In the third edition of this respected and influential textbook, Kate Wall blends theory and practice with an informative and highly accessible writing style to provide a detailed analysis of provision for young children with additional needs.

New to this edition are: - up-to-date information on all the relevant policies and legislation, including the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), Every Child Matters (ECM) and the training guidelines for new SENCOs; - a timeline showing the development of policies and legislation in the field; - learning objectives at the beginning of chapters; - points for reflection within chapters, to aid independent study and facilitate critical thinking; - new case studies, which cover the Birth to 8 age range; - new content on the role of fathers, pupil voice and listening to children, taking an holistic view of the child, and current issues around diversity and inclusion.

This book is essential reading for early years students and practitioners, and for all those working with young children with special educational needs and their families.

Legislation and Policy

Legislation and policy

Chapter Objectives

To develop awareness of:

  • the progression in special needs and early years provision
  • definitions of key terminology
  • key historical changes in legislation and policy
  • current legislation, guidance and policy.


The term ‘special needs’ is frequently used in a generic manner and has become indicative of a separate and discrete area of education and wider society, yet we are currently experiencing increasing societal changes that promote inclusion in all aspects of our lives. It could be suggested that all people have needs and that these needs will vary as their lives develop and change, some having severely traumatising effects demanding very specific short- and/or long-term support, but at other times causing less impact. At times we all require very specific, individual support but this does ...

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