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)