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Special Educational Needs

Special Educational Needs

Definition of Special Educational Needs (SEN)

“Children have a Special Educational Need if they have a learning difficulty which calls for Special Educational provision to be made for them”. As defined by the equality act 2010 for those who have Special Educational Needs and disabled children.


  • This policy is in line with the revised Code of Practice.
  • The Special Needs Coordinators (SENCO) is Julie Ryder.
  • The Deputy SENCO is Deborah Stewart
  • The building is accessible for wheelchair users.

At All Saints Pre-School we strive to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for all children. The Early Years Foundation Stage is our starting point for planning that, meeting the specific needs of individuals and groups of children. When planning, staff set suitable learning challenges and respond to children’s diverse learning needs. Some children have barriers to learning that mean they have special needs and require particular action by the Pre-School.

These requirements are likely to arise as a consequence of a child having Special Educational Needs. Staff take account of these requirements and make provision, where necessary, to support individuals or groups of children and thus enable them to participate effectively in curriculum and assessment activities. Such children may need ‘additional’ or ‘different’ help from that given to other children of the same age.

Children may have Special Educational Needs either throughout or at any time during their nursery development. This policy ensures that curriculum planning and assessment for children with Special Educational Needs takes account of the type and extent of the difficulty experienced by the child.


Aims and objectives

The aims of this policy are:

  • to create an environment that meets the Special Educational Needs of each child;
    to ensure that the Special Educational Needs of children are identified, assessed and provided for;
  • to make clear the expectations of all partners in the process;
  • to identify the roles and responsibilities of staff in providing for children’s Special Educational Needs;
  • to enable all children to have full access to all elements of the Pre-School’s curriculum;
  • to ensure that parents are able to play their part in supporting their child’s education;
  • to ensure that our children have a voice in this process where possible.

Educational Inclusion

At All Saints Pre-School we aim to offer excellence and choice to all our children, whatever their ability or needs. We have high expectations of all our children. We aim to achieve this through the removal of barriers to learning and participation. We want all our children to feel that they are a valued part of our Pre-School community. Through appropriate curricular provision, we respect the fact that children:

  • have different educational and behavioural needs and aspirations;
  • require different strategies for learning;
  • acquire, assimilate and communicate information at different rates;
  • need a range of different teaching approaches and experiences.




Staff respond to children’s needs by:

  • providing support for children who need help with communication
  • planning to develop children’s understanding through the use of all available senses and experiences;
  • planning for children’s full participation in learning, and in physical and practical activities;
  • helping children to manage their behaviour and to take part in learning effectively and safely;
  • helping individuals to manage their emotions, particularly trauma or stress, and to take part in learning.


Special Educational Needs

Children with Special Educational Needs have learning difficulties that call for special provision to be made. All children may have special needs at some time in their lives. Children have 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

All of our children are assessed through observation. We use this information to provide starting points for the development of an appropriate curriculum for all our children.

If our assessments show that a child may have a learning or behaviour difficulties, we use a range of strategies that make full use of all available resources. In liaison with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO), the child’s Key person will offer interventions that are ‘different from’ or ‘additional to’ those provided as part of the Pre-School’s usual working practices. The Key person together with the SENCO will keep parents informed and draw upon them for additional information. If the SENCO, Key person and parents feel that the child would benefit from further support, the SENCO will then take the lead in further assessments of the child’s needs. We will record the strategies used to support the child within an Individual Education Plan (IEP). The IEP will show the short-term targets set for the child and the teaching strategies to be used. It will also indicate the outcomes and the date for the plan to be reviewed. In most cases, this review will take place once a term. Parents will be involved in the writing and review of each IEP.

If the IEP review identifies that support is needed from outside services, we will consult parents prior to any support being actioned. In most cases, children will be seen in the Pre-School by the area SENCO the child’s Health Visitor or a member of the Speech and Language Team. This may lead to ‘additional’ or ‘different’ strategies and external support outside of the Pre-School. External support services will provide information for the child’s new IEP. The new strategies within the IEP will, wherever possible, be implemented in the Pre-School setting.

If the child continues to demonstrate significant cause for concern, with permission from the parent/carer, a CAF will be raised together with an Education, Health and Care Referral Panel form and Gateshead Councils procedures will then be followed.


Early Years Inclusion Team

Early Years Inclusion Team supports parents and carers of children aged five and under. It brings together all the services and support available from different agencies. This makes it easier for families to co-ordinate their child’s health, education and social care needs.

Some families will have a key worker who provides advice and support and can help negotiate the system. A key worker may be needed more at some times than at others. Families can decide what works best for them.

Early Support has developed a wide range of resources, training courses and workshops. They include:

  • A Family Pack containing information booklets about services and the Family File for sharing information with service providers easily
  • materials and resources to record the child’s development
  • information booklets on a range of disabilities and conditions
  • A range of training courses developed for families and carers to help them use the resources and services offered by Early Support

Common Assessment Framework (CAF)

The CAF is a shared assessment and planning framework for the use across all children’s services and all local areas in England. It aims to help the early identification of children and young people’s additional needs and promote co-ordinated service provision to meet them. The CAF is aimed at children and young people with additional needs who have needs that are not being met by their current service provision.

At All Saints Pre-School the SENCO and Assistant SENCO:

  • manage the day-to-day operation of the policy;
  • co-ordinate the provision for and the responses to children’s special needs;
  • support and advise colleagues;
  • oversee the records of all children with Special Educational Needs;
  • act as the link with parents;
  • act as link with external agencies and other support agencies;
  • monitor and evaluate the Special Educational Needs provision.
  • manage a range of resources, human and material, to enable appropriate provision for children with Special Educational Needs;
  • contribute to the professional development of all staff.




Allocation of resources

The SENCO is responsible for the operational management of the specified and agreed resourcing for special needs provision within the Pre-School, including the provision for children with statements of Special Educational Needs.

Partnership with parents

At All Saints Pre-School we work closely with parents in the support of those children with Special Educational Needs. We encourage an active partnership through an ongoing dialogue with parents. Parents have much to contribute to our support for children with Special Educational Needs.

We have termly meetings with parents to review the progress of their children against the targets set in the IEP and to set new targets for the next term. We inform the parents of any outside intervention, and we share the process of decision-making by providing clear information relating to the education of children with Special Educational Needs.

Pupil participation

In our Pre-School we encourage children to take responsibility and to make decisions for themselves where possible. This is part of the culture of the Pre-School and relates to children of all ages and all abilities. The work in the Pre-School recognises the importance of children developing social as well as educational skills.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The SENCO monitors the movement of children within the Special Educational Needs system in the Pre-School. The SENCO provides staff with regular summaries of the impact of the policy on the practice of the Pre-School.

The SENCO draws up Individual Education Plans for children. The SENCO and the managers hold regular meetings to review the work of the Pre-School in this area.

The SENCO monitors the progress of children with Special Educational Needs termly and discusses findings with all staff and parents.