SENCOs and other education professionals Education

A Special Education Needs Coordinators (SENCO) is the school staff member who is responsible for coordinating the provision of Special Educational Needs (SEN) in a school.

The SENCO will coordinate additional support for pupils with Special Education Needs and will liaise with their parents and teachers, as well as other professionals involved with them.

It is the SENCO’s responsibility to ask for an Educational Psychologist and other external services to be involved with a child. This is most often for children receiving support through School Action and School Action Plus. This can include general SEN assessments, administration and parental support.

The SENCO should have the support of the headteacher and other staff to try and develop effective ways of assessing the child’s needs and setting targets for improvement to:

  • overcome barriers to a child’s learning
  • ensure they receive effective teaching.

SENCOs must also collaborate with curriculum coordinators at the school to make sure that the learning requirements of all children with SEN are given equal emphasis and priority.

You may come into contact with other people within the education system. They include:

  • Advisory teachers, who are responsible for co-ordinating the Local Education Authority’s (LEA’s) response to pupils with physical and medical difficulties. They work alongside teachers and the LEA.
  • Education welfare officers, who work closely with schools and families to promote effective working relationships. They can become involved in attendance issues.
  • Educational psychologists, who are responsible for assessing a child’s Special Educational Needs and ensuring they receive the additional support they need. They are employed by the LEA.
  • Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) and Educational Support Assistants (ESAs), who help the class teacher make sure children with special educational needs are well supported. They are often assigned to work with one particular child.