Roles and Responsibilities
The legal responsibilities for disabled children and children with SEN lie with the proprietor, that is the owner or the management committee, of a private, voluntary or independent nursery.
The manager or head of the setting has responsibility for the day-to-day management of all aspects of the setting’s work, including work with disabled children and children with SEN. The manager agrees policies with the provider; works closely with the SENCO on the implementation of SEN and disability policies; and has an important role in enabling the SENCO to meet their responsibilities.
The SEN Co-ordinator (SENCO)
The SENCO works closely with the manager and with all practitioners in the setting. 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.
Each child must be assigned a key person. Providers must inform parents and/or carers of the name of the key person, and explain their role, when a child starts attending a setting. The key person:
- must help ensure that every child’s learning and care is tailored to meet their individual needs
- must seek to engage and support parents and/or carers in guiding their child’s development at home
- should also help families engage with more specialist support if appropriate.
In addition to the setting’s manager and the SEN coordinator (SENCO) all members of staff have responsibilities to disabled children and children with SEN and need to understand these and the setting’s approach to identifying and meeting SEN. Where a child is identified as having SEN, the Code of Practice envisages that the individual practitioner, usually the child’s key person, will lead the engagement with the child and the child’s parents, with the support of the SENCO, and remains responsible for working with the child on a daily basis.
The EYFS states that maintained nursery schools must identify a member of staff to act as SENCO.