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Early Years Advisory Teacher (EYAT) for Inclusion

The EYAT for Inclusion supports all Early Years practitioners and setting Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs) working with children with special educational needs and/or disabilities in private, voluntary and independent Early Years settings in Torbay.   

Inclusion support takes the form of training, advice and guidance around individual children’s needs and the early years setting’s inclusive practices.


Who to contact

01803 208261

Where to go

2nd floor, Electric House
c/o Torbay Council
Castle Circus

Other Details

Local Offer

SEN Information

A printable version of this form is available in the downloads section.

What special education provision is available at our setting?

The Early Years Advisory Teacher (EYAT) for Inclusion consists of one full time Advisory Teacher for Early Years Inclusion who also has additional qualifications as a Speech and Language Therapist, a Makaton Regional Tutor and a National Portage Association Tutor.

Support to pre-school aged children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) is in the form of term time visits to the early years settings in Torbay in order to work with each setting’s SENCO.  

Support is given around practice and provision for young children with SEND.  Training opportunities are also offered, delivered by the EYAT for Inclusion, throughout the academic year. 

What criteria must be satisfied before children and young people can access this provision/service?

The EYAT for Inclusion will visit every private, voluntary and independent early years setting in Torbay each term.  In addition the EYAT for Inclusion will be present at three childminding networks at the Children’s Centres in Torbay, each term.  This will enable these early years providers, to seek support and advice regarding young children with SEND in their care.

All setting SENCoS are invited to attend training and forum events throughout the academic year for further access to this service. 

How do we identify the particular special educational needs of a child or young person?

The EYAT for Inclusion works with the setting SENCo, advising on observation and assessment strategies, in partnership with parents/carers.   A range of tools may be selected to specifically reflect individual needs of children.  The Early Years Foundation stage Outcomes will be used as one of the standard measures, to identify an individual child’s progress in their learning and development.

Following the Graduated Approach of ‘Assess, Plan, Do and Review’ laid out in the SEND Code of Practice 2015, the EYAT will support Early Years setting practitioners to record agreed targets for the individual child along with assessments and records of progress.

Advice and signposting for families/carers around the individual child’s needs is also given.

In some cases, the EYAT for Inclusion will suggest making a referral to other agencies, in order to gain appropriate assessment and support for the child and family.

How do we consult with parents and/or children and young people about their needs?

The Advisory Teacher for Early Years Inclusion will recommend that the setting SENCo meets face to face with the child’s family and anyone else involved with the child, to discuss what support has already happened and then jointly plan the next steps.  

The child’s and parent’s/carer’s views, preferences and best interests will always be put at the centre of future plans.

Meetings should be arranged each half-term at the early years setting to review progress and include any relevant professionals in the planning process for an individual child and their family. 

The EYAT for Inclusion is available by telephone and email for advice and support at any point.

What is our approach to teaching children and young people with special educational needs?

The EYAT for Inclusion will advise on using evidence based strategies of support that specifically meet the needs of the individual child and their family.   Teaching and learning are set in the context of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum that is carried out in all early years settings in Torbay.

Once an agreed strategy is chosen, individual SMART (specific, measureable, achievable, relevant, time bound) targets are planned together and then carried out by practitioners and parents/carers on a daily basis at home or at the Early Years setting to support the child’s learning and development.

The EYAT for Inclusion will also offer a range of training and information sharing sessions throughout the year for parents/carers and early years practitioners.  Information about this can be gained through the child’s early years setting.

How can we adapt our curriculum for children and young people with special educational needs?

All young children should be able to access a local early years setting offering a broad and balanced Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.  

Where appropriate the EYAT for Inclusion will support practitioners with differentiating the curriculum, the learning environment and adult/child interactions to meet individual children’s additional needs.

How will we ensure we get the services, provision and equipment that children and young people need?

The setting SENCo helps coordinate services so that communication and collaborative approaches are achieved, putting the child and family at the centre. The EYAT will support SENCo practitioners with this and to hold regular multiagency meetings at the individual child’s Early Years setting.  

With the parents/carers permission, the setting SENCo will refer individual children to Health and Children Services professionals in order to gain the most appropriate help.

How is this provision funded?

Torbay Local Authority Children’s Services.

What additional learning support is available for children and young people with special educational needs and how do they access it?

If it is appropriate, Activity led Funding for Early Years (ALFEY) to support the individual child to access the early years setting is available.  Early Years setting practitioners are able to make a request for funding for support by clearly identifying what additional and different activities are needed to successfully include individual children.  Parents/carers are encouraged to contribute to this process.  All the appropriate forms can be found on the Torbay Council SEN website.

The EYAT for Inclusion can carry out bespoke training to individual early years settings around an individual child’s needs.

The EYAT for Inclusion works closely with the Early Years team, the Portage Home Visiting Service and the Educational Psychology Service in order to coordinate the best possible individualised intervention for children and their families.

How do we support and improve the emotional and social development of children and young people with special educational needs?

Individual children’s personal, social and emotional developmental (PSED) needs in the early years can be supported through the Foundation Stage Curriculum.  

Practitioners and the EYAT for Inclusion will also promote the use of specific PSED programmes of support.  In Torbay, early years settings, there are a number of practitioners who have specialised in identifying levels of need and delivering strategies of support such as using the Thrive Programme. 

Some practitioners have become Thrive Lead Practitioners.  All Early Years Practitioners are supported in their work with individual children by the Early Years Advisory Teachers through visits, observations and advice.   

How do we support children and young people with special educational needs moving between phases of education and preparing for adulthood?

The EYAT for Inclusion will support early years practitioners and parents/carers when a child transitions into an early years setting or into schools.

The parents/carers are invited to plan jointly for meetings and share information about their child with the receiving setting.

Transition meetings and one page profile records are typical ways of supporting transitions for individual children along with reciprocal visits and practitioner’s sharing good practice and successful strategies of support.

What other support is available for children and young people with special educational needs and how can they access it?

The EYAT for Inclusion will work in collaboration with other Children’s Services and will endeavour to ensure that children and families receive the most appropriate and timely intervention that they need.

The SEN Early Years Resources webpage on the Torbay Local Offer gives Early Years Practicioners and Parents/Carers easy access to a wide range of revelant information and resources to support young children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

What extra-curricular activities are available for children and young people with special educational needs?

The EYAT for Inclusion will alert Torbay early years settings by email of any relevant extra-curricular event being held in Torbay that may be appropriate eg linking parents/carers early years setting staff to Book Trust resources specifically for children with additional needs; linking parents/carers and early years setting staff to South West Cerebra events.

How do we assess and review progress towards agreed outcomes, and how are parents, children and young people involved in this process?

Regular assessments to identify needs and monitor progress is carried out jointly with parents/carers, practitioners and the Advisory Teacher.  The Early Years Outcomes are one of the tools that will be used as a benchmark to monitor young children’s learning and development.  Other tools including ‘small step’ statements are used such as the Early Support Developmental Journals.  

Together we will agree the next steps.  An individual child’s views, preferences and best interests will always be put at the centre of future plans.

How do we assess the effectiveness of our special needs provision and how are parents, children and young people involved in this assessment?

At the end of a piece of work, the EYAT for Inclusion will send setting SENCOs a service evaluation form to complete.

Parents/carers are encouraged to contact the Advisory Teacher at any point to discuss concerns, celebrate success and ask questions.

How do we ensure that teaching staff and other staff have the expertise needed to support children and young people with special educational needs?

The EYAT for Inclusion offers training and information sessions to all the early years setting practitioners on a regular basis. Details of training can be found on the Torbay CPD website or through the individual child’s early years setting.

Resources are lent to individual Early Years setting practitioners to support their provision.

Parents/carers of individual children with additional needs are invited to attend Makaton workshops and Portage Basic Workshops as and when they take place, if this is appropriate.  

Advice and support are given on an individual basis around specific evidence based strategies.

Reference is made to national, quality assured websites for support and advice and training opportunities.

How do we keep parents informed where children and young people have special educational provision but do not have an Education Health and Care Plan?

The EYAT for Inclusion will always work directly with the setting SENCO, who will then meet face to face with parents/carers to discuss their child’s progress.  Ongoing contact can be made by telephone and email between the EYAT and the setting SENCO so that support and advice is at hand when it is needed.  

Parents/carers always have a copy of any meeting minutes, reports, targets and assessments.  

Information is always given in the most accessible format for the individual family.

The aim of the service is to empower parents/carers with knowing how to support their child best.

How can parents, children and young people make a complaint about our provision?

Parents/carers and practitioners have email and telephone contacts and are encouraged to raise any concerns with EYAT Inclusion as they occur.

You can contact the SEN Manager on 01803 208261.  Alternatively, you can use the Torbay Council’s Children Services complaints procedure.

How can parents, children and young people get more information about the setting?

Please look on the following websites for further information:

Torbay Local Offer -

SEND Inclusion  in Early Years -

or contact Judith Thomas, Early Years Advisory Teacher for Inclusion  

Mobile:01803 208739  Email: 

How the school involves other bodies, including health and social care bodies, local authority support services and voluntary sector organisations, in meeting children and young people’s SEN and supporting their families?

The setting SENCo will support families to access a range of services for their child through completing referral applications or inviting other professionals to family meetings at the setting.  The EYAT for Inclusion will support the setting SENCo by providing information, practical support with referrals and signposting. 

Agencies working with young children with SEND are referred to at SENCo training sessions and invited to contribute giving explanations of their role.

The EYAT for Inclusion, through their work promotes partnership working relationships with the