Nasen is committed to securing the professional status of SENCOs and membership of school leadership teams. Following a series of seminars involving effective and innovative SENCOs from primary and secondary schools, reflections on the role of the SENCO were collated and this information will be used to inform the development of detailed good practice guidance.

An initial outline of findings from the seminars was published in the spring (2006) edition of Special, and these appear to be congruent with other published research that has focused on the role of the SENCO during the past decade. These findings are presented positively in relation to how the role can be carried out effectively in a range of different educational contexts and are presented thematically in relation to the following questions:

  • What are the main duties of the SENCO?
  • What duties could be delegated to a non-teaching member of staff?
  • What challenges do SENCOs face at the moment
  • Should SENCOs know what the SEN budget for the school is?
  • How do you plan for individual needs?
  • How do SENCOs use and manage data to support their work?
  • What do SENCOs do to support teaching and learning?
  • What is the SENCO’s role in managing other adults?

Interestingly, all of these questions could be adapted for use by individual SENCOs to reflect on their roles in specific schools, and in discussions with headteachers and SEN governors about how to develop and maintain effective SEN provision. Such discussions are increasingly important in the context of reorganisation in schools linked to workforce remodelling and teaching and learning responsibility payments.

The publication of Nasen’s good practice guidance for SENCOs should also be used in such discussions and would hopefully influence practice at local authority and national levels.