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The Early Years Forum

The Early Years Forum helps to plan for the Special Educational Needs of young children
prior to them starting full time school. Referrals are usually made by a Paediatrician or Special Needs Health Visitor.

Even children with very complex needs, who may need to attend a special school or Specialist Resource Base from Reception, usually attend a mainstream nursery. The Early Years Forum plans and coordinates the support and advice that may be needed to ensure the nursery can include and support the child. For example, they may arrange for one of the Special Schools to provide an 'outreach service'.

If a child has very complex needs that mean they may need to attend a Special School or Specialist Resource Base after nursery, then a referral can be made to the Case Advisory Panel to request a Statutory Assessment. (A Statutory Assessment is the first step to producing a Statement of Special Educational Need). The referral can be made by the nursery or the parents. In order to make a decision, the Case Advisory Panel will consider the views of parents and all professionals working with the child, including outreach services and the Early Years Forum.

Most children with Special Educational Needs will not require a Statutory Assessment or a
statement in order to receive the support they need in school. All schools in Cardiff and the Vale receive funding from the local authority for Special Educational Needs and they can also ask for advice and support from a range of specialist services.

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