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Area Senco's


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This is an enquiry for private and voluntary settings.

Do you all have an area SENCO? Do you know who that person is? Do they come out to visit you and if so how often? Do they come out on a regular basis or just if you request it? What sort of support do they give you?

Thanks

Linda

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Hello Linda you are up bright and early.

My area senco visits on a regular basis and she will come out in between if I ask. She observes for the session and sends me the report soon after. She points out which area to focus on when I do the child's playplan.

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Hi

We have our own Senco within the setting but we only see our area Senco when she attends the Senco forums, they have never attended the setting so far. If we have concerns we can phone them and they will offer advice but that is the only contact we get.

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Oh dear thats not good. Usually the area senco just confirms what we already know but she often knows how to access other services for the child. It is also useful to have another opinion of an outsider because I find that when I get a child with poor skills I get used to their ways and may feel they are improving when they are not.

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Our situation sounds very similar to yours, bubblejack. I've found the support invaluable. Last year she did us a short in-house training session on behaviour managment, as we had a particularly challenging cohort.

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Our AREA SENCO visits frequently and has supported us with a child who has Autism. She has given us several training sessions and drops in ocassionally and if I need her I can call her up. I have aslo accessed lots of books from her for my course I am doing and our also has Storysacks we can loan.

 

Sue

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My old playgroup always had regular visits from the area senco. Whoever it was coming out was always ready to help with concerns. Some came out more regularly than others but they were all at the end of the phone. :D

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Thanks for the replies. The reason I ask is because we don't know who our area senco is or even if we have one. Our teacher advisor took on the role for a time but she has now been moved to another area and we haven't been informed of our new one. Which I feel is really bad.

I will have to get on to this. Thanks again.

Linda

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perhaps a bit late but if you will post at that time of the morning!!!!

 

we see our area senco regularly at cluster meetings 3 times a year... she is available for help anytime .....i can telephone or email for help and she often 'pops in' if passing when she knows we have a child with special needs.....rather a lot recently had her in for help and advice on 3 children in jan........it may help that her base the town hall is 3 mins walk away from us!!! we also call our local springboeard for help anytime and have recently had help from the local childrens centre with staff going there for training and visiting with the children who go there who are with us.

 

we do though get rather a lot of children with special or addtional needs.....

 

 

Inge

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We're similar to Inge.

 

Our area senco is always available for advice and will come in and talk to all staff on different issues such as behaviour management. She has also set up a cluster support group, where on average half a dozen local groups meet up with her for in-house training or to discuss issues we are concerned about. She has arranged for specialist speakers to come to our meetings and talk about a variety of issues.

 

So far it has been really successful!

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I don't know to be honest Sue. We have had a new teacher advisor since September but she hasn't been to see us as much as the last one-and she didn't say that she was our area senco as well. But she just may be. I will ask her when she comes to see us after Easter.

Linda

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Guest jasonswale

I work in the Area SENCO role (we call ourselves Area Inclusion Co-ordinators in our Local Authority as we are moving away from the 'SEN' label).

 

I'm concerned to hear that some setting practitioners don't know who their designated Area SENCO is. The problem is that the Area SENCO role is not statutory. The Sure Start unit issued guidance re ratio of Area SENCOs to settings (it was originally intended to be 1 Area SENCO for every 20 settings) and what qualifications Area SENCOs should have.

 

However, LEAs have been free to interpret the guidance flexibly, and many do not meet the 1:20 ratio. As some people have noted, some LEAs have combined the Area SENCO and Advisory Teacher roles. Support such as providing training may well depend on how experienced the Area SENCO is - qualifications vary a great deal and not all Area SENCOs may feel confident or knowledgeable enough to run specialised training.

 

However, as a minimum, I would suggest that you should expect the following from your Area SENCO:

 

Clear information about the services provided by the Area SENCO team.

Telephone support.

Where ratios allow, regular visits (perhaps termly) or at the setting's request.

Advice on meeting individual needs, including support to refer on and access appropriate services within the local area.

Either direct training from the Area SENCO, or support to access external training.

A willingness to listen to your concerns and work in partnership with you.

 

If practitioners do not know who their Area SENCO is, I suggest they have a look at their council's website, as you can often find links to Area SENCOs through this. A good place to start is the Early Years Service section of the website. If this can't be found, another option is to call the council's switchboard and ask to be put through to the Early Years Service. The name may vary between different authorities. Good luck!

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That's a handy checklist. I can confidently say that it's all been available to our setting, and it's really appreciated. :o I hope I've remembered to say so!!

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