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Introduction to the toolkit

This Pre-School Graduated Response Toolkit has been produced in line with the SEN Code of Practice 2015.  The SEND Code of Practice (2015) provides statutory guidance on duties, policies and procedures relating to Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 and associated regulations.

There are two main purposes for this Pre-School Graduated Response Toolkit:

  1. To provide guidance to early years providers regarding meeting the needs of children with SEND at the Graduated Response level of The SEND Code of Practice
  2. To provide guidance to the LA to aid decision making for Education Health and Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA) requests.

The materials are structured into nine different areas that are relevant to pre-school education and concentrates on different responsibilities within the nursery (management, Key Person and SENCo):

1. Introduction

This section includes information about The SEND Code of Practice, the underlying principle of the toolkit, the local context and funding arrangements.

2. Working with parents/carers

This section provides information about working with parents/carers in order to best meet the needs of the children with SEND in nursery.  It includes information about parental responsibility and parental consent.  It provides details about the information and support that is available for parents and carers and provides guidance about having difficult conversations with parents as early years practitioners may be the first ones to identify SEN.

3. Management responsibilities

This section provides information about the responsibilities of the management team in meeting the needs of the children in each area of need.  A whole setting audit is provided for the nursery to use to self-assess the provision in school in SEND.  The audit is made up of guidance statements and the school can rate their provision on an Emerging, Developing and Embedded scale.  This self-assessment allows early years providers to identify areas to develop that can be recorded on the Action Plan.

There is also a Self-Audit that the management team could use to audit the skills of the early years practitioners in the setting to inform any training/CPD needs.

4. Key Person Responsibilities

This section sets out the responsibilities of the key person in meeting the needs of children with SEND in their groups.  It includes guidance statements and also the Self-Audit that individual teachers can use to assess their skills and knowledge in specific areas which is particularly useful if there are children with SEND that are challenging adult’s professional skills.

There are different areas in this section that look at assessment, curriculum content, curriculum delivery and the physical environment that can be adapted to meet the needs of the children with SEND.

5. Typical Development

This section includes links to information about developmental milestones and the range of typical development in different areas of need.  The purpose of this is to provide information and guidance to early years providers to support in identifying initial concerns about children’s development and learning.

6. SEND support in nurseries

This section outlines guidance about assessment and intervention that can be put into place for individual children/young people with SEND who need more support than is available in class.

This section is structured into the four broad areas of need as outlined in The SEN Code of Practice:

  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social Emotional and Mental Health
  • Communication and Interaction (divided into Speech and Language and Social Communication)
  • Physical and Sensory (divided into Physical and Medical; Hearing Impairment and Visual Impairment)

Support for individual children/young people needs to be structured in an Assess, Plan, Do, Review cycle involving parents and the children/young people, whenever possible.   

7. Using outside agencies

This section includes guidance about using specialist support services in school to improve early years practice and also for assessment and intervention of individual children.

Included will be referral routes to local and national services in the specific area of need.

8. Transition

Transitions are an important part of a child’s early life where many changes can take place.  This section identifies these different kinds of changes and the effect they can have on young children and then provides guidance for early years providers in supporting children through different transitions.

9. Top Tips

This section provides links to some Top Tips for early years providers and parents about common issues in early years such as managing behaviour and using dummies.

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