Help us to help you – SENCo Guide FAQ's
As we enter term 2 of this academic year we felt that it would be helpful to provide you with a simple guide on how you can help us to help you in a more timely efficient way. Small changes make a BIG difference! Here are some top tips and some FAQs to support this.
Email into the SEND Service is the most effective way to contact us SENDService@swindon.gov.uk
All contacts are logged, a reference number is available and all contacts are triaged. In order to make this more efficient please can we ask you when emailing to use the guidance below:
- Subject line – be specific e.g SENCo Clinic Booking or Pupil Names and Dates of birth, we often get just pupil initials and this is time consuming, it would be helpful to have a standardised set of subject lines:
- SENCo Clinic Booking
- Pupil Query, including name and date of birth
- Process Query
- Annual Review Meeting Date
- Annual Review Query
- Consultation response
- EHCP Copy request
- Statutory Assessment Professional Advice
Yes of course you can, however please be mindful that as a service we are still, in the main working from home. Also officers may be in other meetings and might not be available. You are all very busy people and we recognise that your opportunities to contact us are limited as you all have other duties. It is therefore advisable to contact via email and book a call at a SENCo Clinic slot. There are currently 26 hours per week available for SENCo Clinics.
As per the guidance circulated at the start of the academic year all annual reviews must be submitted within the timeframes prescribed by The Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice, i.e 10 working days following the review or the end of term whichever is the earliest. Please note that if reviews are not received within this timeframe then the review may not be processed as a priority.
All annual reviews must be submitted to a dedicated email in box email@example.com. Reviews submitted outside of this process will not be processed.
We recognise that this is sometimes required, however please remember that there are other colleagues who are Local Authority representatives at reviews e.g Educational Psychologists; Advisory Teachers etc. However, if you feel that attendance from one of the SEND Service is essential please book a SENCo Clinic Slot to discuss and if attendance is appropriate at this session you can agree with the co-ordinator a date/time and if the review can be virtual. With most of our team still working from home as per the Council’s guidance this is our preference, this is also a more effective use of the team’s time as reduces travelling however we also recognise that sometimes face to face is required. If a face to face is required then it may be necessary for us to send a different co-ordinator depending on individual risk assessments.
We are inundated with requests for the latest copy of pupil’s EHCPs. Remember that an EHCP is a legal document and as such should be stored securely within School and therefore requests should be an exception. This may seem a simple request on an individual school basis but multiple this by all of our providers and it is overwhelming for the team at times. We see SENCos sending numerous emails for several pupils, please put this in one email this will certainly help us! Please also ensure that these are absolutely required, and if it is a case of checking if you have the latest then please put this as the request, we will confirm and not request a copy.
When will families and schools know what placements our children and young people have been allocated at phase transfer?
The Special Educational Needs & Disability Code of Practice is clear, Local Authorities MUST have issued final amended plans for phase transfer pupils no later than 15th February in the year of transfer for primary to secondary provision and no later than 31st March in the year of transfer for those young people moving from year 11 into post 16 provisions.
Please do not contact us around decisions on phase transfer placements as we will not be able to give you any decisions. Parents will receive draft amended plans before Christmas. Please help us to manage this with parents, this is an extremely anxious time for families but we will deliver within the statutory timeframes prescribed.
SEND Transport –If you are contacting us about a change to transport in the next 24 hours then please Education Transport on 07973679816. If you are contacting us about a change to transport outside of this period, then please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond to your email as soon as possible. If you have questions about applying for SEND Home to School Transport, then please look at our Local Offer website, which can be found here: Swindon Local Offer - Applying for school travel assistance
Don’t forget that there is a wealth of information available to support you in your roles on the Local Offer, please use this as a self-help service as the majority of questions received via the SEND Service Front Door have the answers on the Local Offer.