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What is a SENCO? Teacher standing near blackboard

What is a SENCO?

February 2, 2024

Demystifying the SENCO in Your School

Navigating the educational landscape can feel like traversing a foreign land, especially when your child has special educational needs (SEN). Acronyms like EHC plans are thrown around, and a new cast of characters enters the scene, leaving you with more questions than answers. High among them: What is a SENCO?

Fear not parents! This article will equip you with the knowledge to decode the mystery of the SENCO and understand their crucial role in supporting your child’s success at school.

Unraveling the Acronym

A SENCO (also known as a SENDCO in some schools) is a qualified teacher who has had extra training about SEND. They arrange all the extra support for children and young people with SEND. Think of them as a superhero – not in a cape and tights, but in a tailored suit of expertise and dedication. The SENCO champions the needs of children with SEN within the school, ensuring they receive the appropriate support to flourish.

What does a SENCO do?

Their toolbox is brimming with superpowers.

Assessment and Identification

They work closely with teachers and other professionals to identify children with SEN and assess their specific needs.

Coordinating Support

The SENCO orchestrates a symphony of support, collaborating with teachers, teaching assistants, therapists, and families to design personalised learning plans and interventions.

Liaison and Advocacy

They act as a bridge between families, school staff, and external services, ensuring everyone is on the same page and advocating for your child’s needs.

Resource Guru

SENCOs have a deep understanding of resources and funding available for children with SEN. They guide families through the maze of support systems and ensure your child receives the appropriate tools and interventions.

Professional Development

They act as a training hub for teachers and staff, raising awareness about SEN and equipping them with the skills to support diverse learners.

Unmasking the Mystery

Male teacher in a school

Here are some things to know about SENCOs:

  • They are qualified teachers: SENCOs have additional training and expertise in SEN, making them well-equipped to understand your child’s specific needs.
  • They are approachable: Don’t hesitate to reach out! SENCOs are dedicated to supporting families and welcome your questions and concerns.
  • They are part of a team: Remember, the SENCO isn’t a lone knight. They work collaboratively with other professionals and families to ensure your child receives holistic support.

Becoming a Partner

Building a strong relationship with your child’s SENCO is key. Here are some tips:

  • Communicate openly: Share your concerns, observations, and questions. The more information you provide, the better the SENCO can support your child.
  • Attend meetings: Actively participate in IEP and review meetings to stay informed and contribute to your child’s educational plan.
  • Show appreciation: Acknowledge the SENCO’s dedication and efforts. Their support can be invaluable in your child’s educational journey.

Remember, the SENCO is not just another acronym on a page. They are a dedicated professional, armed with knowledge, resources, and a passion for supporting children with SEN. By understanding their role and building a strong partnership, you can ensure your child benefits from their superpowers and thrives in the school environment.

So, the next time you hear the term “SENCO,” don’t be intimidated. Instead, picture a champion, a resource, and a partner in your child’s educational journey. Together, you can unlock their full potential and navigate the school landscape with confidence!

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