I’m Abigail Hawkins (FCCT)
SENDCO & DSL, Education Consultant – Director
SENDCO Solutions was born of frustration. When I was a SENCO I just wanted someone who could help me out when I needed support, without making me feel inadequate, or that it was something I should already know the answer to. My local authority offered traded services but there was a limited continuity of staffing and what you got for your money reduced year on year.
Add to that the frustration that they would not just have a chat with me by email and everything had to be tied to a ‘name’ with a minimum amount of allocated time for each request. Internet research is great, so is reading SEN journals and books…but there just wasn’t the time. And when it came to crunch-times in the year it was a struggle to fit everything in resulting in lost weekends and 3 am panics. I often needed/wanted an answer or help on a Saturday afternoon and of course, no one was around. Worse than anything else, my school refused to pay for anything. Even my NASEN subscription I had to pay for myself along with most of my professional development courses such as Exam Concessions and EAL certification. And don’t get me started on a rant about buying suitable literacy resources for my lowest level learners!
Looking for support, the only services I could find were offered directly to schools (so incredibly expensive for an individual) and rather sparse on the ground. Again, most of them rely on visiting me in school and charging extortionate amounts for being on site, travelling and ‘follow’ up work. I JUST wanted an email response to a couple of questions like: How can I best support a student with Fragile X starting on Monday? Is there a decent computer or cloud-based provision-mapping program I can use to reduce paperwork? What are my legal obligations as regards keeping records? What is a passport and how do I write one? … You get the idea.
Along with the birth of a new member of the Hawkin’s household, we spawned a new branch of the company called SENsible SENCO. This initially began as a Facebook group dedicated to SEN questions, but quickly became one of the most popular and informative sources available to SENCOs. The requests for different forms of support quickly increased and SENsible SENCO responded rapidly – especially during “Covid”! SENsible SENCO has a strong and well recognised social media presence but is the same individual behind the content as SENDCO Solutions.
In 2021, business boomed and my husband Gavin joined to help with all the day-to-day running.
Whilst SENDCO Solutions pays the mortgage, SENsible SENCO was never setup for profit. In April 2022 SENsible SENCO was converted to a CIC for all it’s hard work looking after SENCOs across the UK. In the future we hope to convert it into a charity and support SENCOs further.
As an SEN Advisor, we work with Local Authorities, MATS, Schools, & SENCOs or with companies offering products designed to support SEND.
Local Authorities and MATS
Local Authorities and MATs generally employ my services as a speaker at conferences, to undertake a systematic review of multiple schools under their remit or give CPD sessions Trust wide.
Some we have worked with:
Stone Soup Academy
And always had excellent feedback!
Most school’s contract us for support in the form of a school SEN review.
We offer CPD programmes and ongoing packages of support to a number of establishments.
We’re working with United Learning and offering Teaching Assistant Apprenticeships, for which Abigail is the programme lead.
Through SENsible SENCO, we support individual SENCOs with advice on your day to day role or advising on CPD content for you to deliver.
We have a vast resource library, made by SENCOs for SENCOs.
On a weekly basis there are online webinars with a variety of speakers from different SEN based companies. You can find out more about this on our Eventbrite site.
Get In Touch
Want to get in touch?
When you have sent your email, use the back button in your browser to return to the website.
Please use school/business email addresses where possible. Include information about what you'd like to discuss.