Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy
At Imperial College Early Years Education Centre we aim to provide all children with a broad and balanced learning environment that is committed to the Inclusion of children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities.
Our philosophy is that all children with or without Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities should have the opportunity to develop to their full potential alongside other children in the educational environment and have equal access to the curriculum.
We aim to work within the guidelines for children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities set out in the SEND Code of Practice January 2015 and the SEN tool kit October 2017.
The EYEC has a designated member(s) of staff who are responsible for the education and development of children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities.
The SENco team’s names are displayed on the staff notice board in the entrance hall, they are closely supported by the Head of Centre and the Deputy Head of Centre.
We recognise that some children will have Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities, but notes that children whose first language is not English will not be considered to have Special Educational Need because of their language alone.
Our SEND policy
Inclusion within Early Years
Imperial College Early Years welcomes the opportunity for both parents and children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities to visit the setting prior to enrolling and discuss ways in which we can meet your child’s needs. We will establish whether the setting is the most appropriate for your child and how we can support their learning to the full.
We will pay due regard to the views and wishes of both the parent and child equally with regard to their particular Special Educational Need and/or Disability and will include other professionals, if necessary, to establish the above.
Positive partnerships with parents
Within the Early Years our staff understand a good working relationship with parents is paramount to the education and development of every child. We work closely with parents and listen to your views in order to build on your child’s previous experiences, understanding and skills
We welcome parent’s guidance and knowledge and would like all parents to feel they are always welcome at Early Years either to help out or to discuss any concerns they might have. Arrangements can be made for meetings or discussions at mutually convenient times and in complete confidence. No action will ever be taken without the parent having full understanding of what is being done to help their child and giving full consent.
Key Person System
At Early Years each key person is responsible for observing the progress and development of their key children. If at any time there is any cause for concern with a child’s development who may be showing little or no progress against the normal milestones, this will be brought to the attention of the Early Years Head of Centre, the Deputy and the SENco and noted in their individual file. The SENco and Early Years Head of Centre and Deputy will then decide on the appropriate course of action. Depending on their decision it may then be necessary to activate the Graduated Approach (see below).
Parents will be involved at every stage of any assessment process and their child’s key person will report regularly to both them, staff and any other professionals involved regarding the next best steps for the child.
When planning activities, we not only take into account the Early Years Foundation Stage but we also consider each of the children’s own abilities and interests to ensure that all of their individual needs are met.
The Graduated Approach assessment process
Our educational provisions will match the four areas of need, as defined in the SEND Code of Practice January 2015:
- Communication and interaction
- Cognition and learning
- Social, emotional and mental health
- Sensory and/or physical needs.
At Early Years we use a 3-tiered approach to SEND and supporting a child’s learning:
Each child’s development is monitored using the Early Years Foundation Stage framework (EYFS) (2017) as a guide, the child’s key worker will observe the child’s developmental progress on a regular basis and will keep evidence such as pictures, videos and written observations to support their findings. At times there may be a need to include some minor adaptions to match the child’s learning needs.
Each child will receive a settling in report written by the child’s key person after six weeks of joining and after moving to a new room. After this period each Parent/Carer will have a progress meeting with their child’s key person about their child’s development approximately every six months after this and when the child moves to their new room. When a child leaves, you will have both a progress meeting and have a copy of their child’s learning journey.
Each child’s key person will also set them next steps every 3 months.
Our staff will also complete a statutory 2-year progress report for the children who are in 2-3 year old rooms.
Staff plan on a weekly basis for each child’s individual developmental needs and interests and will set their next steps accordingly.
It may be appropriate at times to consider making additional short term Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities provisions, additional to your child’s EYFS targets, to remove or reduce any obstacles to the child’s learning.
If a child needs additional provision to support their individual needs, with the Parent / Carer’s permission they will be placed on to a SEN Support Plan.
This will begin a graduated four part approach of ‘assess’, ‘plan’, ‘do’ and ‘review’:
- Assessing the child’s needs
- Planning the most effective and appropriate intervention via an SEN Support Plan, with Parental involvement and outside agencies (if appropriate).
- The child’s key person will then support the child through their individual targets as set out via an SEN support plan
- Reviewing regularly the impact on the child’s developmental progress towards their individual learning outcomes as set out via an SEN support plan.
The length and regularity of the cycle depends on the needs of the child or family at the time. This is called a graduated approach as set out in the SEND Code of Practice 0-25 (January 2015).
The decision about what should be included in an SEN Support plan will be made together with the Parent / Carer, the child (if appropriate), SENco and Key person and actions agreed.
Your child’s name is then entered into our Special Educational needs and/or Disabilities register and/or into our Speech and Language Therapy register held securely in our systems.
On some occasions it may be necessary for us to seek specialist advice from professionals outside Early Years and have regular long-term support from outside professionals in order for us to plan for the best possible learning outcomes for the child. This may include Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Sensory Advisory Teachers and the child development services.
We have support from the Bi-borough SEND team and with parental consent we can contact our Early Years Inclusion Advisor for any support and advice, if appropriate they can visit to observe the child.
If the family lives within the borough we have access to Westminster’s Early Help Service, who can support us in ensuring that we take each child’s individual Special Educational Needs and/or Disability’s into consideration. If your child lives outside Westminster their Health visitor and/or GP will be able to offer advice and support.
A small number of children who have access to these specialists may also have an EHCP (Educational Health Care Plan)
Where appropriate we can apply for additional funding (SENIF or DAF), with Parental permission, to help to support a child with a Special Educational need and/or disability.
We will make provisions to involve and liaise with any external professionals needed for each child in order to meet each child’s specific needs.
If any parent or member of staff has any complaints about our provision for children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities, you should report it to the Head of centre or the Deputy Head at the earliest stage. Every effort will be made to resolve the complaint.
Help and advice for parents and staff
For parents who have a child with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities there is an Information Advice Support Service available to Parents through their own local council. Westminster City Council also provides this service, which offers information, advice and support to Parents with SEN and/or Disabilities.
Each local council is responsible for providing information for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities and their Parents / carers (SEND Code of Practice January 2015). This is called a Local Offer, it is a single place where families can access all the information they need in regard to how to access local agencies to support their child including education, health and social care.
Link for Westminster Council’s Local Offer
The Local Offer is also a valuable resource for staff to assess information and training, there is also small bite sized training videos which everyone can access.
We are committed to training, which will improve the quality of care within our setting. When the opportunity arises our staff will also attend courses to broaden their knowledge of Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities. We also have access to advisory professionals through the Bi-borough SEND team and the Early Years Team at Westminster.
Any information shared with staff or other outside professionals will be done so on a need to know basis and in order to best support the child’s learning.
All records and reports will be clear, accurate and factual and strictly confidential.
This policy was updated October 2020 – Rowena Howe
Next review date October 2021