Guidance and procedures to support providers | Oxfordshire County Council

Guidance and procedures to support providers

How to identify and support young children with SEN, record and review their progress.

What to do when you think a child may have additional needs

EY SEN guidance (pdf format, 247Kb) gives an overview of what you should already have in place and what to do next.

Use the SEN support in foundation years settings (docx format, 199Kb) document to look in detail at the child’s needs and plan how to meet them. It sets out a clear approach to identifying and supporting needs and how parents should be involved. Use the EYSEN toolkit for more ideas for activities, strategies and resources.

Information and templates to help with planning and reviewing SEN support

Use these templates to help you to gather and record information and work with parents to plan outcomes and review progress:

It’s important to include the views and wishes of the child. This information sheet and recording template will help:

Some families may use other plans and records depending on their needs and the complexity of support they require. These include:

Requesting help from outside the setting

Getting help from the EYSEN team and other support services

There is more information about how the Early Years SEN team and other support services work with settings. You can ask for help using Oxfordshire’s Single Point of Request for Involvement (SPORFI):

If there are concerns about a child’s vision or hearing the first port of call is usually the child’s GP (or optician for a visual difficulty). He or she will decide whether further specialist advice is needed.

Applying for inclusion and additional funding 

Applications for inclusion support funding can be made as described in the Early Years SEN guidance (pdf format, 247Kb). You can then complete an Application for Inclusion Funding form (doc format, 65Kb)Use the guidance (pdf format, 112Kb) to help.

When reviews show that the level of a child’s needs continues to be greater than inclusion funding can support, then a Request for Additional Funding (docx format, 81Kb) can be made. Please read the guidance before completing the application - EY RAF guidance notes (pdf format, 407Kb) to help. This funding cannot be backdated.

The additional funding is also available for children who are in their setting on the 2 year entitlement.

If agreed this additional funding will be time limited. In some situations it may be necessary to request a continuation of this extra support. This is done by completing an application for additional funding renewal form (docx format, 74Kb). It is the responsibility of the setting to be aware of when funding ceases and put in place processes in a timely way to ensure this continues if appropriate.

If the request involves any application for an increase in the agreed level of funding a new application for additional funding will need to be submitted.

Education Health and Care (EHC) Plans

Most children and young people have their needs met in a mainstream setting through SEN support. A very small number of children will need the local authority to set out the support that they should receive to achieve the best outcomes.  This is usually where their needs are complex and severe and require the co-ordinated support of a range of services. The EHC plan is the written record of the support agreed, along with details of the child’s needs and the outcomes that he/she is working towards. If you think that a child in your setting may need an EHC needs assessment it’s a good idea to talk to the Early Years SEN team or the specialist advisory teacher supporting the child.

Lots of information about EHC plans can be found in chapter nine of the SEND Code of Practice (2015) and the Local Offer.

Requesting an EHC needs assessment

A request for assessment is usually made by the setting that the child attends, often with the support of a professional. It can also be made by a parent in which case the setting will be asked to provide the information needed for the assessment.

It’s important to make sure that you include all of the information needed so do ask for help if you’re not sure.

All about me

As part of the EHC needs assessment it is crucial to gain the voice of the child and family, their wishes and aspirations. This can be helped by asking the child’s parent to complete an ‘All about me’ on behalf of the child and the family. It can be helpful to think about how the child is at home and in the setting. Some parents may find this difficult and someone who knows the child well in the setting, such as their key person could offer to help the family with this. You can find out more about ‘All about me’ on the Local Offer website where there is a useful question template that can be used to gather information.

Planning for the best possible outcomes

Once a decision has been taken by the local authority over whether to proceed with an EHC needs assessment an Education Health Care plan meeting will be held to plan the outcomes that the child will work towards over the next stage of learning and development. This meeting will involve the family and all those who work closely with the child and may be held at the setting. It is important that setting staff contribute at the meeting. There is guidance (pdf format, 199Kb) about planning for outcomes and a checklist (doc format, 219Kb) that can be used to test out how good the outcomes are.

Reviewing an EHC plan

In line with the recommendations of the EYFS for all children those children with SEN should receive ongoing, formative assessment as an integral part of the learning and development process.  Settings will put in place a structured review plan to capture the ongoing and changing needs of the child and allow for these in continued planning. There will be regular meetings with parents. One of these review meetings will be the Annual Review meeting.

The Annual Review of an Education Health and Care plan looks at the outcomes that were decided previously and the provision set out in the plan.  The child and family are at the centre of this process. Everyone at the meeting will talk about the progress made and agree new targets for the coming year.  Any changes to the plan are discussed, including whether an EHC plan is still needed.

The first Annual Review must be held within 12 months of the date when the EHC plan was issued and after that within 12 months of the previous review. There is guidance and paperwork to help you manage the Annual Review process.

EHC plans written after September 2015 have an expanded Annual review section in Annex A. To review plans written before this date use this stand-alone version of Annex A (or add the additional information to the existing Annex A).

Disability Access Funding (DAF)

Providers offering 3 and 4 year old children early education funding can claim Disability Access Funding (DAF) to support disabled children to access the free entitlement.

3 and 4 year olds will be eligible for the DAF if they meet the following criteria:

  • the child is in receipt of child Disability Living Allowance
  • the child receives free early education


Please note that four-year olds in primary school reception classes are not eligible for DAF funding.

This funding, a non-transferable lump sum payment of £615 per year, is designed to help providers make reasonable adjustments to support the inclusion of a disabled child. It is not awarded to provide ongoing additional support – if this is needed then the LA is expected to provide that through one of the other funding streams mentioned on this page.

For further information and how to claim this funding.

Last reviewed
06 June 2017
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