone numbers are recorded on the Registration Form – are contacted;
  • All reasonable attempts are made to contact the parents/carers, for example a neighbour is contacted or another member of staff visits the child’s home;
  • The child stays at pre-school in the care of two fully-vetted workers until the child is safely collected;
  • The child does not leave the premises with anyone other than those named on the Registration Form and in the message Book;
  • If no-one collects the child and the premises are closing, or staff are no longer available to care for the child, we apply the procedures set out in our Child Protection Policy. We contact our local authority social services department (telephone number 0300 126 1000) and inform Ofsted (telephone number 0845 601 4771) and our local Pre-school Learning Alliance office/Pre-school Development Worker (telephone number 01908 263700.);
  • A full written report of the incident is recorded; and depending on circumstances, we reserve the right to charge parents for the additional hours worked by our staff.

Lost Child Procedure (From Nursery)

In the unlikely event of a child going missing within/from the nursery, the following procedure will be implemented immediately.

• The nursery manager will be informed immediately and all staff present will be informed and deployed to start an immediate thorough search of the nursery, followed by a search of the surrounding area, ensuring that all other children remain supervised throughout
• The manager will carry out a second search of the area
• If the child has still not been accounted for, the manager will contact the police
• The manager will also contact the parents/carers of the missing child
• During this period, staff will be continually searching for the missing child, whilst other staff maintain as near to normal routine as possible for the rest of the children in the nursery
• The manager will meet the police and parents/carers
• The manager will then await instructions from the police
• Any incidents must be recorded in writing
• Ofsted must be contacted and informed of any incidents
• With incidents of this nature parents, carers and children may require support and reassurance following the traumatic experience.

Lost Child Procedure (During Outing)

Regular head counts are carried out on children throughout the outing.
In the unlikely event of a child going missing whilst on an outing the following procedure will be implemented immediately.

• The organiser will be informed immediately and all staff present will be informed and deployed to start an immediate thorough search of the area, ensuring that all other children remain supervised throughout
• If appropriate, on-site security will also be informed and a description of the child/children given
• In the event of a child not being found, the designated person in charge will immediately inform the police
• The designated person in charge will then inform the nursery who will contact the child’s parents/carers giving details of what has happened. In the case of the whole nursery being on an outing, all parents/carers details would be taken on the trip by the person in charge
• Staff from the nursery will be sent to assist the safe return of the other children
• During this period, staff will be continually searching for the missing child, whilst other staff maintain the safety of the remaining children
• At least one member of staff will remain at the scene whilst others return to the nursery with the children. This member of staff will continue searching for the child/children
• The remaining member of staff will meet the police and parents/carers when they arrive at a designated point
• Any incidents must be recorded in writing
• Ofsted must be contacted and informed of any incidents
• With incidents of this nature parents, carers and children may require support and reassurance following the traumatic experience

Accidents and Injuries Policy

When children have an accident staff should treat the child in a calm manner and follow the instructions given during First Aid training.

The accident form should also be filled in and signed by a member of staff and a witness.

All accidents need to be reported to Nursery Manager or Deputy Manager and countersigned.

All accidents will be reported to parents either at the end of the day or by telephone at the time of the accident, depending on the severity of the injury. Parents will be contacted to collect their child if needed.

Staff will accompany them to hospital if needed or an ambulance will be called.

Parents will be required to sign the accident form when they come to collect to show that they are aware of any action taken.

If an accident results in hospitalisation a form must be completed and sent to Ofsted by the person in charge at the time of the accident.

(See Section 3 The safeguarding and welfare requirements, 3.50, Statutory Framework for EYFS)

If an accident has occurred at home parents must inform the staff on arrival to nursery and an Existing Injuries form needs to be competed.

Complaints Procedure

Statement of intent

Our nursery believes that children and parents are entitled to expect courtesy and prompt, careful attention to their needs and wishes. We welcome suggestions on how to improve our nursery and will give prompt and serious attention to any concerns about the running of the nursery. We anticipate that most concerns will be resolved quickly by an informal approach to the appropriate member of staff. If this does not achieve the desired result, we have a set of procedures for dealing with concerns.


We aim to bring all concerns about the running of our nursery to a satisfactory conclusion for all the parties involved.


To achieve this, we operate the following complaints procedure.

Stage 1

  • Any parent who is uneasy about an aspect of the nurseries provision talks over, first of all, his/her worries and anxieties with the child’s key person.

Stage 2

  • If this does not have a satisfactory outcome, or if the problem reoccurs, the parent moves to Stage 2 of the procedure by putting the concerns or complaint in writing to the nursery manager or arrange a meeting with the nursery manager.
  • Most complaints should be able to be resolved informally at Stage 1 or at Stage 2.

Stage 3

  • The complaint is investigated and the complaint given information regarding the outcome (Usually within 28 days) either by another meeting or in letter form.

Parents may approach OFSETD directly at any stage of this complaints procedure. In addition, where there seems to be a possible breach of our registration requirements, it is essential to involve OFSTED as the registering and inspection body with a duty to ensure the National Standards for Day Care are adhered to. (Statutory framework section 3 3.75 for EYFS)

The address and telephone number of our OFSTED regional centre can be found on the notice board in the hallway.

Promoting health and hygiene – No-smoking policy

At Footsteps Day Care we comply with health and safety regulations and the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the EYFS in making our setting a no- smoking environment.

Parents and staff are asked not to smoke anywhere in the premises. No smoking is permitted in the buildings, the play area or the car park. This will apply to all staff, parents/carers and visitors entering the nursery building. (Statutory framework 3.55 for EYFS)

Staff are prohibited to smoke whilst in their nursery clothing and must ensure they change into their own clothing if they wish to smoke. If the staff member chooses to smoke in their own clothes they must allow a 30 min period from their last cigarette to returning into contact with children.*

Staff will not be permitted to work in the nursery under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

*This is a recommendation from Governments Chief Medical Officer

Dummy Policy

At Footsteps we recognise that babies and children can have dummies for nap times and comfort, we also recognise that it reduces the risk of cot death in young babies. In the belief that proactive steps can be taken to ensure children develop the best speech and language possible, parents and practitioners should work together.

At Footsteps we practise the following:

·         Encourage children to only use a dummy for comfort when upset and as a part of the child’s sleep routine.

Sleep Policy

Footstep identifies the importance of offering children a quiet area where they may relax and have a sleep during the day.

  • Staff members will conduct physical checks on sleeping children to ensure they breathe normally and they are not hot or cold
  • Outdoor clothing and bibs will be removed
  • Children will be encouraged to snuggle with their comfort objects from home. Staff members will ensure that they are kept away from children’s faces during their sleep time
  • Sleep times will be recorded and staff members will check on the children and update the Sleep Chart every 10 minutes.

(Statutory framework section 3.59 for EYFS)

Emergancy Procedure

The following are emergency procedures to be followed in the event of;


  1. Electricity
  2. Gas
  3. Water/Flood
  4. Stanley doors failing (From Inside or Outside)
  5. Intruder
  6. Break In
  7. Fire
  8. Emergency Maintenance
  9. Terrorist activity
  1. Electricity:

In the event of complete electricity loss contact:

Western Power Distribution

0800 6783 105 or call 105

For area loss within the building fuses will need to be checked in the fuse box located in the back room of the kitchen and in the Infant room.

In the event of electricity problems raise a maintenance concern in the maintenance book located in the office.


  1. Gas:

In the event of complete gas loss contact:

National Grid’s Emergency

0800 111 999

If you smell gas, think you have a gas leak or suspect that carbon monoxide fumes may be escaping from a gas appliance.

Please call the Gas Emergency line:

0800 111 999


– Turn off the gas supply at the meter

– Open all doors and windows

– Don’t smoke

– Extinguish any naked flames

– Don’t turn any electrical switches on or off

  1. Water:

In the event of water failure please call:

Anglian Water

03457 145 145

In the event of a water leak please call:

Anglian Water

0800 771 881

  1. Flood:

In the event of a main flood on entry of the building please call:

0300 2000 100

  1. Stanley doors failing:

Report the failing to Stanley Support:

0845 301 6192

From the inside:-

In the event of the door failing and the doors being unable to open with the push button, a forceful push to the centre of the doors will open the doors outwards.

N.B. this should be on immediate exit as will result in the building being unsecured so until such point the back emergency door should be used.

From the outside:-

In the event of the door failing and you are unable to gain access from the front; the senior will need to use a key to gain access to the rear.

N.B. Always ensure the sensor is clean and dry as this may affect the operation.

  1. Intruder:

In the event of an intruder entering the front entrance, ensure the second door is bolted and secured and contact the police immediately on: 999

If the intruder enters through the back fire door, ensure 999 are called immediately.

In the event of the garden being entered the area will remain secure by the coded back door but police will still need to be contacted for removal of the intruder.

In all events Ofsted will need to be informed that we have had a breach of security whilst children are within the building.

  1. Break In:

On discovering a break in contact the police immediately on 999

If the area has been inspected and is able to be cleared and the remaining of the rooms can be accessed safely and securely then the nursery will remain open to parents.

If the damage is rather extreme and the building isn’t safe for entry then notices will need to be put on the school app and parents contacted regarding the closure until further notice.

Maintenance requests will need to be made and insurance will need to be contacted to assess the damage.

  1. Fire:

In the event of a fire, raise the alarm immediately and contact 999; follow the evacuation procedures and ensure the children are taken to the place of safety with the evacuation case.

The person in charge will then need to contact all parent/guardians to arrange safe collection.

On discovering a fire:

Sound the alarm immediately and if possible, phone 999.

If it is not possible to leave your room fire seals are fitted to all internal doors these will expand and protect you for up to 30 minutes.

– Remain calm, do not alarm the children, and do not collect any belongings.

– Leave the building with if possible, a staff member at the front and behind the children.

– Children are to leave the premises in pairs.

– Younger children to be placed in the evacuation cot.

– Remember to pick up the register.

– Evacuate the building by the nearest fire exit and make your way to the fire assembly point – NURSERY PLAYGROUND.

If this is not possible make your way to the designated place of safety – SOL CENTRAL.

– Make sure no children are left behind in any area of the nursery.

– Do not re-enter the building for any reason.

– Remain with your group of children in the fire assembly area and wait for the register to be checked.

Your fire marshal is MARITSA WARD O’CONNELL.

  1. Emergency Maintenance:

In the event of emergency maintenance please contact ‘Ian Critchlow’ for an immediate service or planned service/advice.

  1. Terrorist Activity:

In the event of an incident, ‘lockdown’ of a building or buildings is an emergency procedure to secure and protect occupants near an immediate threat.

Be prepared

Follow any advice for managing emergency situations given at training sessions.

Make sure all staff are aware of their role during ‘lockdown’.

Use the wording below to issue to all parents as soon as lockdown is announced and you are sure the situation is not a false alarm.

Due to an incident we have been advised by the emergency services to secure the premises and stay put until we are given the ‘all clear’. Please do not attempt to collect your child until it is safe to do so. We will let you know as soon as we are able when that is likely to be.

In the meantime we need to keep our telephone lines clear and would appreciate your cooperation in not calling unless it is absolutely vital that you speak to us.

Upon alert to lockdown

Stay calm.

Ensure staff and children stay in their designated areas. Stay in the room you are working in, secure all doors and windows and await further instructions.

Close curtains and blinds where possible.

Stay away from windows and doors.

Do NOT make non-essential calls on mobile phones or landlines.

If the fire alarm is activated, remain where you are and await further instructions from emergency services unless the fire is in your area. In which case, move to the next room/area, following your usual fire procedures.

Following the lockdown

Co-operate with the emergency services to help in an orderly evacuation.

Ensure you have the Register and children’s details with you.

Any staff or children who have witnessed an attack or incident will need to tell the police what they saw. 
The police may require other individuals to remain available for questioning.

Managing parent’s

In the event of an incident it is inevitable parents will want to come to the setting and collect their children immediately.

They must be discouraged from doing so, until the emergency services give the all clear.

Even then, depending on the severity and type of incident, children may need to be checked by medical teams or questioned by the police.

It must be made absolutely clear to parents that you will be acting on the advice of the emergency services at all times.

With regard to getting information to parents during ‘lockdown’, you should use the existing system ‘OurSchoolsApp’.

Discourage parents from ringing you directly for further updates during ‘lockdown’; it will be vital your phone lines remain clear.

Report any suspicious activity to the police on 999 or the anti-terrorist hotline: 0800 789 321.