Early Years SEN and disability - 3. Identifying priorities

3. Identifying priorities

This part is the main focus of the workshop and is intended to support local areas in setting priorities for SEN and disability in the early years. It starts with a simple review tool which is intended to be used as a focus for small group discussion. You can find this review tool at the bottom of this page.

The review tool is designed to support:

  • Reflection on and discussion of local policy and practice: what’s working well and not so well, locally;
  • the discussion of evidence: how you know it’s working well or not so well;
  • the identification of local early years priorities.

Most of the debate in the discussion groups is likely to focus on the evidence, as different colleagues bring different perspectives to the discussion.

Depending how much time is available, it may be important to encourage groups to consider which areas of the review may be most important for them to discuss, rather than starting at section 1 and working through. A selective approach will target time more efficiently. If the convenor of the workshop considers that all sections of the review need to be discussed, it may be necessary to allow additional time for this part of the workshop.

If the workshop involves a number of local areas working together, representatives at the workshop are likely to want to take the review back with them to share views with colleagues and incorporate their perspectives. If it is one local area with representatives from different agencies and services, it may be helpful to share out sections of the review but these will need to be brought back together at the end of the workshop.    

Note: local areas may already use a review tool, developed, for example, to be used in preparation for Ofsted/CQC local area SEND inspections. The accompanying review tool is not intended to replace any existing tool. It is designed to supplement other tools and provide a focus on early years issues.

It is also important to recognise that this is not intended to provide a comprehensive local audit. Rather it focuses on issues that have been identified by local authorities and their partner agencies as being current ‘tricky’ issues in access and inclusion in the early years.