Skip to content

How to apply for SENIF

In order to apply for SENIF settings must complete the online SENIF Request Form which can be found via the link below.

For children receiving Portage who may require SENIF support in order to start at the setting, a home or group visit will be undertaken with the Portage Practitioner. The EY setting SENCo or key person to complete the SENIF Request Form and the EY Personalised Plan. The Portage Profile and report will be emailed to the County SEN Inclusion Fund Team by the Portage Practitioner to accompany the request (for further information please see the SENIF Guidance document (PDF, 335.4 KB).

To ensure the child meets the criteria for SENIF, settings will be expected to provide the following pre-existing evidence uploaded to the request as part of completing the SENIF Request Form. For all requests (new and renewals) if this evidence is not received the request cannot be considered.

  1. The most recently reviewed EY Personalised Plan (DOC, 381.5 KB). (Please see EY Personalised Plan Guidance (PDF, 427.8 KB) for further information on how to complete a personalised plan)
  2. The current Personalised Plan, including current attainment
  3. The most recent Specialist Teacher’s Record of Support and Intervention (Record of Visit).

For children who have a Proposed or Final Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP):

Deferred entry to primary school
pink line

Parents have the right to start their child at school on a full time basis from the September following their fourth birthday.  Parents also have the right to delay their child's start date (known as deferred entry), until later in the school year, but not beyond the beginning of the term after they turn 5 and not beyond the beginning of the final term of the school year in April. Children may also start part time later in the school year, but not beyond the beginning of the term after they turn 5.

Summer-born children
pink line

Children born between 1 April and 31 August are sometimes referred to as summer born children. They have the same right to defer entry as any other child. This means they must start school at the beginning of the April term if they wish to keep their offer. Where parents wish for their summer born child to defer entry until the start of Year 1, they must refuse their offered place, which may be offered to a different child, and then reapply through the In Year process during the last month of reception year.


Where a family have chosen to defer their child’s entry to primary provision it is possible for the child to continue to access their Early Education Entitlement at their chosen Early Years Provider, until the end of the term in which the child turn 5.  This means that SENIF could be agreed for a child who has an agreement to defer their entry to primary provision.  This agreement is either a written agreement from the mainstream primary school which agrees to the deferred entry and sets out the plan for later access to a school place or a Final EHCP which names the chosen Early Years Provider.

The Deferred Entry flow chart (PDF, 148.5 KB) includes more information on the process and the required evidence when making a SENIF Request for a child who has deferred their entry.

Contact Details
pink line

In case of difficulties in completing the online form please contact the SENIF Team SENIF@kent.gov.uk.

Some of the files on this page may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. See our accessibility statement for information on how to request an alternative format.