The SENCo Handbook : Leading and Managing a Whole School Approach book cover
7th Edition

The SENCo Handbook
Leading and Managing a Whole School Approach

ISBN 9781138599208
Published November 23, 2018 by Routledge
200 Pages

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Book Description

This seventh edition of the best-selling The SENCo Handbook has been updated to reflect the impact that the implementation of the SEND Code of Practice (DfE/DoH 2015) has had on policy and practice in schools and for SENCos. It provides vital information on statutory requirements, practical approaches to the SENCo role and responsibilities and perceptive analysis of issues relevant to all schools, Early Years settings and colleges. Debate and discussion of the different aspects of the SENCo role reveals how it has changed and will change. Written in an accessible and informative format, with numerous examples of good practice, this book will help all SENCos, headteachers and school leaders to create and implement effective whole school policies for special educational needs.

Key topics include:

  • leading and managing change in SEND policy and practice
  • developing whole school approaches to policy and practice for SEND
  • building capacity of class and subject teachers to meet the needs of all pupils
  • managing and leading the assess, plan, do, review response to those identified with additional needs
  • leading on the deployment and management of support staff
  • working with children, young people and their parents, especially in relation to those requiring EHC Plans
  • working in partnership with range of outside agencies and services
  • the historical context and management of current SEND law and administration

Photocopiable training materials are included as are new resources in appendices and source lists. The SENCo Handbook remains essential reading for those studying for the National Award for SEN Co-ordination, whilst more experienced SENCos will value its academic underpinning and practical advice on issues that matter.

Table of Contents


About the Authors


How to use this Handbook


  1. Special Educational Needs: Legislative and Historical Perspectives
  2. Roles and Responsibilities within Whole-School SEN Co-ordination
  3. Identification, Assessment, Planning and Reviewing Provision
  4. Supporting Teaching and Learning
  5. Managing Effective Support
  6. Working with Parents, Children and Young People
  7. Working with Professionals and Organisations beyond the School.
  8. Working in Partnership at Transition Periods
  9. The SENCO's Role in Leading and Managing SEND Administration
  10. The SENCO's Role in Leading and Managing Change
  11. Supporting the SENCO in Developing Inclusive Practice

Activity Pack:

Activity 1 - Audit of Whole-School Policy

Activity 2 - Lesson Planning for Differentiation

Activity 3 - Support Policy Review

Activity 4 – SENCO Organisational Checklist

Activity 5 – Planning for Change: Impact Analysis

Appendices: The appendices are numbered as they relate to the chapters.

1a. Categories of disability used by LEAs (1959)

1b. Categories of Need in Code of Practice 2001/2015

1c. Definition of Disability

2a. Schedule 1: SEN (Information) Regulation

2b. Governor and Proprietor Responsibilities

2c. SENCO Responsibilities

2d. Strategic Overview of SEN Outcomes

3. Antecedents, Behaviour, Consequences, Debrief chart (ABCD)

4. Identifying Anxiety Triggers: The Anxiety Curve

6a. Different ways of observing children

6b. Definition of a parent (from glossary of terms in SEND Code (Dfe/DoH 2015: 283) and the Children Act 1989)

9a. Primary and Secondary data sheets

9b. EHC plan: Advice and information for EHC assessments

9c. Challenging questions for SENCos preparing for Ofsted inspection

10. Action Plan: improving the effectiveness of teaching assistants

Source Lists:

  1. Recommended Reading
  2. Voluntary Organisations



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Elizabeth Cowne has been involved in developing and delivering SENCo training for 35 years with several universities and many local authorities (LAs). She was the sole author of the first five editions of the SENCo handbooks and is author of many other publications.

Carol Frankl is Chair of Trustees of the Southover Partnership charity, which comprises a special school for secondary-aged children with autism and challenging behaviour, an outreach service providing support in school for children of all ages with SEND, and home tuition for children with complex needs. She also currently teaches the National Award for SEN Co-ordination course.

Liz Gerschel is an Education Consultant and trainer and has worked with school and local authority staff, managers and governors for more than 30 years. She was one of the co-creators of the NASENCo course for the UCL Institute of Education (IOE). She was also a Learning Difficulties Outreach Tutor at the University of Birmingham for many years and publishes on SEN, equalities and governance.