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Council Services:

Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO)

Each local authority mainstream school and all mainstream academies and free schools have to ensure that there is a qualified teacher designated as their SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator)

The SENCO has an important role to play with the school’s head teacher and governing body, in determining the development of the SEN policy and SEN provision in the school.

The SENCO is responsible for making sure the SEN policy is followed in school, and they also have to co-ordinate the specific provision made for individual pupils with SEN, including those who are receiving SEN support and those who have EHC plans.

The SENCO provides professional guidance to colleagues and works closely with all staff at the school, parents and support agencies. The SENCO will be able to work with professionals and families to ensure that pupils with SEN receive appropriate support and high quality teaching at school.

The key responsibilities of a SENCO may include the following. These are taken from the SEND Code of Practice 2014:

  • Overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEN policy
  • Co-ordinating provision for children with SEN
  • Liaising with the relevant designated teacher where a ‘looked after’ pupil has SEN
  • Advising on the graduated approach to providing SEN support
  • Advising on the deployment of the school’s resources to meet pupils’ needs effectively
  • Liaising with parents of pupils with SEN
  • Liaising with early years providers, other schools, educational psychologists, health and social care professionals, and independent or voluntary bodies
  • Being a key point of contact with external agencies, especially the local authority and its support services
  • Liaising with potential next providers of education to ensure a pupil and their parents are informed about options and a smooth transition is planned
  • Working with the head teacher and school governors to ensure that the school meets its responsibilities with regard to reasonable adjustments and access arrangements
  • ensuring that the school keeps the records of all pupils with SEN up to date

The school should make sure that the SENCO has enough time and resources to carry out these tasks. The SENCO should be provided with sufficient administrative support and time away from teaching to enable them to fulfil their responsibilities.

It is possible for a number of smaller primary schools to share a SENCO employed to work across the individual schools. Where such a shared approach is taken the SENCO should not normally have a significant class teaching commitment. Such a shared SENCO role should not be carried out by a head teacher at one of the schools. Schools should review the effectiveness of such a shared SENCO role on a regular basis, to check that this approach is having a positive effect on the outcomes for pupils with SEN.

More information about the SEN procedures in your child’s school can be found on the Family Services Directory where each individual school’s website is listed. Here you will find the name of the designated SENCO for your child’s school, and the detailed information which each school must provide as part of their duties under the SEND Code of Practice 2014.


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1 March 2018 for Secondary school offers

16 April 2018 for Primary or Junior offers


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