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Working as a SENCO

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by khodson76, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Can anyone tell me what it is like working as a SENCO in a mainstream school? What does the day to day work involve? What sort of support do you get from senior staff etc? Would anyone who has done SENCO work before think that it is possible to do this job effectively as an NQT?
  2. Hello,
    I work for a small independent school and effectively act as SENCO for my Keystage. The principal parts of the role, for my part, would be preparation of IEP's, LAC's, PEP's, as well as agency liasing and communications with teaching/support staff.
    I would think that it's likely that without prior and significant SEN experience, it would be difficult to secure a SENCO post as an NQT, and probably quite difficult to thrive within the role, as it would be a pretty intensive learning curve.
    Hope this helps in some limited way!
  3. RJR_38

    RJR_38 New commenter

    I am about to start my sixth year of teaching, and for the past two I have been teaching in a SEN unit that I ( along with head ) run and set up from scratch. I also have lots of post-graduate SEN qualifications etc I will be moving areas and am applying for full time SENCO positions but competition is very tough - all posts so far have gone to people with 10 years + experience with the interviewers saying 'you were a very close second but with SENCO role we feel the other person had more experience '. So this shows how challenging the role can be and that the amount of experience you have is crucial. I am guessing the role you are talking about will only be a part time SENCO while you are teaching etc but to be honest I really don't think you should or effectively could do the role unless you have been working with SEN in a previous job - how would you be able to advise other colleagues?
    Getting through your first year is hard enough without this pressure added to it - particularly if you need to apply for statements, carry out annual reviews etc
  4. I class teach for 4 days, am supposed to do my SENCo role for one morning, then PPA in the afternoon. I work in an infant school. Realistically I am called upon daily, in my breaks and after school to take phone calls, liaise with other agencies, and support my colleagues. You can have to lead some quite difficult meetings with parents. Also training and supervising TA's, including doing their performance management can be a large part of the job. As an experienced teacher I find juggling all this is very hard at times.
    I do get support from my headteacher, but usually it is just a case of keeping her really well informed about what is happening.
    I agree with the other posts that the role of SENCo is probably not suitable for an NQT. NQT's do not usually take on an subject co-ordination role. Also it may be worth looking at the government standards for SENCO's and what the SENCo Accreditation involves to give you an idea of the job.
    If you are passionate about SEN then use every opportunity to gain experience, eg shadowing the SENCo, supporting some of the more challenging SEN pupils in after school clubs, attending relevant CPD etc.

    Let us know more about your situation and what you decide!
  5. Dear Khodson76,
    You might be interested in a TES Weekend Workshop being held on Saturday 23rd July on SENCO Leading and Management Skills. For further information please visit www.tesweekendworkshop39.eventbrite.com or contact advice@tes.co.uk
    TES Careers Advice Service

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