SENCO or ALNCO: What is the Difference? Is it Just a Name?

by | May 3, 2023

SENCO or ALNCO: What is the Difference? Is it Just a Name?

Introduction

As a parent or educator, you may have heard the terms SENCO and ALNCO used interchangeably. These are important roles in education, but what exactly do they mean, and is there any difference between them? In this article, we’ll explore the similarities and differences between SENCO and ALNCO and help you understand these crucial roles in education.

What is SENCO?

SENCO stands for Special Educational Needs Coordinator. A SENCO is a teacher who is responsible for coordinating special educational needs provision within a school or educational setting. They work closely with students, parents, and other professionals to ensure that students with special educational needs receive the support they need to succeed.

SENCOs have a range of responsibilities, including:

  • Identifying and assessing students with special educational needs
  • Creating and implementing individual education plans (IEPs) for students with special educational needs
  • Coordinating with other professionals, such as educational psychologists and speech and language therapists, to provide support to students with special educational needs
  • Providing training and support to other teachers and staff members to help them understand and meet the needs of students with special educational needs
  • Ensuring that the school is meeting its legal obligations in relation to special educational needs provision

SENCOs play a crucial role in ensuring that students with special educational needs receive the support they need to reach their full potential. They work closely with students, parents, and other professionals to create a supportive and inclusive learning environment.

What is an ALNCO?
ALNCO stands for Additional Learning Needs Coordinator. ALNCO is a term used in Wales to describe a similar role to SENCO. In Wales, the term “additional learning needs” is used instead of “special educational needs”, but the role of the ALNCO is essentially the same as that of the SENCO.

Like SENCOs, ALNCOs are responsible for coordinating provision for students with additional learning needs within a school or educational setting. They work closely with students, parents, and other professionals to ensure that students with additional learning needs receive the support they need to succeed.

What are the Similarities Between SENCO and ALNCO?

While there are some differences between SENCO and ALNCO, there are also many similarities. Some of the key similarities between these roles include:

  • Both roles involve coordinating provision for students with special educational needs or additional learning needs within a school or educational setting.
  • Both roles require the coordinator to work closely with students, parents, and other professionals to ensure that students receive the support they need to succeed.
  • Both roles involve creating and implementing individual education plans (IEPs) for students with special educational needs or additional learning needs.
  • Both roles involve ensuring that the school is meeting its legal obligations in relation to special educational needs or additional learning needs provision.

Despite the differences in terminology between England and Wales, the roles of SENCO and ALNCO are very similar. Both roles involve coordinating provision for students with special educational needs or additional learning needs, and both require a strong understanding of the needs of these students and the ability to work closely with others to create a supportive learning environment.

What are the Differences Between SENCO and ALNCO?

While the roles of SENCO and ALNCO are very similar, there are some differences between these roles. Some of the key differences include:

  • Terminology: The main difference between SENCO and ALNCO is the terminology used. SENCO is used in England, while ALNCO is used in Wales. However, despite the difference in terminology, the roles are essentially the same.
    • Legislation: There are slight differences in the legal requirements for SENCOs and ALNCOs. In England, SENCOs are required to have the National Award for SEN Coordination, while in Wales, there is no specific qualification required for ALNCOs.
    • Focus: While both roles focus on coordinating provision for students with special educational needs or additional learning needs, there may be a slight difference in focus. In England, SENCOs may focus more on students with physical disabilities, while in Wales, ALNCOs may focus more on students with emotional or behavioral difficulties. Do you agree?
Despite these differences, it’s important to remember that both SENCOs and ALNCOs play a vital role in ensuring that students with special educational needs or additional learning needs receive the support they need to succeed in school.

Conclusion

In conclusion, SENCO and ALNCO are important roles in education that involve coordinating provision for students with special educational needs or additional learning needs. While there are some differences between these roles, such as the terminology used and the legal requirements, the roles are essentially the same. Both SENCOs and ALNCOs play a crucial role in ensuring that students with special educational needs or additional learning needs receive the support they need to succeed in school.

FAQs

  1. Can SENCOs and ALNCOs work in any educational setting?

Yes, SENCOs and ALNCOs can work in any educational setting, including primary schools, secondary schools, and special schools.

  1. Do SENCOs and ALNCOs work with students with all types of special educational needs?

Yes, SENCOs and ALNCOs work with students with all types of special educational needs or additional learning needs, including physical disabilities, learning disabilities, and emotional or behavioral difficulties.

  1. Is there any difference in salary between SENCOs and ALNCOs?

The salary for SENCOs and ALNCOs varies depending on the educational setting and location. In general, however, the salaries for these roles are similar.

Abigail Hawkins FCCT

Abigail Hawkins FCCT

Director of SENDCO Solutions

Abigail Hawkins was a SENCO for over 25 years and has worked with pupils with all types of needs.  Abigail has worked with Ed-Tech companies on developing their software and also been chair of governors for a multi-academy trust. Abigail now runs SENsible SENCO and SENDCO Solutions, with the aim of working with SENCOs and inclusion leaders across the UK to improve their support for SEND pupils. See our school services for more information.

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