Extract from handbook

6th April 2001 at 01:00
A child who may not have been previously identified as having special educational needs is giving you cause for concern

There are two competing principles in this situation:

i. It is vital to identify problems early and to do something about them.

ii. It is important not to turn every difference between children into an issue which needs addressing.

The following steps should help you to respond appropriately:

* Talk to colleagues in your setting and agree the nature of any concern as precisely as you can.

* Get staff to observe the child and note their observations in relation to the concern. Focus on the child during six or more sessions at different times, on different activities, in different groups, with different children, and with different adults.

* Discuss observations with all colleagues at a staff meeting and consider:

* whether the concern is confirmed or not.

* whether you will be able to resolve any roblems by adjusting your practice (ie, is the problem with the setting rather than with the child?).

* whether the concern in significant enough that you wish to talk with parents about it ( and with the child if appropriate).

Decide who will talk with parents and how they will do so. Conversation will usually be informal at this point. Small-scale action may be agreed to determine if everyone agrees that there is a concern.

* If parents do not share your concern, keep observing for further evidence to support it. You may find either that your concerns diminish or you are convinced a concern needs addressing.

* Find an appropriate time to share further evidence with parents so that you can inform them of your confirmed concern and discuss working together.

* Once you and the parents have agreed that there is a concern, you and they may wish to ask the health visitor, school nurse or SEN Partnership Worker for their views.

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