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outside of the job description?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by prettykitty1624, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. prettykitty1624

    prettykitty1624 New commenter

    My school recently underwent a restructuring, removed the SENCO and deputy head and replaced them with an overarching role with some support roles. Since then much of what used to be done by the SENCO seems to be being delegated down and now as teaching staff we are required to do our teaching role, tutor role (as primary contact for parents - in an independent school this is not a small task as parents can be very demanding), and also it seems SENCO role as we are required to fill in the targets and other sections of the EHCP. Most of our students have EHCPs as we are an SEN school and all will have an annual review.

    It is all becoming a bit much with student reviews and EHCP requirements taking up time that should be spent on planning and class related tasks such as marking etc. These documents are legal requirements and personally I do not feel qualified to complete them but if I don't it could impact the students funding (no small thing if anyone knows how hard it is to get funding for SEN these days)

    I just wondered who is completing the EHCP docs and annual reviews in your school? My opinion is that this document is for the SENCO to complete (or at least NOT the teaching staff) I don't think it is in my job description although obviously it could be argued that is comes under the bit that says 'at the heads discretion'.

    This is starting to cause huge amounts of stress for many people. Your opinions are appreciated.

  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    So this a private school, not a state school? In which case I doubt there are any specific rules or even DFE guidelines that say who should do what.

    You are a Special School solely for pupils with EHCPs? I'm a governor at a Special School (an LA maintained school) and we don't have a SENCO at all. My understanding is that in LA schools and academies only mainstream schools are required to have a SENCO, Special Schools do not have SENCOs as it's an irrelevant post where all children have SEN. In my school all staff contribute to the EHCP annual reviews and the reviews with parents are carried out by the deputy and our parent liaison worker (a qualified social worker).
    Pomz likes this.
  3. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    Our mainstream school has a part time Senco. They have overall responsibility for the paperwork and lead the reviews. However, they ask class teachers to contribute to the documents. I.e. fill in any sections relating to progress over the year. The Senco then reviews these sections, adds anything extra and completes the documentation before and after the meeting. Rottweiler is more knowledgable than I am regarding special schools.
    Tinycat1234 and Pomz like this.
  4. secretteacher2357

    secretteacher2357 Occasional commenter

    I worked in a specialist SEND unit within a mainstream school and although we had a SENDCo it was the class teacher's job to write and maintain EHCPs, including review meetings and parental contact. The SENDCo just reviewed the plans with us and liaised with the L.A.
    Pomz likes this.
  5. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    We haven't had a "proper" SENCO for a year now - lots of other people do the role as a sort of conglomerate.

    Seems to work
    Pomz and pepper5 like this.
  6. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    It is a requirement that all maintained schools empty a qualified teacher as Senco. This can be part time or can be part of a leadership role.
    Tinycat1234 and Pomz like this.
  7. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter


    The Education (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators) (England) Regulations 2008
    • Previous
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    2008 No. 2945

    The Education (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators) (England) Regulations 2008

    13th November 2008

    Laid before Parliament

    21st November 2008

    Coming into force

    1st September 2009

    Also updated in 2011
  8. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    The legislation only applies LA maintained schools as Sundaytrekker said. There's no equivalent regulations for academies although it may be that academy funding agreements require a SENCO. There's no such requirement for private schools AFAIK

    The 2008 Regulations appear to apply to all maintained schools including special schools. However the SEND Code of Practice (para 6.84) states that only mainstream LA schools have to have a SENCO, which I know is the view in my LA. Possibly the regulations have since been amended to clarify this?
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
    Pomz likes this.
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    We have had similar changes to you in our school over the last little while.
    The SENCO doesn't teach most of the school and so doesn't feel they can possibly complete EHCPs, the classteacher needs to be the one doing it. Most of our children on the SEN register have profiles rather than EHCPs, but either way the classteacher contributes in a significant way or writes the entire thing, depending on their experience and confidence.
    We do twice yearly reviews and both the classteacher (up to year 3), relevant subject teachers (year 4 upwards) and the SENCO do them together.

    The SENCO definitely has a co-ordinating role now and to honest it is much better. Yes it is more work for the classteachers and subject teachers, but the targets and support arrangements are much more focused to the child's needs and are relevant to every day work in school.
    Pomz likes this.
  10. Hoping2012

    Hoping2012 New commenter

    Why did they SENCO and deputy get removed, at my school we are going through a lot of senior leaders issues and needed advise about this
  11. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

  12. Hoping2012

    Hoping2012 New commenter

    yes need advice, what were you circumstances for head and SENCO to be removed? and what was the procedure for this to happen?
  13. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    It always raises a red flag for me when a poster, clearly without leadership experience or other appropriate qualifications and frequently with questionable literacy skills, asks how a head and/or SLT can be removed from their school.
  14. prettykitty1624

    prettykitty1624 New commenter

    Thank you for all the responses. It seems it is just a case of getting on with it which makes me quite worried as these workload requirements are causing quite a lot of stress and unhappiness within the staff. Certainly my feelings were that we should query it with the union but these comments seem to suggest that would be a waste of time and inappropriate.

    I guess because with statements before we were completing IEP targets which were really inhouse documents and much less onerous to complete. They also didn't seem to have such legal importance as EHCPs. It seems wrong to have to be as involved in them as we seem to be without more detailed training. It also seems to be just another administration task added to the desk of the teacher with the expectation that it been done for goodwill and no more. Quite when I am to complete my teaching tasks I do not know!

    I am surprised that you feel an SEN school should not need a SENCO. I feel the complete opposite that the SENCO role is almost the most important one within an environment where all students have some SEN needs, the person with the relevant qualifications and experience to lead work on relevant administrative tasks and documentation and there to support staff within the school through their expertise. Although obviously classroom teachers will have the most contact time with the students I feel the SENCO should be the person that has the overall picture of the students needs from their entrance through their school career to exit. Why am I spending 30-40 hrs at the end of each term writing reports for each student that I teach with a minimum of 2-3 targets? Surely these should be used to feed into the EHCP by the person responsible for them. It does really feel like an almost repetitive task on my behalf.

    With regards to how the restructuring occurred I don't feel that is something I can comment on really. Needless to say it was not looked on favourably by most but unfortunately people were unable to voice their true opinions at the time.

    Thank you again.

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