Roles and Responsibilities

Roles and Responsibilities

‘All teachers are teachers of SEN and All leaders are leaders of SEN’

Role of a special educational needs co-ordinator (SENDCo)

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Code of Practice sets out the role of the SENDCO.

It says the SENDCO has:

  • An important role to play with the headteacher and governing board, in determining the strategic development of SEN policy and provision in the school
  • Day-to-day responsibility for the operation of SEN policy and co-ordination of specific provision made to support individual pupils with SEN …

It notes that SENCOs “will be most effective in that role if they are part of the school leadership team”.

Class teachers role is supporting children with SEN.

According to the SEN Code of Practice…

What teachers must do

Teachers are both responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all pupils in their class, including those pupils who access support from teaching assistants or specialist staff. Where support staff work with pupils with SEN, the teacher has overall responsibility for those pupils and must ensure that they make appropriate progress.

What teachers should do

The Code of Practice says that every teacher is a teacher of SEN. It says that ‘class and subject teachers, supported by the senior leadership team, should make regular assessments of progress for all pupils’. Where concerns are identified, teachers should work with the special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) to assess whether the child has SEN. Teachers should set clear progress targets for all pupils with SEN that focus on ‘their potential to achieve at or above expectation’. Schools must engage parents and young people in decisions about matters that relate to their own or their child’s SEN, including how those needs should be met. Class teachers, in consultation with the SENCO, may be asked to hold regular meetings with parents to discuss their child’s progress towards agreed outcomes.

From the Code of Practice…

6.17 Class and subject teachers, supported by the senior leadership team, should make regular assessments of progress for all pupils. These should seek to identify pupils making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances.
This can be characterised by progress which:

  • is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
  • fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
  • fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers • widens the attainment gap

6.36 Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of the pupils in their class, including where pupils access support from teaching assistants or specialist staff.

6.37 High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may have SEN. Additional intervention and support cannot compensate for a lack of good quality teaching. Schools should regularly and carefully review the quality of teaching for all pupils, including those at risk of underachievement. This includes reviewing and, where necessary, improving, teachers’ understanding of strategies to identify and support vulnerable pupils and their knowledge of the SEN most frequently encountered.