What does a SENCo do?
A SENCo is responsible for developing and implementing a school’s SEN (Special Educational Needs) policy to support the teaching of children with special educational needs. Children with special educational needs include those with physical disabilities, such as hearing or sight problems, and those with special learning needs, such as dyslexia or autism.
A SENCo is employed in a leadership position to supervise the teaching practices of Special Educational Needs Teachers and Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistants. A SENCo liaises directly with Head Teachers, Heads of Departments and School Governors to ensure that the school’s SEN policies are in line with national standards and provide for children with unique learning requirements.
SENCo skills and qualifications
SENCos are qualified Teachers with a set of specific teaching skills developed to support children with special educational needs. SENCos also require leadership skills and the ability to supervise and assess other Teachers in a classroom environment. A successful SENCo candiadte will also have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that include:
- Knowledge of local and national SEN policies, including expert knowledge of the UK’s Equality Act
- Emotional capacity to work with and improve the lives of children who have unique and challenging requirements
- Ability to develop new lesson plans and support procedures for teaching children with special education needs
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Ability to influence the decisions of key Policymakers to develop an SEN-compliant teaching environment, including Senior Teachers and School Governors
- Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to legally be allowed to work with children
- Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
- National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination (NASENCo) qualification
SENCo experience requirements
SENCos require a minimum of three years of experience teaching in a UK classroom, with at least one year spent in a Supervisor role as the head of a subject or department. Employers need candidates with experience teaching children with special educational needs, which candidates often gain through work as a Special Educational Needs Teacher or Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistant earlier in their career.
SENCOs education and training requirements
SENCos require a minimum of five GCSEs and three A-levels, including strong results in English and maths. Employers need to look for candidates with Teacher training, which can be gained through a postgraduate course in teaching. SENCos also require SEN training, which can be provided through schools or courses offered by the National Association of Special Educational Needs.
SENCo salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a SENCos is [no salary data available]. Salary may be dependent on experience, location and company.
Job description samples for similar positions
If SENCO isn’t the exact job you are searching for, here are some related job description samples are available too: