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UCL Day Nursery Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Policy

This policy details how the UCL Day Nursery will do its best to ensure that the necessary provision is made for any pupil who has special educational needs or a disability (SEND).

Definition of SEND

Children have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty, which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.

Children have a learning difficulty if they:

  • have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age
  • have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in schools within the area of the local education authority
  • are under compulsory school age and fall within the definition above or would so do if special educational provision was not made for them

Children must not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the language or form of language of their home is different from the language in which they will be taught.

Special educational provision means:

(a) for children of two or over, educational provision which is additional to, or otherwise different from, the educational provision made generally for children of their age in schools maintained by the LEA, other than special schools, in the area

(b) for children under two, educational provision of any kind.

The UCL Day Nursery will use its best endeavours to ensure that early years practitioners in the Nursery are able to identify and provide for those children who have special educational needs. We will endeavour to allow children with special educational needs to join in with the activities together with children who do not have special educational needs, so far as is reasonably practical.

The UCL Day Nursery will have regard to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice when carrying out its duties toward all children with special educational needs and ensure that parents are notified of a decision by the Nursery that SEND provision is being made for their child. Partnership with parents plays a key role in enabling children with SEND to achieve their potential. The UCL Day Nursery recognises that parents hold key information and have knowledge and experience to contribute to the shared view of a child’s needs and the best ways of supporting them. All parents of children with special educational needs will be treated as partners and supported to play an active and valued role in their children’s education.

Children with special educational needs often have a unique knowledge of their own needs and their views about what sort of help they would like to help them make the most of their education will be ascertained. They will be encouraged to participate where possible in all the decision-making processes and contribute to the assessment of their needs, the review and transition processes.

SEND in the early years

All early years providers are required to have arrangements in place to identify and support children with SEN or disabilities and to promote equality of opportunity for children in their care. These requirements are set out in the EYFS framework. The EYFS framework also requires practitioners to review children’s progress and share a summary with parents. In addition, the ‘Early Years Outcomes’ is an aid for practitioners, including child minders, nurseries and others such as inspectors, to help them to understand the outcomes they should be working towards.

Under the provisions of the Children and Families Act 2014, the designations of Early Years Action and Early Years Action Plus have been replaced by SEND support, a graduated approach to supporting children with SEND.

In assessing the progress of children, practitioners use the non-statutory Early Years Outcomes guidance as a tool to assess the extent to which a young child is developing at expected levels for their age. The guidance sets out what most children do at each stage of their learning and development. These include typical behaviours across the seven learning areas:

• communication and language
• physical development
• personal, social and emotional development
• literacy
• mathematics
• understanding of the world
• expressive arts and design.

The EYFS framework includes two specific points for providing written assessments for parents and other professionals – when the child is aged two and again at the end of the reception year.

Progress check at age two

When a child is aged between two and three, we will review progress and provide parents with a short written summary of their child’s development, focusing in particular on communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development. This progress check must identify the child’s strengths and any areas where the child’s progress is slower than expected. If there are significant emerging concerns (or identified SEND) practitioners should develop a targeted plan to support the child, involving other professionals such as, for example, the setting’s SENCO or the Area SENCO, as appropriate. The summary must highlight areas where:

• good progress is being made
• some additional support might be needed
• there is a concern that a child may have a developmental delay (which may indicate SEND).

It will describe the activities and strategies the provider intends to adopt to address any issues or concerns. If a child moves settings between the ages of two and three it is expected that the progress check will be undertaken in the setting where the child has spent most time.

As part of the Healthy Child Programme an integrated review will:

  • identify the child’s progress, strengths and needs at this age in order to promote positive outcomes in health and wellbeing, learning and development
  • enable appropriate intervention and support for children and their families, where progress is less than expected, and
  • generate information which can be used to plan services and contribute to the reduction of inequalities in children’s outcomes.

Identification, assessment and provision in early education

The government’s Early Learning Goals sets out what most children will have achieved by the end of the foundation stage/school reception year. Children will progress at different rates during the foundation stage. By the end of this stage some children may still be working towards the goals. Such children will need differentiated learning opportunities to help them progress and regular monitoring of their progress.

Graduated response

Monitoring of individual children’s progress throughout the foundation stage is essential. Where a child appears not to be making progress then it may be necessary to use alternative approaches to learning. Ongoing difficulties may indicate the need for help above that which is normally available for children in that particular early education setting.

The key test for action is evidence that the child’s current rate of progress is inadequate.

Adequate progress

Adequate progress can be defined in a number of ways. It might, for instance, be progress that:

  • closes the attainment gap between the child and the child’s peers
  • prevents the attainment gap growing wider
  • is similar to that of peers starting from the same attainment baseline, but less than that of the majority of peers
  • matches or betters the child’s previous rate of progress
  • ensures access to the full curriculum
  • demonstrates an improvement in self-help, social or personal skills
  • demonstrates improvements in the pupil’s behaviour.

Once practitioners have identified that a child has special educational and health needs, the UCL Day Nursery will put in place an Individual Education Plan. If this support does not enable the child to make satisfactory progress the special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) may need to seek advice and support from external agencies, in this case Camden’s Integrated Children’s Services.

The parents would be encouraged to contribute their knowledge and understanding of their child and raise any concerns they may have about their child’s needs and the provision that is being made for them.

The SENCOs

Each SENCO will have responsibility for:

  • ensuring liaison with parents and other professionals in respect of children with special educational needs
  • advising and supporting other practitioners in the setting
  • ensuring that appropriate Individual Education Plans are in place
  • ensuring that relevant background information about individual children with special educational needs is collected, recorded and updated.

The SENCO will take the lead in further assessment of the child’s particular strengths

and weaknesses; in planning future support for the child in discussion with colleagues; and in monitoring and subsequently reviewing the action taken. The SENCO will also ensure that appropriate records are kept including a record of children with an IEP and Education and Health Care Plan. The child’s designated key worker will remain responsible for working with  the child on a daily basis and for planning and delivering an individualised programme.

If practitioners in consultation with parents conclude that a child may need further support to help them progress, staff should seek the help of the SENCO. The SENCO and colleagues will collect all known information about the child and seek additional information from the parents. In some cases, outside professionals from health, social services or the education psychology service may already be involved with the child. If external professionals have not already been working with practitioners, the SENCO should contact them if parents agree.

27 June 2018