Every childcare setting has a SENCO who will work with staff, children, and parents to develop appropriate strategies to support a child's learning.

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator

Guide for new SENCOs

Includes jargon busters, information on teams that may be able to support you, specialist nurseries and schools and other useful contact details.

What is a SENCO?

A SENCO is a nominated person within an early learning setting & schools who is specially trained to identify and address special educational needs of the children in their care. Every childcare setting has a SENCO who will work with staff, children and parents to develop appropriate strategies to support a child's learning. 

A SENCO will work with children, parents and the Early Years SEN Inclusion Service Team to support children by having regard to the SEN Code of Practice.

The Early Years SEN Inclusion Service Team helps to support SENCO's in their setting with training, development and the identification of children's needs.

What does a SENCO do?

The SENCO has responsibility for:

  • Ensuring liaison with parents and other professionals in respect of children with special educational needs
  • Advising and supporting other practitioners in the setting
  • Ensuring that appropriate Targeted Plans and Behaviour Plans are in place
  • Ensuring that relevant background information about a child with Special educational needs are collected, recorded and updated

Job description to help managers with recruitment and help new SENCOs job expectations:

What training does a SENCO receive?

The SENCO receives a core package of training and support materials. The SENCO also is invited to attend SENCO Network Meetings and select from a number of workshops.

The training audit has all the necessary and desirable courses for new and existing SENCOs:

Can I speak to my child's SENCO?

Yes. You may well have the opportunity for daily contact when you take your child to his/her setting.

What does an Area SENCO do?

  • Support the setting SENCO in developing their skills and role
  • Offer advice and support on writing a Special Educational Needs Policy and fulfilling the requirements of the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice
  • Advise staff on how to make their setting more inclusive

What does an Early Years SEN Inclusion Advisor & Practitioner do?

  • They assess children's special educational needs
  • They provide advice and support for parents and early years setting staff
  • They work on appropriate strategies for meeting individual needs
  • They support the child's entry into school
  • Provide training on a range of special needs topics both centrally and in settings

Graduated Approach Booklet

A booklet for providers to use to support in identifying need and planning support of children with emerging and developing need.

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SENCO advice line

The duty desk (0116 305 7136) is available for all providers and childminders. It operates daily 9am-1pm. The duty desk is staffed by Area SENCO’s so can offer unnamed support and advice.