Equality of Opportunities and Special Educational Needs Policy

Equality of Opportunities and Special Educational Needs Policy

Statement of intent

We will ensure that our service is fully inclusive in meeting the needs of all children, particularly those that arise from their ethnic heritage, social and economic background, gender, ability or disability.

Noah’s Ark Pre-school is committed to anti-discriminatory practice to promote equality of opportunity and valuing diversity for all children and families.

At Noah’s Ark Pre-school we provide an environment in which all children, including those with special educational needs, are supported to reach their full potential.


  • We provide a secure and accessible environment in which all our children can flourish and in which all contributions are considered and valued
  • We include and value the contribution of all families to our understanding of equality and diversity
  • We provide positive non-stereotyping information about gender roles, diverse ethnic and cultural groups and disabled people
  • We improve our knowledge and understanding of issues of anti-discriminatory practice,promoting equality and valuing diversity
  • We make inclusion a thread that runs through all of the activities of the setting
  • We have regard for the Dcsf Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2001).
  • We ensure our provision is inclusive to all children with special educational needs.
  • We provide practitioners to help support parents and children with special educational

needs (SEN).

  • We identify the specific needs of children with special educational needs and meet those needs through a range of SEN strategies.
  • We work in partnership with parents and other agencies in meeting individual children’s needs.
  • We monitor and review our policy, practice and provision and, if necessary, make adjustments.

The legal framework for this policy is:

  • The Equality Act 2006
  • Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995, 2005
  • Race Relations Act 1976
  • Race Relations Amendment Act 2000
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1976,1986
  • Children Act 1989, 2004
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001


Special Educational Needs

  • We designate a member of staff to be Special Educational Needs or Inclusion

Co-ordinator (SENCO/INCCO) and give his/her name to parents. Our

SENCO/INCCO is Michelle Byrne


  • We ensure that the provision for children with special educational needs is the

responsibility of all members of the setting.

  • We ensure that our inclusive admissions practice ensures equality of access and opportunity.
  • We use a graduated response system for identifying, assessing and responding to children’s special educational needs.
  • We work closely with parents of children with special educational needs to create and maintain a positive partnership.
  • We ensure that parents are informed at all stages of the assessment, planning,

provision and review of their children’s education.

  • We provide parents with information on sources of independent advice and support.
  • We liaise with other professionals involved with children with special

educational needs and their families, including transfer arrangements to other settings and schools.

  • We provide a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum for all children with special educational needs.
  • We use a system of planning, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reviewing individual educational plans (IEPs) or Play Plans for children with special educational needs.
  • We ensure that children with special educational needs are appropriately involved at all stages of the graduated response, taking into account their levels of ability.
  • We have systems in place for supporting children during Early Years Action, Early Years Action Plus, Statutory Assessment and the Statementing process.
  • We use a system for keeping records of the assessment, planning, provision and review for children with special educational needs.
  • We provide resources (human and financial) to implement our special educational needs policy.
  • We provide in-service training for parents, practitioners and volunteers.
  • We raise awareness of any specialism the setting has to offer, e.g. Makaton trained staff.
  • We ensure the effectiveness of our special educational needs provision by

collecting information from a range of sources e.g. Individual Education Plan

reviews, staff and management meetings, parental and external agency’s views,

inspections and complaints. This information is collated, evaluated and

reviewed annually.

  • We provide a complaints procedure.
  • We monitor and review our policy annually.

In order to meet our legal duties, promote equality and inclusion in our setting and value diversity we follow these procedures:


  • Noah’s Ark Pre-school is open to all members of the community.
  • We advertise our service widely.
  • We reflect the diversity of members of our society in our publicity and promotional materials.
  • We provide information in clear, concise language, whether in spoken or written form.
  • We provide information in as many languages as possible.
  • We base our admissions policy on a fair system.
  • We ensure that all parents are made aware of our equality and diversity policy and all other relevant policies.
  • We do not discriminate against a child or their family, or prevent entry to our setting, on the basis of colour, ethnicity, religion or social background, such as being a member of a travelling community or an asylum seeker.
  • We do not discriminate against a disabled child or refuse a child entry to our setting for reasons relating to disability.
  • We develop an action plan to ensure that all individuals can participate successfully in the services offered by the setting and in the curriculum offered.
  • We take action against any discriminatory behaviour by staff or parents.

Displaying of openly discriminatory and possibly offensive materials, name

calling, or threatening behaviour are unacceptable on or around the premises and will be dealt with in the strongest manner.


  • Posts are advertised and all applicants are judged against explicit and fair criteria.
  • Applicants are welcome from all backgrounds and posts are open to all.
  • We may use exemption clauses in relevant legislation to enable the service to best meet the needs of the community.
  • The applicant who best meets the criteria is offered the post, subject to references and checks by the Criminal Records Bureau. This ensures fairness in the selection process.
  • All job descriptions include a commitment to valuing equality and recognising and respecting diversity as part of their specifications.
  • We monitor our application process to ensure that it is fair and accessible.


  • We seek out training opportunities for staff and volunteers to enable them to develop anti-discriminatory and inclusive practices, which enable all children to flourish.
  • We ensure that staff are confident and fully trained in administering relevant medicines and performing invasive care procedures.
  • We review our practices to ensure that we are fully implementing our policy for

promoting equality, valuing diversity and inclusion.

Curriculum and environment

The curriculum offered at Noah’s Ark pre-school encourages children to develop positive attitudes about themselves as well as to people who are different from themselves. It encourages children to empathise with others and to begin to develop the skills of critical thinking.

The environment should be accessible for all visitors and service users. If access to the setting is found to treat disabled children or adults less favourably we will try to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate the needs of disabled children and adults.

We do this by:

  • making children feel valued and good about themselves
  • undertaking an access audit to establish if the setting is accessible to all children
  • making adjustments to the environment and resources to accommodate a wide range of learning, physical and sensory impairments (where possible)
  • making appropriate provision within the curriculum to ensure each child receives the widest possible opportunity to develop their skills and abilities; e.g. recognising the different learning styles of girls and boys
  • positively reflecting the widest possible range of communities in the choice of resources
  • avoiding stereotypes or derogatory images in the selection of books or other visual materials
  • celebrating a wide range of festivals
  • creating an environment of mutual respect and tolerance
  • differentiating the curriculum to meet children’s special educational needs
  • helping children to understand that discriminatory behaviour and remarks are hurtful and unacceptable
  • ensuring that children learning English as an additional language have full access to the curriculum and are supported in their learning
  • ensuring that children speaking languages other than English are supported in the maintenance and development of their home languages

Valuing diversity in families

  • We welcome the diversity of family lifestyles and work with all families.
  • We encourage children to contribute stories of their everyday life to the setting.
  • We encourage parents/carers to take part in the life of the setting and to contribute fully.
  • For families who speak languages in addition to English, we will develop means to ensure their full inclusion.


  • We work in partnership with parents to ensure that the medical, cultural and dietary needs of children are met.
  • We help children to learn about a range of food, and of cultural approaches to

mealtimes and eating, and to respect the differences among them.


  • Meetings are arranged to ensure that all families who wish to may be involved in the running of the setting.
  • Information about meetings is communicated in a variety of ways – written, verbal and in translation (if required) – to ensure that all parents have information about and access to the meetings.

Monitoring and reviewing

  • To ensure our policy and procedures remain effective we will monitor and review them annually to ensure our strategies meet the overall aims to promote equality, inclusion and valuing diversity.
  • We provide a complaints procedure.

Registered Charity 1038628