Did you know that just under 1.5 million pupils in England have special educational needs?
• 4% of pupils (355,566) in England have an Education, Health Care Plan, up from 3.7% in 2021
• 12.6% of pupils (1,129,843) in England receive SEN support, up from 12.2% in 2021
Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCos) are the teachers in school responsible for assessing, planning and monitoring the progress of children with special educational needs and disabilities.
So what is it like to be a SENCo?
Meet Jadedene French – a SENCo in London, who gives us a little insight into her role:
I am a SENCo and I love it!
I became a SENCo because I wanted to positively impact the outcomes for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Throughout my school career, I have fulfilled many different roles including Teaching Assistant (TA), lunchtime supervisor and teacher.
Whilst in these roles, I witnessed, first-hand, the negative effects of pupils with SEND not being given adequate and/or appropriate opportunities to learn and thrive in all areas. I vowed to make a difference by working to improve the outcomes of pupils with SEND and concluded that becoming a SENCo was the best way to do it.
As a SENCo I am able to positively impact pupil development in many ways. Once a need has been identified I can channel the appropriate support for the pupil, their families and their teachers. This includes modelling teaching strategies, devising intervention programmes, sourcing necessary resources and providing training for staff and parents. This support means the pupil is better able to access the learning and staff are more equipped and knowledgeable about how to facilitate this. In addition to providing support myself, I work closely with outside agencies and other professionals such as Educational Psychologists and Speech and Language Therapists. These specialists are able to diagnose different SEND and provide blocks of therapy.
The role of the SENCo is wide-ranging, interesting and rewarding and it is an honour to play a part in improving the outcomes for pupils with SEND.
To learn more on SEND statistics, take a moment to read National statistics for Special educational needs in England: January 2022.
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