Our functions include:

  • providing high-quality support to families, early years settings, children’s centres and childminders to support them in meeting the needs of children with SEN aged 0 to 5
  • delivering provisions described in statements and contributing to statutory review requirements
  • providing advice for statutory assessments for children aged 2 to 5
  • leading the Early Support programme delivery in partnership with Health and other  Local Authority services.
  • contributing to the identification, assessment and monitoring of special education provision
  • ensuring that all SEN reviews and progress planning for those children seen by the service are appropriate and implemented effectively
  • providing support to assist good  transition planning into school
  • ensuring efficient and effective use of resources. 

How the team makes a difference

  • They are ensuring that the needs of children are appropriately identified as early as possible.
  • Providing family-focused support in accordance with the Early Support Programme.
  • Ensuring that statements are based on a joint assessment, planning and review processes that keep parents and care at the heart of discussions and decision-making about their child. 
  • Identifying clear and achievable objectives to enable the child to make progress.
  • Setting high expectations of developmentally appropriate achievement for all children, supported directly or indirectly, monitoring progress and challenging attitudes and practices which do not promote these values.
  • Effectively communicating with families and professionals to clarify and pre-empt disagreement which can make a difference to parental confidence and a child’s progress.
  • Providing a specialist workforce with additional specialist qualifications in SEN, supported by trained and experienced specialist support staff.
  • Empowering staff in settings to comprehensively understand and meet the needs of children with SEN so that the children fully access the teaching and learning environment and make good progress.
  • Contributing to increased awareness, understanding and knowledge of particular SEN/disability in the wider workforce, community and society.
  • Supporting children to understand their SEN/disability and take responsibility over time for their own learning and developing independence.
  • Ensuring that the Early Years SEN team always works in a holistic, multi-agency way and taking the lead professional role as necessary. 

The impact of the Early Years SEN Team

  • Children make good progress, achieving the best they can and meeting their expected targets.
  • Most parents/families have benefitted from an increased understanding of their child/children’s needs and the ability to help their child’s/children’s development and learning.  (Service feedback questionnaire 2010/11, over 90% satisfaction).
  • Timely response to referrals.
  • Low numbers of complaints and tribunals.
  • Most Early Years settings report increased understanding of and confidence in supporting the children in their setting.

Costs of the service

The Early Years SEN Team fulfils the local authority’s statutory functions in relation to individually assigned resources, delivery of high-quality support services and monitoring SEN provision.  These services are free of charge to settings, children’s centres and childminders.

Early Years SEN also offers training and advice for non-statutory functions; if you wish to discuss this further, please contact Jessica Dawson

Local Offer - Guidance and procedures for providers