Last reviewed on 22 February 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 38664

Be clear on who the SENCO can be in your school, and find out what their responsibilities are and how you're involved.

Mainstream schools must have a SENCO

You must ensure that your school has a qualified teacher who’s designated as SENCO if it is:

  • 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)

These requirements are outlined on pages 89-92 and 108 of the special educational needs and disability (SEND) code of practice.

Other school types are also encouraged to have a SENCO

Your school is not required to have a SENCO if they're: 

  • An independent school 
  • A special school
  • A 16 to 19 academy 

Nevertheless, it's still recommended that your school has a qualified teacher responsible for overseeing and co-ordinating SEN provision.

Who can be a SENCO?

Your school’s SENCO must be: 

If a newly-appointed SENCO hasn't been a SENCO