Question to the Department for Education:
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to issue guidance to special educational needs co-ordinators on (a) the services they are expected to provide from the mainstream budget, (b) when an Education, Health and Care Plan is required and (c) other aspects of the Children and Families Act 2014.
We recognise the important role that Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs) play in schools in supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
We do not currently have plans to issue specific guidance to SENCOs as the role and responsibilities of SENCOs are set out in the SEND Code of Practice, which is the statutory guidance that schools must have due regard to.
In addition, we have provided funding to the Whole School SEND Consortium (WSS) to develop resources specifically to support SENCOs. This includes a SENCO Induction Pack to help new SENCOs in their role, which can be accessed at: www.sendgateway.org.uk/whole-school-send/sencos-area. The induction pack includes further information on the statutory framework; Education, Health and Care Plans; and managing SEND provision.
The WSS is also developing an ‘Effective SENCO Deployment Guide’ to help school leaders consider how they can best support the SENCO in their school. Furthermore, we are reviewing the learning outcomes for the National Award in SEN Co-ordination to ensure it best prepares SENCOs for their role.