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SEN form-filling responsibility?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Rivermill, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. Rivermill

    Rivermill Occasional commenter

    I appear to have got myself embroiled in a battle of wills with our Inclusion Manager.

    As anticipated, the start to this term has not been smooth for a number of children, and this has generated the need for various CAMHS/Safeguarding referrals to be made. This resulted in me being issued with several lengthy forms to fill in (the same week as assessment marking and data imputting deadlines).

    Admin for the sake of it is not something that any of us particularly have time for so I contacted my local union rep to ask which parts of the forms fell within my remit to complete. On taking advice that it should be just the parts relevant to and that could only be completed by the class teacher, I completed those sections and emailed them back.

    Following this, all teaching staff were treated to a generic email from SEN team (in caps lock) stating that it was our responsibility to complete forms in their entirety, as they don't have time.

    I have now had my original forms returned to me (over a week since submitting) asking that I imput all the personal details, many of which will take time to find.

    I should just mention that the culture at school is not one of openness, and I don't feel I could resolve his by seeing the HT, who would just instruct me to get on with it as they are very cliquey with the Inclusion Manager.

    My question is, who is responsible for completing the general admin part of paperwork, and how can I politely insist that it shouldn't be me?
  2. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    If you wish to stand your ground, I suggest you get your local union rep's advice in writing (e.g., in an email) and include it with the forms when you return them as they are to the Inclusion Manager.

    Add a polite note that assessment marking and data input are taking up your time.
  3. NQT08

    NQT08 Occasional commenter

    Does the inclusion manager have class responsibilities?
  4. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    It totally depends on the form.

    If you look at it in black and white terms, the admin team would need to enter the name/DOB etc, the class teacher would complete questionnaires then the SENDCO would fill in whether there are any medical needs so it gets a bit silly.

    The class teachers know the children. The SEND leads should be co-ordinating the filling-in of forms but not commenting on the children's work, behaviour, social interactions etc.
    Piranha, Flanks, Pomza and 1 other person like this.
  5. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    You seem a bit confused about why you should not fill them in.
    To start with you present it as an overload issue since you got them in the same week as your own assessment and data inputs. So you say you have no time.
    Yet having received them back over a week later when presumably you don't have those class based tasks any more, you still don't want to give time to them.
    So I am not sure why you mention your assessment and data obligation in the first place.

    Personally I'd just do them and "make" time. You have said that this has happened at the start of term, so presumably the rash of them is a one off. And you have also invested quite a lot of time in responding to SEN, writing here, contacting union, about it.
    Was it worth it? Could you not have done one or two of the forms in that time?

    Dunno-I tend to do everything I possibly can to carpet the path for the SENCO, because it's not me who has to have the shouting matches on the phone with CAMHS, the obstreperous parents chasing it up, or the contact with sometimes alarming home lives that they have to get embroiled in.
    Also, if I need behaviour support in my classes, SEN staff are sometimes the best to do ad hoc "favours" such as rerooming or restorative work.
    The form filling would be remembered. For an SEN team, there is an acute awareness of which teaching staff go the extra mile for them, and they do need as much support as they can get.

    "Not my responsibility" is something we can apply to all sorts of stuff we are asked to do, and you need to make a judgement call here about the long term worth of arguing it.

    Just my take on it. I guess we are all completely overworked.
  6. maggie m

    maggie m Lead commenter

    At my last school the inclusion manager did not teach. I was secondary and no one ever asked me to complete these type of forms. I was often asked to provide details on a pupil to the SENco as were all that pupil's other subject teachers.
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Providing information on the SEND students you teach is one thing. Filling out forms full of repetitive information, such as students names sounds like 'work dumping'.
  8. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    The law and code of practice actually place nearly all the responsibility on class teachers. As a rule schools and teacher training are quite bad at it and have been since the 1970 education act, but it remains the case.
  9. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    A lot depends on whether or not you work under STPCD conditions. Do you? If you do, then you cannot be forced to do routine admin tasks that do not demand your skills as a teacher. Part of the form might fall under this, but not knowing it, I cannot even guess to what extent this applies. My guess would be that including basic details such as the student's name is reasonable, but adding more details you would have to find counts as routine admin. Your union's advice is probably based on this.

    If STPCD does not apply, unless something is mentioned in your contract, I think that the school can insist on you doing this task. Whether they should is another matter.

    @sbkrobson makes a reasonable point about whether it is best to comply, even if, strictly speaking, you cannot be told to do it. It is good to build working relationships with others in your school, and you might find it quicker than trying to fight the battle. Your colleagues in SEN are, no doubt, under huge pressure at the moment, hence the "caps lock". Do any of your colleagues feel the same? If they do, and approach via the union rep(s) might help. If not, fighting this sort of thing alone is not going to be great for your future prospects at the school. But if you do want to fight it, then I think you need to go up the management chain, perhaps to your line manager in the first instance. To me, that would be a last resort.
    jlishman2158 and welshwales like this.

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