Roles and responsibilities of the Setting SENCO and Portage Home Visitor
The role of the Setting SENCO is described here The role of the early years SENCO and includes working with outside professionals (page 7). Other information and support about the role in Torbay can be found here SEND Inclusion in Early Years.
The Portage Home Visitors in Torbay primarily spend their working hours home visiting and managing administration duties linked to their work with children and families. As part of their assessment of the children, Portage Home Visitors need to observe them in their early years settings. To better support the children and their families, it is beneficial for Portage Home Visitors to attend Individual Learning and Development Review meetings and transition meetings as appropriate. In addition, early years settings visits might be made, to share strategies and resource ideas.
Usually within the first 6 weeks of getting to know a child, the Portage Home Visitor will make contact with the setting SENCO to arrange an observation visit to the early years setting. The duration of the observation would be approximately one hour, with the intention of seeing the child amongst their peer group and to see how the children access the provision. It is always essential to have conversations with the child’s key person and the setting SENCO on these visits. The aim is to avoid duplication of assessments and to share knowledge of the child.
Individual Learning and Development Plans (ILDPs) aim to identify small step targets to support the children’s learning and development. They identify how children learn and what support is needed that is additional or different to the typical provision. Having Individual Learning & Development Plans are crucial to evidencing the Graduated Approach cycle of support (SEND Code of Practice 2015). It is anticipated that all children with SEND have ILDPs in place. You can find a template and guidance for ILDPs here SEND Inclusion in Early Years in ‘Forms and Records’. Portage Home Visitors are very happy to collaborate with the Setting SENCOs when writing ILDPs for the children they are working with.
Individual Learning and Development Plan Reviews should take place every 6-8 weeks. Meetings should always include the parents/carers. Other key professionals including the Portage Home Visitors may be included from time to time. Portage Home Visitors do need notice of at least 2 weeks, in order to attend the meeting. The setting SENCO will need to set aside a private space for a meeting and invite the attendees. It is the responsibility of the setting SENCO to prepare the paperwork beforehand, write up the meeting and distribute it to the those that attended. The ILDP review form is very simple and can be found here SEND Inclusion in Early Years in ‘Forms and Records’. The aim of the meeting is to work collaboratively through sharing updated information about the child both at home and at the setting and to plan future targets together. Individual Learning and Development Plan Reviews are crucial to evidencing the Graduated Approach cycle of support (SEND Code of Practice 2015).
Portage Home Visitors will share support ideas that are currently being used with the children they are working with. Sometimes they will bring resources to show Setting SENCOs or email photos of resource ideas following a visit.