SEND FAQs

Special Education Need and Disability (SEND) FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the provision for pupils with Special Education and /or disability (SEN/D) in the mainstream school. If you have any further questions please contact the school.

Who are the best people to talk to at the Portman Centre about my child’s difficulties with learning, special educational needs or disability?

You can talk to anyone in the nursery team, leadership team as well as your child’s family worker about your concerns. You can ask to speak with them at the beginning or end of any day. You can ask for a meeting as well.

It is likely that your family worker will have talked to Amie Curtis, the nursery Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO). You can request a meeting with Amie as well.

If your home language is spoken by a member of the nursery team you may prefer to talk to them in the first instance.

How will the school let me know if they have any concerns about my child’s learning, special educational needs or disability?

Your family worker and the nursery team will be learning about your child by playing with them, by observing them and most importantly by what you tell them.

If your family worker has any concerns about your child she/he will ask the SENCO and the rest of the team for their observations and their views. As soon as concerns arise they will discuss these with you and seek your views.

The parent and family worker review meeting is a good time to discuss these concerns.

If your home language is not English and you are concerned that your child may have a language delay, we will look carefully at all aspects of their learning and development to establish whether any delay arises from SEND.

How will the school consider my views and those of my child with regard to her/his difficulties with learning, special educational needs or disabilities?

We will listen to and consult your child about their interests and learning, beginning with the home visit. We will observe their persistent interests, their schemas and their behaviour. If your child is not verbal we interpret these observations as though your child is communicating with us through their play and their actions.

You will be able to share your views with your family worker and or SENCO any time that you ask to.

Every term there will be a review meeting. At this time you will monitor your child’s progress and plan for their learning and development in partnership with your family worker. This discussion will inform your child’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP). The targets and strategies agreed will be transferable between home and nursery.

ILP - example.

If your child has an Education Health Care Plan (EHC plan) you will be invited to a 6 monthly review meeting with all the professionals involved in your child’s care.

How does the Portman Centre ensure the teaching staff are appropriately trained to support my child’s special educational needs and/or disability?

You are our first and most important support to ensure that we understand your child’s strengths and needs

We believe that your child’s learning needs will first be met through the high quality teaching delivered by the nursery team.

We meet weekly to discuss the needs of children with SEN and ensure they are represented in our planning.

Our school training schedule including our inset days are carefully planned to include aspects of SEN and disability.

As lifelong learners we regularly undertake action research projects into areas that we wish to understand better. This often involves visiting other provisions to learn about different approaches.

Individuals receive professional learning conversations that may highlight the need to access training programmes from different organisations including the Triborough Training and Outreach Team based at QE2 School.

How will the curriculum and the school environment be matched to my child’s needs?

At the Portman Centre, we believe that your child’s learning needs will first be met through the high quality teaching delivered by our teaching staff. We carefully plan our curriculum to match the age, ability and needs of all children. The teaching staff will adapt lesson planning and teaching to match your child’s special educational needs and/or disability. It may be appropriate to adopt different strategies or resources and adapt outcomes to meet your child’s learning needs. Additional specialist advice is sought when appropriate and, when necessary, accessibility aids and technology may be used to support your child’s learning. We regularly review our Accessibility Plan to ensure that all children have the fullest access to the curriculum and the school site as possible.

What types of support may be suitable and available for my child?

We carefully plan our curriculum to match the age, ability and needs or all children. The curriculum will be adapted to each child’s unique personality, interests and learning styles.

Equality means different things for different people not the same for all. This means we will adapt our environment our resources and our teaching styles for each child with SEN or disabilities.

We will request specialist advice regarding accessibility aides, technology and strategies to aide learning.

How will you support my child to reach his/her learning outcomes?

All staff working with your child ensure that your child receives appropriate teaching and support in order to reach these goals. The learning plan, strategies and progress will be reviewed with you on a termly basis. External agencies and specialists may also review your child’s progress and adapt their planning accordingly.

What types of support may be suitable and available for my child?

This really depends upon the nature of your child’s needs and difficulties with learning. Our education provision will match the needs of the four broad areas of need as defined in the SEN Code of Practice 2014.

  • Communication and interaction
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social emotional and mental health
  • Sensory and or physical needs

How will you support my child to reach his/her learning outcomes?

Your family worker, the nursery team and the SENCO will ensure that your child receives appropriate teaching and support in order to reach these goals. Their ILP will be reviewed with you every term.

The senior teacher will ensure that your child’s ILP targets are planned for within the whole nursery planning.

External agencies and specialists may also review your child’s progress and assist us with our planning.

The tool that gives us an overview of our provision in order to assess you child’s changing needs is a provision map (open provision map example) 

What is an EHC Plan and who can request one for my child?

The purpose of an EHC Plan is to make special educational provision to meet the special educational needs of a child or young person, to secure improved outcomes for him/her across education, health and social care and as he/she gets older, prepare for adulthood.

An EHC Plan will contain;

  • The views and aspirations of you and your child
  • A full description of his/her special educational needs and any health and social care needs,
  • Establish outcomes for your child progress,
  • Specify the provision required and how education, health and social care will work together to meet your child’s needs and support the achievement of the agreed outcomes.

You and or The SENCO at Portman early childhood Centre (PECC) can request that the local authority conduct an assessment of your child’s needs. This may lead to an EHC plan. Sometimes we need to gather sufficient evidence to prove that your child requires additional support. We may request short term contingency funding during this period of identification and assessment.

How will you help me to support my child’s learning? 

We will decide upon strategies and activities to support your child at home with you, during their review meetings. These strategies are usually easy to transfer between home and nursery. We will loan you resources from the nursery or the toy library that you may need to help with these,

We often run family days which will help you to understand the strategies that we use in PECC. We may be able to offer you or help you to access to individual training in specific support strategies relevant to your child.

If our Inset days or staff meetings are related to your child’s special needs or disability we will invite you to join us.

If we undertake action research into areas or issues that may affect your child we will invite you to participate

We regularly plan outings during which we will offer you support around mobility and transport issues as well as how to manage shopping and other daily life activities.

You will have the opportunity to meet with our Educational Psychologist and any other professionals that work with your child in the nursery.

How is support allocated to children and how do they move between the different levels of support in school?

All children have an ILP in that they have family worker review and priorities set for their learning.

PECC receives funding for a child with an EHC plan.

We are sometimes able to convince the LA that your child has sufficient needs to warrant additional funding whilst identification and assessment processes are occurring. This is called contingency funding.

From September 2015, PECC is recognised and supported by the borough as having an enhanced SEN offer. This allows us to provide a wider range of support and interventions and identifies us as a centre at which good SEN practice can be shared with other settings.

The Head teacher and the SENCO discuss the effectiveness of the nurseries current interventions and provisions and prioritise an action plan, which may include additional or alternative interventions, staff training and equipment needs, This process is reviewed regularly to ensure the best possible intervention is provided to those children who require additional support to learn.

How will the school know that the support has made a difference to my child’s learning and how can I and my child be included in this review process?

At your child’s review each term we will assess together the impact of the support given to ensure that the learning outcomes have been achieved and if not what adaptations are necessary.

It is likely that your child has made progress in these areas but that they still need support to continue to make further progress,

We will ask your child’s views on their learning and their nursery experiences. If they are non -verbal we will use our observations to inform us about their well being and their views.

We record your child’s progress in a variety of ways including observations held in the learning journey and photographic and video evidence.

What support will there be for my child’s happiness and wellbeing at Portman Centre?

We believe that the happiness and wellbeing of your child is paramount.

We will give your child a positive sense of self by showing that we value them for who they are.

We will ensure that they feel that they are in a loving, safe environment and community with people that genuinely care about them.

We will act as advocates for your child and support you to be able to communicate what you believe is in your child’s best interests to others.

Some of the ways in which we support your children in this area are;

  • Home visits prior to starting nursery and sometimes additional home visits
  • A graduated and individual settling in routine.
  • The family worker relationship
  • The leadership team which support the family worker relationship
  • Individual child centred planning
  • Termly family worker reviews and ILP plans
  • Children’s learning journeys and other books such as friendship books, and transition books.

How is my child included in all the same activities as his/her peers at school?

We are an inclusive school and are committed to providing equal opportunities for all children.

We will try to do everything possible to make adjustments to our environment and to all areas of our provision so that it is appropriate to your child’s abilities, experience, interests and needs.

Your child may have particular sensory needs which make it difficult for them to access some activities. They may feel overwhelmed by some experiences that affect their sight, hearing, smell, touch or movement. We will encourage your child to participate with new experiences at their own pace and by appealing to their preferences and to what motivates them.

Please talk to your family worker if you feel that your child is not participating in all areas of the curriculum.

How will Portman Centre support my child in transition stages?

Before starting PECC your family worker will come and visit you and your child at home. This allows us to learn from you about your child’s strengths, interests and needs so that we can plan for them before they start.

When your child sees someone in their own home it gives them the message that you trust us which helps us to begin to build the all important relationships which will secure their happiness and well being in nursery. This will ease the anxiety that may occur during the settling period.

We will tailor the settling period according to their needs, planning with you each day for their transition from being supported by you to being supported by us.

If your child has been part of our Up to 3’s provision their family worker will have completed a 2 year old progress check with you which will identify your child’s strengths and their needs focusing on the areas of communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development, Their family worker will introduce you to their new family worker and arrange a handover meeting. Their transition into the nursery will be tailored according to their needs.

If your child has attended the Portman or other Children’s Centre Drop In, they are likely to have had a 2 year old progress check completed with you. The Early Years practitioners working in the Drop In will support their transition into the nursery with visits and a handover meeting with the new family worker and you.

We will offer you support in making an informed choice about which school you think can best meet your child’s needs and we will help you through the application process.

We make arrangements to ensure there is a smooth transition when your child transfers to the primary school or special needs school of your choice. This often involves Jo White, PECC Head Teacher consulting with the school Head Teacher. The transition usually consists of a series of visits supported by their family worker, building to spending whole days in the reception class before the end of their last nursery term. Amie Curtis, PECC SENCO and the primary school SENCO will meet to plan the transition and to handover information. Your child will receive an end of nursery report to inform the school about their progress, achievements and needs.

Some of you may feel that your child would benefit from more time in the nursery in particular if they are born in the summer. In this case we will liaise with your choice of school to discuss deferring your child’s school start date. (See Summer born leaflet)

If your child has an EHC Plan, we will facilitate its review in sufficient time prior to him/her moving to primary school. You will be invited to this review.

Who can I contact if I have a complaint about SEN provision made for my child?

Please speak to your family worker and the nursery SENCO. Hopefully they will be able to address your concerns.

You can contact the Head teacher who may direct you to the nurseries Complaints Procedure.

You can also talk to the Parent Governor

If I have any other questions about my child at Portman Centre, who can I ask?

Please talk to us about any aspects of your child’s learning, education or home life. You can talk to

  • Your Family worker
  • The SENCO
  • The Head Teacher or Leadership team