Key Roles and Responsibilities in Education Settings


Working together across education, health and care for joint outcomes

Local authorities should ensure integration between educational provision,  health and social care provision, where this would promote wellbeing and improve the quality of provision for disabled young people and those with SEND.

It is also required  to ensure co-operation between children’s and adults’ services to promote the integration of care and support with health services, so that young adults are not left without care and support as they make the transition from children’s to adult social care. 

Local authorities and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) must make joint commissioning arrangements for education, health and care provision for children and young people with SEND or disabilities (Section 26 of the Act). 

Schools and colleges 

The early education settings, schools, academies, or colleges must ensure arrangements are in place so that staff and students can access specialist advice, assessment and intervention from:

  • specialist teachers (such as autism, dyslexia, inclusion, behaviour, hearing impairment,  visual impairment, physical disability)
  • educational psychologists
  • speech and language therapy
  • occupational and physiotherapy
  • school health services
  • PRU advice and support
  • SIASS (Sutton information, advice and support service) 

Set out below is what can be reasonably expected of schools, early education settings, colleges and sixth forms as they make provision for children and young people with SEND from within the ordinarily available provision.

Teachers and Early Years staff are:

  • responsible and accountable for the progress and development of pupils in their class, including where support staff are involved.
  • appropriately qualified and experienced
  • supported to gain skills and knowledge in areas that will improve their teaching and support of child or young person with SEND
  • able to access support and guidance from the SENCO in school
  • supported to access advice and training where needed
  • responsible for differentiating the curriculum to accommodate the needs of all pupils and students in the class
  • equipped with the skills to implement the assess, plan, do and review cycle effectively

All Staff:

  • are aware of the needs of the pupil or student as necessary
  • have access and are familiar with planning documents, pupil passports, pupil profiles, learning plans etc
  • are clear about what is expected of them in relation to named pupils/students and groups of pupils/students.
  • plan to implement a child or young person’s individual targets into their teaching where the child or young person is in their teaching group.

Adults support learning in the classroom and Early Years settings by:

  •  working with the class or subject teachers to plan and implement specific interventions for targeted areas of development to enable the child or young person to achieve specific outcomes. 
  • being familiar with how the child or young person learns, and the child or young person’s individualised targets.
  • assisting with pre-teaching, including on subject vocabulary, new concepts, early experience of practical activities
  • facilitating involvement of pupil in whole or small group learning activities
  • teaching daily programme of skills / concepts in fixed timetable periods, and monitored by subject or class teacher
  • classroom presence to refocus, encourage, explain, facilitate responses
  • supporting targeted subject areas, being prepared for what is to be taught and understanding the learning needs of the pupil/student.
  • making sure transactional supports are consistently available (e.g. schedules, and within task checklists)
  • to monitor the impact of any support provided

Staff are trained in the needs of the early years child / pupil / student and understand how to:

  • communicate instructions
  • communicate new knowledge and concepts
  • provide opportunities for skills reinforcement and practice
  • recognise when a child is using behaviour to communicate
  • deliver specific programmes / interventions

In maintained schools, nursery schools and academies


  • is a qualified teacher
  • holds the SENCO qualification as necessary
  • plays an important role in the strategic development of SEND policy and provision in the school.
  • has day-to-day responsibility for the operation of SEND policy and coordination of specific provision made to support individual pupils with SEN, including those who have EHC plans
  • has sufficient time and resources to carry out these functions.
  • has access to sufficient administrative support and time away from teaching to enable them to fulfil their responsibilities.
  • supports staff with guidance, advice and direct assistance in the assessment and interventions for children and young people at or who are being considered for SEN support in the school
  • advises the leadership team of what is necessary with regard to staff and resources.

In Early Years settings (including a Childminder) the SENCO role involves (note there is no obligation for EY settings to have a named SENCO, although most do):

  • ensuring all practitioners in the setting understand their responsibilities to children and young people with SEND
  • ensuring all practitioners understand their setting’s approach to identifying and meeting the needs of young children and young people with SEND
  • advising and supporting colleagues
  • ensuring the close and continuing involvement of parent/carers, and that their views inform action taken by the setting
  • liaising with external professionals

In Colleges of Further Education and sixth form Colleges

  • There is a named person in the college with oversight of SEND provision to ensure coordination of support, similar to the role of the SEN Co- ordinator (SENCO) in schools. This person should contribute to the strategic and operational management of the college.5 The College should have access to and make good use of specialist skills and expertise to support the learning of students with SEND.
  • FE Colleges should be involved in transition planning between schools and college. All students should be asked before or at entry to declare if they have a learning need, disability or medical condition which will affect their learning.6
  • SEND support should be evidence based, informed by effective practice elsewhere and personalised to the students.


29/06/2021, 12:09:24


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