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Do I have to be SENCo??

Discussion in 'Primary' started by ManifestDestiny, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. ManifestDestiny

    ManifestDestiny New commenter

    Due to return to work as an AHT after 12 months mat leave. Head has said she wants me to be SENCo. This is an area I have little interest in beyond catering for SEND children in my class. Prior to mat leave I was responsible for EYFS. Due to re-structure this role isn't available anymore so head is saying I need to do SENCo role in order to justify AHT pay. In other circumstances I would have given it a go but with a little baby to now consider I don't feel like I can commit to the extra workload of studying for the SENCo award - particularly given my lack of interest in this area. Can I be forced into this role and the necessary studying?
  2. susanrk

    susanrk Occasional commenter

    You have to do the award within 3 years of becoming SENCO I believe so not immediately. I wouldn't recommend any school having a reluctant SENCO though!
    ManifestDestiny likes this.
  3. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    Do you have a classroom responsibility too? That’s a difficult gig.
  4. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I am shocked that you perceive SEND as an ' area of interest ' because to my mind taking responsibility ( a privilege ) for provision is primarily a leadership and management position where crucially you are raising the game of ALL staff members and ‘entitlement’ .

    Totally agree that this is not a post to undertake without 100% commitment.

    You could always step down from your AHT ( contentious perhaps) but I can see how your HT is justifying your status / salary with this move ?

    Re the Award - really not possible to attempt without a few years experience anyway.
  5. MonstieBags

    MonstieBags Occasional commenter

    I think that being SENCO is very specialist and unlike minnie me would agree with op that some people are more interested in this area of education than others and some people are more suited to this area of education than others. It is unfortunate that you could be forced into a role that you have no interest in or be stripped of your promotion - doesn't seem fair. Have you spoken to your union? This would seem to be a very different job to the one you were doing before your maternity leave.
    SENCO is primarily a heap -reams- of paper work - very time consuming.
    ManifestDestiny likes this.
  6. ManifestDestiny

    ManifestDestiny New commenter

  7. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    No wrong to think specialist. It’s about T and L , quality provision and good practice. It’s about guidance and support. It’s about securing needs led curriculum models . If you look at the revised Code it makes much of ensuring that children are not the recipients of ‘ poor teaching ‘ and labelled ‘ SEND ‘. It also advocates minimising paperwork ( the impact / content of most in the past being found seriously wanting / not fit for purpose )

    I was Secondary and took up the position of Head of Curriculum Support via Pastoral / Academic responsibilities . I had pursued some additional CPD in my own time ( theory on which to base the practice ) but I found that the Head who appointed me wanted someone who had had a degree of success with students with SEND , integrity , previous L and M responsibilities, a vision for inclusion and crucially a commitment to those students who felt education was a race they were never going to win ( be they less experienced learners / above average SpLD achievers for example ) ...... Which teacher would not want to be in a position to influence provision to get the best out of the students and staff ?

    There is a saying ‘out of adversity comes opportunity ‘ . I hope this colleague can think more positively on this proposed change of direction. I think it is a huge honour and worth reflecting on .

    We encourage our children to be more resilient, adaptable, forward looking, engage with and embrace challenge do we not ? ..., so .......
  8. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    A privilege yes but also a massive job that needs an enormous amount of time, effort and energy put into it if it’s to be done well. I think the OP is right to be wary especially if she is to have a classroom responsibility as well. I’ve seen the SENCO job bolted onto SLT responsibilities too often. You can minimise the paperwork but there is still an enormous amount to do. Stick to your guns OP. If you think it’s not for you then it probably isn’t.
  9. ManifestDestiny

    ManifestDestiny New commenter

    Thanks all! It's good to hear the different perspectives. It would be alongside teaching and other management responsibilities and in a school with a significantly higher than national average % of SEN - so a huge role although it's more the additional study and timing than the role itself. I have sought union advice today as there is more to the whole situation - their stance is that it is a very specific role, far removed from the one that I left and cannot be forced into it. Fingers crossed for a smooth return after Easter!
  10. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Just tell them you don't want to do it - See what happens...
  11. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    One thing to remember though is that SENCOs have to have QTS and the national award, and as it is a legal requirement, no-one can make a senco redundant. An AHT whose area of responsibility is no longer needed, however...
  12. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    This is two questions.

    1) can you be forced to be senco? No, of course not.

    2) is a HT obliged to offer you a job at the same level of your post is being made redundant? Yes.

    At that point it is up to you whether to accept the post. If you say no to it you are giving up your AHT, and I have to be honest I'm not knowledgeable enough to know if you would still be employed at all in this situation.
    ilovesinging likes this.
  13. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Were this true it would be effectively impossible for any employer to ever make anybody redundant. They would have re-employ everyone on the ‘same level’!
  14. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    No, because the is a difference between restructure and redundancy. From the sounds of this post, the op is being told their previous post doesn't exist but they aren't being made redundant.
  15. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    I don’t think this is quite true. The school must have a suitably qualified Senco but they could decide to link it to another post eg deputy head. I know a school that did this recently. However, if the OP wants to keep her AHT role then her best chance is to give it a go. If she doesn’t want to keep it then negotiating a classteacher role without additional responsibilities might be an option.
    Rott Weiler likes this.
  16. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    It's true that they can link it to another post but if this person has already accepted the post then they can't be made redundant.
  17. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    I think that if they tried this it opens the door to the idea that both employees should be involved in the restructure rather than just one.
  18. lrw22

    lrw22 Established commenter

    This is a good point however the senco award is b****y hard work. Adds a lot to work load and would be tricky to balance with returning to work after a maternity leave.
  19. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    That is very true but you have 3 years to complete the award so you can take the role but have a year finding your feet before starting the award. The award doesn't help you do your job it just helps you understand the theory/legislation behind it.
  20. MonstieBags

    MonstieBags Occasional commenter

    I agree that in secondary this may be the case, in primary, the SENCO's role is to identify those children with SEND and start the ball rolling - hours of paperwork and admin, planning cycles of help and assessing impact and making sure that the statutory amount of school money is spent before applying for additional help. The majority of SEND in primary school have not yet been given ECHPs - so I think the primary school role is quite different to that in secondary.
    Pomza likes this.

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