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Can I go around the SENCO

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Grantcobbs, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. Grantcobbs

    Grantcobbs New commenter

    Hi all. The SENCO in my school is completely useless. As in a complete and utter jobsworth.

    I submitted a cause for concern about a child 3 months ago. She repeatedly told me that she would organise the Ed psych as soon as she could 'spare some time', or after SATS, or some other nonsense. Now she tells me that it's not worth bothering because the summer is right around the corner.

    She hasn't even come to speak to this kid.

    So can I call up the local authority myself and organise this or what? Any advice is appreciated.
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    If your name is Grant Cobbs, you should contact the moderators (reporting your own post will do it.). You have used fairly inflammatory language to describe a colleague who may identify herself and you. She may well then have a conversation with your head and you may find yourself in big trouble.

    But back to your query, it is quite possible that the SENDCO has failed to follow up on this child who is potentially in need of additional support. That is frustrating from your point of view, as you want to get a proper assessment for this child. My advice would be to talk quietly to your line manager along the lines of "what do you think about Billie? I think (s)he needs some extra assessments, what do you think?" and only later bring up the inaction of the SENCO if your manager feels support might be useful.
    The other thing that would be worth doing would be to make a diary of the difficulties this child has had so that you can rpresent it to SENCO, ed psych or whoever to give them a portait of the child.
    You probably do not have "contacting LA" rights.
    Best wishes
  3. onmyknees

    onmyknees Established commenter

    There’s no legal reason why you can’t refer to outside agencies yourself.
    Or, have you thought of going to the Senco’s office armed with your diary and asking if you can arrange a date for within the next 2 weeks for her to come and observe the child. The Senco role is massive and there may be very genuine reasons why she has not been able to get to you yet. However, I don’t agree that it’s not worth her seeing a child as it’s so near the end of the year.
  4. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    The first consideration is whether enough is being done for this child under SEN Support. Schools have to pay for external agencies to visit, assess and write reports these days. The yearly budget may be as few as four children a year depending on the school and their arrangements. Look at what has been done so far, and list the reasons why further external advice is needed. Then having a chat with your line manager might be an idea or taking it along to discuss again with the Senco.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I agree, however I feel the head might believe there are certainly professional ones!

    Just speak to the next teacher and work with them to arrange something for early next term. Sometimes children need different kinds of support in different classes with different teachers.
    sooooexcited likes this.
  6. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    I would be surprised if an outside agency would accept a referral from anyone except the SENCO. Also, wouldn't the Ed Psych have to be paid for from the SEND budget?
  7. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Occasional commenter

    Career suicide.
    Go to your line manager then dht then HT if you are concerned. Tbh you won't get a professional to observe in July without a miracle.
  8. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    You could try telling the Senco that you're concerned that the parents may want to talk to you when they get this year's report, and if so you'd like to be able to tell them that the Senco has been/is about to observe them. (It would certainly be a lot better than trying to find a way to avoid saying "yes, I share your concerns and I did tell the Senco months ago".)
    phlogiston likes this.
  9. Nobother

    Nobother New commenter

    This is awful. If the senco can't be bothered and is an asshole as you say then I would personally take it further. However, as others have said it may be career suicide, but depending on the concern who cares? If a child is being failed by the school then someone needs to stand up for them. I'm fed up with my school failing to help a pupil and claiming that they can't afford it. I made a complaint that was ignored and have now escalated it to the DofE. Since I'm not a teacher, it is slightly easier for me to be happy with being fired or asked to leave. My priorities are with the child, not the school and this this the way that everyone should work, but unfortunately it doesn't.
  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    What on earth is your role and what kind of need would make you think this was a correct course of action?
  11. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Occasional commenter

    Unless there is a provable human rights violation that other professionals, e.g. health can verify, I'm not sure what the DfE would do other than refer it back to the school or at worst, the LA or academy chain.
    Very odd.

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