A Celebratory Approach to SEND Assessment in the Early Years - Online Toolkit

A small group of professionals was tasked with developing a celebratory assessment tool for children with special educational needs and/or disability.  This work has been funded by the Department for Education.

All of those involved had a particular expertise or experience of working with children with additional and complex needs in the Early Years.  As a group, they reflected on the assessment of children with SEND within Early Years settings. The group considered current initiatives, studies, documentation and assessment tools as well as statutory guidance and legislation.

The Early Years Working Party acknowledged the progress of children with SEND cannot easily be demonstrated or celebrated using existing Early Years frameworks and identified key challenges in relating to this notion. Through discussion the Working Party identified a set of principles informing their recommendations and suggestions and considered several assessment pathways with associated assessment tools. The aim being to place the child at the centre and to celebrate their learning and development. The outcome has been the publication of a booklet A Celebratory Approach to SEND Assessment in the Early Years. The booklet provides templates, interactive links and video vignettes and is available to be accessed nationally by practitioners.

Online Materials


Section 1

Guiding Principles
Current Legislation and Frameworks
An Inclusive Assessment Process

Section 2 - Recommendations

1 Key Practitioner's Skills
2 Engaging with Parents/Carers and Families
3 Graduated Response Process
4 One Page Profile
5 Observation
6 Planning
7 Demonstrating Progress

Section 3 - Toolkit