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Should I go for a SENCo job?

(25 Posts)
Moshmoshi Sat 27-Apr-19 13:20:47

Not sure really. I'm PT at a one form entry primary school at the moment. The job is in a 2 form school in a more challenging area but looks very well organised and has a good ofsted.

Cons: I haven't been FT for awhile so would be an adjustment, I haven't been a SENCo before so a big learning curve, would I miss having my own class? My DC are primary school age so would working in a more pressured FT job impact them negatively?

Pros: a new challenge, I like change so am beginning to feel a bit stale in my current position (I've been there 6 years but in different year groups), pay rise, promotion and career development.

Any words of wisdom?

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Moshmoshi Sat 27-Apr-19 13:27:26

I should also add that I have a good knowledge of a range of SEN and want to ensure that children with additional needs receive the best possible support, otherwise I wouldn't be thinking about the job.

Another position I am interested in is a FT teacher in a special school.

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Redlocks28 Sat 27-Apr-19 14:49:33

I’m a senco and love it. I was beginning to feel very ground down and miserable and wondering if I could actually bear being in the classroom for the rest of my career, but this was a change for the better.

I’m not full time though. Watch the course that you’ll have to do-it was a bit of a killer! Level 7 (Masters) so expect a lot of referencing which I found mind numbing. The people crying or who dropped out on the course were the full timers who simply didn’t have time to do the work expected for the course in addition to the senco role in school.

I would be interested in hearing any replies about working in special ed though, too.

Inglenooks Sat 27-Apr-19 15:09:47

I found the SENCO award a lot of work but achievable. The role itself is a lot of admin but I quite like that. I do find it increasingly about jumping through hoops though, rather than actually doing things for the benefits of the children, but that's typical of many aspects of primary teaching. I get one day release in a deprived school of 250 pupils and don't think it would be manageable on less. How much release time would you get?

Redlocks28 Sat 27-Apr-19 15:11:47

I don’t miss having my own class (especially in June when I don’t have to write reports!) though do still have a small teaching commitment so have a chance to work directly with the children then. What % of SEN/teaching would you have if you took the job? That’s an important consideration.

ByeByeBirdi Sat 27-Apr-19 15:19:37

I found being the SENDCO really difficult and not enjoyable at all. The level of need and the difficulties of funding etc. Also, every teacher thinks you hold the entire responsibility for kids with additional needs. I just found that no matter what I did, I couldn't win.

I have since left tracing and am working in SEN for the LA and I love it now!

Moshmoshi Sat 27-Apr-19 20:12:12

Thanks for the replies, good to see that at least someone enjoys the job Redlocks! I am a bit concerned about that 'can't win whatever you do' feeling. I am fairly thick skinned and resilient though.

I am feeling a bit like you did in that I feel a bit ground down and I can't see myself in the classroom till I retire (am in my mid 40s)I guess at the worst I could leave after a few years if I hated it- I want to be more committed than that though.

I think I will try to have a look at both school on my day off next week and hopefully that will help me come to a decision.

It is maybe an outside chance that I will even get an interview though- they are ideally looking for an experienced senco but will also consider a 'talented teacher.'

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Moshmoshi Sat 27-Apr-19 20:14:12

Another thing I've considered is EP training- that would take 5 - 6 years though so I would be 50+ when I was finally qualified!

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lorisparkle Sat 27-Apr-19 21:06:11

I teach in a special school and love it. Could never go back to mainstream! There are many different special schools and many different types of classes within special schools. If you are interested then see if you could spend some time in one.

CraftyGin Sat 27-Apr-19 21:13:49

Do you have a passion for SEN?

Do you have the tenacity and admin skills to deal with the local authorities?

Moshmoshi Sat 27-Apr-19 21:22:15

A lot of people who teach in special school say that lorisparkle. We only have 3 in our area so not a huge range but a wide range of needs in each school.

I really enjoy the challenge of teaching SEN within mainstream at the moment craftygin -finding out more, learning about and trying different approaches. My admin and writing skills are fairly good as well.

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Russell19 Sat 27-Apr-19 21:27:45

I'm guessing by you saying about missing having your own class that means the role is none teaching? If so that is incredibly lucky and rare I think xx

Moshmoshi Sat 27-Apr-19 23:34:28

Yes it is a non-teaching role; there's quite a high level of SEN in the school and the job description also includes the overview of vulnerable pupils, the school is in quite a deprived area so I think there will be quite a lot of children to monitor.

I assume I will need to do 1:1 and small group work as part of the job as well, something to ask about when I look round.

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Inglenooks Sun 28-Apr-19 10:43:56

If it's a non-teaching role, I think it's an amazing opportunity! I work in an area where many, many schools deal with much higher than average levels of SEND and non-teaching SENCOs are completely unheard of. Good luck!

Holidayshopping Sun 28-Apr-19 11:03:36

I’m amazed it’s a full time non-teaching role just as senco! I don’t actually know anyone round here in that situation.

Senco here seems to fall into one of two camps.

Either part time senco-often they are not SLT or get the TLR/SEN Allowance and just do SEN for 2/3 days a week. OR, they are full time and do ‘something else’ alongside it-either class-based teaching the rest of the week or are SLT in a deputy/AH/Inclusion manager (with PP/LAC responsibility) as well.

How big is the school?

Moshmoshi Sun 28-Apr-19 20:40:05

Thanks Inglenooks. If it is that an amazing an opportunity then maybe there will be loads of far more experienced applicants that me so I won't have much chance!

Holiday shopping-the role does include being part of SLT and having overall responsibility for inclusion- also a number of SEN TAs and a few support staff ( family liaison officer etc) to line manage All stuff I haven't done to such a large extent but I feel I am probably capable of.

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Moshmoshi Sun 28-Apr-19 20:40:45

School is 2 form entry full primary so about 400 pupils.

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Inglenooks Wed 01-May-19 16:08:55

Let us know what you decide to do and how you get on 🙂

Moshmoshi Wed 01-May-19 16:24:56

Thanks, will do.

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Moshmoshi Tue 21-May-19 18:09:01

Well I applied and have got an interview!! Very, very surprised but looking forward to it. Thanks for all the advice.

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UhOhSpagettiOs Tue 21-May-19 18:38:59

Well done! Good luck

Needmorewine Wed 22-May-19 14:40:16

Good luck ! I would love to do something like this in the future. Would love to hear how you get on x

Moshmoshi Wed 22-May-19 19:02:47

Thank you, I will able to update tomorrow. I am feeling very nervous and worried I'll look an idiot who doesn't know enough. l need to keep telling myself that they wouldn't bother interviewing me if they didn't think I could do the job.

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Needmorewine Wed 22-May-19 20:32:06

No useful advice to offer but exactly , they must think you’ve got potential to have even offered you an interview !

Moshmoshi Thu 23-May-19 21:02:29

Didn’t get the job, not had feedback yet. I found one of the tasks really challenging and the interview didn’t go as well as it could have. I probably wasn’t as prepared as I needed to be, there were lots of questions about the school as a whole rather than just SEN which I didn’t really expect. The other candidate was also better qualified and more experienced than me.

Was really disappointed when I first found out but over it now. Obviously just not right for me at the moment.

I’ve been offered feedback but don’t fancy travelling back there just to hear I was crap! I might just ask if I can have feedback over the phone or by email.

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