The Early Years Special Educational Needs (SEN) team support and advise private, voluntary and independent (PVI) sector early education providers on inclusive practice. We also advise providers in relation to individual children with SEN. For some children with specific disabilities including visual or hearing impairment or physical disability support may be given by one of the other teams within .
We work to the principles of Early Support in all we do, coordinating our support with others who may be involved with the child and family such as early education practitioners, health visitors, speech therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and children’s centres.
Our Special Educational Needs pages have information on the full range of support on offer to families of children with SEN and disability in Oxfordshire.
How we support early education providers
We give advice to Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) and other staff in private, PVI early education, childcare settings and nursery classes in school. Supporting high quality inclusive provision for children with additional needs, by offering:
- Advice and strategies to support the inclusion of specific children known to specialist SEN Support services. This includes celebrating achievements, reviewing progress and planning next steps.
- Training for SENCOs and other early education practitioners to support inclusion. Courses are delivered through the Step into Training programme.
- On-going support and advice for early years SENCOs in the PVI sector, including bi-annual SENCO network meetings throughout the county.
- Support and advice to enable a smooth transition to pre-school or school for children with additional needs, including targeted training for schools or early education settings.
- Advice about ways of working with children to develop particular skills and helpful strategies, e.g. the use of visual support, signing, small group work
- Advice to develop inclusive practice in a multi-agency way and always fully in partnership with parents.
- Telephone advice on a 'no-name' confidential basis for any early education providers who have concerns about children who have not yet been referred, or about other issues relating to the inclusion of children with additional needs. Contact your local area office.
How to request help
Requests for involvement of the Early Years SEN team and for other services such as Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy are made through Oxfordshire’s Early Support Single Point of Request for Involvement, by completing the SPORFI form (docx format, 110Kb).If you need help in completing the form, read our SPORFI guide (pdf format, 52Kb).
SENCOs or managers are always welcome to talk through a potential referral with an Early Years SEN member (on a 'no-name' confidential basis) prior to completing the form with the child’s parents.
We respect the need for confidentiality. The exception to this is when there are concerns about child protection. In these cases, having discussed our concerns with the family, we would liaise with the MASH or the Locality and Community Support Service in accordance with Oxfordshire’s Safeguarding Children procedures.
Resources and additional information
Resources to support inclusive practice can be found on our supporting children under 5 page.