The manual for the Early Years SENCO is a great example of a practical book, pitched at just the right level for a new Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) or someone who needs extra support in this vital role within a nursery.
The Chapters take you through getting organised (locked filing cabinets and calendars), SEN policies, the SENCOs role in a fully supportive team and onto supporting children in the setting.
There are many examples given of the type of support different children may require, as well as how to record these in Early Years Action, Action Plus and Statutory Assessment.
Working effectively with parents and other agencies is covered in the last two Chapters.
There are 2 outstanding elements to this book:
Firstly that the advice is practical and clear. All the information for a first time SENCO is detailed in a logical and methodical order. The significant difference between integration and inclusion is clearly outlined. Writing an SEN policy is explained, with example of long and short policies included.
The format of the paperwork is explained, from Individual Education Plans (IEPs) to different types of observation forms.
Secondly the CD ROM which accompanies the book has 3 power point presentations which can be used immediately for staff training. This is invaluable and really underlines the role of the SENCO as coordinator rather than the misguided notion, that so many managers have, that the SENCO should be doing everything herself or himself.
In addition the CD ROM has blank forms which can be printed off, examples of SEN policies and case studies.
For the undergraduate student there are some academic references which can be followed up, but this is really for the SENCO on the ‘front line’, doing the job every day in a nursery or setting.
I also feel it has a lot to commend it if you are an experienced SENCO, particularly the power point presentations and case studies, which would be valuable for full staff training or training SENCOs to be.
I sincerely wish I’d had this book when I’d started out as a SENCO!