Richards, H. (2021). Influences on SENCo practice in early care and education settings in England. NZ – International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal, 23(1), pp. 24 - 38.
Original Research Paper
Influences on SENCo practice in early care and education settings in England
Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCos) play a key role in the identification of additional learning needs. Improved progress and potential for children with these needs is linked to early recognition and support. In England, early care and education (ECE) provision exists in a context of conflicting priorities, including differences in setting, culture, resources, experience, knowledge, skill and agreements with outside agencies. This presents challenges for SENCos who must navigate and secure support within this context.
This article presents findings obtained from qualitative data collected from participants working in ECE settings to investigate their experience of implementing Education and Health Care Plans. Data were analysed using a bio-ecological framework to reveal key influences perceived to make a positive difference in practice. These influences were routine collection of evidence; robustly held knowledge of developmental norms; introducing the possibility of Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND); resources; and contact with children and families.
Key words: SENCo, bio-ecological framework, developmental norms, additional learning needs, early intervention.
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