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Portage

Activity types:
  • Advice
  • Assessment
  • Review
Resource type:
  • Information

Prices start from £23 per checklist.

Portage is a home visiting education service for pre-school children with SEND, the Portage SEND Best Practice Assessment Checklist helps to assess progression.

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Please note - unfortunately, due to a temporary closure of our office, we will be unable to despatch Portage Checklist orders between 29 October and 16 December 2020. If you wish to place an order you can either order and make your payment during this timeframe, or you may wish to place your order once our office has re-opened. We apologise for the inconvenience.

Portage for SEND

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.

What is the Portage Developmental Profile?

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.

Why choose the Portage SEND Best Practice Assessment Checklist?

  • 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

Portage Checklist pricing

Please have a look at the Portage SEND Best Practice Assessment Checklist pricing chart.  

If you would like to place an order please click on the 'Order Now' button at either the top or bottom of this page.

Portage case studies and endorsements

"Portage has been a huge help in the development of our son, aims are clearly set out and achievable. The structure of Portage is hugely beneficial for our son who thrives on routine. Everyone comments on how well he is coming on and I feel Portage is the main reason for this. It was really informative and empowering to know your child’s abilities and the gaps in their development and how you can help them to achieve their goals. I gained a greater understanding of my child’s needs and how to play with him and respond to his behaviour."
Parent using the Kent Portage Service

"Having Portage visits and using the checklist has helped to plan activities that support our child’s development, and then using these small steps suggested to achieve a long-term aim.”
Parent using the Kent Portage Service

"Using the Kent Portage Checklist has helped the parents/carers that I work with understand their child’s development. It recognises the importance of incremental small steps that lead to the achievement of large milestones within a child’s development. Having the clear seven sections of development linked to the EYFS shows where children may need additional support to achieve life and play skills. Using the Kent Portage Checklist with the profile, shows parents clearly how many skills a child has learnt and the progression the child has made since starting Portage using a small steps approach to learning.

When sharing a child’s developmental profile with the families many have exclaimed their excitement over how clearly they can see their child’s progression. All of the specific learning aims for a child are lifted from the checklist with the parents/carers fully involved. Having each increment of development set out so clearly enables parents/carers to make well informed choices when setting aims for their child that are realistic to achieve. Using the auto-text tool enables these new long term aims to be set with ease and speed, meaning time in the office is more efficient! The auto-text also enables aims to be selected from a variety of age sections that are in line to the child’s personal development creating an individualised plan for the child. The four monthly reviews of progress are done with the full participation of parents/carers; this shows all of the development that a child has accomplished in the past four months. This also means they can also see that their perseverance and hard work is making a difference to their child’s development.

Having the checklist as a professional aid enables the teaching to be targeted, appropriate and have a clear focus. It means that good purposeful aims are set and are easy to adapt if upon sharing with a parent they want to change the focus. This continual 'plan, do, review' cycle is made easy and accessible with the Kent Portage Checklist and provides many causes for celebration when working in collaboration with parents and carers."
Jessica House, Portage Practitioner

"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."
National Portage Association (NPA), 2017

Information about the National Portage Association and their aims

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

NPA Aims
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.