Shining the Spotlight - National Portage Association

We are really proud of our members and will jump at every chance to shout about them and their achievements! This is a dedicated place to showcase members and to shine the spotlight on their projects.

This time, we're looking at the National Portage Association.

The National Portage Association's logo - two adults and a child in blue, and in teal the words 'National Portage Association - Partners with Parents and Children.

How it works

NPA Mission Statement: "Improving the learning of young children with disabilities, and the skills of their parents, through providing quality training and support for Portage home visitors and the early years workforce."

The NPA is a national charity supporting over 100 Portage services, families and professionals involved in Portage.

Traditionally, Portage is a home visiting educational service for preschool children with SEND and their families. Portage workers will visit families at home and work together with parents to support their children. This partnership with parents is the keystone of the Portage Model and underpins all Portage practice.

Portage is a model of support for children and families which can be adapted and used effectively in early years settings, as well as in the home.

The NPA and Portage services also offer support to a range of early years settings, delivering Portage Workshop training to share the ‘Small Steps Approach to Learning for Children with SEND.’

Portage aims to:

  • work with families to help them develop a quality of life and experience, for themselves and their young children, in which they can learn together, play together, participate and be included in their community in their own right.
  • play a part in minimising the disabling barriers that confront young children and their families.
  • support the national and local development of inclusive services for children.
What has been achieved?
  • Supported areas across the country to set up new Portage services to enable us to reach more children with SEND and their families.
  • Developed an NPA Stamp of Approval scheme for settings; an award given to early year’s settings who have demonstrated they deliver inclusive early years education based upon Portage Principles. Currently, 31 settings across the country have successfully achieved the award, with more working towards completion.
  • Supported an increased number of Portage practitioners to achieve NPA Accredited Trainer status, enabling Portage Workshops to be delivered in more areas across the UK; spreading Portage practice and Portage principles to children and families and an increased number of early years practitioners.
Next steps
  • Whilst the NPA have been able to look at supporting the development of new Portage services, it remains a concern that many services are facing cuts or closure. The NPA will continue to work with services that are struggling and look at different models of delivery in areas where funding is becoming an issue.  The NPA aim to continue to raise awareness of Portage and the value placed on services by parents.
  • Plans to further develop the NPA website and Portage Support Hub to meet the needs of parents, NPA members, Portage professionals and NPA Accredited Trainers.
More information