SENCO stands for Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator.

The SENCO has responsibilities for overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) policy.

Key duties include:

  • Supporting the identification of children with SEN.
  • Co-ordinating provision for children with SEN. Provision is what schools put in place to help.
  • Make sure policy and provision on a day to day basis is being followed.
  • Monitoring the progress of children with additional needs.
  • Make sure that the school keeps the records of all pupils with SEN up to date.
  • Talking with parents of children with SEN and keeping them up to date.
  • Being a key contact for staff. They give advice and training in the school about SEN.
  • Speaking with other providers, educational psychologists and external agencies.
  • Speaking with the school’s senior management team and governing body.

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Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Code of Practice

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Code of Practice states that:

  • all newly appointed SENCOs from 2019 must be qualified teachers
  • have the national SENCO training award. This has to be completed within 3 years of appointment.

This is also excellent professional development for experienced SENCOs as well.

How a SENCO can support parents

If a parent has a concern about their child they should speak with their class teacher in the first. If concerns persist then parents can request a meeting with the school SENCO.  They will be able to give further advice on next steps.

Parents can contact the SENCO in school.  The information is on the SEND information report or they can go through the school office.

Parents should have an awareness of who the SENCO is at their child’s school.

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Locality SENCOs and City-wide SENCOs

Mainstream schools are split into seven locality areas in Sheffield. Each of these localities are made up of Secondary Schools and the primary schools that feed into them. Catholic primary schools are in the locality they are based.  This is instead of being in the same locality as the linked feeder Secondary school.

Each Locality has a:

  • named lead Headteacher responsible for SEND
  • a City-wide SENCO
  • a Locality Lead SENCOs

They are available to offer advice and guidance to SENCOs in schools.  They also give support through Locality Panels.

City-Wide SENCOs work across the city to offer:

  • support for individual cases
  • support at whole school level. This is to help put in place SEND systems, policies and provision. 
  • design and deliver training based on local needs and priorities.
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