Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Profile assessment for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

What is the EYFS Profile?

The EYFS Profile is a statutory assessment of children’s development at the end of the academic year in which children turn 5, usually reception year. The Profile is intended to provide a reliable and accurate summative assessment of each child’s development at the end of the EYFS in order to support children’s successful transitions to year 1.

Does the EYFS Profile need to be completed for children with SEND?

The EYFS Profile must be completed for all children registered at a school, including children with SEND, unless an exemption has been granted. Children cannot be exempted from the Profile on the basis of SEND. For more information on the limited use of exemptions, please see the EYFS guidance on exemptions.

Children with SEND have differing levels of knowledge, skills and abilities

SEND covers different types of need, including communication and interaction, cognition and learning, social, emotional, and mental health, and sensory and/or physical needs. Children in the early years may have a range of needs which cut across some or all of these broad areas.

Children will have differing levels of knowledge, skills and abilities across the Profile. It is important that there is a full assessment of all areas of their development. Some children with SEND may be at the ‘expected’ level of development for some ELGs, and at an ‘emerging’ level for ELGs where their specific condition has an impact on their learning and development. Other children with SEND may, with the right support, reach the expected level in the ELGs, even where their specific condition has an impact.

Using adaptations and reasonable adjustments

Where a child has a SEND, teachers should take care to ensure the child is able to demonstrate their level of development. Children must be assessed on the basis of what they can do when using the adaptations and reasonable adjustments they normally use to carry out daily activities. Examples of adaptations include: mobility aids, magnification, and adapted ICT and equipment. Reasonable adjustments can be any of those ordinarily available in the school’s provision including: prompts, visuals, sensory support and movement breaks.

All children, including those with SEND, can use their established or preferred mode of communication for all the ELGs except ‘Speaking’. Therefore, spoken words are only required for achieving the Speaking ELG. Where a child has a SEND, teachers should be alert to identifying the child’s level of development in a variety of ways, including eye pointing, use of symbols, or signs. In this case, teachers should give additional detail about the child’s understanding and preferred means of communication in their EYFS Profile record.

Involving parents and/or carers and other professional

Actively involving children, their parents and/or carers, and other professionals such as the SEN Coordinator (SENCo) or health professionals in the assessment process is especially crucial when working with children with SEND. This will enable teachers to get a clear picture of the child’s learning and development, and ensure parents and/or carers have a clear understanding of their child’s development and any additional support which will be offered.

Holding transition conversations

When communicating the EYFS Profile data to the year 1 teacher, additional information should be passed on alongside this for children with SEND. Where a child has an outcome of ‘emerging’ for one or more of the ELGs, additional information about the barriers to learning that have been identified, and any successful strategies to help the child overcome these barriers, should be passed onto the year 1 teacher alongside EYFS Profile judgements.

Teachers should also share any other records from within or outside the setting with year 1 teachers and use these records to inform transition conversations and processes. Wherever possible, other professionals working with the child should be invited to contribute to transition conversations.

Grove Park’s best practice

Grove Park is a two form entry community primary school (3 – 11) located in Chiswick, West London. Grove Park Primary supports transitions by:

  • Ensuring the whole school is always aware of all pupils on the SEND register and their provision as they have a whole school approach to the SEND Register.
  • Having specific transition sessions for children with SEND with a well-being mentor. This is different for all children e.g. some need to see the classroom, others need a social story.
  • Visiting and doing some lessons in the Year 1 classrooms in a very gentle and supportive way a few times during Summer.
  • Having data and SEND transition meetings in September (led by the SENCO and Data/Assessment Lead) and class teacher handover meetings in July.
  • Having team around the child transition meetings for any EYFS pupils who work with outside agencies (SALT, OT etc.) or have an EHCP – these meetings include the parents.

Horn’s Mill case study

Horn’s Mill Case Study contains effective practice information and resources that schools/settings may find helpful. However, you may already have your own approaches or approaches provided by your local authority. Please ensure the approaches you use meet the needs of your local authority.