Welcome to SENCO Central, where we gather together all the resources we think SENCOs might find helpful in one place.
Click the blue dropdown menus below to find details of support services, training events, advice on statutory assessments and annual reviews and more.
If there's anything you can't find, do contact us at SENCOsupport@suffolk.gov.uk and we'll do our best to help.
SENCo Support Line
The SENCo Support line is open Mon-Fri 3.30-4.30pm during term time. The helpline number is 01473 296631.
The line is answered by Health colleagues on Mondays, the Psychology and Therapeutic Service on Tuesdays, the Specialist Education Services on Wednesdays and Thursdays and Family Services on Fridays. However, you can of course call on any day and if your question or query cannot be dealt with straightaway then you will be signposted to the right colleague for support.
Please note that the support line is designed for general enquiries or ‘quick questions’ and not for individual pupil discussion. For example, you may have a question around systems, processes, school-based interventions, the Graduated Response, etc.
Inclusion Support Meetings
Schools can also book free 20 minute online Inclusion Support Meetings to access advice and guidance from a specialist teacher to support early intervention around a pupil’s cognition and learning difficulties, including specific learning difficulties. To book an ISM click here.
Specialist Education Service (SES)
You can find out more information about the teams who make up the Specialist Education Service, and all the necessary referral paperwork, here: Specialist Education Service
Psychology & Therapeutic Service (P&TS)
For information about the Psychology & Therapeutic Service, click here: Psychology & Therapeutic Services
Early Years SEND Support
For information about Early Years referrals, click here: Early Years SEND Support | Suffolk Learning
There are three different "pots" or elements to pupil funding. You may hear these referred to as Core/Additional/Top-Up, or as Elements 1,2 and 3:
- Core Funding (Element 1) is the first £4,000 to fund a pupil’s education. In a mainstream school, this is called Age Weighted Pupil Funding or AWPU.
- Additional Support Cost (Element 2) is the amount it costs to support an individual pupil above Element 1, up to the value of £6,000.
- Top Up (Element 3) is the amount required to support an individual pupil above £6,000. This is sometimes called High Needs Funding.
There are three opportunities to apply for High Needs Funding each year; one per term. The process is the same each term – in the first half of the term SENCos should assess and decide what applications they may have, and then at the half term point submit their application spreadsheet, followed by evidence forms if required. The funding, if agreed, is then released at by the end of each term.
You can find out more about how SEND provision is funded in Suffolk, including how to apply for High Needs Funding, on the Suffolk Learning website: High Needs Funding
Requests for statutory assessment
The majority of children and young people with special education needs or disabilities (SEND) will have the support they need within local mainstream early years settings, schools or colleges. Within Suffolk this is called SEN Support.
The SEND Code of Practice says that "where, despite the school having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the SEN of the child or young person, the child or young person has not made expected progress, the school or parents should consider requesting an Education, Health and Care needs assessment. To inform its decision the local authority will expect to see evidence of the action taken by the school as part of SEN support." (6.63)
In some cases, an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA) may lead to an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) being issued.
You can find out more about this process and download the relevant forms here: Assessments and EHCPs
EHCP Annual Reviews and Phase Transfers
Below please find some guidance as to when each section of an Annual Review should be conducted by.
Please bear in mind that an Annual Review is not just the meeting; it refers to the whole process and is only complete once the Local Authority have issued it's decision following the meeting, and so enough time must be allowed in your planning to ensure this can occur within the statutory timescales.
At least four weeks before AR Meeting:
•Obtain child / young person views
•Seek parent/carer views
•Seek advice/reports from all involved practitioners/services
At least two weeks before AR meeting:
•Send invites to AR meeting to parents/carers, young person (Year 9 and above), Family Services and any involved practitioners from Health and social care services.
•Share all received advice/reports, parent/carer views and pupil views with invitation
On the day of the AR Meeting:
•Ensure enough time has been set aside – we recommend at least 1.5 hours
•Complete AR Report. Can also be useful to annotate EHCP where changes are being requested.
•For pupils in Year 9 and above – complete/update Moving into Adulthood Plan
Within two weeks of AR meeting
•Send Annual Review report, all supporting advice/reports, parent carer views, child/young person views, annotated EHCP (if relevant) and Moving into Adulthood Plan (Year 9+) – send to everyone invited to meeting, including Family Services
Within four weeks of AR meeting
•Local Authority decides whether to leave the plan unchanged, amend it or cease it. They will inform the parents/carers, Young Person (where relevant) and school/setting.
School admissions and transport
School Admissions - mainstream
You can find general information on school admissions, including the online application portal for parents here: School places | Suffolk County Council
All children who do not have an EHCP should apply using this system.
School Admissions / Transfers for children with an EHCP
For children who have an EHCP, school admissions are managed by the Family Services team. Click here to see a list of the teams and the areas they support.
School transport is arranged by Suffolk On Board.
The SENCO Year - calendar, training and events
Download a term by term guide for some of the crucial SENCO tasks here, or click the calendar below to see upcoming training and networking events for SENCOs.
Contact SENCOsupport@suffolk.gov.uk for more information or to book onto any events displayed. All training is online unless otherwise specified.
We send out periodic SENCO Bulletins, with news, resources and events that we think you might find useful as well as reminders of upcoming deadlines and actions to take.
If you don't already receive it, please email SENDNews@suffolk.gov.uk to be added to the mailing list.
You can read the most recent version of the bulletin here: SENCO Bulletin
Other publications you may find useful
Suffolk Headlines is a weekly bulletin for school staff and leaders. Subscribe by sending an email to email@example.com or view recent editions here.
Local Offer News goes out half termly to families who would like to receive SEND related news and information. Subscribe to Local Offer News here.