There are various opinions on ways to use the SEN Register and differs from one school to another and across local authorities. SENCOs can end up with multiple registers; SEN Register, additional needs, medical and disability. As soon as a register is created it needs maintaining and updating, therefore increases workload. There is no written rule so everyone has their own interpretation which is part of the problem – so let’s get back to basics.

Abigail Hawkins joins Dale for the first time on the podcast to discuss the ‘SEN Register’:

“I think sometimes it’s just, it’s not necessarily having a register, it’s being aware of your students, aware of who you’ve got and who can advocate for themselves.”

Abigail Hawkins, SEN Consultant

Listen to this episode to find out who goes on the SEN register and how to reduce your workload by:

  • understanding the SEN register
  • looking at policy and practice, legal guidance and the code of practice
  • reducing the number of registers
  • understanding who to include on the register – diagnosis, medical and ‘need’
  • knowing what being on the register means 
  • discussing why the SEND Green paper proposals are welcomed

About Abigail Hawkins

Abigail runs SENDCOSolutions, an SEN consultancy and SENsible SENCO CIC, a not-for-profit networking support group.  She has been a SENCO for over 25 years and has taught a multitude of subjects across all phases from 2-year-olds to adults.  She works with software companies developing supportive software for SEN and Safeguarding purposes, has developed and delivers on a teaching assistant apprenticeship programme, authored several books on SEN and exclusions and runs a support network for over 9000 SENCOs. 

Until recently, she was the Chair of Governors for 3 schools in the East Midlands and she still works as a SENCO for part of her week.  Abigail has a no-nonsense, practical approach to SEN issues faced by schools.  Abigail was one of the three lead voices on a series of SEN webinars delivered over the lockdowns amassing an audience of over 12000 viewers and she uses modern approaches to share SEN-related information including a successful YouTube channel. 

Contact Abigail Hawkins

Website –

Email –

Twitter – @sendcosolutions

Useful Links


Weekly SEN Network/CPD meetings for the SENsible SENCO community.  Details available on Eventbrite:

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