Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Service (SENIS) – Early Years Team


What does the Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Service (SENIS) – Early Years Team do?

We are part of Sefton’s Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Service. We provide advice and guidance on including children aged 0-5 years who have, or may have, special educational needs.  We work closely with families and early years settings in helping to understand young children’s strengths and needs and finding ways to promote all aspects of their learning and development. Our work includes:

  •  contributing to the assessment of children’s needs e.g. through observations, direct work and discussions with those who know the child best
  • helping to plan and review interventions  and monitor progress
  • working with other agencies including speech and language therapists and community paediatricians
  • supporting children’s transitions
  • signposting families and settings to other  services
  • developing and delivering training
Who are we?

The following professionals are part of the team:

Portage Advisors - providing help and support for babies and young children at home

Portage promotes children’s development through play.  Portage Advisors work directly with young children aged 0-3 years usually in the child’s home and, where appropriate, their early years setting, modelling effective interventions to those who know the child.

Click here to visit the Portage Team page.


SEN and Inclusion Officer

The SEN and Inclusion Officer provides practical advice to settings about ways of supporting children up to 3 years of age.   Their role includes supporting children’s transitions into early years settings and working with newly appointed Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs). 


Inclusion Consultants

Inclusion Consultants are specialist teachers. Their work is informed by knowledge of teaching approaches, including effective strategies and interventions for children with SEN, and by knowledge of the early years curriculum.


Educational Psychologists

Educational Psychologists have qualifications in psychology and educational psychology.  They are interested in how children learn.They use knowledge of child development and psychological theory to help find solutions in relation to a child’s needs.


How does the Early Years Team become involved?

Anyone, including a parent who has concerns about a young child, can request our  involvement by completing a ‘Request for involvement’ form. Parental consent must always be obtained before we can become directly involved.


When should the Early Years Team become involved?

Where a setting identifies that a child has, or may have SEN, they must work in partnership with parents to establish the support the child needs.

Where a child continues to make less than expected progress, despite carefully planned support and interventions, consideration should be given to involving SENIS or other external agencies, for example, Speech and Language Therapists.

For children starting Reception, requests for our involvement should be made in time for us to be able to contribute to transition planning.



How much involvement does the team have?

The amount of involvement we have depends on the nature and purpose of the work.  It may be that only short term input is required.  Alternatively, we can remain involved with a child until the end of the first term in their Reception year of mainstream school.  This means we are able to help support a child’s transition into school. 


Contacting the SENIS Early Years Team

For further enquiries please contact the Early Years Team as follows:

Tel: 0151 934 2347

Email: SENIS@Sefton.gov.uk

Helpful Information and Links for SENCOs

Page under construction

  • Top tips and interventions for supporting young children with SEND
  • CPD and training

Last Updated

Last updated: 06/04/2022

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