Services for Young Children

Are you Inclusive?

Before you can answer that, you need to understand what inclusion is.

Inclusion is:

  • being a part of the setting

  • the belief that all children are individuals and have equal rights

  • believing that every child has the right where possible to have needs met within a mainstream setting

  • seeing difficulties as challenges for the child in his/her environment – not as unalterable problems within the child

  • differentiating activities to meet the needs of each child

  • helping each child to access all areas of the curriculum

  • allowing every child to build relationships

  • allowing every child the right to initiate.

Inclusion isn’t:

  • being additional to the setting

  • seeing the child with special educational needs (SEN) as a disabled child who needs help

  • the same as integration, which implies that a ‘problem child’ should be integrated with ‘normal children’

  • including the child in every activity regardless of the individual’s own needs

  • using the same systems for every child

  • withdrawing the child for frequent one to one sessions

  • providing a learning support assistant to constantly shadow the child

  • adapting activities to focus solely on the most obvious needs of the child.

Themes guiding inclusive practice within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum states that inclusion is a fundamental principle.

  • When each person is valued for who they are and differences are appreciated everyone feels included and understood. (EYFS principles into practice 2.1)

  • You must plan for each child’s individual care and learning requirements. (EYFS practice guidance page 6) 1:7

  • You must promote positive attitudes to diversity and difference within all children. (EYFS practiceguidance page 6) 1:8

  • All Children have the right to relax and play and to join in a wide range of activities. (United NationsConvention for the Rights of the Child article 31)

Inclusion is the responsibility of everyone in the setting and is about all children. Within Hampshire every early years setting is required to have a Special Educational Needs Co ordinator (SENCo) to co-ordinate support for children with additional needs. However, all practitioners have a part to play.

The management team/committee should work with practitioners to determine the setting’s general policy and approach to provision for children with SEN and those in need of additional support. (SEN code of practice 2001)

The setting leader has the responsibility of day-to-day management of all aspects of the settings work including provision for children who require additional support. The leader should keep all staff fully informed and also work closely with the SENCo. (SEN code of practice 2001)

All practitioners should be involved in the development of the SEN policy and be aware of the procedures for identifying, assessing and making provision for children who require additional support. (SEN code of practice 2001)

The SENCo working closely with colleagues has responsibility for the day to day operation of the setting’s SEN policy and for co-ordinating provision for children who require additional support particularly through Early Years Action and Early Years Action Plus. (SEN code of practice 2001)

Are you inclusive? Or are you now aware that there are barriers to inclusion within your setting? The Area Inclusion Co-ordinator (InCo) service is continually providing training on inclusive practice many of which can be a accessed by any staff member. These include:

  • SEN briefing

  • Introduction to inclusion

  • Let’s share the care

  • Positive approaches to challenging behaviour in the early years.

Area Inclusion Co-ordinators

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