Special needs

14th January 2000 at 00:00
MANAGEMENT SKILLS FOR SEN COORDINATORS IN THE PRIMARY SCHOOL. By Sylvia Phillips, Jennifer Goodwin and Rosita Heron. Falmer Press, pound;12.95.

The status of special needs and its provision varied between local authoritiesand schools until 1994, when the Department for Education's code of practice required the appointmentof a special education needs co-ordinator and definedthis new role. Some Sencos had little or no training in management or coordinating skills; others took on thejob on top of teaching and other responsibilities. Itwas a daunting task andthere was little recognitionof its scope or the time involved.

This book has the aspiring or new Senco in mind but, equally, it will help experienced Sencos who often feel isolated and need support. It might help the special needs governor to understand what is involved in applying the code of practice and the importance of the coordinator's job.

The widely experienced authors acknowledge that most Sencos are primarily teachers, and provide comprehensive coverage of all the aspects of management necessary to deliver the cod effectively. Their handbookis a useful tool for assessing personal professional development as well as the effectiveness and growth of special needs provision - and the delivery of the code.

The easy style of writing encourages the busy teacher to use it for quick reference or deeper study. Its four sections deal with the development of management skills, managing teaching and learning, working with others and resources.

Each chapter is constructively supported by checkpoints, aides-memoires, activities and photocopiable pro forma.

The authors recognise the expertise of the teacher and do not preach or dictate, but offer a range of practical advice to support the Senco in developing the managerial aspect of this responsibility.

A brief guide to using the Internet, in particular how to get the most out of the Senco forum, and the inclusion of other useful website addresses, bring this book up to date. A welcome addition to the Senco's bookshelf.

Jane Ferguson Jane Ferguson is special educational needs coordinator at Wellow primary school, Hampshire

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