SENCO: requirements and qualifications
Be clear which types of schools are required to appoint a special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO), and what qualifications they'll need for the post.
Mainstream schools must have a SENCO
You must have a designated special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) if you're:
- A maintained school
- An academy
- A free school
- An alternative provision (AP) academy
- A pupil referral unit (PRU)
- A maintained nursery (other early years providers are also expected to have one)
Your governing board or proprietors of your school (for academies and free schools) must make sure you have a designated SENCO in place.
These requirements are outlined on pages 89, 92 and 108 of the SEND Code of Practice.
Other school types are also encouraged to have a SENCO
You're not required to have a SENCO if you're:
- An independent school
- An independent nursery
- A special school
- A 16 to 19 academy
However, it's still recommended you have a teacher responsible for co-ordinating SEN provision.
Our associate education expert, Lorraine Petersen, gave us this advice.
If your school is required