A review of the Code of Practice for Special Educational Needs, plus a help sheet for SENCOs to help define types of SEN, intervention strategies and Individual Education Plans (IEPs)pdf-3951436

SENCO Help Sheet 1 – Code of Practice for SEN.pdf

Welcome to SENCO Week at the beginning of a new school year. I hope your holiday gave you a chance for some well earned rest and relaxation – even if the weather hasn’t been all that we hoped for!

Over the summer, we have modified the design of SENCO Week and planned how to continue bringing you useful information and guidance to save you time and keep you up to date.

Throughout the autumn term, we will review the Code of Practice for Special Educational Needs, summarising the four areas of SEN and providing some practical strategies to help you identify and meet pupils’ learning needs.

An important part of the SENCO role is disseminating information to colleagues and developing their knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to teaching pupils with SEN. We will be supporting you in this by providing concise Help Sheets. Some of these will be useful for printing out and passing on to colleagues, others will provide checklists or templates for you as SEN coordinator and manager.

As always, we will be keeping you informed of relevant conferences and resource materials and the News section will highlight new developments within the field of SEN. We also welcome comments and feedback from readers and you can send these to us by commenting in the box below.

Support for SENCOs

This week, we provide an at-a-glance overview of the CoP for you to print out and give to NQTs, governors, parents and anyone who will find it useful.

The Code of Practice was revised in 2001, strengthening the rights of a child to be educated in a mainstream school and promoting meaningful involvement of children and their parents in the decision making process. While school systems and procedures for identifying and meeting SEN have moved on in the last six years, the principles of CoP are as relevant as ever. Next week, we look at the area of special need described by the CoP as ‘Communication and interaction difficulties’.

Please download the Help Sheet (above) for more details.

(For a comprehensive description of the CoP and guidance on its implementation in secondary schools, see The SENCO Handbook Editor Sue Soan, available from Optimus Publishing)


SEN news

Schools are now required to provide suitable full-time education for pupils on fixed term exclusions. It is likely that as SENCO, you will be involved in planning programmes for such pupils. New guidance from the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) stipulates that:

  • parents must be informed of their responsibilities (eg with regard to preventing their child from being in a public place during school hours)
  • full-time education (off-site or in shared provision) must be provided from the sixth day onward
  • off-site providers should be given as much notice and information about the pupil as possible
  • a reintegration interview should be arranged at the end of an exclusion period.

As well as assessing demand simply in terms of numbers, schools should assess the likely range of pupil needs based on an analysis of present exclusions. A typical excluded pupil is likely to be a boy and:

  • be aged 13-14 (46% of all fixed period exclusions)
  • have a reading age below his actual age.

Black or minority ethnic pupils are statistically more likely to feature in this profile too, and pupils with statements of special educational needs are also likely to be over represented. Educational provision for excluded pupils with special educational needs should be tailored to meet their particular needs and, where a statement is in place, the local authority has an ongoing duty to arrange the provision specified in the statement. www.teachernet.gov.uk/docbank/index.cfm?id=11386

Find out more: > Articles on special educational needs
> Special educational needs publications
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This e-bulletin issue was first published in September 2007

About the author: Linda Evans is the author of SENCO Week. She was a teacher/SENCO/adviser/inspector, before joining the publishing world. She now works as a freelance writer, editor and part-time college tutor.