New regulations have been laid before Parliament requiring Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators in schools (SENCOs) to be qualified teachers. The Education (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators) (England) Regulations 2008 come into force on 1st September 2009. By that date, all SENCOs need to have qualified teacher status (QTS) and to be teaching at their school - which would rule out sharing a SENCO between several schools. The only exceptions are (a) where the head teacher is the SENCO but is not in fact a qualified teacher (legally possible) and (b) where the SENCO has been in post for at least six months on 31st August 2009 and the school's governing body is satisfied that he/she is taking steps to obtain QTS and stands a reasonable prospect of achieving it by September 2011. The regulations do not say what will happen if such a person fails to obtain QTS by that date.
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