SENCOs play a very important role in leading the co-ordination of provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in schools.
The importance of SENCOs in schools has been reiterated in the draft SEND code of practice and the Children’s and Families Bill.
Legislation introduced in 2008 prescribes the qualifications and experience a teacher should have to be designated a SENCO and the governing bodies’ functions relating to the key responsibilities of the SENCO.
In September 2009 it became law for every new SENCO in a mainstream school to gain the Master’s-level National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator within 3 years of taking up the post.
The draft revised learning outcomes for the National Award for SEN Co-ordination have now replaced the previous outcomes, after the final approval of the new SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years which applied from 1 September 2014.