What is the role of a SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator)
A SENCo is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the school's SEN policy. All mainstream schools must appoint a teacher to be their SENCo. The SENCo will co-ordinate additional support for pupils with SEN and liaise with their parents, teachers and other professionals who are involved with them.
All mainstream schools must appoint a teacher to be their SENCo.
The role of the SENCo is crucial for early years settings in supporting early identification and intervention for children with special educational needs and will be a useful contact for parent/carers who have any concerns about their child’s development.
Please see Supporting Information pages - under related advice, and downloads.
The type of responsibilities a SENCo has are:
Overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEN policy.
- Supporting the identification of children with special educational needs.
- Co-ordinating provision for children with SEN.
- Liaising with parents of children with SEN.
- Liaising with other providers, outside agencies, educational psychologists and external agencies particularly for children receiving support. Ensuring that the school keeps the records of all pupils with SEN up to date.
The SENCO should have the support of the head teacher and other teachers to try and develop effective ways of overcoming barriers to a child's learning and ensuring that they receive effective teaching through assessing the child’s needs and setting targets for improvement. SENCo’s must also collaborate with curriculum co-ordinators at the school to make sure that the learning requirements of all children with SEN are given equal emphasis and priority.
When to consult a SENCo
If you think there may be something holding your child back, express those concerns.
If your child has not been diagnosed as having a special need, but you think things are not progressing as they should, have a meeting with the SENCo. If the needs are likely to be more than a minor concern that can be dealt with by the class teacher, the SENCo may observe the child, talk to other staff members and look at any records that may indicate a difficulty. This may suggest that the child just needs a little extra help, or that SEN professionals need to become involved to diagnose a graver difficulty, and perhaps initiate an Education, Health and Social Care (EHC) Plan.
The SENCo will then be the person who liaises with you, the teachers and teaching assistants about your child's needs. This isn't a one-way street - ensuring your child receives the full help necessary to fulfil their potential may require diligent homework, detailed searching and questions on your part.
Reviewed October 2020