New training to help South Tyneside nursery staff 'guide parents' through special educational needs support

Efforts to support South Tyneside families of children with special needs have been given a boost thanks to new training for staff.

According to South Tyneside Council, 19 nursery workers have now completed the Level 3 Early Years Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) Award.

Completion of the course is expected to improve early intervention for youngsters found to have special educational needs and disabilities, as well as improved knowledge of the support available to them and their families.

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Funding for the training was provided by the Department for Education and it is hoped a new batch of SENCos will be ready to receive the training next year.

South Tyneside Council Cllr Adam Ellison presents the Nursery SENCo's with their awards at South Shields Town Hall.
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Councillor Adam Ellison, cabinet member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “We believe in giving every child the best start in life and investing in the professional development of education professionals in South Tyneside is one way we can achieve this.

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“This training will give staff across a number of our early years settings the knowledge they need to be able to better support children with special needs and disabilities at the start of their educational journey.”

Education bosses in the borough hope the initiative will mean more Early Years SENCos working in more settings across South Tyneside.

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And this could also improve the support on offer for parents.

Kayleigh Wilkinson, day care manager at STANLEY’S Primrose Children’s Centre, said: “We are currently supporting children and their families who are in the process of applying for an Educational, Health and Care plan and this course has provided in-depth knowledge and confidence to guide parents through this process.”