Hempsted Playgroup and Toddlers

                                                                                 Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Policy 


We will continue to support and asses the risk for children whose Education Health Care plan (EHCP) needs to be maintained and ensure children with EHCP's are safely cared for, whether in a setting or at home.

We will continue to work together with local agencies and services, actively looking for signs of harm, given the greater risk of harm some children may have been exposed to throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

At Hempsted Playgroup and Toddlers all children are unique. We treat all children with respect, recognising every child has individual needs.  The Playgroup has regard to the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and will make all reasonable adjustments to the inclusion of all children and aims to ensure the best for each of them as individuals.  

What are special educational needs? 

Special educational needs are where a child has a learning difficulty or other need which requires special educational provision being made for them.

A child with a learning difficulty may have a disability which prevents or hinders them using educational facilities of a kind provided for children of the same age, or they may have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age. In Gloucestershire we have a Graduated pathway so that everyone gets the right support when they need it.    

Gloucester’s Graduated Pathway – The 7 steps


Statements have been replaced by EHC Plans and although most families will only need help in stage one a Graduated Pathway has be designed to help those who need further support.

  1. My Profile and the Local offer - My Profile and Consent Form is completed by the parent/family/carer and the child to give practitioners and more in depth knowledge of the childs likes and dislikes before going further forward in their support. The Local Offer is a website to enable families to access information for support or help - locally in their community, that suits their individual needs. This could be through the Local County Council, Schools, Colleges, Early Years Settings, Social Care, Health Services, Travel/Transport Services and different Groups, Organisations or Charities set up for specific needs. Most families will find all the help they need at this stage and will not progress further.

  2. My Plan -Using the information from My Profile an action plan will be put together by parents/families/carer and practitioner called a My Plan with agreed actions and outcomes for the child and in partnership, implemented because families are the first educator to the child. The My Plan will be regularly reviewed and updated with new actions or even completed and signed off. If further help is required you will move onto stage 3 after completing a My Assessment form.

  3. My Plan+ - The + is for multiple needs and a group of people called a TAC team - Team Around the Child or a TAF team - Team around the Family. The team will come up with a plan to suit and support the child’s needs. A Local Authority SEN Advisor will be present also to offer any further advice and support. The My Plan+ will be reviewed regularly and changes made if necessary, for new actions and outcomes. Once reviewed further support is required the next action will be step 4.

  4. Request an EHC Plan - An EHC Plan is an Educational Healthcare Plan. This can be requested by the child’s Parents or Practitioner and will be referred to a Multi-Agency Referral Team who will then look carefully at each request as per SEND Code of practice 2015 para; 9.14; and the support that is already in place,offer any further options available. If an EHC Plan is not granted then the Team Around the Child will be sign posted to alternative support for the child. If an EHC Plan is agreed, then stage 5 of the pathway is automatically iniatiated.

  5. My Story- Before a EHC Plan is agreed a My story will need to be completed and in place regarding the child’s current situation and support, mainly highlighting what is in place so far, what is working and what needs improvement. Practitioners will also be asked for further information on the child ready for the EHC plan.

  6. EHC Plan - Once an EHC Plan has been agreed, a meeting will be held to discuss and put in place future support and goals for the child. A discussion on how the budget will be managed for the child because financial support will be given at this point to help improve the child’s learning and enabling environment.

  7. My Review - Outcomes will be reviewed at least annually and reviews must focus on the progress of the child and towards achieving set outcomes specified on EHC plan. Parent/carer and professionals should be invited to attend the review and s copy of the review should be sent to parents 10days after the review meeting.


Our SENDCO designated member of staff is Jane Knight


Special Educational Needs code of Practice 

At Hempsted Playgroup we work within the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 0-25 (2015). We follow the graduated pathway but the majority of children will have their needs met at stage one.

We aim to:

  • Identify a child with special educational needs as early as possible.

  • use observation and assessment to assist in the identification of special needs. 

  • Develop skills in identifying children requiring additional support and establish suitable programmes and plans to provide this support and learning opportunities

  • Adopt positive and consistent strategies to help children with behavioural difficulties and/or emotional problems

  • Follow the correct pathway of support and referral that will enable all children to receive the help they need quickly and effectively

  • Inform Parents of the needs and progress of their child and to work in partnership with them.

  • Take into account the wishes of the child relevant to their age and development.


Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinator (SENDCO) and the role of other staff 


  • It is the responsibility of all staff to report to the SENDCO if a special need is identified or suspected.

  • ​The child’s key worker will use observation and assessment to assist in the identification of special needs

  •  The day to day operation of the SEN policy.

  •  Liaising, advising and working closely with all members of staff.

  •  Co-ordinating provision for the children with SEND.

  •  Maintaining a SEND register and overseeing records on children with SEND,     

  •  ensuring they are collected, recorded and updated.

  •  Liaising with parents of children with SEND

  •  Informing staff of changes, developments and new issues within SEND, giving       

  •  advice and support.

  •  Liaising with external agencies. 


​The child’s key worker, SENDCO and parent’s will then work together to plan appropriate strategies following a graduated approach, and in accordance with the advice in Gloucestershire’s guidance booklet for professionals working with children and young people 0-25 with additional needs including SEND. Children’s plans and my plan plus will be taken into account in the planning of activities to ensure inclusion for all.   


All the staff at Hempsted Playgroup will have the opportunity to advance and update their knowledge, attending relevant training where necessary.  All staff are responsible for the learning and development of all children at the playgroup, including those with special needs.


 Records will be kept when required on: -


  • Initial observations and discussions.

  • My Plan, My plan+ or Education, health and care plans.

  • Further observations, monitoring and reviews by all members of staff.

  • Parents will have access to these records at all times.

  • Confidentiality will be maintained at all times. 

  • Records will be kept up to date by the Child’s key worker and Playgroup SENDCO and made available to a child’s parents with regular reviews being held regularly with all concerns, especially the parents.  

  • Parents in Partnership

 The Playgroup will respect the views of the parents valuing their knowledge and   

 experience of their children and the contribution they make. We recognise the  

 importance of keeping parents informed at all times on any matter affecting their   

 children and any areas of concern. We encourage parents to talk to us about any  

 matters concerning their children. The staff and SENDCO will endeavour to work  

 with parents to meet the individual needs of their children, to involve them and keep

 them informed on the progress of their child. 

 Parents of children with SEND will be informed on: -


  • Hempsted Playgroup’s SEND policy.

  • Support available for their child within the setting and by the LEA.

  • Assessment and decision- making with a strong emphasis upon their contribution and involvement.

  • Records on their children. 


If any parent is dissatisfied with the Playgroups work on behalf of their child, they will be referred to the SENDCO for the situation to be reviewed and if necessary, altered to better suit the child’s needs.  If concerns of the parents remain unresolved, they should be directed towards the playgroup’s complaints procedures 


Inclusion of children with SEND


Hempsted Playgroup undertakes to ensure that each individual child has access to the full breadth of the Early Years foundation stage by the use of strategies such as flexible grouping of the children, adapting timetables where necessary and sharing resources and expertise where beneficial. Staff will support all children through the differentiation of both planned and unplanned activities.  Staff members will be flexible about organising and managing groups to increase the support available to children with special needs. 




Hempsted Playgroup recognises the need to provide the maximum amount of assistance for children with special needs and aim to provide specific aids to learning when appropriate and within the budgetary limitations of the group.  Sources of outside funding will be explored as appropriate.  The room organisation and layout will be reviewed to ensure access to resources is appropriate for all of the child’s needs.  Extra 1:1 support will be provided if necessary.   


 Liaison with Outside Agencies


Hempsted Playgroup works with several outside agencies, obtaining advice and support.  Any discussion with outside agencies will take place with parental permission, and in accordance with the Playgroups confidentiality policy.  Any referral or involvement of outside agencies will only take place with parental permission unless the withholding of permission constitutes a child protection concern.  

Gifted and Talented


​If it is identified that a child has exceptional abilities in a certain area of their development then advice will be taken from the educational lead at Gloucestershire county council, in partnership with the child’s parents.  Hempsted playgroup will ensure appropriate steps are taken to extend the child's learning, to maximise their potential and develop their talents and abilities to the full.  We will aim to provide opportunities that make learning enjoyable and enable children to develop their personalities, skills and abilities both intellectually and socially. 

Monitoring and reviewing

So that our policies and procedures remain effective, we monitor and review them annually to ensure our strategies meets the overall aims to promote equality, inclusion and to value diversity.

We provide a complaints procedure and a complaints summary record for parents to see.

Its is a Learning and Development Requirement and a Safeguarding and Welfare Requirement that applies to all Early Years Providers and has a Legal Basis in section 39(1) of the Childcare Act 2006.

Law, Regulations and Statutory Guidance relating to young disabled children, young children with SEND and young children with Medical Conditions.

  • The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

  • The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage(2017)

  • The Equality Act 2010

  • The Children and Families Act 2014 (Part 3)

  • Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0-25 years (2015)

  • Childcare Act 2006







Reviewed September 2021