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Suitable for: Families with children of all ages
If your child has an additional need or disability, or you think they might have, there’s a designated person in school who can help, called the SENDCO. This stands for Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinator — a bit of a mouthful, to say the least!
Who and what is a SENDCO?
A SENDCO is a qualified teacher who has overall responsibility for supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities. This includes, but is not limited to, children with:
- physical disabilities
- ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
- dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia
- social, emotional and behavioural needs
- speech and language difficulties
- hearing and visual differences
Every school is legally obliged to have a SENDCO. Some SENDCOs are permanently ‘out of class’ and are able to dedicate 100% of their time to leading special needs provision, while others may have teaching responsibilities running alongside; every school is different and how the role looks often depends on capacity and workload.
They are often, but not always, one of the school’s Designated Safeguarding Leads, or DSLs, and will have their finger on the pulse of child safeguarding and welfare across the school community.
What are a SENDCO’s responsibilities?
The SENDCO’s main role is to co-ordinate help and support for children with a whole range of additional needs. They are responsible for ensuring that the needs of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are met, and that parents and any outside agencies (where appropriate) are involved.