nasen launches new report on identifying SEN in the early years

News - 6 July 2020

nasen, a charitable membership organisation that exists to support and champion those working with, and for, children and young people with SEND and learning differences, has launched a new report, Identifying special educational needs in the early years: Perspectives from special educational needs coordinators.

The research, which was carried out by Dr Helen Curran, explored the process of identifying SEN in early years settings, from the perspective of the SENCO including their working relationship with children, parents, staff and other relevant individuals.

The research findings highlighted that whilst over 70% of SENCOs were either extremely confident or very confident in identifying SEN, there was concern that less experienced members of staff were receiving no specific SEN training.

One in 10 SENCOs reported that they were allocated no time to their role and almost a quarter (22%) were only given time on an adhoc basis. Almost three in ten SENCOs in state maintained settings admitted to finding it difficult to meet the government's SEND Code of Practice requirements, stating time and funding as contributing factors.

In addition, some SENCOs raised concerns that children presenting with ‘low levels’ or ‘less complex’ SEN could be being ‘missed’ due to a tendency to focus on those with more complex needs.

nasen’s report outlines 13 recommendations including developing guidance to help determine the time allocated to the early years SENCO role in different settings and a job description, specific for the early years SENCO role.

The report will be debated further with Dr Helen Curran as part of nasen’s new Early Years SENCO themed Twitter chats, starting tomorrow (July 7th), from 7pm until 8pm.

Supported by DfE funding, a series of ten Twitter chats will take place over consecutive weeks offering early years and education professionals the opportunity to participate in a variety of pertinent topics.

Download the full report.

Find out more about the upcoming Early Years SENCO themed Twitter chat topics.

To make sure you don't miss out on tomorrow’s discussion, simply make note of the following nasen hashtags: #nasenChatLIVE and #EYSENCOCHAT and remember to sign in to Twitter from 7pm on July 7th.