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I'm back again with another question, sorry!


Our deputy has recently been appointed as SENCo, she's great and very keen. I'm wondering what the differences are between identifying, assessing and dealing with SEN in early years, as opposed to what I'd expect to do in a school. If a child was exhibiting low level behaviour issues, say, would we talk with parents and do an IEP, or just note our observations in his profile? And what if something more serious crops up, do we bring in ed psych and that sort of thing, or is that all a bit full on for a part time pre school setting.


Thanks in advance for your advice.


Oh, one more thing, I'm going to check if she's had a pay rise at all for this, it's a big role to take on, would it be usual for that to happen in EY settings? Obviously as a charity we're not brimming with cash but I want to make happy staff a priority as they're our no.1 resource.

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we would do the observations, and record for a while before involving the parents, and if we feel needed more help would involve the area senco for advice and where to proceed.... ( or is in no Inclusion), have had things go onto to paeds and ed Psyc.


in our case if it was a speech issue we could assess, involve parents and refer to speech therapy ourselves,


We did not recieve extra payment for the role, unless we had a lot of paperwork for a particular child then we would be paid some admin payment.. and we were paid for attending the training.



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AS far as official qualifications go Marion I am unware that there are any required!

As with other areas it seems that PVI settings need to have a 'designated person' and in our preschool the SENCO is me! I did undertake fairly detailed training and have to update by attending two courses a year.

I do have a fantastic area SENCO and am lucky to have a great working relationship with her.


Your query got me thinking and I did a quick google and found this:



What the 2001 SEN Code of Practice says about the role of the Early Years SENCO



Chapter 4: Identification, Assessment and Provision in Early Years Settings



The role of the SENCO



4:15 Early Education settings, except specialist SEN provision, will need to identify a member of staff to act as the special educational needs coordinator (SENCO). In the case of accredited childminders who are part of an approved network, the SENCO role may be shared between individual childminders and the coordinator of the network. The SENCO should have responsibility for:



ensuring liaison with parents and other professionals in respect of children with Special educational needs

advising and supporting other practitioners in the setting

ensuring that appropriate Individual Education Plans are in place

ensuring that relevant background information are in place

ensuring that relevant background information about individual children with special educational needs is collected, recorded and updated


4.16 The SENCO should take the lead in further assessment of the child’s particular strengths and weaknesses; in planning future support for the child in discussion with colleagues; and in monitoring and subsequently reviewing the action taken. The SENCO should also ensure that appropriate records are kept including a record of children at Early Years Action and Early Years Action Plus and those with statements. The practitioner usually responsible for the child should remain responsible for working with the child on a daily basis and for planning and delivering an individualised programme. Parents should always be consulted and kept informed of the action taken to help the child, and the outcome of this action

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Not sure about new regulations bit I have been a setting based SENCO for 5 years. Plenty of training, a fantastic SENCO support and anyone of the area team on the end of a phone.


Back to the original query, I would have not done an IEP initially. We were trained to begin with a playplan, these work really well with any type of 'problem' you are trying to resolve. It also sounds a little more friendly and parents seem to accept it because any child can have one.

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Well that'd bugger things up for most in the PVI sector. Did they mean the area SENCO?

I'm fairly sure that they mean school SENCOs, Rea, and I don't think it is applicable to us in the PVI sector! We'll have trouble having enough EYPs on board by the deadline, and if SENCOs had to be qualified teachers we'd all be sunk without trace!


Our SENCOs have their own training programme designed and delivered by our Local Authority (although ours is now called an Inclusion Co-ordinator). My own inclusion co-ordinator is not paid extra to carry out the role as such, but is obviously paid to attend meetings, trainings etc and if she was doing a lot of work in her own time on a particular case, then I'd most probably pay for that too.



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It's definitely for schools Marion, no way could it be a requirement for PVIs


To get back to sue (hi by the way), lts a good idea to check on the procedures in your LA as they differ from place to place. In many cases certainly n my LA, the 'specialists' are so stretched that they wont consider coming in until you have some evidence of need, through your observations, behaviour charts etc. Obviously if you need support with this, then your EYAT or area SENCO may be able to help there.


Also can you see what training is on for SENCOs in your LA.

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In our setting we have a nominated senco, lots of training on offer(i think should/ must be undertaken)


excellent support from our area senco


we do iep on children we have concerns about - they do not have to be done at this stage - we feel that they are easier to read when we set small targets for the child and it saves me creating yet another form to use!!


lots of obs


all this evidence is needed if a referral is required to the specialist teaching service


parents are informed and asked every step


the senco would also refer to speech and language therapist if needed



we have also had HV as well


we cant afford any extra pay for this - sad state of pay in early years


you do have to have a nominated senco for your pvi settings

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