Books recommended or published by sendco solutions

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Books Written by SENDCO Solutions

(Also known as Abigail Hawkins)


Written for those new to the SENCO role or considering it, this book has suggestions around time management, understanding the Code of Practice and the SENCO Year.


Abigail’s style of writing will have you imagining a pleasant chat over a cup of coffee.  This book explores the graduated response taking you through all the stages and culminating in detail on how to take provision mapping that one step further and manage it effectively.

School Exclusions

Exclusions are an emotive subject, and everyone has their viewpoint (me included). There is then the law and there are school rules. Sometimes, they all align with each other! This is not a book for educators on how to avoid exclusions- in fact it assumes an exclusion has taken place or is on the horizon.

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Reading and reference for SENCOS


`The Perfect SENCO` is the fully up-to-date, essential guide to supporting children with special educational needs; an invaluable resource for all schools that are looking to update their practice in line with the new national guidelines. Revised and updated to cover the changes resulting from the new Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice, this book will empower your school to embrace the national changes which came into force in September 2014, by showing how to support every teacher as a teacher of children with special educational needs (SEN).

Over recent years, the job of the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) has become more strategic and will now include provision mapping, working in partnership with parents, supporting other colleagues, commissioning services, demonstrating pupil progress and ensuring value for money. In essence, it is a role which contributes significantly to whole-school improvement. `The Perfect SENCO` provides guidance for SENCOs and other senior leaders on working in a strategic way to support improvement. It will be of use not only for potential or newly appointed SENCOs, but also for those who are more experienced and wish to keep their day-to-day practice up to date.

Including key information and practical tips, The Perfect SENCO is a useful point of reference for busy senior leaders. The book can be used to encourage reflection of current policy and practice, to support cultural or systemic change and to consider ways of coordinating SEN provision to successfully raise the achievement of pupils with special educational needs.

This revised and updated edition is referenced against the Children and Families Act, the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice and up-to-date Ofsted guidelines. It will support SENCOs, inclusion managers and coordinators, SEN governors together with senior leaders to start implementing change effectively.

Contents include: 1. The SENCO: centre stage for school improvement 2. Leading the way: providing strategic direction and development 3. High quality SEN provision all day, every day 4. Tracking and monitoring to raise achievement 5. Every teacher s responsibility: developing your colleagues 6. Working in harmony: effective partnerships 7. Bringing it all together: self-evaluation and Ofsted The perfect SENCO: quick checklist of key actions



In the busy world that schools inhabit, this book provides clear guidance on how to implement a simple and user-friendly system that will ensure all pupil progress is forensically examined and any inadequacies swiftly addressed. Provision Mapping and the SEND Code of Practice describes a tried and tested system that helps schools to successfully identify, implement and track provision for all pupils, irrespective of whether they have a special educational need or not.

This new edition:

·       demonstrates how schools can implement the requirements of the new SEND Code of Practice

·       provides achievable solutions to the problems that schools face in trying to evidence the impact of the additional support they provide

·       provides photocopiable templates of tables that can be used to track progress of all pupils

·       contains easy to use tools that will allow a school to clearly evidence that additional funding is used efficiently.

This second edition has been fully updated to reflect the recent changes to SEN legislation, the new SEND Code of Practice (2015), the new National Curriculum and new assessment requirements and the new Common Inspection Framework. Additional material has been added to provide a resource for secondary and special schools. Headteachers, senior managers, leadership teams, SENCOs and other educational professionals will find the guidance and support provided by this book invaluable.


This Handbook will give aspiring and practising SENCOs, teachers, Headteachers and Governors an in-depth knowledge and understanding of effective policy, provision and practice to meet the diverse needs of children with special educational needs and disabilities. Each chapter will provide: A theoretical underpinning Evidence-based information and examples Activities for professional learning and whole school development Easy to use and adaptable templates and checklists for use in settings Case studies to strengthen connections between theory and practice Providing comprehensive coverage of current issues, the understanding of how to improve provision and practice in their settings and written with consultation from practising SENCOs, this is essential reading for those studying towards their National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination.

Check out my video review on this book here.


Do you have responsibility for your school’s special educational needs (SEN) provision? Are you currently undertaking the National award for SENCOs?

By breaking down the detailed information into manageable chunks, this book sets out the responsibilities of the SENCO and helps you make sure you are meeting the government requirements of the most recent reforms to SEN provision and regulations. Helping you lead and manage SEN provision this book covers:

·       New SEN legislations and policy (the new SEND Code of Practice)

·       Planning and deploying the SEN budget

·       Working in partnership with young people, parents and other professionals

·       How to deal with the new paperwork requirements

·       Building capacity among staff and self-evaluating the quality of your settings provision

·       Meeting the latest OFSTED requirements, in relation to SEND

Suitable for SENCOs and anyone responsible for SEN provision in their setting it is an invaluable guide those working with children from Birth to 19.

About Rita CheminaisRita has over thirty years experience in the field of education working as a teacher, SENCO, OFSTED Inspector, General, Senior and Principal Adviser for SEN & Inclusion, education consultant, author and keynote speaker on SEN.


A Quick Guide to Special Needs is an easy go-to guide for busy teachers, SENCOs, practitioners and anyone else who is interested in pragmatic solutions to the challenges of teaching children and young people with additional needs.

Detailing over 60 conditions which cause people to have additional needs, Bob Bates helps you broaden your understanding of different physical, neurological, psychological, and developmental needs with accessible bite-sized explanations of the conditions, best practice approaches to working with these learners, and how to apply them to your everyday teaching.

Each individual need is explained over a 2-page spread and every entry includes:

·       Case studies encouraging you to reflect on real-life situations to understand the impact each condition has on people and how they and their parents deal with it.

·       Do it steps offering a simple step-by-step approach that you can follow in order to meet additional needs arising out of these conditions.

·       Important steps for the classroom specifically for teachers to use.

·       Recommended reading, suggesting books, articles and websites where further information on specific conditions are available.

Whether you’re a newly qualified or experienced teacher, or simply want to further your understanding on the vast variety of individual needs, this guide is the ideal dip-in dip-out reference point for SEND.

Also from Bob Bates:
Educational Leadership Simplified
Learning Theories Simplified


Are you overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork that SEN generates in your school?

Would you like to spend more time actually improving the quality of teaching and learning for pupils with SEN or disabilities?

If so, this is an essential book for you.

Fully revised and updated for the 2014 SEN Code of Practice, this new edition contains strategies for reducing the number of individual education plans and review meetings. Beating Bureaucracy in Special Educational Needs will help you to use existing systems for target setting, recording and planning – personalised systems that are used for all children as part of everyday teaching practices. It lists the intervention programmes that really work and showcases the work of four schools that have successfully developed ways of planning provision, working with parents, and supporting staff development. Ready-to-use proforma in the book are also available online, and include

·       a model policy for Ofsted;

·       strategy sheets for all main types of SEN;

·       provision maps and proformas to help you plan, monitor and evaluate your provision

Beating Bureaucracy in Special Educational Needs will provide support for school leaders, SENCOs and anyone undertaking the national SENCO award. A practical and engaging guide, this new and updated edition shows how to put responsibility for supporting children with most types of additional need firmly back where it belongs – with class and subject teachers. It will help you – in the words of one SENCO – ‘get your life back’.


Teaching assistants are an integral part of classroom life, yet pioneering research by the authors has shown schools are not making the most of this valued resource. Evidence shows the more support pupils receive from TAs, the less academic progress they made. Yet the reason for this has little to do with TAs. It is decisions made about them by school leaders and teachers that best explain this provocative finding.

The fully updated second edition of this book draws on the experiences of schools that have put this guidance into action via the Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistantsprogramme. Revised to reflect the latest research evidence and changes within education, including the 2014 SEND Code of Practice, this book will help school leaders and teachers in primary and secondary settings to rethink the role, purpose and contribution of TAs, and add real value to what can be achieved in classrooms.

Setting out a field-tested process, structured around a coherent and empirically sound conceptual framework, this book:

·       helps school leaders review, reform and reenergise their TA workforce

·       provides practical strategies to implement in the classroom

·       illustrates key points with new case studies

·       provides photocopiable templates and resources to support decision-making and action.

Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants provides much-needed and evidence-informed guidance on how to unleash the huge potential of TAs, and is essential reading for all school leaders.



Covering contemporary policy issues, perspectives from practice and a range of common syndromes and barriers Special Educational Needs presents a wealth of information and guidance for students and professionals on how to achieve effective, inclusive practice.

Second edition features include:

·        fully revised annotated further readings and links to useful websites;

·        a new chapter on Autism and Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)

·        a new chapter on Down Syndrome

·        updated reference to legislation, including the SEND Code of Practice (2014)

·        updated case studies covering 0-18 age range

This comprehensive course text is ideal for students, teachers, practitioners and specialists, and provides a solid foundation for understanding and supporting learners with additional needs.


Identifying Special Needs provides expert guidance to recognising and categorising the specific characteristics of a range of special needs. Drawing on her experience as an educational psychologist and special education teacher, Glynis Hannell provides easy-to-use checklists to help teachers quickly and accurately gather information to determine whether individual students need specialised attention and services, and guidelines on how to provide this help.

This unique book offers diagnostic criteria and supporting notes for a wide range of special educational needs, including autism spectrum disorders, communication disorders, social and emotional issues, cognitive disabilities and specific learning disorders. Relevant to both primary and secondary school students, all checklists can be photocopied for ease of use and downloaded from the companion website. This fully revised third edition includes additional information on guiding conversations with parents, children and colleagues, as well as advice to parents on how to select outside professionals.

The practical checklists and resources help teachers and educational professionals to:

Identify and understand special needs

·       screen any student for possible special needs;

·       understand the causes and characteristics of various types of special needs;

·       link classroom observations to diagnostic criteria used by specialists.

Profile individual differences

·       create accurate and comprehensive profiles for individual students, including positive characteristics;

·       record each student’s unique pattern of development within a special needs ‘label’.

Work together with colleagues and parents

·       quickly record important information and avoid writing time-consuming reports;

·       request and prepare for further assessment and intervention;

·       coordinate information from several teachers or professionals;

·       involve parents in observing and discussing their child’s pattern of strengths and challenges;

·       plan effective, inclusive intervention in the classroom setting;

·       follow up with recommended further reading, websites and professional references.

Based on internationally accepted diagnostic criteria, and relevant for educational professionals worldwide, this is an essential book for teachers, psychologists and other specialists to ensure that the children and adolescents in their care receive the support they need to succeed.

Books Published by SENDCO Solutions


Guidance on the special educational needs and disability (SEND) system for children and young people aged 0 to 25, from 1 September 2014. This is the updated version from January 2015. This product is free to download as a pdf from the DfE website, but if like me you prefer a printed bound version, here it is. This is reproduced under the Open Government Licence.


Publication of this document is allowed under the Open Government Licence. If you are happy to download, print and bind the document for yourself then it is FREE to download in pdf form from the DfE website. On the other hand, you might like to adorn your desk or bookshelf with this beautifully bound version instead! This is non-statutory advice from the Department for Education. It has been produced to help schools to understand how the Equality Act affects them and how to fulfil their duties under the Act. It has been updated to include information on same-sex marriage. On 1 October 2010, the Equality Act 2010 replaced all existing equality legislation such as the Race Relations Act, Disability Discrimination Act and Sex Discrimination Act. It has consolidated this legislation and also provides some changes that schools need to be aware of. This advice is for school leaders, school staff and governing bodies in maintained schools and academies but may also be useful for local authorities and parents.


Exclusions are an emotive subject, and everyone has their viewpoint (me included). There is then the law and there are school rules. Sometimes, they all align with each other! This is not a book for educators on how to avoid exclusions- in fact it assumes an exclusion has taken place or is on the horizon. This book advises parents (and others) on the lawful situation and illustrates with real examples (names changed).I am a firm believer that behaviour is a form of communication. Disruptive behaviour can also be a sign of an unmet need. That said SEN (special education needs) are not an excuse or passport for poor behaviour choices. All staff and students in a school have a right to feel safe in their environment. We all make mistakes and the child or young person needs to know that their actions and behaviours have consequences.



A simple spelling book for children with space to include their own spellings.


Updated DfE Guidance on the Governance of Schools MARCH 2019.This book is free to download in pdf format from the DfE website…but if like me you prefer a nice bound copy; here it is.Under the Open Government Licence I am able to copy, publish, distribute and transmit the Information, adapt the information and exploit the Information commercially and non-commercially for example, by combining it with other Information, or by including it in your own product or application.This is essential reading for all school governors.


The financial management requirements that apply to academy trusts.Academy trusts must comply with this handbook as a condition of their funding agreement. It provides an overarching framework for implementation of effective financial management and control


This quick guide to Dyscalculia and mathematics difficulties will help a SENCO or classroom teacher understand about this neurological difficulty. Offering advice on assessments, interventions, classroom strategies and wider reading it is a great starting point for the newcomer and a reference point for the more seasoned professional.


This quick guide to Dysgraphia and handwriting difficulties will help a SENCO or classroom teacher understand about this neurological difficulty. Offering advice on assessments, interventions, classroom strategies and wider reading it is a great starting point for the newcomer and a reference point for the more seasoned professional.My apologies…Please note there is a print error on the ‘hands’ page. If you go to the website: and click Knowing Their Needs: Dysgraphia (use the book ISBN number) you will be able to access a corrected version (along with the other photocopiable resources.)


I once started a CPD session on differentiation with a slide showing Granny how to suck eggs. This must be one of the most difficult chapters I had to write in this series. Why? Because it really does feel like teaching Granny to suck eggs! You have your job role because you already know what a SENDCO is and what your job is supposed to be. It should also be detailed in your job description. There is much talk about the ‘strategic SENDCO’ one who plans and co-ordinates for the pupils identified which is a cold, clinical approach to the work. A SENDCO is more likely to have originally come from the nurturing and caring side of things and be drawn to the role from a desire to assist those pupils who need it the most. Balancing those two things will be one of the toughest challenges you face. Before you can become strategic you need to know your role and know your SEN and hopefully this book has helped with your understanding of the first of these.


Approach it, Map it, Manage it explains the use of the Graduated Response, taking you through the stages and neatly knitting in Provision Mapping and Management.
With a different style to most SEN authors the book is illustrated with examples from Abigail’s experience in the role rather than bogged down with technicalities. You will read and recognise the pupils, parents and staff she describes.
Rather than assuming your school is perfect she sets out from the stand point that it probably isn’t and that you are at the bottom of a seriously steep uphill climb wanting to know the first steps to take before moving onto SEN guides that will explain what ‘excellence’ looks like.

This publication is pending an update.  The 2018 version has been withdrawn.  

Part One (the compulsory reading section) is available separately.


This guidance is active from 2 September 2019 and at that point KCSIE 2018 will be withdrawn. Until then schools and colleges must continue to have regard to KCSIE 2018. This is a small book with just section 1 of the guidance which must be read and acknowledged by all staff and governors of your school.Available online in pdf format or here as a nicely bound book to demonstrate it’s importance.


Statutory guidance on roles and responsibilities. This document is freely available on the DfE website, but if like me you prefer a bound version, here it is. I am able to publish this document and offer for sale under the Open Government Licence.


Please note this publication is available as a free pdf download from the DfE website. If, like me, you get frustrated by a photocopy falling out of a ringbinder, here is a bound copy for your bookshelf. Nothing is more important than children’s welfare. Children who need help and protection deserve high quality and effective support as soon as a need is identified. We want a system that responds to the needs and interests of children and families and not the other way around. In such a system, practitioners will be clear about what is required of them individually, and how they need to work together in partnership with others.


The content of this book is freely available as pdf downloads on the OFSTED/DfE website. Under the open government licence a fully printed and bound copy of available sections is offered in this book.I get very frustrated with printed pdfs falling out of folders and much prefer my bound copies!Guidance for inspecting schools under the common inspection framework. This handbook is primarily for inspectors on how to carry out school inspections, however it is made available to schools and other organisations to ensure that they are informed about the process and procedures of the inspection. It seeks to balance the need for consistency in inspections with the flexibility required to respond to the individual circumstances of each school This handbook should not be regarded as a set of inflexible rules, but as an account of the procedures that govern inspection. Inspectors will exercise their professional judgment when using it.

Suggested Reading on SEN


This much-awaited second edition of the popular Incredible 5-Point Scale is, as the title suggests, significantly improved and expanded. Using the same practical and user-friendly format as the first edition, Buron and Curtis let readers benefit from work done with the scales over the past 10 years, to result in refinements to the original scales, now considered classics in homes and classrooms across the country and abroad, as well as lots of new scales specifically designed for two groups of individuals: young children and those with more classic presentations of autism, including expanded use of the Anxiety Curve. Another welcome addition is a list of goals and objectives related to incorporating scales in students IEPs.Note: Blank scales are free downloadable.CD not included. As in their other writings, the authors emphasise the importance self-management and self-regulation, two evidence-based practices.


The ability to produce fluent, legible handwriting with ease is something that affects attainment in most areas of the curriculum, yet many children continue to struggle with this vital skill. Based on holistic principles, this programme offers a different approach, developing the muscles of the hand – so that children gain the necessary control to produce letter forms – alongside the perceptual skills required to orientate and organize letter and words. The programme is effective for mainstream children aged 4-6 years, children with developmental co-ordination disorders and older children with mild to moderate learning difficulties. Over 400 carefuly graded exercises and activities develop hand-eye co-ordination, form constancy, spatial organization, figure-ground discrimination, orientation and laterality. The package consists of two pupil workbooks and a teacher’s handbook.


Speed Up! is a tried-and-tested programme designed specifically for children aged 8-13, whose handwriting is slow, illegible or lacking in fluency. Whether the problems are associated with a developmental coordination disorder (such as dyspraxia), dyslexia or ADHD, or whether they are the result of poor handwriting habits acquired early on, this book will provide an effective source of help.




All Dogs Have ADHD takes an inspiring and affectionate look at Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), using images and ideas from the canine world to explore a variety of traits that will be instantly recognisable to those who are familiar with ADHD.

Following the style of the award-winning All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome, charming colour photographs of dogs bring to life familiar ADHD characteristics such as being restless and excitable, getting easily distracted, and acting on impulse.

This delightful book combines humour with understanding to reflect the difficulties and joys of raising a child with ADHD and celebrates what it means to be considered `different’. This absorbing and enjoyable book takes a refreshing approach to understanding ADHD.



All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome takes a playful look at Asperger Syndrome (AS), drawing inspiration from the feline world in a way that will strike a chord with all those who are familiar with AS.

Delightful colour photographs of cats bring to life familiar characteristics such as sensitive hearing, scampering at the first sign of being stroked, and particular eating habits.

Touching, humorous and insightful, this book evokes the difficulties and joys of raising a child who is different and leaves the reader with a sense of the dignity, individuality, and potential of people with AS.

This engaging book is an ideal, gentle introduction to the world of AS.

`There is a great deal of truth in humour. If you have only just begun to discover why someone with Asperger’s syndrome is different, this book will inform and entertain you. The descriptions provide an accurate balance between the qualities and difficulties associated with Asperger’s syndrome, while the photographs will make the journey of discovery enjoyable and remarkable.’
– Tony Attwood, author of Asperger’s Syndrome and The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome



Life as a bird can be stressful! From worrying about airplanes, windows, and getting enough worms to eat, it is clear that birds can be anxious beings. Through a light-touch, quizzical depiction of bird behaviour, All Birds Have Anxiety uses colourful images and astute explanations to explore with gentle humour what it means to live with anxiety day-to-day, and how to begin to deal with it.

Following the style of the best-selling All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome and All Dogs Have ADHD, wonderful colour photographs express the complex and difficult ideas related to anxiety disorder in an easy-to-understand way. This simple yet profound book validates the deeper everyday experiences of anxiety, provides an empathic understanding of the many symptoms associated with anxiety, and offers compassionate suggestions for change.

The combination of understanding and gentle humour make this the ideal introduction to anxiety disorder for those diagnosed with this condition, their family and friends and those generally interested in understanding anxiety.


Have a look in my shop for these brilliant books by Lemontree Publications.

And don’t forget to check out my video review here

Just 4.99 each.

Useful Resources

From SENDCOSolutions
Developed for specific purposes or on request I store my files here for anyone who can make use of them.
Feel free to adapt as appropriate and remember that they are will not fit you or your school perfectly!

Lots of SENCOs ask about their SEN register and who should/shouldn’t go on there. The answer isn’t simple. It depends on your school it’s context and your cohort and whether staff actually pay any attention to who you add!
Whatever your decision it is useful to have your criteria for inclusion – in other words why do you not include some students but might include another who has the same official label (I’m referring to ADHD and Dyslexia specially here).
This is a guide I wrote for a secondary school recently…adapt as you see fit.


These sheets offer plans around strategies that can be used to support students with a variety of needs in the classroom.  They are old (over 10 years) so may need some adaptations to language…but like most things, “what goes around, comes around” and they can still be useful!

Moderate Learning Difficulties

Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia)

Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyspraxia)



Hearing Impairment

Low Vision

Mental Health


“Reading Approach It, Map It, Manage It was like sitting over coffee with a friend.  Abigail really knows what it is like in our shoes.

Lisa Finn, Secondary SENCO

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