Local Offer for Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
What is the Local Offer?
Every Local Authority is required to publish information about available services for children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). This is known as the ‘Local Offer’. The local offer will set out what is normally available in schools and early years settings (e.g. playgroups and day nurseries) to support children with additional needs. The Local Offer provides useful information on how to access services, any eligibility criteria, how decisions are made and who makes them.
What do you mean by SEND and ‘additional needs’?
This term refers to needs that are likely to require a higher level of support than those of most children of the same age. Some children will have additional needs for a short period of time, while others may have ongoing additional needs. Legislation defines a child with Special Educational Needs (SEN) as having:
1. a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children his or her age
2. a disability which either prevents or hinders him or her from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided in nurseries and schools, within the area of the local authority concerned for children of his or her age
Legislation states that Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) can affect a child or young person's ability to learn. They can affect their: behaviour or ability to socialise, reading and writing, ability to understand things, concentration levels and physical ability.
We recognise that all children have individual needs and aim to meet every child’s needs through carefully planned provision.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Law
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities law refers to the law in England which protects the rights of children and young people with SEND to access the best possible outcomes. This includes all children and young people with SEND, not only those with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP). SEND law is contained in various places. The SEND Code of Practice contains clear guidance on how and when a child or young person will need additional support.
ACCESSIBILITY, INCLUSION & CURRICULUM
How accessible is the setting environment?
Beach House Nursery is accessible to all, on the ground floor with an enclosed garden area. Toilet and changing facilities are available. The main entrance can be accessed by a small ramp. The secure garden is fully enclosed, has level access and is partly laid to lawn and non-slip decking. There is level parking directly in front of the setting. Mobile resources and furniture, and height adjustable tables allow the learning environment to be easily adapted to allow for easier access.
How inclusive is the setting environment?
At Beach House, we strive to be a fully inclusive nursery, including all children and families in every aspect of nursery life. We aim to provide an inclusive learning environment, with a wide range of enriching learning opportunities to meet the need of all learners.
We place emphasis on strong communication links between the nursery and home environment, through verbal communication, telephone calls, emails, letters, and the use of Tapestry our online learning system. The nursery welcomes parents to come and discuss their child’s needs through regular parent meetings and consultations. We aim to ensure that communication with parents who speak English as an additional language is as effective as possible. Where necessary, translation/ interpretation services may be used.
We provide multi-sensory experiences as part of our core provision. We provide sensory play equipment and use visual aids. Signs and posters around the setting are used with pictures helping children identify equipment and play areas. Picture communication is used where required, and sign language is supported where appropriate. PECS Choices boards and Now/Next boards are used to support some children. Resources are organised to promote individual choices. Core resources are always available to children and are clearly visible. Regular Risk Assessments are carried out to ensure our environment is safe and secure.
How will my child be included in activities outside the setting?
Any planned activities or trips outside of the setting are always open to all children, regardless of any disability or additional need.
We seek the advice of parents when planning visits to ensure that we are aware of any special provision that may need to be made to ensure that their child’s specific needs will be met. A detailed risk assessment is undertaken in advance of any trip to ensure that all children are kept as safe as possible, including those with disabilities and additional needs.
What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
All staff at Beach House are responsible for and committed to every child’s wellbeing. However, your child’s key worker will keep a particularly close eye on their wellbeing and ensure that any social or emotional issues are explored with you and addressed.
In terms of their physical health, all staff are made aware of any physical or medical conditions and we will ensure that medicines that need to be taken during setting hours are safely kept and properly administered.
Personal care needs, such as nappy changing, are carried out sensitively, ensuring that the child’s dignity and privacy are respected. If your child uses special equipment, then staff will be properly trained in its use and maintenance, and you will be informed immediately if there are any difficulties.
Personal, social and emotional development (PSED) is a prime (key) area of the EYFS, and is given a high level of attention at Beach House. We acknowledge the importance of supporting children to learn to get on with others and to make friends, to understand and talk about their own feelings and those of others, to develop an understanding of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and the importance of making good choices, and to develop personal independence.
Through supporting children’s personal, social and emotional development, we ensure that they are able to explore and learn confidently, and ultimately, to feel good about themselves. Additional support is available to those children who might need help with these areas at some point, and this is routinely provided at key times such as when settling into the setting or when dealing with an unexpected event.
There is careful planning for children who have additional needs that may impact upon their wellbeing, and where appropriate, targets relating to personal, social and emotional development would be included in a child’s Early Support Plan, with details of resources and activities used to support and achieve these targets.
Visual time tables are used to support children in understanding routine. Older children are encouraged and supported to manage their own personal care and manage risks for themselves. Resources are accessible to the children for independent choice. There are sensitive, warm interactions between adults and children
How will the Early Years Foundation Stage include my child/be matched to my child’s needs?
Meeting the individual needs of all children lies at the heart of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Staff at Beach House deliver personalised play and learning; planning for each child’s individual care and learning requirements, and taking into account any additional needs.
This means that all planned activities are carefully differentiated so that your child can access them at an appropriate level. In the case of child led activities, staff will sensitively support and extend your child’s learning, taking into account their particular needs and the current next steps.
Targets linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage, ages and stages of development will be set on Next Steps forms to support the learning and development of your child. This enables planning for individual needs and learning goals. In addition to Next Steps, your child will have an individual online Tapestry account; this will contain written observations, photographs and videos to support staff in assessing and planning to help your child progress to their next steps.
The children are involved in planning their next steps, their learning styles, interests and stage of development will be used to extend learning and development.
We will monitor and analyse progress of the children within the setting. This information will be used to focus on specific areas and adapt areas to ensure they are meeting the children’s needs.
IDENTIFICATION, EARLY INTERVENTION AND ONGOING ASSESSMENT
How do staff at Beach House Nursery know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs or disabilities?
Beach House is a fully inclusive setting and is committed to ensuring that all children receive the support they need to make the best possible progress. The nursery ethos is to work in partnership with parents with an emphasis on shared decision making.
When applying for a place for your child at Beach House Nursery, parents/carers are encouraged to let us know about any additional needs on the Childcare Agreement form to enable us to properly plan for your child’s admission. All children receive “All About Me” forms, prior to starting nursery, where information is compiled with the parents detailing the child’s likes, dislikes and areas they may need support.
At Beach House each child has a designated key person. Their role is to develop trusting sensitive relationships with parents and children to enable respectful sharing of information. The key person will develop an in-depth knowledge of their key children, and will also discuss them with the rest of the team.
All children’s progress is carefully monitored through observation. Summative assessments are undertaken each half term, and are shared with parents. Children’s learning and progress is shared with parents weekly via their child’s learning journal, and parents are invited to review and contribute to their learning journal. Data from key worker’s observational assessments is inputted into Tapestry’s data tracking system, which enables the Manager and Deputy Manager to analyse each child’s progress and attainment.
Based on this data, and the staff’s knowledge of children, the setting may decide that some children would benefit from extra help in order to help them access all areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
If your child’s key person identifies a possible individual need they will discuss this with you in detail, and plan with you to support your child’s learning and development. If you think that your child has additional needs that staff are unaware of, you should discuss this with your child’s key carer in the first instance or the Nursery Manager/ Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO). Reports from health care professionals, such as health visitors, speech and language therapists, will identify your child’s individual needs. We welcome parents and professionals sharing these reports in order to plan appropriately to meet these needs.
Our SENCO will offer support and advice to your child’s key person and other staff in the setting and will also liaise with other professionals to seek advice and support in identifying individual needs if necessary. Support and advice from the West Sussex FIRST Visiting Team (Facilitating Inclusion through Reflection, Support and Training) can be sought with your permission. All staff work with children with SEND, and the nursery supports children by adjusting its staffing ratios where possible. The SENCO works with parents and other professionals to compile evidence for an Education Health and Care Plan for children who have additional needs.
We actively encourage parental involvement at Beach House. Parents are always welcome to discuss their child’s progress and attainment with their key worker, and each term, parent consultation evenings are arranged. Parents with particular skills are invited to come into the setting to share their skills with the children. We regularly offer ‘Stay and Play’ sessions where parents are given the opportunity to come into the nursery and share with their child’s learning and development. All parents are encouraged to contribute to their child’s care and education at Beach House. This may be through discussions with the key person or other members of staff, parent’s eveningsand contributing to their child’s Learning Journal.
We acknowledge and celebrate the fact that parents/carers are their child’s first educators and encourage you to share information and strategies with us that will help us offer the best possible support to your child at Beach House.
How will staff support a child with additional needs at Beach House Nursery?
During our settling in sessions the Manager/Deputy Manager/SENCO and parents share information about the strengths and needs of the child. We offer additional settling in sessions if required - the child will always be central to all we do. We will ask you to complete ‘All About Me’ forms about your child which will help us to share information about your child’s strengths and needs. We will work with you to support your child together, listening to both you and your child.
Our SENCO will explain how children’s individual needs can be met by planning support using an Early Support Plan. The key person and SENCO together will identify individual needs and plan next steps, accessing additional support from others where necessary. Observations, assessments and evaluations all contribute towards Early Support Plans and your child’s key person would oversee the targets on the Early Support Plan. Early Support Plans will be reviewed with parents. Your child’s key person will be able to explain who is working with your child, how often, and the outcomes that they are working towards.
We use a variety of strategies and resources to meet individual needs, including the use of visual timetables and Sharing Books. Depending on your child’s needs, at times s/he may work with a particular member of staff in a small group or on a one-to-one basis.
Your child’s progress will be reviewed regularly, and if staff are concerned that s/he is not making as much progress as expected, they will seek further advice from the SENCO, who, with your permission, may also request the involvement of outside professionals such as a Speech and Language Therapist (SALT).
The Key Person's role will foster relationships with and understand the individual child. Our SENCO will maintain an overview of experiences, progress and will also work with other practitioners to ensure provision is relevant/appropriate and seek support when needed.
PRACTITIONERS AND PRACTICE
What training and qualifications do the staff supporting children with additional needs and disabilities have?
All staff receive some training to enable them to help meet the needs of children with a disability, or those with additional needs. Additional training is available to those members of staff with particular responsibility for working with a child with a disability or additional needs. This is tailored to the child’s particular needs.
The SENCO attends meetings to keep their knowledge and understanding up to date. The information at these meetings is then cascaded to other staff through staff meetings. The majority of staff have a Paediatric First Aid qualification. Additional training including Behaviour Management, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and the Speech and Language Development Programme and meeting the needs of pre-school children on the autism have also been attended by staff members.
Some staff members have attended training linked to meeting specific medical needs. Accredited training is also offered where appropriate, for example, training in using Makaton.
All key workers hold a level 2 qualification as a minimum and are led by a Qualified Teacher. The Manager and the Deputy Manager share the SENCO role. A qualified teacher leads the planning and the effectiveness of teaching and learning is overseen by the manager. We have a strong commitment to further professional development supporting and encouraging staff to engage in further training/ development opportunities. Verbal peer to peer observations occur on a daily basis and staff supervisions occur on a half termly basis.
RESOURCES, PROVISION AND SERVICES
How will the resources and the learning environment meet children’s needs?
We place a strong emphasis on the accessibility of our learning environment. Resources are open-ended promoting children’s fascinations at a developmentally appropriate level. The continuous provision is enhanced regularly with high quality resources according to the children’s interests. All resources are accessible and at child level wherever possible. Mobile resources and furniture, and height adjustable tables allow the learning environment to be easily adapted to allow for easier access.
We audit areas of learning to identify resources and how the environment is supporting children’s needs, through Discovery Time planning. Where specialist resources are required we endeavour to access these, and where possible will purchase additional resources. We are currently setting up provision for children to access the local environment through Beach School on a fortnightly basis. Staff are Paediatric First Aid Trained.
How is the setting’s funding allocated and matched to children’s additional needs?
Inclusion funding and Two year old funding can be applied for to support the child being included in the setting. A dedicated budget will be used to provide additional resources, adapt existing resources and staff training. We have excellent facilities and resources within the setting to support children’s learning.
If your child has needs that require a very high level of adult support, we may seek financial assistance from the local authority, with the aim of providing additional staffing to help meet your child’s needs. Where a child needs or would benefit from specialist equipment to meet physical needs, advice will be sought from the relevant service.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the staff/ setting?
Staff at Beach House regularly attend child development training and have experience of working with children within the Early Years age range. Within the Nursery there is a trained SENCO who attends training/network meetings to keep up to date. With parent's permission advice can be sought from the FIRST Visiting Team.
If a need is identified we will seek the support of external professionals such as occupational therapists, physiotherapists and Speech and Language therapists.
We have links with our local Children’s Centre and can sign post you to additional support. Families can access a number of services available in the locality linked to the child's identified needs, for example, Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist, Portage Worker.
Through partnership working with all of these specialist services, we aim to ensure that:
- children’s needs are identified as early as possible
- children and families receive a joined-up service in which everyone involved shares relevant information
- everyone is clear of their own role and responsibilities
- children’s needs are properly planned for and met.
We regularly attend specific training, including Speech and Language and Positive Behaviour Management courses and have worked with children on the Autistic Spectrum, with Down syndrome, Asperger’s and speech and language difficulties.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
Observational assessment linked to the EYFS and knowledge of child development will be used to identify what support is required. The support offered is matched to children’s individual needs. For most children, support in a small group is often more appropriate than one-to-one adult support, as children develop vital social interaction skills in a group setting, as well as having other children to model the skills that are being developed. The FIRST Visiting Team will offer support, advice and funding where necessary with the aim of enabling the child to become independent within the environment. Staff meetings within the Nursery will ensure all staff working with the child knows the child's need and how to support them.
Our SENCO will give advice on meeting your child’s needs within the setting in consultation with you and other professionals where necessary with your permission. Reports from health care professionals and other professionals, who are working with your child, will be used to plan support within the setting.
For some children with more complex needs, decisions regarding the support that will be offered are made at an Early Years Planning and Review Meeting (EYPARM). These are multiagency meetings that are attended by different professionals such as Educational Psychologists and paediatricians. A child can only be discussed at an EYPARM meeting with their parents/carers consent.
How will the setting prepare and support my child to join the setting and transfer to a new setting or school?
We recognise that starting in a new or first setting can be both an exciting and anxious time for children and their parents/carers. With this in mind, we put in place a number of strategies to enable the child’s transition to be as smooth as possible. Where necessary, children are visited at home by Nursery staff before they start at the setting.
At Beach House we offer settling in sessions to help your child start to familiarise themselves and build relationships with key members of staff and get to know their environment. Staff liaise with parents; and parents complete a settling in ‘All About Me’ form. Senior members of staff observe children for the first few weeks until the child bonds with their Key Person. The Key Person will form a relationship of trust, support with the parent and the child during these sessions and will discuss ‘All About Me’ forms which will help the practitioners identify the children's needs, interests and to discuss if any agencies are involved in the child's development.
If your child needs to move from Beach House to another setting midway through the year (for example, if you move home) it would be very helpful if you could give us as much notice as possible to allow us to put in place a well-planned transition plan to make the move as smooth and anxiety-free as possible for your child.
In preparation for moving from Beach House to primary school, we aim for there to be two-way visits in which children with additional needs visit their new school and teacher(s), and in turn are visited by their new teacher/support staff at Beach House.
Where necessary, either we or the receiving setting will make a transition book to support a child in understanding the transition and familiarise them with new staff, buildings and routines. The use of role-play with school uniform, books and lunch time practice is a good way to help a child become familiar with new routines. If the FIRST Team have been involved they will also help with the transition to school.
How are parents involved at Beach House Nursery?
We value parents/carers being involved with the nursery and actively encourage parental involvement at Beach House. Parents/carers are welcome to the setting to see their child in their learning environment.
Parent's knowledge of their child is important and partnership working is sought at every point. All parents/carers are encouraged to contribute to their child’s care and education at Beach House. This is achieved through ongoing discussion, parents evening and contributions to their child’s online Tapestry account.
We acknowledge and celebrate the fact that parents/carers are the child’s first educator and as a setting we encourage you to share information with us that will enable us to offer the best possible support for your child.
Who can I contact for further information?
Your child’s Key Person, Senior staff members, Deputy Manager, Nursery Manager, SENCO are available during sessions if you would like to discuss your child’s needs.
The Nursery Manager/SENCO and senior staff will also be able to offer advice and will be able to signpost parents to other professionals that may be able to help such as the health visitor, children family centre and Speech and Language Therapist (SALT). The Nursery with parental permission can contact the West Sussex FIRST Visiting Team.
If your child has a Special Educational Need and you would like to know more about how we could support them, please contact us on 01273 441100 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The Local Authority’s Local Offer can be found on the West Sussex County Council Family Information Service website. www.westsussex.gov.uk