Seahorse Nursery aims to support children with a special education need or disability. All children are entitled to an education that enables them to achieve the best possible educational, and other outcomes in order to become confident young children with a growing ability to communicate their own views and ready to make the transition into compulsory education.

At Seahorse Nursery, we follow the key principles from the SEND Code of Practice that are outlined and should be adhered to by any professional working with children who have SEN or a disability:

  • taking into account the views of children, young people and their families
  • enabling children, young people and their parents to participate in decision-making
  • collaborating with partners in education, health and social care to provide support
  • identifying the needs of children and young people
  • making high quality provision to meet the needs of children and young people
  • focusing on inclusive practices and removing barriers to learning

Children have a learning difficulty if they have either:

  • a learning difficulty that makes it much harder for them to learn than most other children of the same age or;
  • a disability which hinders or stops them from using the same educational facilities as other children.

Children may have special educational needs, and so need extra help, in one or more of these areas:

  • Communication and how they relate to other people e.g. autistic spectrum disorder, speech and language difficulties;
  • Cognition (thinking) and learning e.g. learning difficulties, developmental delay;
  • Behaviour, emotional and social development;
  • Sensory and/or physical e.g. cerebral palsy, hearing or visual impairment.

Children who are having difficulties only because English is not their first language do not have special educational needs.

Identifying Special Education Needs:

It is important to identify special education needs as early as possible so children can be given the right help. Parents’ views are very important at all times and there will be a full consultation with the parents before any action to help their child is taken. If there is a concern from a practitioner or parent/carer that a child has Special Educational Needs the key person and SENDCO will review the child’s learning journal and undertake additional child observations. The parent/carer will be asked to make home notes in relation to their concerns. This evidence will help establish a holistic picture of the whole child. This is the first step in the graduated response cycle.

Graduated response: is a step–by-step approach for helping children with SEN within the EY provision and consists of four stages of action: assess, plan, do and review.

  • Assess – the key person and SENDCO will analyse a child’s needs (based on the learning journal and any additional observations/assessments/home notes) and consult with the parents to discuss whether a child needs SEN support.
  • Plan – where it is decided to provide SEND support the key person and SENDCO should agree, in consultation with the parent, an Individual Education Plan (IEP). This will map out the outcomes they are seeking, the interventions and support to be put in place (including the help parents can give at home), the expected impact on progress, development or behaviour, and a clear date for review. Plans will take into account the views of the child.
  • Do – the child’s key person and SENDCO will use the Nursery resources to provide additional or different help for a child eg extra adult support, small group work, use of specific resources, a behaviour or language programme.
  • Review – using the Individual Education Plan the effectiveness of the support and its impact on the child’s progress will be reviewed in line with the agreed date. The IEP will be reviewed and revised with the parents, key person and SENDCO.


Involving specialists:

If a child continues to make less than expected progress, despite evidence-based support and interventions that are matched to the child’s area of needs then we will discuss with the child’s parent whether to involve other professionals and services eg speech and language therapist, health visitors, Portage workers, an educational psychologist or specialist teachers.

Requesting an Education, Health and Care needs assessment:

Where, despite the Nursery having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the special education needs of the child, the child has not made expected progress, the setting should consider requesting an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment. Parents also have the right to make the request themselves and can do so directly to the Local Authority.

An EHC is a plan of care for children and young people aged up to 25 who have more complex needs. It is the document which replaces Statements of SEN and Learning Difficulties Assessments for children and young people with special educational needs.

All EHC requests are sent to Wandsworth with supporting evidence from external agencies. An EHC can only be issued after a child has gone through the process of EHC needs assessment. A local authority has 6 weeks to decide whether or not to carry out an EHC assessment and, if they decide to carry out an assessment, you will usually find out within 16 weeks whether or not an EHC plan is going to be made for your child. If the child is given an EHC then it is pertaining to the individual child and moves with them to their next school.

Please note:

Our admissions arrangements remain extant – please refer to Admissions Policy.

Our settling in process remains extant although some extra time may be required for the parent/carer to remain at the Nursery to meet a child’s particular needs e.g. to ensure a special procedure or administration of drugs is witnessed by all practitioners – please refer to transition policy

We aim to have a close partnership with all parents; but in addition to regular contact/feedback with parents, we would meet every half term (or as often as appropriate) with the parents of any child with an IEP.  Please refer to our Partnership with Parents Policy.

The ratio of practitioners to children remains the same and will support the child’s learning through small group work, individual target setting and continued observations and assessment.  The IEP will be regularly reviewed with the SENDCO, the parents and the child to ensure that the measures taken are enabling the child to achieve their personal goals.

Each Nursery has a designated SEND coordinator who attends regular training.

Our Nurseries aim to provide a tactile environment for all children with a sensory environment in the garden to stimulate all the senses. Activities are set at a level to enable access by every child at all stages of their learning journey.  Resources are differentiated so that all children can access activities e.g. different sorts of puzzles, different types of scissors, different sized mark-making equipment etc.  All children work towards the Early Learning Goals.

It might be beneficial to contact:

  • your General Practitioner
  • Wandsworth Information Advice and Support Service: 0208 871 8065
  • Family Information Service: 0208 871 7899
  • Contact a Family: 020 8947 5260

In the event of any complaint please refer to our Complaints Policy.

This Policy is reviewed annually unless there are significant changes to the Nursery or legislation requires additional amendments immediately.