Site news

Welcome to the May 2023 Early Years SEND Bulletin

Picture of Tina Newman
Welcome to the May 2023 Early Years SEND Bulletin
by Tina Newman - Thursday, 18 May 2023, 11:49 AM

From Carrie White, Early Years SEND Lead Teacher

As families now know which schools their children have been allocated, it is definitely time to plan transitions for our most complex children.  Please ensure you are having your transition meetings with receiving schools and completing the transition booklets for your learners. Attached to this bulletin is The SEND Transition – All about Me booklet which is also available on this website. It asks you to provide a bit more detail about the child, their likes and dislikes as well as what additional support has already been in place for the child.  It allows the receiving schools to quickly see how you have employed the graduated approach to supporting the children. If you have any questions about transition, then please talk to your EY SEND Practitioner about them or send me an email

As a team, we are beginning the process of planning our training package for the next academic year as well as looking at dates for our clusters in order to give you plenty of time to book these in and be ready for the next academic year.

MCH Referrals

Speech and language waiting list is currently around 10-11 months so we encourage you to please refer the children from when they turn 2.5 years old if you feel they will benefit from this support. Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy is around an 8-9 month waiting list. Occupational Therapy have advised me that they close their referrals to children who are school leavers on 31st May.

Referral forms are available on the MCH website by clicking on this link. Once completed, please send to


We are continuing to receive a large number of funding requests for SENIF via To ensure EY SEND Senior Administrator Faye Harbard has time to process the application and allocate it to the correct panel, please can you kindly submit requests no later than the second Tuesday of the month? Funding panel is usually held on the third Tuesday of the month. When applying for a child to have funding, even if they have had funding previously, please do send in an updated provision map which shows what you are doing in order to support the child.  Writing things like ‘IEP target’ does not tell panel how that child’s support is different from the ordinarily available provision. We do expect that the way a child will be supported may change. For example, if you have submitted a provision map with a target of the child looking for anticipation for go and this target has been reviewed and the child can do it we do expect that the child will have moved on and your target may have been altered to them maybe vocalising for go if this the next appropriate step forward. This will help the panel going through the paperwork to clearly see the child’s progress reflected in the application. You cannot just resubmit a previous provision map as this stops the work you are doing from reflecting a graduated approach and is not specific to the child at that point and therefore not SMART.

Please ensure your get the correct child’s name on the paperwork. I know this is an easy mistake to make as often settings type over other children’s forms. However, the panel cannot grant funding if there is a query over which child they are providing funding for.

If a child attends 2 settings, funding can only be granted once – the child cannot be double funded. It is therefore down to the two settings to communicate and come up with a plan for how that child will receive the support they need.  The Council will not get involved in this.


Please ensure invoices are sent to Faye via the inbox in the correct financial year that they are allocated for.  For example, we have just finished 2022-2023 Financial year so if you had funding that should have been paid in January 2023, the finance team could refuse to pay them if you submit in April 2023 as it is a different financial year. Remember you can invoice for the month we are currently in from the 1st of that month. 

School Placements

The deadline for submitting the acceptance/refusal form to the school the child has been offered is Friday, 12th May 2023. The forms must be returned to the school itself. If a parent is not happy with the school place they have been offered and they refuse the space, School Admissions will begin to reallocate spaces after 5th June 2023. Places can only be re-allocated to children on the waiting lists and in accordance with the published oversubscription criteria for the relevant school.  If parents are worried about the process, then please ask them to contact School Admissions at or at 01634 331110.

EY SEND Training

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 plan to run the sessions a few times over the year.

We are still accepting bookings for How to Hold an Annual Review for EHCP on Tuesday, 23 May 2023. To sign up to this course and any other course you may wish to attend, please email EY SEND Support Assistant Tina Newman at with the name of who will be attending.

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.

Course Title

Date and Venue

Maximum Number of Delegates

Session Time

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

Hearing Impairment/Visual Impairment 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 Briefing

The next cluster briefing is on Thursday, 29th June 2023, from 9:30 am to 11:30 am, at the Gillingham Children and Family Hub, Woodlands Road, Gillingham ME7 2BX. We can only accommodate 50 delegates so it will be strictly 1 person per setting. Please book with Tina Newman at to confirm your place. This is your chance to network with colleagues. Please can you fetch along an example of something which works really well in your setting for children who struggle to follow routines.  We will collate these into a handy hints and tips sheet which we will send out following the meeting.


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.