SENCOs have a lot on their plate and being organised from the start can make a big difference for the year.
So, we’ve compiled a list of things to do just that. Here are 8 tips for the start of the year for SENCOs.
1. You have to make sure that each and every member of staff knows their SEN pupils, the interventions that are in place and available additional support. Support and advice should be offered where necessary.
2. Create a SENCO Surgery. This is a specific time during the course of the week where the staff can meet with you to discuss SEN issues. To make the surgery successful, you have to reduce the number of on the hoof queries and questions.
3. Read the DfE advice “Transition to the new 0-25 special educational needs and disability system”. Even though this advice is LAS targeted, it will make you understand their duties and what you need to do to support the process.
Continue working with your local authority. However, you have to be clear about the duties and responsibilities. It is a good idea to say NO if you feel like you are asked to do tasks you are not accountable for.
4. After producing a timeline for all your transfer and annual reviews, circulate to all the relevant people. Having a time frame for reports and evidence to be completed so that everything is done in good time.
5. It is a good idea to continue developing a good relationship with parents especially of new children and young people who have never come to your school before and it is their first time. Inform the parents of the dates of the annual/transfer reviews to enable them attend all the meetings and gather their own evidence.
For the parents whose children are on SEN Support, there should be pupil progress meetings three times every year and that the teachers are well informed about these.
6. Undertake an audit of the skills, expertise and the needs of the pupils within the school. This will help you deploy your support staff more effectively.
7. To ensure there is enough funding to support SEN across the school, work with SLT. In order to determine the effectiveness of the spend to date, review the provision of the whole school. If you need to hire Capita Education provides a good service.
8. Plan when you will meet with your SEN Governor to discuss the SEN Policy and SEN Information review. Create a focus group consisting of parents, staff and pupils to support this review process.