The SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years (2014) makes it clear that planning for children with Special Educational Needs should begin as early as possible. It states that every Early Years provider must have arrangements in place to identify and support children with SEN or disabilities and should appoint a designated practitioner with responsibility for special needs. In our setting we have designated Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators who work closely with the manager, staff, parents and children.
They have undergone training so that they are able to fulfil their duties to the best of their abilities. This person’s purpose is to oversee the day-to-day implementation of the setting’s SEN policy.
The Code of Practice lists four main areas of responsibility for SENCos in early years settings.
They are expected to:
• Ensure all practitioners in the setting understand their responsibilities to children with SEN and the setting’s approach to identifying and meeting SEN
• Advise and support colleagues
• Ensure parents are closely involved throughout and that their insights inform action taken by the setting
• Liaise with professionals or agencies beyond the setting
SENCos will meet regularly with other agencies in order to support the child while they are in the setting. Other agencies could include a speech and language therapist, a physiotherapist, an educational psychologist, portage, Health Visitors or an occupational therapist. Any plans that the children have will be implemented into the setting, such as target sheets for speech and language or physiotherapy. Should changes need to be made to the setting to support a child with Special Educational Needs, the SENCo and Manager will work closely with the child and parents to ensure it is fully accessible to the child so that they do not have any disadvantages while in the setting. We believe all children have the right to play and learn no matter what their background.