What Is a SENCO?
What Is a SENCO?
A SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) is a qualified teacher who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of a school's SEN policy.
A SENCO will identify the specific requirements which an individual child or young person with SEN will need in order to create a safe and supportive environment within the education system. The role of a SENCO is an extremely critical one as they are responsible for ensuring children with SEN receive the extra support they need to thrive.
SEN pupils may have learning difficulties or disorders (such as dyslexia), a physical disability, hearing, visual or multisensory impairments or emotional and behavioural problems.
Every mainstream school in the UK must have a SENCO to ensure that all children with SEN are well supported and have the opportunity to reach their full educational potential.
In smaller schools, a Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher may take on the role as SENCO.
In larger schools, there may be a dedicated SEN team which includes SENCOs and Assistant SENCOs. In these instances, the SENCO should have the support of the Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team (SLT) to develop effective ways of overcoming barriers to a child's learning.
A SENCO can also be known as an Additional Learning Needs Coordinator (ALNCo).
What Are the Responsibilities of a SENCO?
A SENCO keeps parents informed through progress reports and works closely with internal professionals such as Teachers and Teaching Assistants, as well as external experts such as Educational Psychologists and Speech & Language Therapists.
SENCO's provide guidance to Teachers on supporting SEN students, assist with transitions, and help with classroom management. Additionally, they oversee the budget for SEN resources, keep records up-to-date, and stay informed about national and local SEN policies.
While working as a SENCO, you will be required to:
- Identifying pupils who may need additional support.
- Identify the individual needs of SEN pupils through assessments.
- Ensure the needs of pupils with SEN are met
- Make adjustments to a child with SEN when necessary.
- Assist the Headteacher to develop and oversee the implementation of the school's SEN strategy and policy.
- Advise staff and colleagues on the SEN strategy and provision within your school.
- Monitor progress of pupils with SEN.
- Build effective relationships with various parties including the child or young person with SEN, their family, colleagues, the school leadership team and relevant external agencies.
- Ensure parents are regularly updated through written reports on the progress of the SEN pupil.
- Work well in conjunction with internal professionals including the Head Teacher, their Deputy, teachers, Teaching Assistants, Heads of Department and School Governors.
- Work well in conjunction with external professionals including Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Health and Social Care Providers.
- Be a key point of contact for the local authority and any relevant external agencies.
- Give guidance to teachers on how to best support SEN pupils.
- Ensuring teachers have the resources in order to effectively support SEN pupils.
- Assist teachers in developing schemes of work and learning programmes for SEN pupils.
- Liaise with parents and potential future providers of education. Parents should be made aware of the potential options available to the child or young person and a smooth transition should be planned with minimal disruption.
- Working with the Headteacher and School Governors to ensure all relevant legislation is met.
- Assist teachers to create and implement effective teaching and behaviour management approaches within the classroom.
- Oversee and advise on the school budget and resources for SEN provision.
- Update databases and systems with clear and current information in a timely manner.
- Maintain up to date knowledge relating to national and local policies related to SEN.
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