17 Nov 2020

Island's first early years SEN hub

The Isle of Wight Council has underlined its commitment to give every child the tools to get off to a flying start by announcing extra support for children with special educational needs (SEN).

The authority has unveiled ambitious plans to open the Island's very first early years SEN hub, providing high-quality tailored support for pre-school children with additional needs and their families.

More than £37,000 will be invested in Clever Cloggs Pre-school, in Wellington Road, Newport, to expand and boost its capacity to offer specialist SEN support in an integrated mainstream early years setting.

Councillor Paul Brading, Cabinet member for children's services, education and skills, said the investment would make a huge difference to children's lives.

He said: "We want every child to have the support they need to dream big and achieve highly, no matter what challenges they face.

"Today's (Tuesday) announcement builds on the positive findings of Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which, earlier this year, noted the improvement in support for children and young people with SEN on the Island.

"I wish to congratulate Clever Cloggs Pre-school on their selection for this exciting project. This investment demonstrates our commitment to drive further improvements to ensure children receive the support they need at the earliest opportunity in their education journey.

"I'm hoping to announce even more good news for our SEN provision soon."

Clever Cloggs was awarded the funding following a rigorous selection process led by a core group of parents, early years professionals and officers from within the council's strategic development team.

One of the things they noted were the remarks of Ofsted inspectors who, in 2016, witnessed "exceptional support" for children with SEN at Clever Cloggs, helping them to "make better than average progress from when they started."

The latest plans will help build on this excellent work by transforming existing office space into a dedicated area where therapeutic and education provision can be delivered according to each child's specific needs.

Staff, meanwhile, will continue to receive training and guidance from both the Island's early years SEN advisory team and NHS therapeutic services.

It is hoped the hub will become a SEN centre of excellence, with staff providing peer support to other mainstream pre-school settings meaning its impact will be far-reaching.

Brenda Dyer and Maria Filby, joint managers of Clever Cloggs Pre-school, said: "The funding will help us provide a new space enabling us to provide a more tailored early years educational environment within the main setting, allowing us to support and integrate children into pre-school life.

"We have for years tried to provide an inclusive environment for all children and now we can expand our internal environment to fulfil our dream.

"This new space will allow us to provide space for families to have full access to integrated support and contact with other professionals alongside our service.

"By having such a supportive team, they have made it possible for us to move forward with our future. With a new internal environment, we can support their professional development and allow their quality practice to support others."

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The council has unveiled ambitious plans to open the Island's very first early years SEN hub
The council has unveiled ambitious plans to open the Island's very first early years SEN hub
Factfile
  • More than £37,000 will be invested in Clever Cloggs Pre-school, in Wellington Road, Newport, to expand and boost its capacity to offer specialist SEN support.
  • Clever Cloggs was awarded the funding following a rigorous selection process.
 
Isle of Wight, UK