Roles of the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO)

The SENCO role is crucial in ensuring schools and settings have arrangements in place to support children with special education needs (SEN) or disabilities.

The role of the SENCO includes:


1. Ensuring all practitioners in the setting understand the setting's approach to identifying and meeting SEN 

The SENCO has a role in leading and co-ordinating the graduated approach across the setting. The SENCO needs to ensure that all practitioners understand how the setting:

  • responds to any cause for concern, identifies and supports individuals with special educational needs
  • focuses on improving children’s progress and outcomes
  • implements SEN support and the graduated approach with four stages of action: assess, plan, do, review
  • meets the requirements for record-keeping in a way that supports the participative decision-making process
  • how the setting works in partnership with parents to identify a child as having SEN
  • how the practitioner and the SENCO agree, in consultation with the parent, the outcomes they are seeking for the child
  • how plans for support, within the setting, should take into account the views of the child


2. Ensuring all practitioners in the setting understand the setting's approach to identifying and meeting SEN

The SENCO supports individual practitioners and colleagues in implementing the approac for individual children within the setting. 

The SENCO has an important role in working with colleagues to identify and address staff development needs within the setting. To meet these needs SENCOs should link with Area SENCOs who have a role in supporting the development and delivery of training both for individual settings and on a wider basis.


3. Ensuring parents are closely involved throughout and that their insights inform action taken by the setting

The SENCO is responsible for making sure that parents are involved in the discussion of any early concerns, in identifying any SEN, and agreeing:

  • the outcomes they are seeking for the child
  • the interventions and support to be put in place
  • the expected impact on progress, development, behaviour
  • date for review

Parents’ insights should inform action taken by the setting and they should feel that their wishes, views and feelings are taken into account, in line with the principles in the Children and Families Act.

SENCOs can help by making sure parents receive the information, advice and support that they need in order to participate in the SEN decision-making process. More information about working with parents can be found on The Hub’s Working with Parents to Support the Child.


4. Liaising with professionals or agencies beyond the setting 

The Area SENCO and other support services are an important source of advice and support to the SENCO.  Such services will be able to advice on good practice, on training and professional development and on other sources of support for settings and families. More information about support services for SEND in Waltham forest can be found on The Hub’s information, advice and training page.


It is vital for the SENCO to have allocated time during the week to coordinate the settings send support and fulfill their coordinator role. 

Last update: Wednesday 7th of August 2019 10:11:45 AM