If you child has a special educational need or disability it’s important they get the right support from their SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator). This is the school teacher responsible for assessing, planning and monitoring their progress, as well as applying for any extra funding to provide them with extra help.
A good SENCO will always listen to others, including parents, to ensure the child’s needs are met as fully as possible – and a co-ordinated effort between school and home is always best – so here are some top tips for working with them to ensure the best outcomes for your child.
- Be as clear and open with the SENCO about your child’s difficulties as possible and share any ideas you might have about what you might help. Remember, while the SENCO may be an expert in special educational needs, you are the expert on your own child!
- Special educational needs and disabilities can affect home life too, so the things you observe about your child on a day to day basis are invaluable. Try to keep any observations clear and dated so they can be effectively shared with the SENCO, whether this is in a notebook, diary or online log.
- To ensure your child is getting the right help and any targets are being met there will be many meeting to review your child’s progress. These should be held regularly, at least once a term – and it’s important that you are given the chance to contribute to these and the option to attend.
- If anything does happen at school which concerns you, be sure to discuss this with the SENCO as soon as possible so it can be dealt with quickly, rather than waiting until the next review, which could make the situation worse.
It is worth remembering that SENCO’s are also full time teachers with their own class who also perform these extra duties part-time, so they may not always be able to respond as quickly as you may wish!
To find out more about the role of a SENCO and how they can help your child, access the governments SEN guide for parents and carers here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/190545/DCSF-00639-2008.pdf
The Good School Guides advice on SEN needs and SENCO’s can be found here: https://www.goodschoolsguide.co.uk/special-educational-needs/schools-and-sen/senco
And more help from the organisation Contact click here: https://contact.org.uk/help-for-families/information-advice-services/education-learning/extra-support-in-mainstream-schools/