nasen to host NEW important SEND early years resources

News - 14 May 2018

nasen (the National Association for Special Educational Needs) is delighted to announce the publication of two new resources which are aimed at securing the highest quality practice and provision for children with SEND in the early years sector.

Created by the Department for Education, the new resources will continue to be hosted by nasen and are available on the SEND Gateway, an online portal hosting a bank of resources and best practice examples for SEND professionals.
Under the SEND Code of Practice (2015), all Early Years group settings are expected to identify a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (or SENCO) in order to manage the identification and support of children aged 0-5 with special educational needs and disabilities. Unlike in maintained schools (including maintained nursery schools), the EY SENCO does not have to be a qualified teacher; however, it is important that an Early Years SENCO is well trained and prepared so that they can carry out the role effectively.
The first resource, a specification for a Level 3 Early Years SENCO qualification is ideal for awarding bodies wishing to construct a Level 3 Early Years SENCO Award and is relevant to group settings such as private, voluntary and independent nurseries. Find it on the SEND Gateway at
Alongside this qualification specification, the Department has also published a template Early Years SENCO job description, which settings may wish to use to help in their recruitment process to this important role. Early Years practitioners may also wish to use this job description to help them in deciding if this is a career path that they may wish to follow. The EY SENCO job description is also published in the SEND Gateway and can be found at
Minister for Children and Families, Nadhim Zahawi said: “This government wants every child to have the support they need to unlock their potential, no matter what challenges they face.
This is why we put in place new measures to improve the SEND training available to school staff, including tools developed through our work with organisations like nasen, to boost the profile of early years professionals working with children who have additional learning needs – building on a commitment set out in our Early Years Workforce Strategy.”
Chief Executive at nasen, Dr Adam Boddison said: “By supporting early years settings to identify and meet the needs of children with SEND, we can help children to start school with the best possible chance of reaching their full potential. Early years professionals are well placed to work in partnership with children and their families from the outset, ensuring that effective support is in place in the formative years of their development.”
This work follows on from the suite of materials created by nasen over the last 12 months which are aimed at increasing the confidence and skills of early years’ professionals to ultimately improve outcomes and access to provision for children with SEND.
The project, which secured funding from the Department for Education, has already reported a huge success, with over 41,000 people logging on to access the wide range of materials available. These materials have included online CPD, informative webcasts, mini-guides and face to face training materials. All of these resources can be found at
For more information, please contact Gina Wookey at or on 01827 311500.

Related resources

  • What is...DME?

    08 May 2019 Silver AND Gold Member Only

    What is…DME? is a short information document that summarises some key ideas related to Dual and Multiple Exceptionality.

  • National SEND update

    Information - 18 Apr 2019 Gold Member Only

    A useful presentation that will look at current SEND policy and statistics.

  • Training opportunities

    Information - 18 Apr 2019 Silver AND Gold Member Only

    The last six months have seen training for SENCOs move away from a centralised model, but how will the quality of the national award be preserved and protected? Michele Moore has the answer