Developing a holistic approach to SEN support in the early years in Herefordshire

A case study outlining Herefordshire's approach to developing a holistic approach to SEN support in the early years.

  • Theme: Targeted support
  • Strength: Promising
  • Breadth of Impact: Promising

Herefordshire was seeing increasing numbers of, as well as the need for a more holistic approach to identification, support and transition for, early years children with SEND. Working co-productively with practitioners, parents / carers, and partners, the Early Years Inclusion Service in Herefordshire co-designed and rolled out a new multi-faceted, whole-system approach to SEN and inclusion support in the early years. Accurate and timely identification of – and consequently oversight of support for – children with SEND in the early years has increased, while the support that has been put in place to boost skills and capacity in settings has meant more children are having their needs met without the need for an EHCP, and increasing numbers of children with SEN (both with and without EHCPs) are making a successful transition when they start school. Feedback from professionals about the training and development they have accessed is very positive, while there is evidence from parents / carers that they are seeing the benefits of the new early years offer. Crucial to this work has been improving the accuracy of data and oversight of early years children with SEN, pro-actively building the skills and capacity of the early years workforce, and ensuring ‘every door is the right door’ when families or professionals are seeking support.

The SEND Effective Practice Evidence Framework considers that the “strength of evidence” of this case study is promising – the work has been evaluated and shared internally, and has been sustained for more than 12 months. The “breadth of impact” of this case study is promising – there is evidence of impact in three of the four broad areas of impact considered by the Framework.