Special Educational Needs Policy

Updated December 2018

At The Sam Morris Nursery we welcome children with special educational needs as part of our community and we aim to ensure that all children have an equal opportunity access and engage in the Early Years Curriculum.

We work on belief that all children and their families have the right to be part of their local community and to be welcomed and included.


The Sam Morris Nursery aims to provide a welcome, and appropriate learning opportunity, for all children. We recognise and understand the right of all individual children, including those with special needs, to a nursery environment that provides a high quality of care and learning through play. 

At the Sam Morris we understand the need for sensitivity to the needs and feelings of both the children and their families and will ensure that individual needs are recognised and addressed in accordance to the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (SEN) 2014. 

We recognise the importance of early identification and assessment of children with special educational needs.  This is particularly important in the area of early years care and education.

We are committed to effective collaboration a multi-disciplinary approach to meeting children's special educational needs.  We will actively support the establishment and maintenance of close links with all agencies working with the child.

We have a statutory duty to complete a progress check for two-year-olds.  This is always shared with parents and a written summary is completed.  The progress check will be carried out by a person/key person who knows your child well.  If there are any areas where progress is less expected in partnership with parents we would agree further action.

Definition of Special Educational Needs (DFES 2015, p. 15, Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0-25 years)

“A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her”. (SEND Code of Practice 2015 pg: 15)

A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if she:
has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.

For children aged two or more, special educational provision is educational or training provision that is additional to or different from that made generally for other children or young people of the same age by mainstream schools, maintained nursery schools, mainstream post-16 institutions or by relevant early years providers. For a child under two years of age, special educational provision means educational provision of any kind.

The agreed arrangements for co-coordinating the provision of education for children with special educational needs

The Nursery understands the importance of equal opportunities for all children and believes that all children at the Nursery, irrespective of their special needs, are encouraged wherever possible and appropriate to engage in all activities that are provided to learn alongside their peers.

At the Sam Morris Nursery we recognise the DFE definition of Special educational Needs.

The SEN policy must be reviewed and evaluated annually.  This provides an opportunity to check whether the policy is working well or whether it needs to be revised or changed in any way.

Once a year the Sam Morris must review and evaluate the effectiveness of:

  • Systems for identifying and assessing children with special educational needs.

  • The provision made to meet children’s special educational needs.

  • The record-keeping for special educational needs

  • The allocation of resources for children with special educational

The name of the (SENCO) Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator

Melanie Warner the designated SENCO.

She holds a strategic role in coordinating the provision of education for children with SEND alongside our management team.

Staff roles and responsibilities

All staff at the Sam Morris Nursery are responsible for meeting the needs of children with SEN.
The SENCO will support staff and will coordinate the SEN provision across the nursery.
The SENCO will share information with all staff on the identified needs of the individual children and any agreed strategies to support them.

Role of the SENCO

  • Supporting colleagues in planning to meet the needs of a child with SEN

  • Advising colleagues about the range of strategies available to use

  • Identifying staff training needs and encouraging colleagues to attend relevant training

  • We share any concerns about the development of individual children with room staff

  • We support staff in differentiating the curriculum for individual children

  • The SENCO is responsible for organising a number of meetings such as the settling in review (SIR) Team around the Child (TAC) Short term plans (STP) SEN Support Plan (SSP) Education and Health Care Plan (EHC) and Transition Plan (TP) with parents, keyworker and other outside agencies/professionals where appropriate.  He/she will also organise meetings to review the STP every six to eight weeks

  • The SENCO will set up a confidential file for each child and ensure that all records; assessment reports are filed and kept securely in line with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) May 2018.

  • We work closely with partner agencies including those in education and health and social care.  We work in partnership with parents/carers to make referrals where necessary.  This may include contributing and initiating Common Assessment Framework (CAF).

Specific SEN Provision and Facilities Staff specialisms

The staff team regularly access a range of training through Islington Council's Primary Strategy Early Years Team, including a range of special needs topics, such as; general awareness of SEN, Language and Communication Development.

All staff possess basic Makaton skills and implement this throughout the day. 

Arrangements for providing access to a broad and balanced curriculum

At The Sam Morris Nursery we acknowledge the importance of weekly observation and assessment.  These observations are then used to plan for each individual child's needs.

The Nursery provides a broad and balanced curriculum for children with special educational needs through observations and the implementation of STP's or Short Term Plans. The Nursery operates a system of observations and assessments to enable us to monitor each child's individual development and identify their specific needs. If an individual child is not meeting their stage of development to their age, the individual needs are assessed further and then a meeting with the parents, key worker and the special educational needs coordinator is made to discuss the concerns. After obtaining permission from the parents/carers we seek advice from the area SENCO officer who comes in and assesses the child. If the child’s needs can be met through the overall planning then a support plan will be put in place to support alongside the planning.  However, if a Special educational need is identified then a referral is made.  Once an assessment has been made a Short Term Plan (STP) will be devised between the parents, area SENCO and the SENCO of the nursery. The STP will consist of strategies to support the child's specific needs.

The STP will be implemented on a daily basis and reviewed every six weeks with all the relevant parties present.

The SENCO will set up a confidential file for each child and will ensure all records, assessment reports and STP's are kept up to date.

Allocation of funding for children with Special Educational Needs

The staff at The Sam Morris Nursery recognise our duty under the Disability Discrimination Act 2010.  Therefore we ensure that a set amount of the settings annual budget is allocated to meet the individual needs of children with Special Educational Needs.

Funding will be allocated towards:

  • Employing an additional part time member of staff

  • Purchasing suitable resources and equipment to meet the individual needs of children with Special Educational Needs

The evaluation process of the policy including the how, when and by whom.

At The Sam Morris Nursery we aim to develop our inclusive practice in everything we do.  For example:

  • Using Makaton with all children, not only those with language difficulties

  • Using visual support with all children

  • Use of persona dolls to explore physical differences and challenge stereotypes.

 The Local Offer

Since September 2014 every Local Authority has been required to publish information about services they expect to be available in their area for children and young people from birth to 25 years who have SEND and also services outside of their area which they expect children and young people from their area to use.  This is known as ‘The Local Offer’.

The Local Offer has two key purposes:

  1. To provide clear, comprehensive, accessible and up-to-date information about the available provision and how to access it, and

  2. To make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations by directly involving disabled children and those with SEN and their parents, and disabled young people and those with SEN, and service providers in its development and review

Who is the Local Offer for?  - The Local Offer is primarily designed for parents/carers, children and young people with SEND.  However, it will also enable practitioners and professionals to clearly see what services are available in your local area and how to access them.

Identification, assessment and provision

The development and interests of all children are supported through the use of on-going observations and record-keeping.  When there are concerns regarding a child's general development, or they are not progressing in a specific aspect of learning then it may be necessary to differentiate learning opportunities and approaches to learning.  Any differentiation would be identified on our general planning and recorded using the suggested EYIT Monitoring Form as well as the carrying out 2 year progress checks as part of early intervention.

Ongoing difficulties may indicate the need for specific support through an individual short term plan (STP) at SEN Support, which would be drawn up by the parents/carers, SENCO and the child's key person and reviewed on a six-weekly basis.  If the child is receiving support from health and educational professionals, they will be invited to the support planning meetings and their advice would be incorporated into the STP at SEN Support.  If the child’s needs were identified as severe and complex and considered as low incidence requiring additional long term support at school, then a statutory assessment would be sought with the support of a local authority Educational psychologist.

Agreed arrangements for developing parent partnership

At the Sam Morris Nursery we recognise the value of working with parents as partners.  We recognise that parents are their child’s

We work with parents in many ways including:

  • An open door policy, with daily opportunities for parents to share information discuss issues with staff and management

  • Key worker system

  • Keeping parents involved and informed at every stage of their child’s learning and development, and inviting them to all review meetings.

  • We value the contributions of parents on all levels, including their contributions towards short term plans, one page profiles, and transitions plans at all times valuing their expert knowledge of their child.

Arrangements for dealing with concerns and complaints from parents of children with special educational needs.

At the Sam Morris Nursery we acknowledge the delicate and emotional nature of special educational needs.  Therefore we have implemented arrangements for dealing with complaints or concerns about SEN provision.  Any complaints or concerns regarding SEN should be addressed to the key person, SENCO or a senior manager, and a meeting will be arranged.  If the issue is not resolved, the complaint will then be referred to the first level of the general complaints procedure.

Arrangements for ongoing staff training and continuous CPD

At the Sam Morris Nursery we value the importance of ongoing access to training in order to enable staff to meet the needs of individual children.  We will review the staff training needs on an annual basis and plan training accordingly.  We have a commitment to developing the skills and knowledge of new staff through an induction programme, which includes specific training in meeting the needs of children with special educational needs.

We also complete a SENCO action plan which includes areas of SEND CPD.

Guidence taken from:

The Special educational needs Code of practice (2015)

The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage

Equality Agency (2010)


For further information or advice contact

Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact the Nurseries SENCO or the Nursery manager or

Primary Strategy Early Years Inclusion Team  0207 527 5599

Disability Rights Commission     www.drc-gb.org

Disability Equality in Education  www.diseed.org.uk