Primary SENCOs

6th April 2001 at 01:00
HOW TO SURVIVE AND SUCCEED AS A SENCO IN THE PRIMARY SCHOOL. By Veronica Birkett pound;9.95. LDA, tel: 01945 463441.

THE SEN COORDINATOR'S FILE, Series 2, Issues 456 pfp publishing ltd pound;49.50

THE SENCO AS TEACHER AND MANAGER. A guide for practitioners and trainers. By Frances Jones, Kevin Jones and Christine Szwed. David Fulton pound;15

The revised SEN Code of Practice is due to be introduced into schools in September. How to Survive and Succeed as a SENCO in the Primary School makes an onerous role appear almost manageable and will be particularly helpful for new SENCOs.

It is concerned mainly with identifying children with SEN, liaising with parents and managing provision. There are photocopiable resources and training materials to support in-service training. The draft Code highlights the role of parents and gives an increased voice to children; the book offers SENCOs practical frameworks for meeting these changes.

Victoria Birkett clearly has much experience with schools and teachers; her advice is practical and is expressed in an accessible, jargon-free style.

SENCOs not only have to be aware of canges in legislation, but knowledgeable about teaching and learning (both in terms of special needs and mainstream initiatives) and resourcing. They also have to keep up with government initiatives and constantly developing research; and liaise with external agencies. The SEN Coordinator's File is designed to meet these needs, with regular articles by practitioners on management, administration, curriculum, research, and resources, support services and specialist knowledge. There are also references to further reading and materials, including websites. Subscribers receive the content on CD-Rom once a year.

The SENCO as Teacher and Manager offers a more detailed discussion of the SENCO's role and the changing perceptions of SEN in schools, many of which underlie the new Code. There is an emphasis on the management of learning, including writing individual education plans, target-setting, the literacy hour and working with learning support assistants. It will interest those engaged in training and experienced SENCOs.

Olivia O'Sullivan is assistant director, Centre for Language in Primary Education, London

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