Meeting the legal requirements of the SENDCOP (2015)

All Early Years settings that are funded by the LA are required to have due regard to the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2014, Equality Act, EYFS 2012 (Special Provision under Section 21 of the Children and Families Act 2014).

SENDCOP Re-iterates:

  • All early years providers must follow the safeguarding and welfare requirements of the EYFS and the learning and development requirements, unless an exemption from these has been granted. 
  • Where a setting makes special educational provision for a child with SEN they should inform the parents and a maintained nursery school must inform the parents. All settings should adopt a graduated approach with four stages of action: assess, plan, do and review.


The EYFS framework requires other early years providers to have arrangements in place for meeting children's SEN. Those in group provision are expected to identify a SENCO.

The role of the SENCO involves:

  • ensuring all practitioners in the setting understand their responsibilities to children with SEN and the setting's approach to identifying and meeting SEN
  • advising and supporting colleagues
  • ensuring parents are closely involved throughout and that their insights inform action taken by the setting, and
  • liaising with professionals or agencies beyond the setting

Local authorities must ensure that all providers delivering funded early education places meet the needs of children with SEN and disabled children. In order to do this local authorities should make sure funding arrangements for early education reflect the need to provide suitable support for these children.

Early years providers should consider how best to use their resources to support the progress of children with SEND,  Disability Access Funding (DAF) could help with this. See funding page.


Early Years SENDCOP Guide

SENDCOP  2015 Section 5 Early Years Providers

SENDCOP 2015 Full Version