Terminology

Unfamiliar terms and words often appear in reports on assessments and in conversations with professionals. Parents may be unsure of their meaning and the implications they have for their child – here are some of the words/phrases you may encounter.

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There are 5 names in this directory beginning with the letter S.
School Nurse
A school nurse takes over from the health visitor, once children reach the age of 5 (Foundation 2 year). Your child will automatically be transferred between the teams but it is worth remembering to contact the new school nurse if your child moves between schools. Each school has a school nurse and their role is to work closely with pupils, school staff and parents/carers. They carry out screening programmes in school, advise and aid with management of medical conditions, offer support and advice on a range of issues and can be a key point of contact to complete assessments for paediatricians with parents/carers and school staff in the school setting. You can ask your school for the school nurses’ contact details and you can arrange to have an appointment with the school nurse in school to discuss any concerns.

SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator)
All mainstream schools must appoint one of their teachers to be their SENCO. They are then responsible for co-ordinating additional support for all pupils with special educational needs. They will be the person who passes information between the teachers, other professionals and parents. It is the SENCO who will request the educational psychologist to become involved if necessary and other external services (e.g. speech and language therapy) for children receiving support on ‘school based plans’. The SENCO should work with class teachers to develop effective methods and strategies to help overcome barriers to a child’s learning and ensure they receive the most effective teaching by making sure their needs are assessed appropriately and focus on developing targets which reflect the child’s needs and potential.

Social Worker
A Social Worker is trained to provide support and advice for parents and families. Social Workers may contribute Welfare Advice to the development of an EHC plan.

Specialist Teachers
Specialist teachers provide outreach input into nurseries and schools (and homes for younger children as appropriate). They will have experience in teaching children in specialist areas such as dyslexia, hearing impairment/deafness or visual impairment. This teacher may help your child directly or may support/give advice to their teachers in school.

Speech and Language Therapist
A Speech and Language Therapist is trained to assess, diagnose, manage and treat speech and language difficulties. They also provide support and advice for parents and schools. Speech and Language Therapists may inform Individual Education Plans and contribute to education health care plans.