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Yesterday I was asked the question ‘What are your biggest Senco’s worries/issues regarding the changes in the Code of Practice?’ The question came from @MonaPDaniels

As we are a special school things are slightly different for us. We do have a Senco to co ordinate and organise provision for our children, but all our teachers are effectively Sencos.

Each teacher is responsible for ensuring all the needs of the children in their class are met. This includes the following but is not an exhaustive list by any means.

Every teacher is responsible for writing the Annual Review and setting relevant and SMART IEP targets. Teachers are responsible for differentiating lessons and ensuring that every child can access the lesson. This may include access to technology and AAC equipment and other resources as the children many need.

Teachers are also responsible for liaising with other professionals such as physiotherapists, Speech and Language therapists, Occupational Therapists and Psychologists,  to name a few. They also need to liaise with social care teams and partnerships for support including Cahms, Advocacy/empowerment, the parenting team and Blackpool Carers. The increasingly complex needs of children and young people means more agencies are becoming involved. Sencos need to be aware of the range of services in their area. Our teachers are required to collaborate with each other and share best practise to enable all our children to succeed. Parents feature highly on our list of people to work effectively with. It is imperative that we forge good working relationships with our parents to ensure we are meeting all the needs of the child.

As a school, and I assume this is the case for mainstream Sencos we have realised that parents need to adopt some ownership with regard to the new regime. The onus is now on them. This presents a major challenge for a Senco in a mainstream establishment. Senco fears seem to be centred around  ensuring that parents have the information they need. Some do not. Some are not aware of how to pick their way through the new code and there seems to be very little support for parents. This in turn places huge pressure on Sencos. They will not have the time to do their role justice. They are after all, teachers who have undertaken extra responsibility. Sencos will need to be at the top of their game with no extra time allocated to them to fulfil their role. How will they be able to effectively support parents through the process?

In our school we are lucky to have a very talented ‘Family Support Worker’. She is only part time although we could easily fill her day with family issues, many relating to the new CoP and the lack of information.

I am sure mainstream Sencos have many more concerns regarding the new Code of Practice but lack of time and lack of information for parents is worrying many Sencos.