What is a SENCo?
A SENCo, or Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, is the member of teaching staff who is responsible for assessing, planning and monitoring the progress of children with Special Educational Needs in Early Years settings (under 5’s), schools and colleges. The SENCo is there to help children and they have a legal duty to follow the SEND code of practice.
The role of the SENCo involves making sure all practitioners in the setting understand their responsibilities to children with SEN and the setting’s approach to identifying and meeting their needs.
The role also includes:
- Advising and supporting colleagues
- Making sure that parents are closely involved and that their insights inform action taken by the setting
- Liaising with professionals or agencies beyond the setting
- Ensuring a smooth onward transition for the child onto their next stage of education
When to consult a SENCo
If your child has not been diagnosed as having a special need, but you think things are not progressing as they should, ask for 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 your child just needs a little extra help, or that SEN professionals need to become involved to diagnose a difficulty and provide SEN Support or perhaps initiate an Education, Health and Social Care (EHC) needs assessment.
Whatever level of support agreed, the SENCo will be the person who liaises with you and those working with your child about your child's needs going forwards.