Below you will find a useful guide to some of the essentials you need to help you in your role.
These range from key legislation and guidance, to developing your yearly planner for SEN and Inclusion within your setting.
There is also a special educational needs jargon buster!
Key Legislation and Guidance
As a SENCO you will need to be aware of the key legislation and guidance which underpins your work. Below are links tokey documents that are your essentials and will support you in your role.
Key Legislation: The Children and Families Act (2014)
Part 3 of The Children and Families Act (2014) provides the legal framework for many of the systems and processes for supporting children and young people with SEND. It is available here: www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/6/contents
This legislation provides the legal framework for a range of regulations and guidance, in particular the Special Educational Needs Regulations (2014) and Code of Practice (2014 and updated 2015). It also links closely with the Equality Act (2010). The Act sets out duties on local authorities, education settings and other partners.There is a helpful guide to Part 3 published here: councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/help-resources/resources/summary-children-and-families-act
Key Guidance: The Special Educational Needs and Disability
Code of Practice: 0-25 years (2014, updated 2015)
The Code of Practice provides statutory guidance on the duties, policies and procedures relating to Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 and the SEND Regulations. It applies to all maintained settings, academies and free schools in England. The SEND Code of Practice is available here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25
Key Legislation: The Equality Act (2010)
The Equality Act 2010 brought together a range of previous acts including: the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 196, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995
and the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007. The Act is available here:
The Equality Act Guidance for Schools
Additional Legislation: Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018)
An essential document for you to know.
Additional Legislation: Supporting Pupils at School with Medical Conditions (2017)
Helpful guidance for working with children and young people with medical conditions.
(Some of the above information has been taken from the NASEN SENCO Induction Pack)
Your Key SEN Documents
As a SENCO you will have a strategic overview of the policy and practice in relation to special educational needs and inclusion in your setting. Therefore, it’s important that you have and review the following documents on a regular basis:
SEN Information Report
SEN Policy (not a statutory requirement)
School Improvement Plan/Development Plan for SEN and Inclusion
Keep a clear record of CPD for SEN and Inclusion
Check that your setting’s SEN Information Report and SEN Policy are on the website and is easily accessible for parents/carers. This is a statutory requirement and it is a priority if it is not there already.
Your SEN Jargon Buster
As a SENCO you will encounter many jargon terms related to special educational needs and disabilities; therefore, we have created a Jargon Buster which explains many of the terminologies you’ll come across. This can also be shared with other people in your setting.
Within Barnet, we have also created our ‘Barnet Special Educational Needs and Inclusion FAQs’ document which answers a range of questions about special educational needs provision.
Click on the following link to download a copy: Barnet Special Educational Needs and Inclusion FAQs
Developing a Yearly Planner
A good starting point for any SENCO is to have a yearly planner in place for SEN and Inclusion across your setting. This should include all the key tasks that need to be in place to ensure the highest quality provision for special educational needs.
Within this it’s helpful to include the following:
Key tasks for the SENCO
Key tasks for teachers
Key tasks for support staff
Planned CPD for the year
Review of key documents such as your SEN Information Report and any policies that are due for review
This can be broken down into months of the academic year and should also link to your whole school calendar so everyone in your setting is clear about when key events are taking place.
Within your role, it’s important to network with other SENCOs and professionals; this is a brilliant way of sharing good practice as well as knowledge and expertise.
In Barnet, we have our termly Challenge Workshops taking place which are a great way of meeting other SENCOs and developing your network.
There are also virtual forums available such as the NASEN National SENCO Forum which has been developed as part of the SEND Gateway and is an independent community of people, mainly education professionals, with a particular interest in special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
NASEN – SENCO Forum
Many members of the SENCO Forum are SENCOs but this is not a requirement – everyone who is involved in SEND is welcome, including class teachers, teaching assistants, advisers, consultants, parents, young people etc. The Forum provides opportunities for people to ask questions, offer suggestions, discuss and debate, and share information and resources, in the field of SEND.
To join the Forum, visit the following link: www.sendgateway.org.uk/index.cfm?originalUrl=whole-school-send/sencos-area/
(Information taken from nasen.org.uk)
Useful websites to bookmark