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Early years bulletin

17 July 2023


Firstly a huge well done and congratulations to Jayne Whatling from Parade Community Pre-school, the winner of the Early Years and Childcare award received at the Teach Portsmouth Awards. This award recognises the talents of early years professionals in Portsmouth who have gone above and beyond in their settings. Jayne has been the safeguarding lead at the pre-school for 23 years. She strives to support the children and families at the setting and continuously demonstrates values of parent partnership and inclusion. Also a big well done to the other nominees shortlisted for the award - Catherine Holloway from Manor Infant School and Nursery and Sayeed Ali from Rainbow Corner Nursery School. 


As we draw towards the end of the 2022-23 academic year, the Early Years Inclusion Team (Sue, Hannah and Ella) want to say a huge thanks to all of our amazing Early Years SENCos and Early Years practitioners who have worked tirelessly to support all of the children in Portsmouth with SEND. This has been a year of unprecedented levels of need and complexity of SEND. Yet you have continued to show support, compassion and true professionalism in meeting those needs. Next year, will be another year of incredible support for SEND and we wanted to share how we, as your Early Years Inclusion Team are able to support you...


We have been able to secure funding to offer 20 "free" places on the nationally accredited Level 3 award run by Sue Bowler. If you had already booked your place, you will be refunded and able to access the 12 week course. If you would like to access this course, please click the button below to see the course requirements and commitment for attending and completion of the assignments. We ask that you check you are available to attend ALL sessions on this accreditation and have the agreement for 12 full days release from the setting from your manager, before requesting a place on the course. We will be taking bookings to join the accreditation on a first come, first served basis. Register your interest for a free place by emailing  ASAP clearly specifying that you want to attend the Level 3 Accreditation and we will let you know if you have secured a free place. Once the free places are full there will be paid for places available at a cost of £909 per person. 

SENCo Accreditation Award


We have also been able to secure funding for 10 "free" childminder places and 10 "free" group based setting spaces on the Level 2 SEND Accredited course. Please click the buttons below to find out the dates and times this course will be running before requesting a place. There is also an assignment commitment to the Level 2, so please ensure you are willing and able to complete the written coursework before signing up. We will also accept bookings to this course on a first come, first served basis. Book your place by emailing ASAP clearly specifying that you want to attend the Level 2 Accreditation and whether you are a childminder or a setting and we will let you know if you have secured a free place. Once the 10 free places are full, there will be places available at a cost of £193 per person. 

Level 2 SEND Accredited Course for Childminders 

Level 2 SEND Accredited Course for Group-based Settings


We wrote to all settings a few weeks ago with information about a financial uplift to the SENDIF+ stream of additional funding. 

We have been listening to the views of providers regarding SENDIF+ and have been working closely with finance and education teams in PCC to address the issues of current funding rates. We are pleased to announce that the hourly rate for SENDIF+ will increase by 6% from September 2023 from £9.60 to £10.17 per hour of funded attendance, per SENDIF+ eligible child.

As a reminder, SENDIF+ is not specifically for 1:1 funding for a child. SENDIF+ is an additional SEND payment to enhance ratios, pay for resources or pay for staff to attend relevant training so that they can meet the specific needs of the eligible child.

As ever, the Early Years Inclusion Team are available to support settings in meeting the needs of children, so please do get in touch if you require support If you wish to request consideration for SENDIF+, please notify or update the Early Years Panel, who will continue to be the decision-making group on SENDIF+.


SEND Package of support for those supporting children with SENDIF+

A small number of places have been secured for early years settings to take part alongside schools in PECS training. Places have already been allocated to selected settings and we are holding a waiting list for those who have not been allocated but who expressed their interest and had a need in their setting for PECS. 

We are able to offer settings with children accessing SENDIF+ in the autumn term, access to the workshops relating to SEND in our Inclusion Package. These 2 workshops will focus on SEN support plans and understanding young children’s behaviour. If you would like to access a place at one of these workshops and you have a child with you eligible for SENDIF+, please email to secure your place.

If you are interested in purchasing the entire Inclusion Package priced at £250, with the following entitlements, please book via The Traded Service website or contact 

  • EAL Virtual workshop
  • SEN support plans virtual workshop
  • Understanding young children's behaviour face to face workshop
  • 2 hour onsite team training (could be used for: understanding young children's behaviour, SEND code of practice, inclusive settings, SEND self-review, neurodiversity and autism awareness, support for new or returning SENCos).


Hannah Rapley in the Early Years Inclusion Team and Gemma Frank have been working hard to produce this new guidance and advice booklet to support practitioners in meeting the needs of children by using assertive language. 

View the booklet here


We will of course continue with our universal Inclusion offer and our termly SENCo Network Clusters are on next year.

The next SENCo Network Cluster will be held on 17 October, 10.00am - 12.00pm, live on Microsoft Teams.

Book your place on the SENCo Cluster here


If parents are considering delaying their child's entry to Year R then please refer to the guidance on the PCC website here. Legally Children must join their age cohort in school the term after they are 5. If a parent wants to delay school entry and join Year R the following year, then they have a right to request this from the LA only if they are summer born. Please make sure that parents are aware of all the implications of this and potential difficulties in the child's educational journey as outlined on the web page guidance. Early Years settings must make their own decisions as to whether they can continue to offer a place for these children. However this does not apply if a child has an EHCP. In these cases any change to the child's cohort year must be discussed with the SEN team and agreed through the EHCP process. 


Please can we remind you to complete and return your SENDIF+ reviews to by Monday 4 September 2023. If we do not receive your review, we will be unable to process payment for the autumn term. If you have any children who move to school in September, but who have accessed the summer term with you using SENDIF+, we still need your review for auditing purposes.  


Early Years settings can access free places from Sigma Training School on the next PACE+ (Trauma-Informed) Approaches for Everyone's Wellbeing course starting January 2024. This free opportunity allows you to attend a series of six online webinar sessions. In these sessions, you will learn practical, evidence-based strategies to help you work successfully with children and young people with SEMH needs, as well as strategies for everyone's wellbeing.

Find out more here


Parents/carers who have children with special educational needs and/or disabilities are set to benefit from ten top tips designed for children who are starting primary school in September.

Starting school is an exciting time for children but for some it can feel like a big step. Being prepared and making sure they have all the information will make them feel less anxious when the time comes. In collaboration with professionals and parents, a series of top tips will help parents/carers prioritise what steps they need to take before September.

Jackie, a parent whose children attend a school in the city has also shared her experiences and suggestions for families who are in a similar situation.

Find out more here


And finally, the whole Early Years Team wish you a sunny summer and look forward to the academic year ahead in September. Don’t forget how to contact us: 

Quality and Sufficiency -

Inclusion -

Workforce development -

Early Education Funding -

2 Year Old Funding -

Any questions about the content of this email? Get in touch