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Special educational needs (SEN) advisors - Early Years

Who does the service support?

There are three SEN advisors (Early Years) that support early identification and intervention for children:

  • aged 0 to 5
  • with SEN who attend private, voluntary and independent nursery settings

We work in partnership with parents, settings and other professionals from teams such as Health and Social Care.

The SEN advisor’s aim is to empower all those working in Early Years settings to:

  • develop inclusive early learning environments
  • help settings support children by removing barriers to learning wherever these exist

What can you expect from the service?

The Early Years SEN advisors have a wide and varied role some of which has been captured below:

  • advise and support to settings through observations/SEN assessments/target setting
  • consult with inclusion coordinators and parents to understand the child’s needs and to understand the aspirations and priorities families have
  • give written and verbal advice
  • advise on practical strategies and resources to help children with SEN access learning
  • support to access additional funding for individual children, to include education and health care plans (EHCP)
  • attendance at multi-disciplinary assessments for child development (Edwin Lobo Unit)
  • support to settings to implement advice from other professionals
  • support for transition to new settings/school for individual children
  • training for receiving schools
  • ongoing training to staff in settings on a range of SEN issues and new initiatives
  • portage training and ongoing supervision to implement the Portage programme

How do you get involvement from the service?

We work with all children who have SEN and aged 0 to 5 years.

Referrals must be in consultation with parents to include written permission.

We accept referrals from a range of professionals:

  • by use of our referral form
  • in the case of PVI settings, during consultation with the SEN advisor at visits
  • by way of the parent notification form

All referrals are discussed as a team to determine if appropriate.

Advice, information and signposting to other agencies is provide if the referral is not accepted.

What happens after the service has been involved?

  • Contact advice sheets (written advice) after visits are sent to settings and parent meetings
  • ongoing advice and continued support on educational programmes for individual children
  • support to settings for ongoing observation and assessment
  • regular meetings with parents
  • support to apply for additional funding from the Early Years Panel (if applicable)
  • advice on EHCPs
  • support for transition to school for settings and parents
  • regular ongoing training for setting staff
  • signposting to other relevant agencies if needed

Support for children and families does not stop once the child transfers into school.

Other parts of the SENS may take over the support dependent upon your child’s SEN, such as:

  • autism
  • speech, language and communication needs
  • specific learning difficulties

Who to contact

Contact Name
SENS contact details

Further information on SEN advisors early years

Where to go

The Leagrave Centre
Strangers Way

Last updated 28/06/2021