Wednesday 6 October 2021

The revised Early Years Foundation Stage: what does it mean for children with SEND?

 I was delighted and honoured to speak at NASEN Live 2021 this year .

NASEN are the National Association for Special Educational Needs. As well as sharing my thoughts, I was also able to explore some of these issues in person at the event, and on Twitter later. One of the things I feel very strongly about is that our current approaches to working with children who have SEND in the Early Years are not yet working well enough. 

  • Children with SEND are, on average, 10-15 months behind other children by the end of the EYFS. But they're only five-years old. It's a huge gap. Gaps, on average, double by the end of primary and double again by the end of secondary schooling. Whilst there is much variability at the level of the individual child, the big picture is not good. What happens early really matters. 
  • 43% of children and young people are formally described as having a Special Educational Need in school at some point in their education. There are huge overlaps between social disadvantage, and being described as having SEND. Are we doing enough to support children with SEND to access a broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum in the early years? 

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