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RIASS Redbridge
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Early Years and SEND

All children learn and develop at different rates, they have different areas of strength and weakness and different interests at any one time.

A child may have a Special Education Need and/or disability (SEND) if, despite appropriate activities and differentiated planning and support, they continue to experience a greater difficulty than their peers in learning and developing skills.

Although some disabilities and SEN are identified from birth, many are only identified when early education starts. Support with education starts from when these needs are identified.

The benefits of early identification are widely recognised. Identifying additional needs at the earliest point and then making effective provision improves long-term outcomes for children.

Areas of SEND

Children may have needs in one or more of the following categories

  • Communication and interaction
  • Cognition and learning
  • Social, emotional and mental health
  • Sensory and/or physical needs

A child may have needs which can span two or more categories, for example a child with hearing loss may also have trouble interacting with their peers and may have some challenging behaviour.

The Law

Early years providers are required to have regard to the SEN and Disability Code of Practice 2014 and must ensure that they know precisely where children with SEND are in relation to their learning and development.

The Equality Act sets out the legal obligations of Early Years providers and schools for disabled children, this states:

  • They must not directly discriminate
  • They must make reasonable adjustments to ensure the disabled children are not disadvantaged in comparison to their peers

Many children with SEN may have a disability. This is defined under the Equality act 2010 as “a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial and adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to day activities”.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) is the statutory framework for children aged 0-5 years and sets out the arrangements that must be in place to support children with SEN and/or disabilities.

All schools and Ofsted-registered Early Years providers must follow the EYFS, including childminders, preschool, nurseries and school reception classes.

Early Years in Redbridge

RIASS can provide impartial information and support to enable you to make decisions and understand your legal rights around SEN and/or disabilities. We can also provide local and national information on services to access. As well as RIASS there are some other key services within Redbridge that can support you in Early Years.

SEND Early Years Panel (SEYP)

A referral can be made to the SEYP by health professionals, early years settings, social care, family support workers and parents/carers. The SEYP consists of representatives from the Redbridge Children’s Services team and health professionals.

The panel aims to provide a clear and co-ordinated system of referral for specialist assessment, advice and support for children in early years who may have special educational needs or a disability.

The panel can agree to

  • Refer your child to a specialist support service. E.g. Psychology service, Pre-school Home Visiting Service (PSHVs), Early Years Advisory Service (EYAS)
  • Support needs within early years settings your child may be attending
  • Requests for an early years special education provision/setting within Redbridge
  • Request the Education, Health and Care (EHC) Assessment for children within the Early Years Foundation Stage (up to the end of Reception year)

RIASS can support you to

  • Make a parent/carers request to panel
  • Discuss with you the panel outcome and the reasons on their decisions.
  • Help you challenge decisions
  • Provide information on your legal rights

Redbridge Pre-School Home Visiting Service (PSHVS)

The PSHVS is primarily a home-based education service for pre-school children who have special needs. They can offer structured but flexible play based activities and can provide a link between parent and carers and other professionals.

PSHVS can also provide information and support when thinking about nursery, playgroups and schools for your child.

Early Years Advisory Service (EYAS) in Redbridge

EYAS advises and supports those working with children, within the Early Years Foundation Stage, who have special educational needs and/or disabilities

The service can offer support in the following ways

  • Specialist assessments of children’s educational needs
  • Advice to settings on SEN provision for young children with additional needs
  • Support to settings on assessing, planning, implementing strategies and reviewing children's progress
  • Training related to early years and SEND
  • Contribution to Statutory Education Health and Care (EHC)

Children are referred to this service through a referral to the SEND Early Years Panel (SEYP)

You can contact the any of the above Early Year services on 020 8708 4525/3369