SEN support – The Graduated Approach

The Early Years Quality and Inclusion Team have put together a guidance document to support all our settings.  

In Cheshire East we are meeting the different types and levels of needs of children and young people with SEN through the use of a ‘Graduated Approach’.

Where a child or young person is identified as having SEN, educational settings should take action to remove barriers to learning and put effective special educational provision in place through the use of a Graduated Approach.

According to The SEND Code of Practice: 0-25 years (January 2015), supporting children and young people with SEN via the Graduated Approach includes the use of a four-part cycle of ‘Assess, Plan, Do and Review’. Through this cycle, earlier decisions and actions are revisited, refined and revised with a growing understanding of the child or young person’s needs and of what supports the child or young person in making good progress and securing good outcomes. It draws on more detailed approaches, more frequent review and more specialist expertise in successive cycles in order to match interventions to an individual child or young person’s needs.

Assess plan do review

First Concerns

Early identification of children not reaching age related expectations enables early intervention.The setting should:

  • provide appropriate targets at First Concerns to be reviewed after 4-6 weeks.
  • plan targeted activities with an adult, or in a small group.
  • make some changes to the routine and environment for the child.
  • share this with the child’s parents or carers.

SEND support paperwork

Further SEND support

All settings can access a specialist consultation if they have any concerns about the development of a child in their setting.

  • SEND consultations with an Early Years Consultant for SEND
  • PSED consultations with members of the Quality and Inclusion team
  • Speech and Language consultations with a specialist Speech and Language Therapist

These virtual appointments are an opportunity to discuss concerns and receive advice on how best to support the child including suggestions on how to adapt your practice or your environment, strategies you can implement that may help the child to learn and progress or what additional support may be available for the child. You will be required to obtain parent’s permission and complete some paperwork prior to the consultation.

To book on one of these consultations, email:

Key Professionals 

  • Portage Quality and Inclusion Practitioners
    All our Early Years settings are supported by a Portage, quality and Inclusion practitioner. The practitioner will review what is already in place for the child in their SEND Support plan and give advice on targets. Strategies and resources may be suggested.
  • Speech and Language Therapists
    Specialist Speech and Language Therapists work within the Quality and Inclusion Team and offer a range of training courses. The Speech, Language and Communication Pathway offers further support and guidance. Follow Cheshire East Chatters on Facebook for practical ideas you can use in your setting.

Documents for early years

Page last reviewed: 16 November 2023

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