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Barnsley Education Inclusion Services - Additional Needs - Early Years

The SEND Early Years team provides training, guidance, advice and support to parents and early years settings for children with a wide range of special educational needs.  For the very youngest children (from birth onwards) support is usually provided within the home setting.  Where the child is attending an early years setting, advice on meeting needs is provided to the setting (working in partnership with parents/carers).

As part of delivering our excellent practice we follow the national guidance set out by the National Portage Association for children with additional needs not attending a setting pre school.

Education Inclusion Services consists of specialist practitioners giving support and advice for children with additional needs.  Practioners can support children in the Early Years where their specialist knowledge is required in the home or in a setting as is appropriate.

There is an Area SENCO for the early years settings who gives advice and guidance on how to develop the skills of practitioners within settings so that they can meet the needs of a range of children with additional needs.

Referrals for service involvement are taken from health and education settings only.

The service head office is based at BMBC Gateway Plaza, service and support is given in the home and settings.

Please see below for the link to the National Portage Association website

Who to contact

Contact Name
Jo Patterson
Contact Position
Lead Educational Psychologist
National Portage Association

Where to go

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council,
Gateway Plaza
Sackville Street
S70 2RD

Other Details


Other notes

How does the setting know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?

If you think your pre-school child may have a special educational need you can discuss this with a health professional, who can refer to Education Inclusion Services for involvement from the Portage service.

If your child is in an Early Years setting or with a childminder you can discuss this with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator in setting or the childminder who could request involvement for advice and support from the Early Years Area SENCO who is part of Education Inclusion Services

How will you support my child or young person's SEN and disability?:

Your child may be eligible to receive Portage home visits if they live in Barnsley and present with a significant developmental delay in at least two areas such as physical development, cognitive development, social communication and sensory development.  

The child is aged 0-4yrs and is not attending a setting for 15 hours or more.

The Early Years Area SENCO would offer support to develop inclusive early learning environments, develop their practice and provision for children with SEND and help them to support children by removing barriers to learning.            

How will the curriculum be matched to my child's / young person's needs?

The Portage worker will offer a carefully structured but flexible system to help parents become effective teachers of their own children.

The Portage Service provides fortnightly home visits by a trained Portage worker.

At this visit, the Portage worker and parent will work together on activities for the child to support specific areas of development. The activities will be demonstrated by the Portage worker for parents to practice during the week.

A developmental journal is left with parents to record their child’s progress.

The Early Years Area SENCO will provide advice and practical support for early years providers about approaches to identification, assessment and intervention within the SEN Code of Practice (2015).

How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child's/young person's learning?

The Portage worker will monitor the child’s progress with the parent over a period of time using a Developmental Journal appropriate to the child’s needs. Together they will plan structured teaching targets using a small step approach for the child and family to work on.

The Early Years Area SENCO will support with identifying  need and outcomes and planning provision to meet these outcomes. Progress will be monitored by the setting using the EYFS or an Early Years Developmental Journal  within a cycle of Assess, Plan , Do, Review.

What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall well being?

When a child begins at an Early Years setting the Portage Worker will support the family through the transition process. Developmental information and targets will be shared with the setting SENCO.

How will you help to settle my child/young person into the setting? How will you prepare them to move from the setting to the next stage of their life?

The Portage worker will support the child and family to coordinate a successful transition to an Early Years setting. Information regarding the child’s development will be shared with the relevant professionals and visits to the setting arranged.  Targets are shared with the setting to ensure continuity of development. Once the child has transitioned into the setting the Portage workers involvement will cease and your child's need willcontinue to be assessed and supported by the SENCO in the setting. 

The Area SENCO will be available to support the setting once your child is attending chould they require continuing advice and guidance. The Area SENCO would also support with the planning for children with SEN to transfer between early year’s provision and school.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?

Most SEND needs will be met through the settings budget.

Settings can request additional funding in order to support your child for a short period of time whilst on going assessments are made and evidence is gathered. The Area SENCO would offer support and guidance regarding this funding.

Where, despite the setting having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the special education needs of the child, the child has not made expected progress, the setting chould consider requesting an Education, Health and Care needs assessment.

How are parents involved in the setting? How can I be involved?

The Portage worker will work with families to help them identify outcomes for thier child and work towards them.

The Area SENCO will support parents through working with the setting and include them in all discussions about their child. We can signpost parents to appropriate other services and support with making referrals if required.

Local Offer

Contact Name
Jo Patterson
Contact Telephone
01226 773577
Contact Email

Non educational providers Local Offer Response

What outcomes does your service aim to achieve for children and young people with special educational needs and disability and their families?

The aim is to help parents and early years settings to improve outcomes for children with SEN and Disability by removing barriers to their development and learning in order that they can achieve their full potential and make a successful transition to adulthood.

How accessible is the service and facilities for those with a disability

The team are always mindful of any child or parents disaility and will respond with consideration and flexibility to ensure access for all.

Future developments

A training programme is being developed which will give support to all stakeholders in achieving aspirational outcomes for children with additional needs.

Last updated on 19/02/2020
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