Special Educational Needs

Chingford House School is committed to making our setting inclusive and accessible to all children and to making sure that children are able to reach their full potential. All children have the right to the Early Years Foundation Stage and all staff have a duty to meet the needs of all the children attending the setting.

Definition of Special Educational Needs (SEN)

“Children have a Special Educational Need if they have a learning difficulty which calls for Special Educational provision to be made for them”, as defined by the 'Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2014: 0 to 25 years'.


This policy is in line with the SEND Code of Practice: 0-25 years (2014), the Equality Act 2010 and Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014. The Special Needs Coordinator (SENCo) is Yolande Farrell.

At Chingford House Nursery School we strive to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for all children enabling them to become confident young children with a growing ability to communicate their own views, who are eager to learn and will be ready to make the transition into full time education. The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum is our starting point for planning which meets the specific needs of individuals and groups of children. When planning together, key staff set appropriate learning challenges and respond to individual children’s diverse learning needs. Some children have barriers to learning which may mean they have special needs and require particular action by the staff. Where a child appears to be behind expected levels, or where a child’s progress gives cause for concern, staff will consider all the information about the child’s learning and development from information from parents/carers, staff observations, reports and advice from outside professionals and more detailed assessment of the child’s needs.

A delay in learning and development in the early years may or may not indicate that a child has SEN, that is, they have a learning difficulty or disability that calls for special educational provision. Equally, difficult or withdrawn behaviour does not necessarily mean that a child has SEN. However, where there are concerns, there will be an assessment to determine whether there are any factors such as an underlying learning or communication difficulty. Children may have Special Educational Needs either throughout or at any time during their time at nursery. This policy ensures that curriculum planning and assessment for children with Special Educational Needs takes account of the type and extent of the difficulty experienced by the child.

Aims and objectives

The aims of this policy are:
• to enable all children to have full access to all elements of the curriculum
• to create an environment which meets the Special Educational Needs of each child
• to ensure that the special educational needs of children are identified, assessed and provided for
• to make clear what all parents and carers can expect from the setting
• to identify the roles and responsibilities of all staff in providing for children’s special educational needs
• to ensure that parents are able to contribute in supporting their child’s education
• to ensure that our children have a 'voice' in this process.

Educational Inclusion

At Chingford House Nursery School we aim to offer excellence and choice to all our children, whatever their ability or needs. We have high expectations of all our children. Through appropriate curricular provision, we respect the fact that children:

• have different educational and behavioural needs and aspirations
• require different strategies for learning
• acquire, assimilate and communicate information at different rates
• need a range of different teaching approaches and experiences

Staff’s response to SEN identification

Staff respond to children’s needs by:
• providing support for children who need help with communication, language and literacy
• planning to develop children’s understanding through the use of all available senses and experiences
• planning for children’s full participation in learning, and in physical and practical activities
• helping children to manage their behaviour and to take part in learning effectively and safely
• helping individuals to manage their emotions, particularly any trauma or stress, and to take part in learning.

Identifying Children with SEND

It is important that we identify a child’s individual needs as early as possible and put things in place to help them quickly, as early intervention has been shown to improve children’s long term outcomes.

A child is identified as having a learning difficulty if:
• they have significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age
• they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities that are provided for children of the same age.

Children may be identified as having difficulties in one or more of the following four broad areas of need:

1) Communication and Interaction: Children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication. These needs may change over time.

2) Cognition and Learning: Support for learning difficulties may be required when children learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs including moderate learning difficulties (MLD), severe learning
difficulties (SLD) and profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD). Specific learning difficulties (SpLD), such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, affect one or more specific aspects of learning.

3) Social, emotional and mental health difficulties: Children may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours can reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, attention deficit disorder or an attachment disorder.

4) Sensory and/or physical needs: Some children have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. This may include vision impairment, hearing impairment or multisensory impairment. Some children with a physical disability require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers.

The four broad areas described above give an overview of the range of needs that the nursery plans for. However, individual children often have needs that cut across all of these areas and their needs may change over time.

Importantly, the following needs/factors are NOT considered SEN, but may impact on progress and attainment:

• Disabilities (it is the duty of all schools to make “reasonable adjustments” to their setting to include children with disabilities as described in the Equality Act 2010—this alone does not constitute SEN).
• Attendance and punctuality.
• Health and Welfare.
• EAL (English as an Additional Language).
• Receipt of the Pupil Premium Grant.
• Behaviour- no longer a way of describing SEN but a sign that a child has an unmet need.

Identifying and assessing SEN for young children whose first language is not English requires particular care and staff should look carefully at all every aspect of a child’s learning and development to establish whether any delay is related to learning English as an additional language or if it arises from SEN or disability.


In order to gain a clear picture of each child, all our children are assessed on entry. If our assessments show a child may have a learning difficulty, we use a range of strategies that make full use of all available resources.


Staff will monitor children closely for a period of time (six weeks) and then meet with parents/carers to discuss their concerns and to decide together if the child should be identified as having SEN. If so, the child is recorded on the school’s record of SEN support and moves into SEN Support.

Sen Support

Children at this stage require provision different from, or additional to, that normally available to children of the same age, including outside agency support. Chingford House School will liaise with the Early Years SENCo at Waltham Forest, and take advice from them.

Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan)

Parents/carers or nursery staff may apply for an EHC needs assessment by the Local Authority if it is evident that the child’s needs are complex, will have a long term impact on their learning and/or the child requires more than 20 hours of one to one adult support in school. The decision to request an EHC Plan for a child takes place at a termly review meeting with parents/carers, key worker, SENCo and all outside agencies represented.

Role of the Manager and SENCo


• manages the day-to-day operation of the policy
• co-ordinates the provision for and liaises with external professionals
• supports and advises colleagues in planning an appropriate programme of support
• oversees the records of all children with Special Educational Needs
• acts as the link with parents by alerting them to concern and enlisting their active help and participation
• monitors and evaluates the Special Educational Needs provision
• manages a range of resources, financial, human and material, to enable appropriate provision for children with Special Educational Needs
• coordinates the provision of any bespoke training that staff may need to support children with special educational needs or disabilities

Access to the curriculum

All children have an entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum, which is differentiated to enable children to:
• understand the relevance and purpose of learning activities
• experience levels of understanding and rates of progress that bring feelings of success and achievement Staff use a range of strategies to meet children’s Special Educational Needs.

Individual Support Plans (ISPs), which employ a small-steps approach, break down the existing levels of attainment into finely graded steps and targets so staff ensure that children experience success from their own starting points. We support children in a manner that acknowledges their entitlement to share the same learning experiences as their peers. Wherever possible we do not withdraw children; although we may work in small groups, or in a one-to-one situation in other areas of the nursery to maximise their learning.


Before a child moves onto another setting or school, Chingford House School will work with their parents and their new school to plan and prepare for transition. This will include a review of the SEN support being provided as documented by ISPs or the EHC plan. To support the transition, information will be shared by the current setting with the receiving setting or school, with parental agreement. We will also arrange for additional visits if required.

Partnership with parents

At Chingford House School we work closely with parents or carers in the support of those children with Special Educational Needs. We encourage an active partnership through an on-going dialogue with parents and an “open door” policy. Parents are vital to our support for children with Special Educational Needs. We have additional meetings with these parents to review the progress of their children against the targets set in the ISP and to set new targets, considering the child's needs as a whole. We inform parents of any outside intervention and advice and share the process of decision making by providing clear information relating to the education of children with Special Educational Needs and arrive at joint decisions based on all the available information.

Policy reviewed: April 9th 2018