Special Educational Needs

Early Years Education

Most pre-school age children's needs can be met in their local early education setting.

Early education settings place great importance on identifying special educational needs early so that they can help children as quickly as possible. Once it has been decided that your child has SEN, staff working with your child should take account of the guidance in the SEN Code of Practice. The Code describes how help for children with special educational needs in early education settings should be made through a step-by-step or 'graduated approach'.  This may include:

  • an individually designed learning programme
  • extra help from a teacher or learning support assistant
  • being taught individually or in a small group for regular short periods
  • drawing up an Individual Education Plan, including setting targets for improvement, regular review of progress before setting new targets.

The early education setting must tell you when they first start giving extra or different help because your child has special educational needs. This is called Early Years Action. For more significant needs it may be necessary to involve other people, both within and outside the early education setting, and again you will be consulted and kept fully informed. This kind of help is called Early Years Action Plus. This may involve assessment and advice from an educational psychologist, specialist teacher adviser or therapist.  Within this framework your child's progress will be carefully recorded, monitored and reviewed.

After this 'step by step' approach there should be a clear written record about what the early years setting has done to assess and provide for your child's needs. The content of this record will be discussed with you. There will be an education plan for your child with clearly recorded reviews and outcomes, and reference to the involvement of other professionals, where relevant. In this way the level of help will be carefully matched to your child's needs.

Please visit the Hampshire Services for Young Children, Area Inclusion Co-ordinator Service website for further information.

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