SENSE

Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO)

Background 

To support integration education (IE), starting from the 2017/18 school year, the Education Bureau (EDB) has, by phases in three years, provided each public sector ordinary primary and secondary school with a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), to lead the Student Support Team (SST) in implementing the Whole School Approach (WSA) to IE.  In 2019/20 school year, the provision is implemented in all public sector ordinary primary and secondary schools, and the SENCO posts are upgraded to the promotion rank in schools with a comparatively large number of students with special educational needs (SEN). For details, please refer to the respective circular.

 

Roles and responsibilities

SENCO leads the SST and is designated to assist the principal and vice-principal(s) in planning, coordinating and promoting the WSA to IE in order to foster a more inclusive school culture and enhance the effectiveness of the support given to students with SEN.  For the responsibilities of SENCO, please refer to Chapter 5 of the “Operation Guide on the Whole School Approach to Integrated Education”.

 

Qualifications

 

Professional development

Apart from receiving training in special education, new-to-role SENCOs have to participate in the professional training, with a duration of approximately 120 hours, arranged by the EDB.  In addition, the EDB organises professional development activities for SENCOs, to foster professional exchanges, and enhance their professional capacity in coordinating, promoting and developing the support for students with SEN continuously.

The professional training programme for SENCOs covers the WSA to IE, support strategies based on student-centred approach, provision mapping and management, quality learning and teaching, home-school co-operation, student development and continuing professional development for teachers, etc., in order to enhance the professional capacity of SENCOs in leading the SST in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of the school’s IE policies and support measures.  For details about the programme, please refer to part 1 of "The SENCO Manual".

 

The SENCO Manual

In the 2015/16 school year, the EDB implemented the Pilot Project on SENCOs, and invited Angela Scott, a training expert in the United Kingdom, to provide professional training for SENCOs.  She also wrote “The SENCO Manual”, for SENCOs’ use and as one of the important references to develop the local professional training programme for SENCOs.  The manual consists of three parts: 16 chapters of abstracts of the professional training programme for SENCOs, 85 practical tools and case sharing from schools.

 

Other relevant information

  • PowerPoint of briefing sessions for SENCOs (May 2019)  (Chinese version only)
  • Community Care Fund "Provision of Funding for Ordinary Schools to Arrange Special Educational Needs Coordinators" Pilot Scheme (the Pilot Scheme)
    • Evaluation Report (August 2017)  (Chinese version only)
      • This Report sets out the evaluation results of the Pilot Scheme and the arrangements to regularise the Pilot Scheme into the Government’s regular assistance programme
    • Final Evaluation Report of the Pilot Project on SENCOs (December 2018)
      • This Report aims to assess the impact of the provision of SENCOs on the WSA to IE, and identify the evolving contribution that the SENCOs can make to policy and practice for IE, factors that facilitate the effective development of the SENCO role and factors that present barriers to the effective development of the SENCO role.
      • Executive Summary
      • Full Report
      • Supplementary Section

 

Enquiry   

For enquiries, please contact the EDB Special Education Support Section on 3698 3770 (Primary School) or 2307 0454 (Secondary School).


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