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What is a typical SENco day like?(8 Posts)
It's an area I don't know much about. I get that its lots of admin, referrals etc and dealing with camhs etc but I wondered what happens day to day. Are they pretty monotonous or is every day different?
My Senco officially has a very admin role - reviewing EHCPs and disseminating information to all staff. She also does a fair bit of pastoral care because of a tiny timetable., which makes every day different.
Every day is completely different. I teach small groups and individuals too. So a day may be...
Before school. Meeting with parents. Tricky as breaking news that their child does have difficulties.
Form time- see individual pupils for social skills or see my small spelling group.
P1. (An hour). My year 10. She has Geog to do so help her with that. When she's getting on, send complicated email to parent over an issue. Then log that on system. Log morning convo with first parent. Frantically research SALT specialists. Communicate with first child's clinical psych.
Break. Get asked about x, y , z pupils by various people.
P2. Grab year 7 kid for testing. Do that for hour. Looks like dyslexia to me plus visual stress.
P3. Teach year 8. Had prepped something. They all having hysterics about some test that they've got. Grab my TA, who is a specialist in that subject. She goes over it. They happy. I manage about 20 mins of what I need them to do. While TA is teaching, send enail list of SALTs to first mum explaining what she needs to do. English is not first language so need to make very clear. Also send her write up of meeting. Log all of that.
Lunch. Duty or homework club or more testing or seeing an individual
P4. Free! Grab year 7 kid again to finish off testing. Do results. Compose email plus info on conditions to send to parents, organise meeting with parents, add to SEN list. See school nurse in passing who tells me that school councillor wants to run a potential learning need of one of hers past me.
P5. Year 9. deal with usual strop by one girl. Have a fun lesson. They are brilliant. Stretch the several G&T that I have in that group. Try and wake up the one in a catatonic state because she has a cold.
If no meeting, then tidy up. Check and send emails. Check timetable of next person I need to test and request time from people. Send round strategy notes for first kid tested that day. Draw up provision plan for them. Go to staff room. Find out that one of mine has had bad day. Find out why - discuss with pastoral staff. Action what to do
Go home. Collapse.
Every day is different. Sometimes I go support in class, exam access arrangements testing takes ages. It is a brilliant job but I do miss whole class teaching. You have to be very adaptable, turn your hand to anything, be very empathetic, have an excellent knowledge of conditions while balancing that with, in the main, parents do have good knowledge of their kids. Meeting and dealing with parents is tricky but also very insightful and you are walking with them down a rocky path. You need to help them and their child across those rocks not be another rock in the way. Unfortunately, there are people in the role who determinedly think they know best and get a fixed view and won't budge. If you are this type of person, don't do the job.
Also staff (mainly heads) think you can solve any problem...um...no. You will get hundreds of names mentioned to you so you need to get selective. I find if I ask for written confirmation plus a 'what have you done about it' the need becomes less! There are some staff who will refer everyone, others who will pick up on things and who are worth listening to. The most important person to talk to is the child. They are their own expert and often all they need is a good listening to.
You need to be able to work with everyone and building friendly relationships is crucial for the success of the child. Be seen, be put and about. Simple things can solve much: bigger font size, position in class, away from strip lighting, less homework, regular reading, confidence boosting. The job can be lonely because you are the only one so make connections with other SENCO is local school to share ideas.
I’m deputy SENCo in a prep school of 250. My SENCo works full time - she teaches 50 individual/ group lessons a week across KS1/2 and goes in to support several classes in Eng/Maths and also has to find time to do observations, paperwork, meet parents, review EHCPs etc - it’s ridiculous.
I work across 4 days teaching throughout KS2. I teach 21 lessons, run two lunch time Touch Typing groups and support one class. In addition to this I have one lunch duty and 2 morning break duties
Pretty much what Flyingarcher said on a daily basis, plus planning for EHCP reviews, revamping various bits of paperwork to make them easier if possible, duties, writing reports, dealing with TA problems, planning lessons, sorting out teenage angst.
Great fun, but exhausting.
Like most primary teachers, it involves having a normal, full class responsibility apart from one extra half day release a week, so fitting emails and phone calls and meeting parents around teaching Y2 or whatever. Some places only take referrals over the phone between 1 and 3pm on Tuesdays (for example) which can make things almost impossible if you teach at that time! A lot of the time it feels like you're not doing a good enough job, sadly.
Varies so much, school to school.
Some SENCos have a jobshare in a class as well, some are 'solely' the SENCo but that includes teaching groups. Many SENCos are also the DH or have another (or other) roles(s) that mean they are only SENCo PT, but not timetabled to teach.
There is usually a lot of crossover with pastoral care, and often behavioural management too.
Would you be primary or secondary? Class commitment or not? Teaching interventions or boosters or not? High % EHC plans or not? Admin assistant or not? Ok-the last one was a joke
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