Special Educational Needs and Disability policy

Mission statement

We provide an environment in which all children, including those with special educational needs, are supported to reach their full potential. The Old Fire Station Children’s Nursery seeks to remove barriers that prevent children from participating and learning.

Our aims

  • To support children and adults who have a SEN and/or disability within the setting.
  • To work in partnership with families and other agencies to create a Team Around the Child to meet the individual needs of each child.
  • To promote diversity and difference and encourage children to value and respect others.
  • To challenge inappropriate attitudes and practices.
  • To adhere to current legislation for Early Years Children with SEN and/or Disability.

Staff responsibilities

  • The Nursery Manager takes overall responsibility for ensuring the SEN & D policy is being implemented by all staff. The manager is responsible for appointing a setting based SENCO and supporting the SENCO to effectively fulfil their role.
  • All staff are aware of the procedures for identifying, assessing and making provision for children with SEN, in line with the SEN Code of Practice 2001 (SEN CoP). “Reasonable adjustments” are made in line with the Equality Act 2010 and ensure children are treated equally.
  • The setting-based SENCO is Sanita Madhas, who is responsible for coordinating provision for children with SEN and/or Disability. Details of this role are available to access on the parent’s notice board in the garden.

Staffing and staff knowledge/Training

  • The setting meets EYFS national guidelines on minimum child/qualified staff ratios. The setting applies for ISEY and SENAR funding through Birmingham City Council to fund an additional worker to cover ratios whilst a key person can spend some time with the child doing activities which aim to further develop their learning and development.
  • Staff have a good understanding of child development and use the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum to assess children’s observations.
  • The setting-based SENCO regularly attends training and co-ordinates staff training. This could involve evening group training for all staff or off site training for key person.

Inclusive practice

We ensure our practice at The Old Fire Station Nursery is inclusive and every child is offered equal opportunities regardless of disability. We do this by:

  •  Making all children feel valued and good about themselves
  • Ensuring that children have equality of access to learning.
  • Undertaking an access audit to establish if the setting is accessible to all children
  • Making reasonable adjustments to the environment and resources to accommodate a wide range of learning, physical and sensory impairments.
  • Making appropriate provision within the curriculum to ensure each child receives the widest possible opportunity to develop their skills and abilities, e.g., recognising the different learning styles of girls and boys.
  • Avoiding stereotypes or derogatory images in the selection of books or other visual materials.
  • Creating an environment of mutual respect and tolerance.
  • Differentiating the curriculum to meet children’s special educational needs.
  • Helping children to understand that discriminatory behavior and remarks are hurtful and unacceptable.
  • Ensuring that the curriculum offered is inclusive of children with special educational needs and children with disabilities.
  • Positive images of diversity are displayed around the nursery
  • Where a child meets the criteria for additional support this may be applied for from an appropriate external agency e.g., Pre-School Learning Alliance, Inclusion Project, Inclusion Support in the Early Years.
  • The setting receives advice and support through the Local Authority from the Early Years Area SENCO Team. The Area SENCO supports the setting based SENCO accesses relevant training, liaising with the Area SENCO Team and keeping up to date with current legislation, initiatives and requirements.

Facilities/Building

  • The main unit of the nursery is all on one level. The baby unit has two steps up to get in to the building and another two steps to get in to the garden area. We are committed to making “reasonable adjustments” to accommodate each child’s needs (Equality Act 2010).

Admission and Induction Arrangements

  • All staff seeks to ensure that children and families are made to feel welcome. Our admissions procedure ensures that individual children’s needs are discussed and recorded with families and the manager before starting at the nursery.
  • Confidentiality is respected and information shared is used to best support a child’s SEN and/or Disability.
  • Induction and settling in arrangements are flexible to meet the child/families needs and to ensure that the setting is fully prepared to safely and successfully include the child. We have an open door policy and welcome parent interaction. We work in partnership with parents/carers and support services/other agencies.
  • The setting adopts a team around the child/family approach in line with Early Support.
  • Parents are valued as the child’s first and most enduring educator and an expert on their child.
  • The setting seeks to develop a positive partnership with the parents of children with SEN and/or Disability and recognises the need to commit time to meet and share information on a regular basis. Informal chats are held with parents at the end of each session to give feedback and share any observations. We also arrange meetings regularly to talk about their progress and how effective any SEN plans have been.
  • Parental consent is sought before a child is referred to any outside agencies and before records/information about the child is shared with others on a needs led basis.
  • The setting-based SENCO is advised by the Area SENCO as to appropriate referrals and available support from other professionals and agencies.

Learning environment, curriculum and resources

  • The learning environment is organised with the individual needs of each child in mind. Toys and resources are on a low level, ensuring accessibility for children wherever possible. Rooms are arranged accordingly to enable children to access all areas of the curriculum freely. Routines are also in place to help children feel secure.
  • We use resources, such as books, to raise awareness and promote positive images of SEN&D and diversity.

Identification, Assessment and Provision

  • The setting has regard to the SEN Code of Practice 2001.
  • All children are regularly observed and assessed in line with the EYFS.
  • When concerns about a child’s development are raised, the Setting-based SENCO oversees a period of detailed observation and assessment, including completing an Early Years Summary Profile. Plans are drawn up to address their needs; plans are reviewed periodically as specified in the Birmingham Graduated Response to the SEN CoP.
  • A child’s progress in relation to their individual plan is monitored by all staff. The child, parents, setting staff and outside agencies can contribute to plans.

Record keeping and confidentiality/consent

  • All records relating to the child’s additional needs are held in a ‘Record of Additional Support’ (RAS). This record is held securely in the office and will be shared with parents on request. Parental consent is obtained to share any of this information with other relevant agencies.
  • Working documents such as SEN plans and monitoring records are accessible to staff working directly with the child in a discreet location.
  • Written parental consent and parent’s input is sought when liaising with subsequent receiving settings. Transfer documents are used to summarise each child’s stage of development, this may include paperwork from their RAS to ensure the best possible transition. A copy is retained at the setting for 25 years in line with Local Authority recommendations.

Transition

  • The Old Fire Station Children’s Nursery seeks to plan for transition with staff in the receiving room/subsequent Early Years setting or school to ensure the child is prepared and their needs continue to be met.

Complaints

  • Complaints are dealt with in line with our procedural complaints policy. In addition, parents may wish to discuss their concerns with the setting-based SENCO. Parents may wish to consult the Parent Partnership Service.

Monitoring and Reviewing the Policy

  • The setting’s management is responsible for monitoring that policy and practice accurately reflect one another.
  • The policy will be updated annually and/or in response to changes in legislation.