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could a ta become a senco

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by luckyduck2, Aug 23, 2006.

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  1. luckyduck2

    luckyduck2 New commenter

    Hi all,

    ive been working as a ta for two years in a secondary school, i got the job after my a levels and is what i wanted to do. Im now 20 and just passed the nvq 3 i know that i want to stay working in education bt want to further my career especially as i am still young. Could a ta progress to a senco ? and if so what are the routes to take? I have been looking at the foundation degrees but they are so expensive and out of my price range i know you can get help but it doesn't seem a lot if your not married and no children!!! thank you for any advice
  2. luckyduck2

    luckyduck2 New commenter

    Hi all,

    ive been working as a ta for two years in a secondary school, i got the job after my a levels and is what i wanted to do. Im now 20 and just passed the nvq 3 i know that i want to stay working in education bt want to further my career especially as i am still young. Could a ta progress to a senco ? and if so what are the routes to take? I have been looking at the foundation degrees but they are so expensive and out of my price range i know you can get help but it doesn't seem a lot if your not married and no children!!! thank you for any advice
  3. The answer is yes. A lot of people frown on it here though. Out of school lots of people with different backgrounds are SENCO's.
  4. There is nothing to prevent a TA becoming a SENCO. What you need to do is to show in the selection process that you are capable.

    As a governor involved in selection I would be looking for progression to a HLTA, attendance at SEN training (in our LA some evening courses can be accessed by staff, or undergoing something with the OU), a number of years consolidating experience and a verifiable track record in achievement as an SEN TA.
  5. A very good friend of mine has just made that same step; I reckon she'll be good at it.

    However, she is aware of the difference in workload and responsibility between TA & SENCO. I don't want to imply that you aren't - but for goodness' sake, make sure that you know exactly what you are letting yourself in for.
  6. Hi Luckyduck
    Have you considered HLTA as a first step?
    I am an assistant SENCO in a secondery school. I decided about five years ago that I wanted to do something more challenging and with more responsibility than being a TA. At that time it seemed the obvious pathway was to become a teacher and then look for a senco job. With this in mind, I started the foundation degree with the full intention of applying for the RTP at the end of it. However, after completeing the fisrt year of the degree my school advertised for an ASENCO, I applied and got it. I then did my second year of the foundation degree (through the OU). Last year I decided to have a break from studying and enjoy my job, however I did the HLTA and a counselling course instead. I was hoping to start the RTP this year but my SLT have told me I am too valuable in my current role and have refused to take me on.
    I actually applied for a SENCO post at another school, non teaching role, and I think I was in for a good chance, but I got talked out of it by SLT and withdrew my application. The new school tried desperately to get hold of me to find out why I'd withdrawn, reinforcing my belief that I was in a good position. However, after looking more carefully at the salary offered by the new school I would actually have been earning less than I am now. Another thing to consider when becoming a SENCO, with a degree and teaching qualification you will earn more money and I've been told (by my SLT) more respect from the teachers.
    Boy that was a long answer. I hope you haven't stopped reading.
    Whatever you decide Good luck and do what's best for you.
  7. wellingtonboot

    wellingtonboot New commenter

    Re: Foundation Degrees - your school might be willing to help you with the fees, seeing as they also benefit from you gaining this experience.
  8. luckyduck2

    luckyduck2 New commenter

    thank you for your replies i knew id get a better answer off here than if i asked either my senco or line manager! I was going to apply for a foundation degree but the cost put me off i asked the deputy head if there was any funding and they refused to fund me but will fund the cover supervisers should they wish to do a degree!!!!
  9. I have changed roles from LSA to cover supervisor and have been asked if I would consider assistant senco with the emphasis on the admin aspect of the job. I am in my final year of a foundation degree and got the HLTA status last year. I have said I will take the job if I get the pay scale associated with HLTA (Grade 8) in my county.

    SLT say no - the job is grade 7 which is what I currently get paid. Also, they want me to work an additional 5 hours per week in the new post.

    I would love to know what other people in an assistant senco position get paid, so that I know if I am being taken for a ride.
    PSB likes this.
  10. However in TES this week there was something about professional development for SENCos and it implies that the government are looking to ensure that all sencos have QTS. Check Friday's TES P14 - "Training makes sense for sencos" - report on outline recommendations from the Select Committee on Education published in July.
  11. 320. The growth in non-teaching roles, including the SENCO role being taken by a non-teacher, is having considerable repercussions on whole-school issues re SEN. Some SENCO tasks (e.g. administration of records, appointments) can readily and sensibly be devolved to a non teaching assistant. However other roles, particularly in the context of increasing multi-agency working, can much less convincingly and effectively be carried out by a non-teaching SENCO. A SENCO who is not a qualified teacher is possibly not therefore entitled to advanced formal specialist training (i.e. top tier) as outlined in the Government Strategy for SEN (2004).

    321. A recent research report from the University of Cambridge, The Costs of Inclusion, has recommended that "SENCOs should in all cases be qualified teachers. Training and support for SENCOs is vital in ensuring the effectiveness of their strategic role in provision. Their influence will be enhanced if they have senior status and are enabled to play a substantive role in planning and policy development."[253]

    322. Special educational needs co-ordinators (SENCOs) should in all cases be qualified teachers and in a senior management position in the school as recommended in the SEN Code of Practice. Firmer guidelines are required rather than the Government asking schools to "have regard to" the SEN Code of practice. The role and position of a SENCO must reflect the central priority that SEN should hold within schools.

    taken from the Select Committee Report
  12. Alan Johnston has recently announced the intention to ensure that all SENCOs are qualified teachers with additional qualifications - about time this issue was cleared up and school's prevented from fulfilling their statutory duties 'on the cheap'.
    MarieAnn18 likes this.
  13. I am on placement at a primary school ( moving on to an MLD school,an EBD school and then post 16 over the next three years). I am learning the ropes as a TA ( which includes teaching to small groups of children for short periods).
    I am studying for a SEN degree and Uni is saying we can become SENcos afterwards, but they would prefer we thought of something more specialised ( ? No..they haven't given details).
    The course is a mixture of educational theory and SEN with a mish mash inbetween. I am comfortable with the SEN bit, but struggling with the rest! Partly because it isn't meant to be easy and partly because I am not acadamic in thought! Atleast now I have full emapthy with those children who 'struggle' within our rigid educational system.
    For those teachers who had to go through all this..my deepest respects. However, it does explain why some teachers can't simlify things for some of their students. I feel so stupid and have to look up extra stuff as I have no idea what my tutors are on about half the time. When they explain they lose me. I feel like the class dunce. The only good point is that I work much harder in school with those who are in a similar situation!
    I would like to think I could eventually be a SENco as I work with the one at our school and it seems ok. I can explain this condition and that condition and she explains the paperwork. If only she were my tutor!
  14. Ideally a SENCO should not only be an experienced teacher with a wide knowledge of educational systems on a micro and macro level...but also a member of the Senior Management Team. I defy anyone to shaddow an effective working SENCO and still think the job can be done when a T.A prob is not given the access to knowledge (most counties will not allow them to attend SENCO training courses), insufficient time for the role...and lesser respect by the LEA, staff and parents.
  15. If your school is refusing to fund a foundation degree course for you, then I would reccomend getting your HLTA qualification, which is quite similar in content to the NVQ 3 and it is funded by county so hopefully your school can't have many concerns!
    Good Luck
  16. Hear hear Xandre- our LEA has now stopped TA 'SENCOs' from attending SENCO network meetings -schools should begin to get the me.ssage
  17. It also depends of the TLR structure of the school. If the SENCO has been written into the management structure then only a teacher can do the job. Also, big money in terms of TLRs is being offered to SENCos - look at the jobs pages. I think the role will gain much more status interms of management in the near future!
  18. tall tales

    tall tales New commenter

    Think the rules changed a couple of weeks ago - SENCO has to have QTS
  19. I was appointed as Assistant SENco in June 06.SENCO was appointed at same time and has so many Senior Management commitments that I do a lot of SENco role myself.Am being told frequently that I am doing an excellent job and work my socks off to meet deadlines etc.Completed Level 3 whilst A TA at school and now want to progress into teaching via English or SEN related degree but can't find any help with funding.I get very upset reading all the negative feedback about non teaching SENcos as I feel that I do a very thorough job and still maintain an excellent with small groups that I deal with in 1-1 situations.If I worked in a primary school it would be easy to progress into teaching yet I am struggling to advance my career in secondary school.Our LEA DO allow non teaching SENcos to forums and meetings etc and do not seem to have to much of a problem dealing with a ex TA!!Any comments??
  20. Following Government Select Committee report SENCOs MUST now be qualified teachers, preferably members of SMT and, in time, will have to have additional qualifications.
    MarieAnn18 likes this.
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