I’m Abigail Hawkins (FCCT)
SENDCO & DSL, Education Consultant – Director
SENDCO Solutions was born of frustration. When I was a SENDCO 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 safeguarding 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.
In 2016 I was asked to take voluntary redundancy so that my school could restructure its SLT (you read that correctly!) I leaped at the chance to take my vision of a decent support service and make it a reality. So, from September 2016 Hawkins SEN Consultancy (Special Needs Solutions) was in operation as a sole trader…except I was pregnant, and for the first time I had the chance to be a mum and not rush back to work. Hawkins SEN Consultancy has had a regular software client since September 2016 for whom I undertook the role of in-house SENDCO and DSL advisor. Re-establishing the business after 9 months of maternity leave I relaunched with a new name SENDCO Solutions and full company status (11218170).SEN
Would you like to be part of the next chapter?
My Approach & Values
Abigail knows from experience that the SENCO role is a strategic one…but one in which the individual concerned spends a lot of time putting out the current fires before they can consider the future.
Abigail is experienced in leading SEN reviews in schools to establish the strengths and areas for development.
Abigail Hawkins was a SENDCO for nearly 25 years of her teaching career. With experience across the whole age range (from 2 years to adults) and across a wide variety of settings and subjects, she is well placed to provide SEN advice for SENDCOs who have simply run out of ideas/juice! Whether you need a shoulder to cry on, a sympathetic ear, support with processes or paperwork, planning for the future, or fighting the current fire, Abigail can provide the advice and support you need to succeed in your role.
Abigail couldn’t leave the classroom behind. Alongside her consultancy work for Edukey she
- SENCO for over 25 years
- Key note speaker and webinar host for multiple events
- School/College SEN reviewer
- SEND and SG consultant for 3 software companies
- Chair of Governors
As an SEN Advisor, I 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 or to undertake a systematic review of multiple schools under their remit.
Most school’s contract my support as an SEN reviewer. Local schools may also find me undertaking their interim SENCO work.
I support individual SENCOs with a 1:1 service offering support with your day to day role or advising on CPD content for you to deliver.
Simon Tanner, Director of SEND, Bohunt Education Trust
Abigail has a vast depth of knowledge and experience within SEN which has been developed over a number of years. Her own personal experience in schools as well as supporting many SENCo’s along the way, has ensured that she is able to provide accurate and effective guidance for any SENCo seeking it. Speaking from experience, Abigails advice and guidance to new and existing SENCo’s has always been hugely appreciated as are her regular forums. She is highly regarded and respected by all who know her within the profession.
Natalie Packer (The Perfect SENCO)
Abigail has a wealth of SEND knowledge and experience in the world of SEND. As a previous SENCO, she fully understands both the strategic and operational elements of the role and is able to provide practical, realistic advice to both new and experienced SEND leaders in schools, as well as to trusts and local authorities. Through her forums and networks, she is able to bring like-minded professionals together to problem-solve and share good practice. I would highly recommend Abigail if you’re looking for a true SEND expert!
Jane – Mother: Age 36
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