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Welcome to the February 2023 Early Years SEND Bulletin

Picture of Tina Newman
Welcome to the February 2023 Early Years SEND Bulletin
by Tina Newman - Monday, 20 March 2023, 10:58 AM

From Carrie White, Early Years SEND Lead Teacher

January flew by so quickly work wise but somehow still managed to feel like it took 896 days! Now we have made it to February with lots to look forward to. Below are some updates along with details of our training offer and the March SENCo cluster briefings.


Please ensure you are completing the correct provision map and application form; these can be found on Early Years Information and Guidance on this site. The application form needs to be signed and the responsible LA is Medway. Senior Admin Officer Faye Harbard is working hard to ensure that applications go through the first time they are at panel and so will contact you if there are discrepancies in your application.


With the end of the financial year looming, please ensure you have invoiced for your funding.  You can only invoice for funding for the month once the month has started or has passed. Remember to include your invoice number, the date you are invoicing for and the name or initials of the child. The invoice template is available from this site.

Please ensure invoices you want paid by the end of the financial year are sent to by Friday, 10th March 2023 as this will give Faye time to process them and finance time to pay before they close down for the end of year.


SEN Children and NEG Funding

It has come to our attention that some parents feel that their children are being turned down based on their child’s level of need. Please can I remind you of your funding agreement with Medway Council which secures the NEG funding. In your funding agreement, you agree to try to meet the need of the learners in your care. Can I also remind you that if you are full that you are full to all children, not just those who are not typically developing but then you will accept a typically developing child instead.


EY SEND Training

Thanks to everyone who’s already booked to attend EY SEND training. You should have received a reply confirming your place on the training. The following sessions are now fully booked:

  • Behaviour which Challenges Tuesday, 7 March 2023 9:30 am to 12 noon
  • Sensory Workshop Thursday, 16 March 2023 9:30 am to 12:30 pm

Our training offer is free to our settings and open to all members of staff - it does not have to be the SENCO who comes along to the training. We do have a limit to the number of people at the training session and can only accommodate 1 person per setting, but we are planning to run the sessions a few times over the year.

To sign up, please email Tina Newman at with the name of who will be attending. We will accept bookings until 2 weeks before the course date or when we’ve reached the maximum number of delegates. We encourage those who’ve been put on a training waitlist to contact Tina and book on new dates as soon as you can to secure your place.

May we ask that if you are already confirmed to attend a session and you are not able to attend anymore, please contact Tina via email or at 01634 334016 so we can give your slot to the next person on the waiting list. We also ask that you let us know if someone else is taking a delegate’s place to make sure there is a certificate for the attendee.

For EY SEND Training at Gun Wharf, please note there is no parking available. The nearest paid parking is Chatham Riverside next to Chatham Library or The Pentagon.

Title of training

Date and venue

Maximum Number of Delegates

Session Time

Play Skills

Thursday, 30th March 2023 at Medway Council Gun Wharf Meeting Room 1 ME4 4TR


9:30 am – 11:30 am

Play Skills

Thursday, 30th March 2023 at Medway Council Gun Wharf Meeting Room 1 ME4 4TR


12:30 pm to 2:30 pm



New to Role of SENCO

Thursday, 27th April 2023 at Medway Council Gun Wharf Meeting Room 1 ME4 4TR


9:30 am - 2:30 pm

please bring your own lunch

Sensory Workshop

(not suitable for settings who have previously attended sensory training)

Tuesday, 16th May 2023 at Medway Council Gun Wharf Meeting Room 1 ME4 4TR


9:30 am - 12:30 pm

How to hold an Annual Review for EHCP?

Tuesday, 23rd May 2023 at Medway Council Gun Wharf Meeting Room 1 ME4 4TR


9:30 am - 11:30 am

Behaviour which Challenges

Tuesday, 13th of June 2023

at Medway Council Gun Wharf Meeting Room 1 ME4 4TR


9:30 am – 12 noon

Provision Maps

Thursday, 15th June 2023

at Medway Council Gun Wharf Meeting Room 1 ME4 4TR


9:30 am - 11 am


HI/VI Awareness Training


Tuesday, 20th June 2023

at Medway Council Gun Wharf Meeting Room 1 ME4 4TR


9:30 am - 11 am


Thursday, 22nd June 2023

at Medway Council Gun Wharf Meeting Room 1 ME4 4TR


9:30 am - 11 am


Cluster Briefings

The next cluster briefings to be held at Gun Wharf is coming up. You only need to attend 1 of the 4 sessions on offer for March 2023. Again, we can accommodate 1 per setting so please book with Tina Newman at to confirm your place. Bookings will be accepted until Tuesday, 28 February 2023 or when we have reached the maximum capacity for each session.

Please note there is no parking available at Gun Wharf. The nearest paid parking is Chatham Riverside next to Chatham Library or The Pentagon.

Thursday, 2 March 2023

  • 9:30 am to 11 am
  • 1 pm to 2:30 pm

Thursday, 9 March 2023

  • 9:30 am to 11 am
  • 1 pm to 2:30 pm

Difference between Health Care Plans and Education Health and Care Plans

Children with medical needs who are ‘on track’ for their learning can enter settings and schools with a Health Care Plan - this is a document which sets out the child’s medical needs, how to deal with them including any medication and the emergency procedure for that child. These children do not need an Education Health and Care Plan. The Health Care Plan is there to inform all staff what needs to happen for that child’s medical needs. This document is created alongside parents by settings and needs to be signed by settings and parents to show that all parties have been involved in its creation. If a child requires more specific support e.g., a tube fed child, you may have the health team come into setting to show you how to support this need and the document can be signed by the member of the health team as well. This often happens when a diabetic nurse comes into setting to show you how to manage a diabetic child etc.

The Education, Health and Care Plan is a legal document which is there to support a child who is delayed in their learning and may or may not have a medical diagnosis. The Education Health and Care Plan is co-produced with parents and other professionals involved with the child.

We have children who are within mainstream schools with medical conditions such as cerebral palsy who have a Health Care Plan in place only as they are not delayed cognitively.

Not all children with an Education Health and Care Plan require specialist provision in the form of a special school. They can access additional support within a mainstream setting or may access the support of a specialist resource provision which is a mainstream school with an area of the school for supporting children with an Education Health and Care Plan.


Deferral of School Places

We have had a large number of families who have spoken to us about deferring school places. We do not advocate for children to have their places deferred as it is best for children to attend school with their correct year group as when they are older, they can potentially leave school without sitting any exams.

Deferral of school places MUST only be the parents’ decision and is only for Summer born (June, July and August) children as legally children must be in school the term after they turn 5. 

Please encourage all parents to apply for school using the school portal which is open between September and January. If parents have missed this, then they need to make a late application to Medway Admissions. Parents who do chose to defer school places can only defer once the place has been allocated. The portal will only allow dates of birth for 1st September – 31st August the year before the child is due to start school.  If a parent has chosen to keep their child at home and not applied, they have to contact Medway Admissions as there is a separate form for late admissions and these children are classed as late admissions.

Once parents have chosen the schools they wish to apply for, they should arrange to meet with the Headteacher and discuss their reasons for wanting to defer the school place for their child. If the Headteacher is in agreement, the parent needs a letter on headed paper signed and dated by the Headteacher to state the child will be placed into Reception rather than Year 1 as this is the prerogative of the Headteacher which year group they wish to place the child in.  Headteacher’s move schools and so the letter is there to prove that the discussion was had, and an agreement made. When school places are allocated, the parents can then defer the place, ensuring they keep the letter for future use if needed. It should be a very rare occurrence that children’s places are deferred as the benefits of going to school within the correct year group are huge.

If settings are approached to continue to look after school aged children whose places have been deferred, then this can impact on the settings. You will need to consider whether your insurance covers you, how this may impact on ratios and Ofsted may need to be informed. Sometimes SEN officers do ask you to keep hold of children with EHCPs whilst they are trying to find the correct placement. Please do seek advice from Ofsted and your insurance companies at these points too as you need to ensure you have thought things through effectively before agreeing to this.

Chronological Age Versus Developmental Age

We often talk about the difference between developmental age and chronological age. Just to remind you the child’s chronological age is their actual age from their date of birth. Their developmental age is linked to roughly where a typically developing child would be working. For example, a child can chronologically be 48 months old but developmentally working between 12 and 18 months.  This helps us to identify the delay for the child and helps us to pitch the child’s activities appropriately. There would be little point pitching to this child activities aimed at a 48-month child as they do not have the ability to understand what is being asked of them. This is when we ask you to start where the child actually is working.

Kent Procedures

We’ve had queries regarding the Kent EY LIFT process. Attached is the Kent EY LIFT process and guidance taken from under Early Years LIFT. Information on Kent EY SEN Forms and Guidance is also saved on this site where all the Medway EY SEND forms are found.


Attached is a document compiling Frequently Asked Questions to our team with answers provided. This document is also saved on this site where all the Medway EY SEND forms are found


All SENCo Surgery and funding forms are available to download from the elearningatlast website. From the homepage, 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.

(Edited by Faye Harbard - original submission Friday, 24 February 2023, 9:35 AM)