Coordinating With Support Specialists

by | Oct 6, 2023

Imagine you’re orchestrating a grand symphony – but instead of solely relying on violins and cellos, you have an ensemble of support specialists ready to tune into the unique melodies of SEND. It’s not just about the notes; it’s about who plays them. Let’s waltz through the significance of coordinating with these maestros and how they fine-tune our SEND orchestration.


Who Are the Support Specialists?


Support specialists are a collective of professionals who offer specialised services tailored to the diverse needs of SEND pupils. They bring expertise, strategies, and interventions that might be beyond the standard school provisions.


Key Players in the Ensemble


  1. Occupational Therapists: They assist pupils in mastering the essential life and motor skills required for everyday tasks.


  1. Speech and Language Therapists: These specialists address communication disorders, aiding students in developing their speech and language capabilities.


  1. Educational Psychologists: They evaluate and offer strategies for addressing learning and behavioural challenges.


  1. Counsellors and Mental Health Professionals: They provide emotional and mental health support, helping pupils navigate challenges and emotions.


  1. Learning Support Assistants: Working closely with teachers, they provide tailored support to pupils during lessons and interventions.


Why Engage Regularly with Support Specialists?


Coordinating with these experts isn’t a sporadic occurrence; it’s a sustained collaboration that resonates with the evolving needs of SEND pupils.


Tailored Interventions


By liaising with specialists, SENCOs can ensure that interventions are not only suitable but also bespoke, aligning closely with individual student needs.


Skills Transfer


Engaging with these experts also offers a fantastic learning opportunity for the broader school staff. Through observation, discussion, and training, teachers and support staff can adopt effective strategies into their daily teaching repertoire.


Holistic Understanding


Regular interactions allow for a comprehensive understanding of a pupil’s needs. It provides a 360-degree view, encompassing academic, emotional, physical, and communicative aspects.


Feedback Loop


Just as SENCOs benefit from specialist input, these experts also gain from understanding the school environment, the pupil’s daily routine, and any observations teachers may have. It’s a two-way feedback street that enriches interventions.


Efficiently Scheduling and Coordinating


To ensure a harmonious collaboration:


  1. Prioritise Regular Check-ins: Instead of only connecting when a challenge arises, schedule regular check-ins to discuss ongoing progress, setbacks, and potential strategies.


  1. Use Technology: Employ scheduling tools, shared calendars, and communication platforms to streamline interactions and ensure everyone is in the loop.


  1. Involve Parents: As crucial stakeholders, parents can provide insights from a home environment perspective, adding another layer to the holistic understanding of the pupil’s needs.


In the final refrain of today’s piece, one thing is crystal clear: orchestrating SEND provisions is a collaborative masterpiece, one that thrives on the expertise of support specialists. So, dear SENCOs, keep your batons ready, ensure regular meetings with your ensemble, and together, let’s create symphonies that uplift and empower every SEND pupil. Until our next concert, keep the music flowing!

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