Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Westgate Pre-school has a named SENCO responsible for SEN/d. Together with the Pre-school Manager, she works to ensure that this policy works within the guidelines and inclusion policies of the Code of Practice (2014), the Local Education Authority Offer and other policies within the Pre-school.

This policy informs parents of the services and provision offered by Westgate Pre-school in order to improve choice and transparency for parents and families.

We believe that all children have an equal right to education which will enable them to reach their full potential and we endeavour to meet the needs of children and to be inclusive within the constraints of Local Authority Funding.

What are special Educational Needs?

‘A child or young person has special educational needs if he or she has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. A learning difficulty or disability is a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age. Special educational provision means educational provision that is different to, or different from, that made generally for others of the same age in a mainstream setting in England.’ Code of Practice 2014

The broad areas of SENd are:

  • Communication and interaction
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties
  • Sensory and/or physical


  • To have regard for the SEN/d Code of Practice 2014, the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (SENDA 2001) and Equality Act 2010 to ensure early identification of any Special Educational Need or disability.
  • To ensure early identification of any Special Educational Need or disability including gifted and talented children.
  • To ensure procedures are in place to meet the individual needs of any child identified as having an additional need and that the aims of the Early Years Foundation Stage are applied to all children.
  • To outline the offer of our setting with regards to Special Educational Needs or disability.


  • To plan opportunities that build on and extend children’s knowledge, experiences, interests and skills and develop their self-esteem and confidence in their ability to learn.
  • To use a wide range of teaching strategies, based on children’s learning needs.
  • To provide a wide range of opportunities to motivate, support and develop children and help them to be involved, concentrate and learn effectively.
  • To provide a safe and supportive learning environment in which the contribution of all children is valued and where racial, religious, disability and gender stereotypes are challenged.
  • To use a range of resources that positively reflects diversity and are free from discrimination and stereotyping.
  • To plan challenging opportunities for children whose ability and understanding are in advance of their language and communication skills
  • To monitor children’s progress, identifying any areas of concern and taking action to provide support e.g. by using different approaches, additional help or other agencies.

Name of Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENDCO) for Westgate Pre- school: Kim Clarke

The Role of the SENDCO

The main responsibilities and duties of the SENDCO are as follows:

  • Ensuring the aims and objectives of the SEN/d Policy are reflected in practice at Westgate Pre-school.
  • Ensuring that staff understand, are familiar with and follow the SEN/d practice as stated in the SEN/d Policy and provide advice and support to enable them to do this.
  • Establishing an SEN/d Register, and ensuring it is kept up to date.
  • Promoting effective relationships with parents of children with SEN/d.
  • Signpost parents to Warwickshire Partnership Services. (SENDIAS)
  • Liaising with other professionals/agencies.
  • Promoting staff development in relation to SEN/d and ensuring appropriate SEN/d training for staff.
  • Monitoring the SEN/d Policy and setting dates for evaluation and review.
  • Ensure Individual Education Plans are in place and are reviewed regularly and shared with parents and other professionals.
  • Ensure appropriate teaching arrangements, resources and equipment are in place so that children meet IEP targets and make progress.
  • Gather information and keep records.

Admission Arrangements

We welcome all children and aim to respond appropriately to each child’s background and individual needs:

  • When a child with special educational needs is placed in the application file, the pre-school will request a meeting with the parents to share information. This is to try and ensure appropriate provision is made and that the Pre-school is the best setting to meet the child’s needs.
  • A request will be made to the parents for us to access any reports and information from professionals who have had contact with the child prior to admission to Westgate Pre-school.
  • The above two points will enable us to explore with parents, and with any outside professionals, how we can provide most effectively for the child.
  • Additional arrangements, such as the number and length of sessions, the physical environment (including access to the building, specialist report), and staff ratios (including employing any extra staff), will be discussed prior to admission.

Accessibility and resources and specialist provision for children with SEN/d

We provide:

  • Accessible access toilet facilities
  • Changing facilities
  • Ramps to parts of the building.
  • Specialist training is undertaken by staff e.g. Makaton, Wellcomm screening
  • Specialist equipment would be borrowed/hired as the need arises e.g. supported chairs, walkers.
  • Differentiated resources are used to promote learning in all areas, including gifted and talented.
  • Excellent links with IDS and SALT and Westgate Children’s Centre.
  • All our staff are paediatric first aid trained and receive specialist medical training as needed e.g. epi-pens
  • Assessment tools as used to monitor progress (e.g. Teaching Talking Profiles/Wellcomm Screen)

Identification and assessment of children with SEN

We have regard for the Code of Practice 2014 on identifying children and young people’s needs.

The emphasis of our SENd Policy at Westgate Pre-school is on the early identification of any difficulties a child may have and offering an appropriate learning environment in which we provide a range of differentiated activities and experiences to meet all individual needs.

We aim to develop a genuine partnership with parents and will always consult with parents if we feel a child is having difficulties.

The practice in our setting is:

  • Our observation of children begins informally in all sessions.
  • A starting point assessment is completed for children after approximately 2-3 weeks of the child’s induction, and is based on whole staff observations, Key Worker records and parental input.
  • As soon as a child is identified as having additional needs, these are discussed with parents and further observations and assessments are recorded with parent/carer permission. These are discussed as a staff group and with parents/carers.
  • Staff talk informally to parents to collect and share information and support the child.
  • If needed an IEP is developed with achievable short term measurable targets and the child’s name is added to the Special Educational Needs Register and this is explained to the parents. (School support)
  • IEPs are reviewed every 6/8 weeks and if needed next steps and a new IEP are written.
  • Parents/carers are made aware of the SENDIAS.
  • After the first review of the child’s IEP the decision may be made (with parental consent) to refer the child to an outside support agency (e.g. Speech and Language or Integrated Disability Service (IDS))
  • Liaise with outside agencies ie Health, Social Services, if involved, and collect any relevant information.
  • Liaise with outside support services, seeking appropriate advice and guidance to support parents/carers and colleagues.
  • Continue to plan, review and facilitate IEP targets and monitor child’s progress and development and provide appropriate support.
  • Ensure full parental/carers involvement with their child’s I.E.P.
  • Ensure all relevant records and information are up to date and available to be shared with support services.
  • When the child is due to start reception class or transfers to another nursery, information is shared with the new setting with parental involvement and permission.
  • If, with parental agreement it is thought that the child will need an Education, Health and Care assessment, a referral is made to the Local Authority.

Early Years curriculum and Learning Environment

  • All planning takes into account a variety of educational needs.
  • Staff evaluation of the planning takes place continuously
  • All children are monitored continuously through observation, professional discussion, evidence, photographs and assessments.
  • Teaching styles are adapted to deliver learning activities to children with different individual needs.
  • Through differentiation, we provide an environment that is challenging, rewarding, stimulating and free from bias and stereotyping, for all our children.

Depending on specific individual needs, the following are taken into account:

  • Space, layout and presentation of the environment
  • Accessibility – to areas and resources
  • Opportunities for quiet play / being quiet
  • Practical and social rules and expectations
  • Staffing ratios
  • Group size
  • Effective communication
    • Alternative communication is used such as signs, symbols and Makaton.
    • Information is provided in a variety of forms
    • Multi-sensory resources are used where possible.

Monitoring of the SEN Policy

The Policy is monitored and evaluated by the SENDCO and Directors, yearly.


Complaints about our SEND provision are dealt with initially by the child’s key worker and SENDCO. If no satisfactory outcome is reached, the following process is followed until the situation is resolved:

  • Discussion with the Manager
  • Parents are reminded of “Warwickshire Parent Partnership” who will provide support.

(Details of our official complaints procedure are also available in Pre-school.)

Links with other Early Years Settings

  • Information, records and reports are passed on to receiving pre-school settings, nurseries or schools, with parent/carer permission, (for all children, including those with Special Educational needs).
  • Reception teachers from feeder schools are encouraged to visit to meet all children transferring to their school.
  • Meetings are held with the Key Worker, SENDCO, IDS and parents to collaboratively discuss the child and their special needs, to support the transition.
  • Staff regularly attend Sendco Surgery

The Pre-school has links with other services who regularly visit the school

  • Integrated Disability Service (IDS)
  • Speech and Language Therapist (SALT) 

Partnership with Parents

At Westgate Pre-school, partnership with parents is an integral part of our life and philosophy. We seek to share information with parents and fully involve them with their child’s education and to ensure they are kept informed about their child’s progress. Parental permission is always sought when we believe it will benefit a child to be placed on the Special Educational Needs Register at any level. Referrals to outside agencies are always made with parental permission. Parents are always invited to share the task of setting and reviewing IEP targets with the SENDCO.

Westgate Pre-school continues to promote further links with parents and carers of younger children within the community, through close liaison with Health Visitors, and the work of the on-site Children’s Centre. In this way we are increasingly establishing relationships with families with a child with special needs and supporting them from a very early age.

Staff Training

  • We value continuous professional development for all our staff.
  • Staff are supported by whole staff in-service training as well as individual training in response to the children they support. This is sometimes provided on-site, or sometimes at other venues.
  • The Pre-school ensures that the SENDCO has access to on-going training in order to continue to carry out her responsibilities fully and effectively.
  • Relevant publications and video and CD materials are purchased and kept to support staff knowledge and understanding.
  • The SENDCO regularly attends consortium cluster meetings to share good practice.
  • Advice and up to date information/training is delivered by our IDS pre-school teacher and the SALT team.

Staff Roles and Responsibilities

  • All Westgate Pre-school staff contribute to monitoring and providing for the general care, safety and welfare of children; and, Key Workers, as part of a team, assist in planning and implementing Individual Education Plans where necessary.
  • The Manager has overall responsibility for ensuring children’s progress towards the ELGs, which includes children with special educational needs.
  • The Manager has overall responsibility for teaching and learning at Westgate Pre-school, which includes ensuring the curriculum is planned and assessed to cater for all children, including those with special educational needs and disabilities.

This policy was reviewed by Westgate Pre-school directors

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