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SENCo only being paid as Classroom Teacher

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by pedagog, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. pedagog

    pedagog New commenter

    Hi all,

    I got promoted from classroom teacher to SENCo in my 120 pupil Secondary Special School for SEMH.

    I do not teach but every student has SEN. I am a qualified teacher, qualified SENCo and Qualified Access Arrangements Assessor. I am also the Designated Teacher for LAC.

    I am still only being paid as a classroom teacher despite being in the 'Middle Management Team'. I get an SEN allowance but so do all classroom teachers at my school.

    All other teachers in the middle management team get some kind of TLR but I have been told that I can't because I don't teach.

    Should I be getting a TLR or be on the leadership scale? What about the Leading Practitioner Scale? Or do you think paying me the same as when I was just a teacher is correct?
  2. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    This is quite common. As a non teaching senco in a small school I was paid on main scale no additional allowances or tlr. As schools can pay what they want you need to look at your schools pay policy. Negotiation of pay should have been carried out before you accepted the job.
    harsh-but-fair likes this.
  3. pedagog

    pedagog New commenter

    I was initially told it was 'under review' but I have yet to receive an answer.
  4. pedagog

    pedagog New commenter

    Also my school is unlike other small schools as all of the pupils have SEN
  5. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    The clue might be in the words "teach" and "teacher pay". I have known of a Senco (mainstream school) who ensured that they did no classroom teaching (or much any other kind of teaching for that matter) who situated their office away from the "support dept' and saw to it that the nearly lowest paid staff in the school (the TAs) dealt with any pupils who were sent (either for behavioural or education reasons) £48K or more wasn't a bad wicket to be on. Of course it was a management decision to facilitate the waste of salary but then.... there were probably reasons advantageous to the management to keep this person in role.
  6. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I think it is scandalous that SENCOs in any setting are not expected to teach.

    Appointed as an administrator then ? - why should that be remunerated with an additional allowance ? That said scant detail re initial opening post is not helpful.
    Flanks likes this.
  7. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    Well whilst we are about it.... any non-teaching member of staff.... eg HAs and DHs could be on an administrative salary scale. Get them off teacher pay scales. All they do is skew the av% salary figures in favour of those who feel we are paid too much.
    ££££££s for sitting in offices..... drumming up work for other people....oh wait... that is archetypical of British Management and is why we are such a **** poor country these days...... "screw as much profit as we can and pay ourselves as much money as we can screw out" = mantra of most British management.
    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  8. pedagog

    pedagog New commenter

    Every school has to have a SENCo. The SENCo has to be a qualified teacher. The SENCo has to be a qualified SENCo or working towards the qualification. As the SENCo has to be a qualified teacher they should be paid as such.

    I have not been onto the TES community pages for many years. I see that they have changed very little and remain a place where teachers are abusive to other teachers for no good reason. Judgemental ****'s who think they are better than everyone else passing judgement on how much or how little work other people do who are in different schools and different roles that they know nothing about.

    I am using my many years of experience in SEN to make a real difference to the most vulnerable children in society. I also save our small school thousands of pounds by doing the Access Arrangements assessments and paperwork that they would otherwise have to pay an outside private provider for.

    Some of the people who have replied on this thread are the kind of knuckle draggers who believe that drama teachers and PE teachers should be paid less because they are not 'proper subjects'.

    I think some of you shouldn't be working in education at all, let alone SEN!
    lh13 likes this.
  9. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    Oh dear!
  10. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    In the interests of accuracy,every mainstream school must appoint a SENCO. Special schools do not have to appoint a SENCO and you are in a Special school. My secondary SEMH Special school does not have a SENCO.
    Flanks, sandler and minnie me like this.
  11. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    I spoke from personal experience and knowledge !

    I know exactly what "work" was done for a near £50K salary and none of it was teaching and precious little of any use to kids with special needs.

    So you think someone who puts the neediest kids in the school with TAs, some of whom had not passed English and/or Maths at C or above GCSE to be "taught"? Oh I did forget to say that they did do 'testing' and they were never ever taken for any cover because of that. They were also responsible for allocating TAs to subject areas/classes and made very sure that the most able teacher working with the group of most challenging (both academically and behaviourally) year 9 boys, never ever received any classroom support from another adult. (Probably because said able teacher blew them out of the water regarding teaching talent and behaviour management)
    Oh and then there were 'reviews'. These too ensured no cover ever went their way. Target most commonly seen was " ***** must try to remember to take a pencil to their lessons". As a Head of Year I was used to checking those so I KNOW. Skills.... oh well...ensure that weekly sheets of "info" on statements children were produced for staff (different coloured paper every half term and copy and paste used prodigiously - wonderful for giving the impression of 'loads of work' done)

    I am not usually 'abusive' towards other teachers but then the Senco I experienced didn't do any teaching. Perfected the art of brisk walking around school, clipboard underneath arm affecting the persona of a 'very busy person'. The teacher who did the hard work of multi lessons a day with the Year 9 difficult boys was the one who should have been on the £50K salary as she worked wonders whilst wearing herself out with multi issues going on out of school which she never brought into school.

    I never said I was speaking about ALL Sencos just one I had a great deal of experience of. I would consider a major part of the role to be close involvement with children with special needs. Professional assessment of their needs, informed arrangements put in place to accommodate them, best use of personnel available, appropriate testing (not just weighing the pig) appropriate and relevant reviewing process and meaningful targets set. A coherent and ongoing process for informing all other teaching staff of detail relevant to their teaching of statements pupils too. Alas I cannot say our kids received that unless lucky enough to be with one or two of the excellent TAs we had.
    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  12. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter


    Flanks likes this.
  13. pedagog

    pedagog New commenter

    Yes, that certainly describes some of my job.

    Any responses to my original questions please?

  14. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    The key question is, what does your school's pay policy say? If you can quote that for us, we may be better informed and some of us may be able to answer your questions.
  15. pedagog

    pedagog New commenter

    Unfortunately, it is a very ambiguous document and doesn't really address this situation.
  16. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    @HelenREMfan.Totally get your frustration. Disreputable practitioner and actions sanctioned by SLT. Insupportable.

    Was Head of Curriculum Support in a mainstream secondary ( top 1 % social deprivation in the country ) and taught half timetable of French and Spanish plus PSHCE @ KS3 and KS4 ( plus on call duties ). Our Additional Needs Co hort was numerically skewered to our priority learning need - SEMH / MLD with a huge cohort of ADHD boys and students with challenging complex needs. A largely skilful, emotionally resilient, patient, dedicated staff made the teaching look ‘easy’ sometimes but the reality ? nothing further from the truth.

    How can you expect your colleagues to take you seriously if you are not a rôle model for the policies upon which your practice is based ? You advocate, observe judge and assess the provision and you must also be accountable in the process ?

    Being an effective SENCO in a smaller specialist setting I suspect has its advantages ?

    I was a Governor in a residential SEMH school and the Principal insisted the SENCO ( and I understood why ) pursued the accreditation ( not a legal requirement) ...... though from my experience of the Award ( I delivered for a local University provider for several years ) the course was not well tailored to their circumstances....,

    Leading and managing provision is a privilege......yes I admit I was paid very decent extra bucks but if you look at my overall salary most was ‘earned’ through being a qualified classroom teacher - make sense ?
    Norsemaid and HelenREMfan like this.
  17. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    @Lalad Quality response, well done!

    @pedagog The posters you are deciding to lay in to are actually among those on these boards who have a clue about the job of SENCO and SEN. Just because they disagree with you is not a reason to have a go.

    To me, it sounds like you are fundamentally misunderstanding your role in your setting. Like it or not, SENCOs in specialist provision are mostly administrative. Your teachers will be doing your APDR cycles every day with little input required from you, they can give you the reports needed for annual reviews. Your job essentially becomes a coordinator for external agencies, parents and annual reviews. The parent side is minimal, because class teachers will field 99% of these discussions as part of their every day job. You do not need to update and maintain an SEN Register as it is your whole school.

    Your SLT seem to have made the decision that your school will place a high time burden on someone to complete these tasks, so it is not possible for them to teach, which sounds reasonable.

    Your SLT also acknowledge that a senco must be a qualified teacher employed for the purpose of being a senco. So you are paid on the teacher pay scale.

    TLRs are normally for whole school teaching and learning responsibilities, in a special school SENCOs rarely have this.

    You also massively overstate your access arrangements money being saved. Given you are specialist provision, every child can have their access arrangements done with a simple file note signed by head of centre. In other words, the classroom teacher writing a 1 page pupil profile, stating needs and normal support which needs to be replicated in exams, can be signed by the person your head names and the job is done. If you are signing it thats fine, but if you are doing more than this then you are either working too hard pointlessly or martyring yourself for no purpose, or your school has no one who understands the processes of access arrangements and has wasted money for years. Whichever it is you can fix it easily enough.

    The normal practice that I am aware of in special schools is that if it is decided a 'senco' is needed then an existing member of SLT has it incorporated in to their role, and they employ an administrator to carry out absolutely everything except chairing the annual reviews, which will still be typed up by the admin.

    For most SENCOs in know in specialist provision I would say you are being paid equivalently. Compared to independent specialist provisions you will be getting paid substantially more. Compared to the administrators who normally complete these tasks, substantially more again.

    And before you decide that I am another 'knuckle dragger', I have also worked about half my career in specialist provision, I am now in mainstream.
    Wotton, minnie me and HelenREMfan like this.
  18. R13

    R13 Occasional commenter

    I'm very interested in your role description. Many special schools do not have a SENCO as they argue effectively all teachers and leaders carry out the role. Those that do usually name someone at a DH level - what is it you are being asked to do as SENCO? You appear to be non teaching - which is usually only the position for only a very few more senior colleagues in special schools but as you say, you are paid as a teacher who doesn't teach.

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