The Early Years Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Advisory Team

The Early Years (SEND) Advisory Team provide support and help for children with additional needs.

The team consists of

  • Early Years Advisory Teachers and
  • Early Years Specialist Practitioners

We are part of Central Bedfordshire’s 0-12s Family Service.  

The Area and Community pathway, Our universal offer and SEND support within Early Years settings.
  • Area SENCO support to settings across the county, including a SENCO meeting at the start of the Autumn term to discuss individual children and wider setting support
  • Generic training to support Early Identification of need and strategies which improve whole setting practice
  • Individual caseload support for children at Stage 2 SEND Support in Pre school and nursery settings
  • Joint working with Children’s Centres and health at a community level
  • SEND coffee mornings
The Enhanced and Targeted pathway, Targeted intervention and Specialised support for children in Early Years settings and/or in the home
  • Bespoke training to support settings to meet the needs of individual children
  • Individual targeted support for children with complex needs in pre school, nursery and Reception
  • Specialist advice and bespoke blocks of support for individual children including modelling of strategies and direct work within the Educational setting or the home
  • Supporting the Request for Needs Assessment process and contributory reports
  • Joint working with the SEND team, attending Early Intervention Panels with the SEND team and Educational Psychology service
  • Attending MDT meetings
Who can refer to the Early Years SEND Advisory Team?

We accept referrals from any Professional who supports a child, referrals are accepted via our Single Point of Access referral online. All referrals to the team must be discussed and agreed with parents/carers prior to being made.

When should a child be referred to the Team?

Where an Early Years professional has identified that a child has a Special Educational Need which will require Special Provision to be put into place for them to access their education, a SEND support plan should be co produced with parents/carers and those adults supporting the child. If slow or very little progress is made or specialist advice is needed, a referral can be made to the team. Clear evidence of the support already in place, should be recorded through the SEND support plan and sent in with the referral.

Where a health professional has identified that child has a condition or disability which impact their ability to access education, they may make a referral to the team. Detailed evidence of how a child would struggle to make progress must be provided with the referral.   

What happens once a referral is made?

All referrals are considered by the Senior Leadership team during a referral meeting which is held each fortnight. The referrer is sent an email to confirm the decision and the next step is actioned. If the referral is accepted, an initial assessment is arranged, if the referral is not accepted, further advice will be given and possibly signposting to wider services where appropriate.

How long will support continue?

Each child is unique and will require a unique level of support, following an initial assessment, next steps of support will be discussed with the educational setting and the family. Support may look very different for different children and different settings, this will always be a “Needs-led” approach rather than a “Process-led” approach. Once children leave Reception year, or take up a place at a Specialist Setting, they are no longer eligible for support from the Early Years SEND Advisory Team.