Early Identification, assessment, progress and SEND pathway

All Early Years settings must identify, assess and support in the progress of children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).  They should take action to remove barriers to learning and put effective special educational provision in place.

Early Identification

The Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework emphasise the importance of the responsiveness of early years settings to any cause for concern and the setting’s approach to identifying and responding to special educational needs.

The SEND Code of Practice states that providers must have arrangements to support children with SEN or disabilities. These arrangements should include a clear approach to identifying and responding to SEN. The benefits of early identification are widely recognised - identifying need at the earliest point, and then making effective provision, improves long term outcomes for children.

The SEN and disability code of practice is clear that the setting’s approach to assessing SEN should be firmly based in the setting’s overall approach to monitoring the progress and development of all children.

The Graduated Approach 

If through assessing and tracking a child, an additional need is identified a discussion with the practitioner, usually the key person, and the parents, with the support of the setting SENCO, the Area SENCO, or other professional is necessary to establish the support the child needs from all of those involved. This is the beginning of the graduated approach.

The four stages of actions are:
ASSESS Settings look at the progress of all children through progress meetings and identify the additional needs. Any children identified as needing external agencies should havea Early Help Assessment (EHA) completed with the family.
PLAN Match interventions to meet the needs of child groups to develop a whole setting provision map. Match staff skills to intervention groups.
DO Develop a support plan which will include a One page Profile and Provision Map for your Wave 2 and Wave 3 interventions.
REVIEW Review 3 times per year with the child and the parents and if possible the professionals involved.

Settings need to follow the graduated approach and use the available resources in the Local Offer that are both universal and targeted across education, health and social care needs. This allows a holistic support plan to be implemented to best meet the needs of the child/young person. More details for the graduated approach can be found in the SEND Code of Practice. 

In Waltham Forest there are a range of services that can be accessed by childcare providers to aid them in giving high quality support to SEND children in the borough. More information about services available in Waltham Forest can be found on Information, Advice and Training page.

Early Years SEND Support Plan 

Once a setting has assessed a child and identified additional needs, part of the planning process is for the settings SENCO to write an Early Years SEND Support plan for the individual.

The Early Years SEND Support plan will

  • set out the outcomes and interventions required to support the child.
  • be supported from health and educational professionals assessments such as Educational Psychologists and Speech and Language Therapists.
  • have the outcomes  be reviewed termly with parents and any other professionals involved
  • include a provision map  which clearly outlines the outcomes, intervention, ratio, duration and costs.

Settings who apply for additional funding from the SENIF panel will need to submit the SEND Support plan and provision map as part of the application. The funded awarded will be based on the inventions and costings evident in these plans.More information about funding  available in Waltham Forest can be found on - SEND funding - Early Years. 

Early Years SEND support plans and provision maps

EY SEND Provision Mapping Guide


EY SEND Support Plan


EY SEND Support plan guidance


EY SEND Support plan example


Waltham Forest SEND Outcomes Guidance


Referrals to Health Professionals

Settings can make referrals to Wood Street Health Centre by completing a Specialist Children’s Health Service Referral form. To specifically make a referral to the Social and Communication Clinic (SACC) will require a completed SACC questionnaire to be returned along with the Specialist Children's Health Service Referral form.Before making a referral, discuss this with the settings allocated Area SENCO.

Education Health and Care (EHC) Pathway

The purpose of an EHC plan is to make special educational provision to meet the special educational needs of the child or young person, to secure the best possible outcomes for them across education, health and social care and, as they get older, prepare them for adulthood. Waltham Forest has developed a 6 step personalised pathway which can be accessed by the child and their family. It follows a person centred approach so that the child/young person is at the centre of the process and their views and wishes are considered throughout.

More information about EHCP Pathway in Waltham Forest can be found on The Hub’s SEND and Disabilities Page.

EHCP pathway

EHC Assessment


EHCP Guidance for Early Years Settings


Personalised Education, Health Care Planning Pathway



Intervention Cost Calculator

Last update: Thursday 22nd of August 2019 03:29:14 PM