Interview with a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO)

Karen McMullan was a student teacher at the University of Ulster from 2002-3. Her main subject was Art and Design. When she graduated she was appointed as an assistant teacher in Dunmurry High School Belfast. Your task is to design a set of questions and carry out an interview with a professional involved in working with pupils who have special educational needs.
As part of her duties she taught Art and Design but was also responsible for a Year 8 ‘nuture class'. These pupils entered the school with known special educational needs many of them already had a Statement of Educational Need. Karen was responsible for this class in a pastoral sense and also taught a range of subjects as well as Art and Design. Within two years Karen was appointed as the school Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator and holds that position at present in the school. She was runner-up in the Northern Ireland Young Teacher of the Year in 2004

Click on the icons to listen to excerpts of an interview with a SENCO in a post-primary school.

Question 1. Have you any advice for NQTs dealing for the first time with pupils who may have special educational needs?
Question 2. What is a typical day like for a SENCO?
Question 3. How do you make the best use of your classroom assistant?