Education Overview

Navigating the school system can be challenging with ASD and the different needs that can present. Often the behaviour that presents in school will be different from that at home, and this can add further challenges to getting the support you feel your child needs.

This is particularly the case with girls as their extensive ability to mimic, strong desire to fit in, and their masking can result in 'good behaviour' at school, with 'explosions' at home.

Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO)

What is a SENCO?

A Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) is a teacher who coordinates the provision for children with special educational needs or disabilities in schools. This person must be a qualified teacher and sit on the senior leadership team of the school. Furthermore, they must complete the Nation Award for SENCOs as mandatory training within three years of taking up the role.

The SENCO has a critical role to play in ensuring that children with special educational needs and disabilities within a school receive the support they need.

SENCO Responsibilities

  • Overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school's SEN policy
  • Supporting the identification of children with special educational needs
  • Coordinating provision for children with SEN
  • Liaising with parents of children with SEN
  • Liaising with other providers, outside agencies, educational psychologists and external agencies
  • Ensuring that the school keeps the records of all pupils with SEN up to date, including Individual Education Plans (IEPs) or Provision Maps, depending on what model the school uses

Early Help Assessment

The early help assessment can be a handy tool in getting all the professionals involved with your child, or young person to sit around the table.

The purpose is to identify what is going well, what needs there are, and come up with an action plan. A 'lead professional' sets it up and completes the initial assessment. Someone within the school, often the SENCO will be able to take on this role. You have every right to request an EHA is set up.

EHA's ensure everyone is accountable for their actions to things keep moving forward. With meetings every 6 weeks as a 'team around the family (TAF) to review and identify next steps.

Higher Needs Funding Block (HNFB)

Sometimes a child needs more intense support and interventions; the school can put together an application for Higher Needs Funding Block. The HNFB is additional money on top of the notional SEN budget; the school must prove that they have spent the original £6000 on supporting your child's needs.

Along with the financial evidence, the school will also propose a support plan with updated costings to meet your child's needs. The school must also demonstrate that they have followed the Assess, Plan, Do, Review model in meeting their support needs. To be eligible for extra funding your child must be attending school full time, making those on a reduced time table ineligible. Every month a panel will meet to discuss new applications for HNFB.

Nurseries, childminders and preschools are also able to access this additional funding. For them, the criteria will be slightly lower as they don't need to factor in the notional SEN budget.