1st Edition

Leading on Inclusion The Role of the SENCO

    202 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    202 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This comprehensive resource provides a range of perspectives on inclusion, giving Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs) the opportunity to consider the principles and practice that underpin their leadership role.

    Offering a blend of academic and professional knowledge, each chapter explores different aspects of the role of the SENCO and supports areas that will be considered as part of the National Award for SENCOs. A variety of essential topics are covered, from the importance of SEND provision and multi-disciplinary practice, to the role of the SENCO and leadership.

    Key features of this book include:

    • Contributions by leaders of the National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators working with trainee SENCOs across the country
    • A focus on encouraging SENCOs to think deeply about their own individual practice through engagement with cutting-edge research
    • A flexible structure that can be read as a whole, or dipped in and out of as professional learning needs require

    This book provides an opportunity for readers to engage with a multiplicity of voices and approaches, allowing them to critically explore their role as leaders of SEND provision in schools. It is an invaluable resource both for students and those already within the role of Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator.


    Table of Contents

    List of Figures


    List of Contributors

    Section 1: Why SEND is important

    Chapter 1: Introduction – Mhairi C Beaton, Geraldene N Codina and Julie C Wharton

    Chapter 2: Inclusive relationships – creating the space for each other - Jonathan Rix

    Chapter3: The Language of SEND: Implications for the SENCO - Geraldene N Codina and Julie C Wharton

    Chapter 4: The SENCO as a leader of professional learning for inclusive practice - Deborah Robinson

    Chapter 5: The Future of SEND in England – What next? - Brian Lamb (OBE)

    Section 2: The leadership role of the SENCO

    Chapter 6: Inclusion and school exclusion – Key Issues for SENCOs in England - Lynda Kay and Tristan Middleton

    Chapter 7: Inclusion in the Early Years - Angela Scott

    Chapter 8: Social Emotional and Mental Health - Lisa O’Connor

    Chapter 9: Pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) Needs: The role of the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) in meeting the Inclusion Challenge - Dennis Piper

    Chapter 10: Medical Conditions - Lorna Hughes

    Chapter 11: Person-Centred Approaches - Angela Scott

    Chapter 12: The SENCO Role: Leading on Assessment - Tracy Edwards and Mhairi C Beaton

    Chapter 13: Education, Health Care Plans - Louise Arnold and Janet Hoskin

    Section 3: SENCOS’ leadership role in multidisciplinary practice

    Chapter 14: Multi-professional Meetings: SENCOs reflections on the empty chairs at the table - Helen Ackers

    Chapter 15: Working with Families - Gianna Knowles

    Chapter 16: Working in Partnership with Parents – Heather Green and Becky Edwards

    Chapter 17: SENCOs and Social Workers: Working together - Julie C Wharton

    Chapter 18: Hearing their Voices: the role of SENCOs in facilitating the participation of all learners - Mhairi C Beaton

    Chapter 19: Developing SENCO resilience: understanding and meeting the challenge of the role - Helen Curran


    Mhairi C. Beaton is a reader at the Carnegie School of Education at Leeds Beckett University, where she leads the MA in Inclusive Practice in Education. Her research focus lies at the interface of inclusion, teacher education and student voice.

    Geraldene N. Codina is a senior lecturer at the University of Derby. She is the programme leader for the National Award for SENCOs, co-convenes the Derby City SENCO Forum and chairs the Derby Opportunity Area SEND Project Management Group. Prior to working in higher education, Geraldene was a SENCO.

    Julie C. Wharton is the course leader for the National Award for Special Educational Needs (SEN) Coordination at the University of Winchester. Julie joined the university in 2014, having spent seven years working as a SEND Inspector in Southampton. Prior to this she was an Advanced Skills Teacher for SEN.

    This is a book which if you are a SENCO, or are thinking of becoming one, will re-energise or ignite the passion you have for inclusion, and your belief in the right of every young person to be offered the highest quality education provision possible, whatever their need. The book promotes the professional agency of readers, encourages critical engagement, and provides the evidence and knowledge needed for valid and valuable discussion. Every chapter has been written by either practitioners or academics who have ‘been there,’ and as such there is a feeling of authenticity throughout, with each author sharing their own priorities and views. It is a book which highlights not only the uniqueness of being a SENCO, but also the resilience, knowledge, skills, and commitment that individuals need to fulfil this role. It is an empowering read.

    Dr Sue Soan, Senior Lecturer in SENI, Canterbury Christ Church University


    This book provides a unique collection of chapters authored by contributors with a wealth of experience in the field of special educational needs and disability as practitioners, teachers and academics. They bring an authenticity of practice to their texts that is both personal and engaging and will speak to readers interested in making thoughtful, effective provision for learners who face barriers to their learning of various kinds. While focusing on the leadership role of the SENCO in schools in England, the chapters offer the opportunity to engage in reflection on a range of key aspects of the SENCo role from a very thoughtful, well-informed position. This book will provide a very useful resource for those preparing to become SENCos as well as those more experienced in the field.

    Professor Janice Wearmouth, University of Bedfordshire


    A must-read for SENCOs who lead on inclusion, this book covers a range of timely topics with sensitivity to the experiences of children, young people, their families and the professionals who work with them.

    Professor Lani Florian, Bell Chair of Education, University of Edinburgh