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What is the Portage SEND Best Practice Assessment Checklist?

The Portage SEND Best Practice Assessment Checklist supports the assessment of pre-school children who have special educational needs and disabilities focusing on their developmental strengths and needs.  Using the portage checklist with families enables a better understanding of each child’s learning, celebrating each small success and being able to recognise gaps at a glance.

By breaking learning skills into small achievable steps, practitioners can plan activities that promote each child’s learning. The Portage Checklist incorporates the early years foundation stage statements so enables direct links when transitioning across learning environments.

You can download a PDF of a sample of the Portage SEND Best Practice Assessment Checklist.

The Portage Assessment Checklist has been designed as a hard copy to make the document easy to use with families when planning the next activities to support a child’s development and learning.

Whether completing a few pages or the whole document it allows you to see at a glance the skills a child ‘can do’.

Having a hard copy document also prompts Portage practitioners to share the document with families.  This gives opportunities for open discussion about each child’s interests and motivation. By using the parent’s knowledge of their child helps professionals to plan effectively. The document with family’s permission can be shared with other professionals and settings.  They could continue using the document which will help to break tasks down into small achievable steps helping with writing targets for personal plans.

The coloured in profile can be used as evidence for EHC plans and forms a pictorial record of the child’s skill level and achievements.

The Portage Developmental Profile, when used alongside the Checklist, acknowledges current skills clearly showing a child’s achievements and where progress has been made. It allows the practitioner to map a child's progression in a clear and straightforward way.

You can download a PDF of a sample of the Portage Developmental Profile from birth to five years.

  • Kent County Council's Portage team have worked in partnership with the National Portage Association to create a comprehensive checklist, which will make the assessment of special educational needs and disabilities children more straightforward and promote the achievable steps to support development and learning
  • The Portage SEND Best Practice Assessment Checklist links the behaviours to the early years and foundation stage elements of the curriculum
  • Alongside the checklist, you will receive a developmental profile and a downloable version of the autotext phrases* needed to write up a child's aims
  • The checklist package can be used by Portage services countrywide, early years settings/providers, special educational needs and disabilities schools and settings and schools with special educational needs and disabilities primary elements.

*Only available for Windows users

National Portage Association

The National Portage Association (NPA) is national charity, supporting Portage services, families and professionals involved in Portage.

The NPA operates at national and regional level throughout England and Wales, supporting individual members, registered services and settings who have been awarded the NPA Stamp of Approval award.

The partnership between the National Portage Association and Kent County Council
"The National Portage Association is proud to be working in partnership with Kent County Council in producing this checklist. It brings together all of the developmental steps for children from birth to five years from various documents including the original Portage checklist and the Early Years Foundation Stage. The skills are broken down in to small steps so that parents and practitioners can assess and celebrate every skill that the child has achieved. It can then act as a guide to the design of teaching activities to further promote development.

This will be an invaluable tool for all parents and practitioners who want to enhance the development of children, particularly those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities."
NPA, 2017

At the National Portage Association we are passionate about supporting children, parents and families and aim to:

  • Work with families to help them develop a quality of life and experience for themselves and their young children in which they can learn together, play together, participate and be included in their community in their own right
  • Play a part in minimising the disabling barriers that confront young children and their families receiving Portage services
  • Support the national and local development of inclusive services for children.

The Portage service is provided by Kent County Council.