What a start to the academic year! It has been so very busy, and I have barely had time to realise what day it is most days! September flew by in a mist of training sessions and getting our heads around the New Early Years Foundation Stage and suddenly October hit. Things do not seem to be slowing down yet either!
We have seen a huge increase in the amount of need our children are displaying - this may be down to lockdown and our children not having had the same experiences as in previous years. We also have had quite a lot of recently moved into Medway children from other authorities which are displaying a large amount of need too.
A huge thank you to everyone for supporting all our children in coming into setting and getting to grips early with those they feel may need additional support - proactively seeking SENCO surgeries and contacting our team for the support we can provide.
Thank you for your patience regarding funding issues that have arisen. The team within the council who pay our invoices are now working alongside me more effectively to ensure that if there is an issue with the payments, they can contact me, and we can resolve these. I expect all funding issues to be resolved within the next couple of weeks - especially by half term. Please accept my apologies for the issues this has caused many of you.
Funding panel is sitting once a month and as soon as possible after the panel I will get the decisions out to you, and you can invoice for your money. Whilst I am doing my very best to get this done, we have had a large amount of IT issues which has made this virtually impossible at times, but I am hoping things improve from the IT perspective to make this easier for me to organise.
Egress has really been playing up. If you are having trouble accessing Egress and wish to send funding invoices or requests confidentially then please password protect your documents and send them directly to my email email@example.com please then send a separate email with the password to my email address. Some versions of Outlook allow you to add sensitivity or confidentiality protocols to the whole email - if you do this again, please use my email address rather than the high needs as the eyhighneeds inbox is a shared mailbox and so will not allow me to open it.
Education Health Care Needs Assessment form and Provision Map
These have changed in line with the New EYFS and from Monday, 1st November 2021, the old documents will no longer be accepted. Tina has been sending the new form to all settings when they have requested it and the new Provision Map is attached to the email and is now available on the elearning website.
There have been some major issues with this website - we are only able to post to it we are not able to fix and debug the website and we have been looking into who can do this, so we are sorry if it is not working.
EY SEND Training
So far this term we have run a couple of sessions about the new EYFS and SEND in Medway but I am aware that these may have been missed by some of you so there are new dates below.
New EYFS and SEND
Tuesday, 9th November at 1:30 pm
Friday, 19th November at 9:30 am
Provision Map training
Friday, 12th November at 9:30 am
Writing SMART Targets
Monday, 15th November at 1:30 pm
Transition Working Party first meeting
Thursday, 18th November at 10:30 am
If you would like to book onto any of the training courses, please email Tina Newman at firstname.lastname@example.org with your SENCo’s name/name of the staff attending and the email address to be used to join the session. As with the other sessions we’ve offered, the email address will be added on to a Microsoft Teams group which could be seen by other delegates and other EY SEND Team members.
The Discussion prompts for SENCO surgery and the steps for SENCO surgery are now uploaded on elearning and should enable you to build a picture of evidence about how you are supporting children. They should also identify where you are going above and beyond the provision for typically developing children to support some of our individual children. Please also remember SENCO surgery is there to discuss support that may need to happen, as well as what you have already put into place. SENCO surgery should be designated time for you and your EY SEND Practitioner to have the conversation and you should not be called out of the meeting. If you are short staffed or needed in ratio, please give your practitioner a call or email and they will happily rearrange the SENCO surgery with you. It is important to know who you would like to discuss and have those children’s information ready. We have seen an increase in the number of children that are being discussed at each surgery and this will help things to run smoother.
This year I am putting together a working party to look at how we can improve transition for children between our Early Years Settings and school. I am looking for volunteers to join. Our aim is to create a transition policy that Early Years Settings, schools, and parents are signed up to which enables children to make a successful transition and to improve the transition documentation making it easier for settings and schools to share the information about individual children. If you wish to sign up to the working party, then please send me an email. If you expressed an interest last year, I still have your name and will check with you separately if you still wish to be a part of this group. The first meeting will be 18th November at 10:30 am.
*Please note: Clicking on the texts "updated provision map", "pre school application form", "discussion prompts for SENCo Surgery" and "steps for SENCo surgery in this bulletin will open the documents for you. All EY SEND funding and SENCo surgery documents are available on elearning. From the homepage https://www.e-learningatlast.org.uk/, click on Early Years Information and Guidance, click on Referral forms for Practitioners. It will ask you to log in but if you don’t have log in details, you can just click on ‘Log in as Guest’ and you should be able to access all the forms there.