Who’s who in education

This section talks about the different people you or your child may come into contact with when making plans to go back to school.

Educational psychologist

Educational psychologists (sometimes called ed psychs or EPs for short) are concerned with all aspects of children’s development. They look at how a child’s individual strengths and difficulties may help or hinder learning, behaviour and socialising at school.

As with all children, the broad aim for those with acquired brain injury is to support them if they’re experiencing difficulties in their schooling and education.

They will work with teachers, schools and families to help them understand these difficulties, and help ensure a child’s needs are being met at school. They may do this in a range of ways. They may gather information through discussion, observe the child in typical situations, or carry out some individual work with the child. They might also provide training for school staff.

Using information gathered from this range of sources, an educational psychologist will then provide advice and make recommendations. For children with more complex needs, the EP provides advice to the local authority as part of a multi-disciplinary statutory assessment process.

Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO)

A SENCO is a teacher who holds overall responsibility for special educational needs at a school. Every school is required by law to have a SENCO.1 If your child has special educational needs, the school’s SENCO will work with other teachers and parents to make sure these needs are met.

They keep other teachers, parents and carers informed about your child and manage the records of all children at the school with special educational needs.

SENCOs also have a key role in contributing to the training of other staff and making sure an individual education plan is in place. If your child has Special Educational Needs and is going through the SEN process, then families may come into contact with some of the people below. 

Other professionals in the SEN process 1

Named officer

This is the person at your local authority who will deal with your child’s case. It’s not always possible, but the local authority should try to make sure you’re speaking with the same person throughout the process.
Parent partnership service

These services provide support and advice to parents. They aim to provide accurate and unbiased information on the full range of options available to parents.

In other words, they don’t ‘take sides’. You can find your local service by searching online using the term "parent partnership service" and your county or by contacting your local authority.
Disagreement resolution services

These services are an informal way of sorting out disagreements between parents and the local authority. They may also help out with any disagreements between parents and the school.

The aim is to place someone in the middle of the disagreement who won’t take sides and will help sort out the dispute.

It’s very important to remember that using this service does not prevent you from appealing to a tribunal.


  1. Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years (2014). Department for Education and Department of Health. available at:https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/fi…