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Please help - meeting with nursery re EYFS missed targets

(19 Posts)
Miloarmadillo1 Sat 13-Feb-16 16:04:58

My 20m old daughter has West syndrome ( epilepsy causing brain damage/ development delay). She started nursery 2 days a week in September, they know all about her condition and that she sees neurologist, community paediatrics and Snowdrop for brain injured children. As far as we are concerned she is making fantastic progress, just started to walk and is chatty and interactive. We were referred to Portage by the paediatrician but having sat on the endless waiting list for 7m we discovered she doesn't qualify because she goes to nursery.
On Friday my DH was handed a sheet with no explanation, which is a copy of an EYFS assessment, placing her at 'emerging' skills for several of the 8-20m criteria, with no scores in the 16-26m bracket. I have looked up the criteria online and totally disagree with the assessment, since she can do everything in the 8-20m bracket and several of the 16-26m things. We have asked for a meeting with the SENCO and her key worker, but I don't know whether to challenge the assessment or to accept it and use it to get more some help. Currently she does a Snowdrop program which we pay for, baby signing classes and we attend some special needs playgroups. We have had some private physio sessions but don't feel that's needed at the moment. I feel so let down by the system that seems to think it's ok to mark a not-yet-2-yr-old as 'failing' without taking into account the steaming heap of crap she's been through or offering any actual help!
Any advice on where to go from here much appreciated.....

pandyandy2 Sat 13-Feb-16 16:32:12

If I were you I'd just ask for a chat with your little one's Key Worker and just say you were a little surprised by their assessment as you do feel she can do more than they have given her credit for.

Just purely from experience of my two older girls time at nursery (no SEN, now 8 and 6) I remember always looking at the assessments and thinking 'what? she can do that. What? She can do this!' yet the criteria hadn't been crossed off.

I just think nobody knows your child as well as you and really don't take it to heart as they may purely just have not observed her doing whatever in the setting. She is not failing AT ALL and it sounds like she is doing brill with a great Mum!

We've all felt like this but recently for me it was the other way around. My Son (3 and has SEN) attended a Preschool where I think they completely over estimated his abilities and as they were dismissive of his needs I moved him.


Bonkerz Sat 13-Feb-16 16:55:08

They haven't marked her as failing! At 20 months I would expect her to be in the 8-20 month bracket. The eyfs is fluid and it's also not a tick list and doesn't cover everything! A nursery worker can only really cover so much in 2 days with a child bearing in mind they may have 10 other key children too.
Your report suggests your daughter is doing fine and is on target.
You should be asking to see your child's next steps and the nursery should be asking for your opinion and feedback too.

Miloarmadillo1 Sat 13-Feb-16 17:30:15

She's below the 'expected' level for several criteria in the 8-20m bracket and doesn't have any skills in the 16-26 bracket, according to nursery.

Bonkerz Sat 13-Feb-16 17:39:14

But these age brackets are not set and therefore isn't classified as failing. The eyfs statements are a guideline!!!!!!
If the nursery feel the child is failing I would expect them to be contacting you about extra support and producing IEPs.
Failing would be Atleast 2 or 3 age brackets behind. This is why the brackets overlap with age.

As I said previously, a practitioner can only mark down what they actually see the child doing more than once and in such a short period I'm sure they haven't seen stuff. This is where working in partnership comes in and gives a fuller picture of the child's abilities.

Ineedmorepatience Sat 13-Feb-16 18:00:53

I agree with bonkerz I was a one to one in early yrs and it is absolutely set in stone that you can only mark off what you have seen. In reality you need to have seen it several times so that you know the skill is embedded.

Those development profiles are only a guide and children often have bits they can do in several areas! However for the purpose of reporting to parents, the keyworker has to look where the majority of steps are being met!

Please dont worry about this, blame the government for forcing early yrs saff to put children in boxes!!

Miloarmadillo1 Sat 13-Feb-16 18:24:47

Ok, thank you all for replying. We are going to meet the SENCO anyway to see if we can get her any help, since attending nursery means she can't have Portage. There is absolutely no point doing these assessments if there is no additional help available. She didn't meet a single criteria for a 10m ages and stages check done by the HV, her score said immediate intervention was required, and in fact she got a big fat nothing (4m wait to see paed, then her assessment taken as a 'baseline', Portage recommended, sat on the waiting list for 7 months only to be told she doesn't qualify...) The system is crap.

Ineedmorepatience Sat 13-Feb-16 18:36:18

Its such a postcode lottery isnt it! In my area portage [although its called something else] is available until the child starts school nursery! So in an early yrs setting such as a day nursery or playgroup it would still be available!

In fact I have had the workers come to the setting where I worked as a one to one and train me in the way they work so that I could continue the work in between sessions that the child received at home!

I just wonder if it would be worth checking again to see if you are missing out on anything! The early yrs inclusion or SEND department at your local authority should be able to help you!

TisIthecat Sat 13-Feb-16 19:43:11

Don't forget that ticking things off again the EYES criteria is the things they have seen her do when they have been looking. It doesn't actually reflect her ability. DS is 4 and has some elements at 22 months. It's not that he can't measure - he cooks with me, weighs ingredients, measures his height and can talk about longer and shorter etc - but nursery clearly hasn't done an activity where he can demonstrate those skills - or they have and he was in a silly mood!

Ineedmorepatience Sat 13-Feb-16 20:24:41

Yes, I agree tis, especially when you bare in mind that early yrs settings get critised for "setting up" too many activities! They are supposed to observe these things through play but often it is impossible!

I loved the EYFS compared to what we had before and if the government let children be children and early yrs staff do what they do best then progress wouldnt be measured using tick boxes!

HopefulHattie Sat 13-Feb-16 20:51:16

Hi Milo,

I'd certainly mention it, but not worry about it. Teachers of EYFS have to have seen children achieve developmental steps in child initiated activities and controlled activities on more than one occasion before they can be 'ticked' off.

There is also (very sadly) a habit in schools of marking children of Nursery age down. This is encouraged by school leaders - in fact Nursery teachers can be bullied into it. It's so that at the end of Reception, the childrren can be shown to have made more progress. It carries on from reception into Ks1 and then from KS1 to KS2. It's all about schools 'proving' to OFSTED how well they have taught children. It's maddening.

In the long run though, your daughter won't suffer educationally. It just means that her achievements aren't recognised officially at the right times.

Just keep doing what you do. Keep your own copy of the EYFS Development Matters and help from home.

It's sad the way that schools have been encouraged to work this way.

LadyDowagerHatt Sun 14-Feb-16 05:00:07

Agree with above posters, they have to have seen children doing the activity before they can tick it, so there may be things she has done at home but not in nursery. I remember my (NT) DS who was very chatty at home scoring below his age on some of the language and communication because he didn't speak as much at nursery.

I do think nursery should have discussed it with you though rather than just handing you the sheet. My DD goes to playgroup and they have put in place 3 general targets for her this term - things like using a handful of words in context, sitting for 10 minutes or so at story time. Could you ask nursery to do the same?

We are also on the snowdrop programme <waves>, hope you have/will see progress on it. It is pretty amazing, my DD has come on loads and it's great to know you are doing something proactive rather than just waiting on the NHS.

LadyDowagerHatt Sun 14-Feb-16 05:15:08

Actually I may already know you if you have changed your user name since we first met on here!

Miloarmadillo1 Sun 14-Feb-16 07:20:00

Yes, I have name changed. My DD has been on Snowdrop for 6 months and has made amazing progress, she had her first reassessment recently and they were thrilled with her. I love that they focus n what she can do and are proactive. So fed up with being told what she can't do by the NHS and nursery yet not being offered any help!

Ineedmorepatience Sun 14-Feb-16 10:33:51

I think you should talk to the senco at the nursery about applying for an EHCP! In fact you can do it your self! If you think there is a chance that your daughter is going to need extra support when she goes to school! Now is the perfect time to get the ball rolling!

The nursery ought to get an Educational psychologist in to observe your Dd and make recommendations for how best to support her!

If you want to know more about the EHCP process its all on the IPSEA website!

Good luck flowers

Ineedmorepatience Sun 14-Feb-16 10:36:08

AntiquityReRises Sun 14-Feb-16 11:40:14

The lower scores at nursery will also be very useful for your EHCP application!

Ds has autism and 3 monthly reviews with the SENCO where 2 or 3 targets are set for him, or continued if he hasn't been able to achieve them yet. We stopped Portage as nursery is so good.

The first time I saw the EYFS form was in a meeting where it was explained thoroughly. The SENCO had no expectation I would automatically understand the criteria.

Miloarmadillo1 Sun 14-Feb-16 18:14:38

Thank you, we will ask about an EHCP.

Miloarmadillo1 Tue 23-Feb-16 14:31:15

We had a meeting at nursery today, with the SENCO ( I wasn't terribly impressed) and DD's key worker. It transpires that DD does not talk or sign at all at nursery. We've been given her progress book in which they keep setting her communication and language targets, writing 'not yet achieved' and carrying them across to the next bit of paper. We've explained that we see a completely different child at home, so now I'm worried that she is unhappy in the setting, or she has selective mutism. They are going to get SALT involved and start the process for an EHCP.

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