This weekend Bootle’s Salt and Tar will see young people from Sefton selling a little bit of everything at the teenage market.

Salt and Tar’s July Social puts the spotlight on young people


Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs and/or a Disability (SEND)?

A child or young person has Special Educational Needs if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.  

A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:  

  • has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or 
  • has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions

Some Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) may be identified very early in a chil'd life but others may not be diagnosed until they are older. 

Many children will have special educational needs of some kind at some time during their education. Schools and other organisations can help most children overcome the barriers of their difficulties present quickly and easily. But a few children will need extra help in some or all of their time in school.   

Areas of SEN 

Children may have needs in one or more of the following categories: 

  • communication and interaction 
  • cognition and learning 
  • social, emotional and mental health 
  • sensory and/or physical needs 

Children may have needs that cover more than one area, or needs that change over time. Settings should plan to meet the needs of the child based on an understanding of their strengths and any areas of difficulty. Each child should be viewed holistically, so that all their needs can be identified and considered within the context of the setting and appropriate strategies and interventions put in place. 

Sefton Early Years SEND Team

The Early Years SEND Team provide support to Early Years Providers to ensure the very best start for young children aged 0-5 years with SEND. They provide developmental programmes of learning both in the settings and at home. (Portage interventions). They also offer a wide range of free training opportunities. Please visit the Early Years Sefton Portal for more information. 

The SEND Code of Practice

All Early Years Providers must follow the DfE SEND Code of Practice, which can be found here. The SEND Code of Practice is statutory guidance for the following organisations:  

  • Local Authorities (education, social care and relevant housing and employment and other services) • the governing bodies of schools, including non-maintained special schools 
  • The governing bodies of further education colleges and sixth form colleges 
  • The proprietors of academies (including free schools, university technical colleges and studio schools) 
  • The management committees of pupil referral units 
  • Independent schools and independent specialist providers approved under Section 41 of the Children and Families Act 2014 
  • All early years providers in the maintained, private, voluntary and independent sectors that are funded by the local authority 
  • The National Health Service Commissioning Board 
  • Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) 
  • NHS Trusts • NHS Foundation Trusts 
  • Local Health Boards 
  • Youth Offending Teams and relevant youth custodial establishments 
  • The First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability)

Sefton Local Offer

The Local Offer provides clear and accessible information about the provision Sefton Council expects to be available locally for our children and young people from 0 to 25 who have special educational needs and/or disability (SEND). For more information on Sefton’s Local Offer visit Local Offer – Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.  

The Graduated Approach

Children, particularly in their Early Years develop at different rates and can present with a learning profile that is individual. Most children make progress in a setting which has high quality available provision. Some children, however, require support that is ‘additional to’ or ‘different from’ what might be already provided due to Special Educational Need or Disability.   

Children may present with additional needs that can be age/stage related and may change over time. All schools and settings should follow The Graduated Approach , a process of ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ stages of action to support children with SEND. 

Throughout a graduated approach, the practitioner, usually the child’s key person, remains responsible for working with the child on a daily basis and implements agreed interventions. The SENCO supports individual practitioners and leads and co-ordinates the graduated approach across the setting.

Parents should be involved throughout; parents have a wealth of knowledge about their children not only in their home environment but in a variety of other situations and discussions with parents can give practitioners insights into a child’s personality, feelings or interests outside the setting.

 Actions should also be informed by the child’s views; children may express themselves in a number of different ways. Practitioners can help represent children’s views by using visual prompts and photos.  Practitioners can also understand children’s views by observing the choices they make and talking with the child’s parents. The cycle can be revisited with increasing frequency and intensity in order to identify the best way of securing good progress.  

Services for SEND

The Sefton Early Years teams consists of Early Years SEND and Early Years Quality. Within the Early Years SEND team are different services, see below for an overview ofchild holding rubber duck each team and how they support Early Years children with SEND:





Other Services 


Support for Settings/Schools

children sitting in a circle

The Educational Setting: The legal responsibilities for disabled children and children with SEN lie within the responsible body (Equality Act duties 2010) or the appropriate authority (Children and Families Act 2014). Providers must have arrangements to support children with SEN or disabilities. Schools should be following the Graduated Approach and can use the Sefton Graduated Approach Toolkit alongside the SEND Code of Practice and the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.  

The manager or headteacher of a setting/school has the responsibility for day to day management of all aspects of the setting’s work, including working with children with SEND. The manager/headteacher works closely with the SENCo to support with the implementation of SEND policies and practices.  

The SENCo is responsible for supporting colleagues and coordination the approach of the setting to children with SEN and involves advising and supporting colleagues, ensuring parents are closely involved throughout their child’s journey and liaising with professionals and agencies beyond the setting.  

Schools can request support from the Early Years SEND team through EHCPs, High Needs Funding, Inclusion Officer/Inclusion Consultant, and Educational Psychologist teams by making contact with the Early Years SEND team.  

EHCPs and High Needs Funding  

An EHC needs assessment is a statutory assessment for children and young people with complex needs aged 0-25. The assessment helps the local authority decide whether a child requires an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). 

The local authority would expect to carry out an EHC needs assessment for those children: 

  • Whose special educational needs (SEN) are long term, severe and complex.
  • Who have not made progress in spite of the interventions and support put in place over a period of time.
  • Who need SEN provision that cannot  reasonably be provided within the resources normally available to mainstream schools and educational settings, including additional funding and resources (funding and resources can be provided through High Needs Funding without the need for an EHCP.


Last Updated on Thursday, May 30, 2024

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