Identify the requirements of current legislation in relation to inclusive practice

Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 3.13: Support children with additional needs
Learning outcome: Understand the principles of inclusive practice
Assessment criteria: Identify the requirements of current legislation in relation to inclusive practice


It is essential for Early Years educators to understand current UK legislation related to inclusive practice. This blog will discuss the specifics of various legal requirements and how they can be implemented in an Early Years setting. Understanding these requirements is key for creating an environment that is safe and welcoming for all children, regardless of their age, ability or background.

The most important piece of legislation relevant to Early Years settings in the UK is the Equality Act 2010. This Act states that providers of services must not discriminate against any individual on grounds such as race, gender or disability. Under this Act, providers must ensure that everyone has access to services without discrimination and they should take reasonable steps to make sure that disabled people are not excluded or disadvantaged when accessing services. In terms of Early Years settings, this means that provisions should be put in place to ensure that all children have equal access to activities and learning opportunities, no matter their age or ability.


The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) also plays an important role in shaping inclusive practice within Early Years settings. Article 29(1) of the CRC outlines a child’s right to “develop his or her talents and abilities” through “education” which “shall encourage understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, ethnic, national and religious groups”. This means that Early Years providers should strive to create an environment where every child can reach their full potential, free from discrimination based on race, gender or disability. Providers should also use strategies such as involving parents/carers in decision-making processes which promote shared responsibility between adults and children with regard to learning goals and outcomes.

Finally, it is important for practitioners working within Early Years settings to be aware of their obligations under SEN Code of Practice 2001 legislation which stipulates that practitioners must provide effective assessment procedures and support plans for any child who may have Special Education Needs (SEN). This includes providing appropriate care tailored specifically to each child’s individual needs while also taking into account what works best for them as a learner. Practitioners should also provide support in other areas such as health care needs; communication difficulties; sensory impairment; physical disabilities; social skills; emotional wellbeing etc., taking into account any additional resources required by the child (e.g., specialist teaching equipment).


In summary, there are many laws governing inclusive practice within Early Years settings across the UK which aim to ensure that every child has access to educational opportunities without discrimination based on age or ability. Practitioners working within these settings are required by law to adhere to these legislations whilst providing effective assessment procedures and support plans tailored specifically around each individual child’s needs. Through understanding these legal requirements more deeply we can create a truly inclusive environment where every learner can reach their full potential free from discrimination or prejudice.

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