Dingley’s Promise is passionate about spreading good practice and building wider inclusion in the early years!

We have worked with a number of local authorities
to support planning for greater inclusion
in their early years offer.

Current figures show that only 19% of local authorities feel they have sufficiency in their areas for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in the early years, and this is something that we believe must change.

In 2020, we worked with four local authorities in the south of England to support development of their transitions for children with SEND out of the early years as part of the Department for Education-funded Early Years SEND Partnership. Using local action learning sets, we have helped to support positive developments in those areas and a move towards better transitions for children with SEND.

We have also shared our own journey with other specialist settings and with local authorities about how we moved from being a standard specialist early years setting, to our current model of using specialist early intervention to build wider inclusion. We believe that children should move between special education and mainstream education as their needs change, and that all specialist early years settings should give every child who could benefit the opportunity to move to the mainstream. In many cases, we have found that local authorities are concerned that once children start special education, they do not leave. Last year 65% of our children moved to the mainstream, and according to research any experience of mainstream education will improve their life outcomes.

If you are a local authority looking to develop more inclusion in your early years offer, or are a specialist setting that would like to contribute to wider inclusion, please contact us for further details of either or how we could help.