Identification, assessment and support for children with SEND

At Kea Preschool we believe that every child should have the best possible learning opportunities and we therefore promote inclusive practice. We recognise/know/understand that some children have additional needs or disabilities, and we take specific action to support and encourage these children within a caring environment. We enable all children to participate fully in learning activities and experiences by providing a curriculum and environment that responds to the individual development of each child. We work closely with parents and other agencies to monitor the child’s progress carefully and provide timely, effective support to meet the child’s needs.

Our Aims

  • To ensure that all staff, including students and volunteers are aware of the details of the SEND policy.
  • To ensure that we are working with due regard to the current SEND code of practice.
  • To be committed to ensuring all practitioners are aware of their duties regarding the early identification of additional needs.
  • To monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of our provision for all pupils, including those with SEND through a robust Assess, Plan, Do Review procedure.
  • To identify the necessary provision and staff arrangements to meet the special educational needs of all children.
  • To adapt, modify and develop activities through planning and assessment to ensure all children can access all activities.
  • To ensure the physical environment is suitable for the child and make reasonable adaptations to fit the needs of the individual.
  • To challenge inappropriate attitudes and practices
  • To promote diversity and difference and encourage children to value and respect others.

Our preschool Special Education Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator’s (SENDCO’s) are:

Tracey Couldridge and Tracey Kemp

SENDCO responsibilities

  • To ensure the aims of the SEND policy are reflected in the practice of the setting.
  • To ensure that the needs of all the children with SEND are being included in all aspects of the nursery planning, practice and assessment.
  • To have a good understanding of the principles and commitments of the EYFS Framework for learning and development.
  • To coordinate and lead Education Health Care Needs Assessments (EHCNA) and EHCP Reviews.
  • To fulfil the role of Lead Professional for TAC meetings.
  • To maintain a SEND Register of Need and to keep up to date records on each child at each appropriate stage.
  • To support staff and keep them well informed of developments in relation to SEND.
  • To ensure that all staff are aware of the procedures for identifying, assessing and making provision for children with a SEND.
  • To ensure staff development through staff training and feedback at staff meetings.
  • To ensure effective liaisons with parents and external agencies
  • To support staff when writing Individual support plans (ISP) when appropriate and set realistic targets for the child.
  • To set dates for evaluations and reviews, whilst working in partnership with parents, ensuring copies of all written reports are available to parents.
  • To support staff when liaising with external agencies for example attending meetings and reviews.

Early Identification of Special Educational Needs / Disabilities

In accordance with the SEND Code of Practice 2015, four broad categories of need are identified:

  • Communication and Interaction
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Sensory and/or Physical Needs
  • Social, Mental and Emotional Health.

Whilst the purpose of identification is to decide what action the setting needs to take, it is not our purpose to fit a child into a category and serves solely to identify the needs of each individual child by considering them as a whole, not just as his/her special educational needs.

At Kea Preschool, we define SEND in accordance with the Children and Families Act 2014:

“A child or young person is considered to have a special educational need if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her”

To further unpick this definition“….a disability prevents or hinders a child from accessing the facilities” and “…a learning difficulty is when a child has a significantly greater difficulty to access learning”

In accordance with the SEN Code of Practice 2015 and the EYFS Framework 2024, Kea Preschool has an established procedure in place for the Early Identification of Special Education Needs. See Policy:

Raising A Concern

Good practice of working together with parents, and the observation and monitoring of children’s individual progress, will help identify any child with special educational needs or disabilities.

When a concern about a child’s development is raised by either a parent, carer or practitioner, an Initial Record of Concern form will be completed by the SENDCO, key person and the views of the parent/carer will also be sought. This information, combined with setting-based observations will directly inform the child’s Individual learning plan.

In line with our assess, plan, do review cycle, Kea Preschool shall endeavour to review each child that is being monitored for developmental concerns linked to SEND after six weeks.

Kea Preschool will always consider needs that are NOT SEND but that may impact on a child’s development:

  • Attendance and Punctuality
  • Health and Welfare
  • EAL
  • Being in receipt of Early Years Pupil Premium
  • Being a Looked After Child (LAC)
  • Being the child of a Serviceman/woman

Graduated Response

As stated in the EYFS Framework 2024:

“Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, relate to others, set their own goals, and solve problems. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play and learning that is guided by adults. Practitioners need to decide what they want children in their setting to learn, and the most effective ways to teach it. Practitioners must stimulate children’s interests, responding to each child’s emerging needs and guiding their development through warm, positive interactions coupled with secure routines for play and learning.”

With this in mind, at Kea Preschool, we ensure staff know their key children’s interests and respond to the childs needs. It is regularly and rigorously monitored and there is a focus on continual improvement of the teaching and learning of all children. This includes reviewing and, where necessary, improving practitioners understanding of strategies to identify and support vulnerable pupils and their knowledge of the SEND most frequently encountered.

For a child under two years of age, special educational provision means educational provision of any kind. For a child aged two or more, special educational provision is educational or training provision that is additional or different to that made generally for other children of the same age by mainstream schools / settings.

A Graduated Approach to Assessment (Assess, Plan, Do, Review)

At Kea Preschool, we follow the SEND Code of Practice (2015) recommendation that, in addition to the statutory two-year checks, nurseries should adopt a graduated approach to the assessment and planning of children with SEND or suspected SEND.

In many cases, children with SEND will have their needs met through the high-quality Universal Provision available at Kea Preschool. In cases where a child continues to experience delays in their development, the setting will work in partnership with the parents to consider whether targeted provision, delivered through setting SEND Support, would enhance the child’s development. SEND Support is considered to be support that is additional or different to that available under Universal Provision.

This graduated approach will be led and coordinated by the SENDCO and appropriate records will be kept according to the Code of Practice.

The ‘graduated approach’ to SEN Support is based on four stages of action:

  1. Assess: carry out an analysis of the child’s needs, with the help of external professionals where necessary, and review it regularly to ensure support is matched to need
  2. Plan: agree, in consultation with parents, the outcomes sought for the child, what will be put in place to achieve these, the expected impact and a clear date for review. These will be recorded as an Individual Learning Plan (ILP)
  3. Do: implement the interventions or programmes as agreed. The early years practitioner (usually the child’s key person) remains responsible for working with the child on a daily basis. The SENDCO will support the practitioners in the further assessment of the child’s particular strengths and weaknesses, in problem-solving and advising on the effective implementation of support.
  4. Review: regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the support provided and agree any changes to outcomes and support in line with findings with parents.

At First Steps we endeavour to review fulfil an Assess, Plan, Do, Review cycle every six weeks.

Collaborative working with external agencies

If a child continues to make little or no progress over a sustained period despite SEN Support, the setting will look to involve specialists from outside agencies.

Dependent on the individual needs of the child, this may include referrals to:

  • Early Help Hub
  • Speech and Language
  • Occupational Therapy / Physiotherapy
  • The Early Years Inclusion Service
  • Health visiting team
  • Portage

When a child joins our setting with external agencies already involved, the SENDCO will ensure regular professional dialogue and information gathering/sharing to ensure the support the child receives at First Steps is an effective amalgamation of all external advice.

Where there are several external agencies involved, the SENDCO will look to arrange a TAC (Team Around the Child) meeting to provide a structured platform for parents, carers and professionals to discuss the child’s support, progress and next steps.

The views of parents/carers, and where possible, the child, are considered at all levels of intervention and referral.

Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP)

Some children and young people may require an Education, health, Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA) to decide whether it is necessary to develop an Education, Health, Care Plan (EHCP). The purpose of an EHCP is to make adjustments and offer support to meet the special educational needs of the child, to secure the best possible outcomes for them across education, health and social care.

The EHCNA is completed by the SENDCO who obtains the views and information about the child from all other professionals involved in their education, health and/or care. Parents/carers views and those of the child are obtained and will be considered in order for a recommendation for an EHCP to be made to the Local Authority.

The LA will consider a wide range of evidence, including:

  • Evidence of the child’s developmental milestones and rate of progress
  • Information about the nature, extent and context of the child’s SEND
  • Evidence of the action already being taken by us as the early years provider to meet the child’s SEND
  • Evidence that, where progress has been made, it has only been as the result of much additional intervention and support over and above that which is usually provided.
  • Evidence of the child’s physical, emotional and social development and health needs, drawing on relevant evidence from clinicians and other health professionals and what has been done to meet these by other agencies.

The LA then consider the application and issue an EHCP as appropriate. Kea Preschool will then work with the local authority and other bodies to ensure that the child receives the support they need to gain the best outcomes.

There is a statutory requirement to review an EHCP every six months for children under five years of age. This review meeting is coordinated by the SENDCO and is held remotely over TEAMS with the parent, child and all professionals involved invited to attend.

Children with an EHCP continue to benefit from the APDR cycle.

Working with children with EHCPs or Specific Medical Needs

As a fully inclusive setting we embrace the principles of the Equality Act 2010 and ensure that children who have an EHCP and/or specific medical needs can access the learning and development opportunities that they need to thrive. We work alongside both parents and external agencies to support the child. In line with regular preschool practice, initially the family will be offered a show around and a meeting with the setting SENDCO to discuss the specific needs of the child.

The child will then have a period of settling sessions. During this time the preschool SENDCO will liaise with the Early Years Inclusion Service and/or Area SENDCO and any other professional that is already involved with the child. The preschool SENDCO, manager and staff team will work in partnership with professionals such as educational psychologists, portage, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and any other relevant agency to ensure that the child has an ISP in place to support learning. The preschool will take direction from these external agencies and will support the child through making reasonable adjustments to the setting where possible and obtaining resources that will aid development.

In some circumstances, staff may require additional training to ensure full competency in the delivery of specific strategies and/or medical procedures. In such cases, training must be accessed before the child can attend Kea Preschool.

Where a child is going through the process of assessment, Kea Preschool will provide reports and evidence as necessary to the relevant agencies. They will provide detailed information regarding the child’s progress within the EYFS and in other areas as required. They will work with parents and agencies to ensure the child is accessing the play and learning opportunities they need.

For children with specific medical needs we will work with parents and relevant agencies to develop a Health Care Plan, ensuring that all staff working with the child are aware of the medical condition and the procedures to be followed. We will make the necessary reasonable adjustments in line with the Equality Act 2010. Staff will receive relevant training regarding the administering of medicines and the procedures to be followed, for example epilepsy training and the use of epipens to administer medication for those with allergies.

Information regarding the medical needs of a child will be available on the child’s full registration form and any new staff will be informed of this information as part of induction. Information such as dietary requirements will also be available within room food preparation area so that anyone preparing meals is aware of allergies.

Funding for children with SEND

At Kea Preschool we offer funded places for two, three and four year old children.

For further information regarding eligibility criteria, please refer to:

Childcare and funding – Cornwall Council

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Any child in receipt of DLA will be eligible to receive 15 hours of free childcare per week, term time. This translates to 11 hours per week if the family opt for a “stretch” placement (year-round) and the setting has capacity to provide this.

Further information regarding DLA can be found at:

About Two Year Old Funding | Care and Support in Cornwall

Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP)

EYPP is an additional £300 that can be paid directly to settings by the Local Authority to support individual children who meet the eligibility criteria.

After consultation with the parents / carers, the setting will decide how it will allocate the expenditure of EYPP. This additional funding can be used in several ways, for example, to provide new resources, staff training, additional support and new play or learning experiences to help improve outcomes for the identified child.

In some cases, parents and carers may already be aware of their child’s eligibility to receive EYPP. In circumstances where this is not the case, the setting is responsible for identifying children that may be eligible for EYPP.

For further information regarding EYPP, please refer to:

Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) | Care and Support in Cornwall

Special Educational Needs Inclusion Fund (SENIF)

The SEN Inclusion Fund is intended to support local authorities to work with early years providers to address the needs of individual children with lower level, emerging SEN.

A child must be in receipt of two, three or four year old funding and be working from an Individual Support Plan at the Targeted Provision stage of our Assess, Plan, Do, Review cycle in order to be eligible for SENIF funding.

Grants cannot be awarded without clear evidence of a child’s developmental stages, including clear evidence of the support, resources and reasonable adjustments that have already been put in place by Kea Preschool. There must be clear evidence of the purpose of the grant and how or why this is going to benefit the child.

Following a consultation with the parents/carers, the SENDCO will complete the application form and gather the appropriate evidence required. A meeting between the SENDCO and parents/carers will then be arranged to review the application form and evidence to ensure they are fully aware of what is to be shared with the Local Authority SENIF panel.

LA SENIF panels are held monthly throughout the year and grants are awarded on a Banded Basis for a fixed period of time.

Kea Preschool are wholly responsible for the allocation of SENIF expenditure, this will be detailed on the SENIF application form and shared with the parents/carers. This additional funding may be used to provide additional adult support, to purchase specialist resources, to provide training opportunities for staff.

For further information regarding SENIF and the Banding Descriptors, please refer to:

Special Educational Needs Inclusion Fund | Care and Support in Cornwall

Disability Access Fund (DAF)

Three and four year old children who are in receipt of child DLA and are receiving the free nursery funding entitlement are eligible for the Disability Access Fund (DAF) payment. DAF is paid to the child’s early years setting as a fixed annual rate of £800 per eligible child.

The payment is only made once in any 12 month period. If the child is attending more than one setting then the parent will decide which setting receives the payment as this can’t be split between settings and the payment is not re-claimed even if the child leaves.

Kea Preschool will provide the parental agreement form which needs to be completed and signed by the parent to give authorisation for the setting to receive the payment.
Kea Preschool will decide how to allocate the expenditure of DAF monies, but the views of parents/carers will be taken into account.

For further information regarding DAF, please refer to:

Disability Access Fund | Care and Support in Cornwall


Transitions between rooms

All children within the preschool are part of a thorough transition process.

When transitioning between rooms, detailed information sheets are completed by the child’s current key worker so that their new key worker has as much information as possible. Children will visit their new room to build familiarity with the new space and new practitioners. This process also serves to identify any possible challenges that may arise so that risk assessments can be updated and environments modified, where appropriate.

The SENDCO will also liaise with the new keyworker to offer support and guidance, if required.

Transition between settings / school

Links are made with other settings and schools to ensure transition is as smooth as possible for all children.

Teachers from the child’s receiving school will be invited into the preschool to meet with the child and parent and discuss information regarding the child’s additional needs.

In cases where a child has a ‘Team Around the Child’ (TAC) approach, either the SENDCO, keyworker or Teacher from the receiving setting/ school will be invited to discuss the child’s current needs and what will need to be put in place prior to starting the new setting, this will be presented in the form of a Transition Plan.

In some cases, the child may attend transition sessions at the receiving setting / school, supported by either the setting SENDCO, their keyworker or a member of the Early Years Inclusion Service, providing they are already involved with the family. This will be entirely dependent on the needs of the child as transition planning often needs to be highly individualised.

In some cases photos of the child’s new setting will be gathered and the keyperson or SENDCO will develop a transition booklet for the child.

A Communication Passport with information regarding the child’s progress within the EYFS and other relevant information is provided. This is forwarded to the receiving setting/school.

Storing and Managing Information

  • Kea Preschool complies with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) – March 2018.
  • All practitioners are explicitly aware of the need to maintain confidentiality.
  • The SENDCO understands that elements of special educational needs data are sensitive and it is First Steps policy to treat it with the same ‘high status’ as ‘Special Category Personal data’ set out in law.

Consent is always sought from parents/carers for the following:

    • Involvement of outside professionals to observe/assess or work with their child e.g. Speech & Language Therapist; SEND Specialists.
    • Implementation of targeted provision under SEND Support.
    • Application for additional funding e.g. SENIF
  • The SENDCO and management team ensure that all sensitive personal information, about individual pupils and/or their families, e.g. their SEND file, is stored securely and is not freely accessible.
  • The SENDCO ensures that any documents with sensitive personal information about individual pupils and their families that need to be shared with other professionals outside the school are sent through encrypted, secure emails.
  • When a pupil with SEND moves to another setting, their SEND information is sent electronically through secure, encrypted email system.
  • The SENDCO ensures that no sensitive, personal data about individual pupils with SEND is visible anywhere in the nursery including, offices; staffroom; classrooms, unless it is required for Safeguarding e.g., medical needs such as allergies, in which case, explicit consent is gained.

Reviewing the SEND Policy

The management and preschool SENDCO’s are responsible for monitoring that the policy and practice accurately reflect one another.

The policy is reviewed annually and/or in response to any changes within legislation and within the setting.

Further guidance

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) (DfE and DoH 2015)

Ready, Steady, SENCO (Pre-school Learning Alliance 2018)

This policy was adopted by Kea Preschool Ltd
Adopted On 1st October 2021
Date reviewed 10th January 2024
Date to be Reviewed 10th January 2025
Signed on behalf of the provider TMKEMP
Name of signatory Tracey Kemp
Role of signatory (e.g. chair, director or owner) Manager