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The Government has introduced some important changes with regards to Special Educational Needs and Disability that will impact the early years sector.

SEND reforms

Draft Code of Practice SENDThe 1st of September, 2014 sees the commencement of the new Special Educational Needs code of practice spanning from birth to age 25.  The code sets out the requirements for early years providers to support children with special educational needs and disabilities.

You can view the new code of practice here, which has a specific section for the early years (chapter 5). The early years guide to the code can be accessed here.

Local authorities must publish a Local Offer, setting out in one place information about provision for children and young people in their area who have SEN or are disabled, including those who do not have Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans.

The Local Offer has two key purposes:
  • To provide clear, comprehensive and accessible information about the available provision and how to access it, and
  • 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.
Requirements for early years providers

The code of practice sets out that all early years providers must follow the safeguarding and welfare requirements of the EYFS Framework 2014 and the learning and development requirements. These arrangements should include a clear approach to identifying and responding to SEN. The benefits of early identification are widely recognised – identifying need at the earliest point, and then making effective provision, improves long-term outcomes for children.

  • Our podcast with Ann Gross, Director of Special Needs and Children’s Servies Strategy at the Department of Education, discussing the SEND reforms is now available.
  • Nasen has launched a new online SEND resource, the SEND Gateway, which aims to be a one-stop-shop resource for all your SEND requirements.
  • A guide to the SEND reforms
  • A guide to Key Working, an approach to working with children with special needs and disabilities and their families
  • A guide for parents and carers
  • CDC have developed the Early Support App for parents and carers of children with SEN to store, share and organise information about their child and the support and services they receive
  • CDC resources explaining important changes to SEN and disability support system for children and young people

We will continue to bring you the latest news and resources relating to SEND on this website.

New SEND pathfinder champions

Groups of councils across the country have been announced as pathfinder champions for the government’s Special Educational Needs and Disability reforms.

Developmental journal

The Early Support Developmental Journals are designed to help families, teachers and other practitioners better support development especially where children or young people have special educational needs and disabilities.

The journals are easy-to-use tools to help with observing, recording and celebrating progress, and to identify areas where extra help and support may be needed.  All the journals aim to empower families and put them at the heart of decision-making, supported by a co-ordinated keyworking approach.

The School Years Journal has recently been released.

Access the series of developmental journals for all stages here.

Find out more… (click to open)