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#1 hali

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 07:54 PM

ok here goes

When i took over as supervisor in our setting we had a senco in place, she is still with us, but not for much longer (to cut a long story short i let her get away with a lot of things because she is our senco and because i suppose im frightened of loosing the senco and having to find someone to replace her).
all the other staff are upset by her and its got to the point where she has had 3 verbal and one written warning.
i suppose what im worried about is replacing her, i know the very basics eg where to go if there is a problem but she has been on all the courses.
Please can anyone give me advice on what experience their sencos have and am i just being paranoid not knowing a lot about s.e.n or am i going to have big issues about replacing her..... :o

 
 

 

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#2 Linda McDowell

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 08:26 PM

Our senco, who is also my deputy, has attended the courses laid on by the local authority advisory teacher service. She has also attended senco meetings. The main thing with her is that she is very interested in the role and special needs, having a nephew and a friend's son with problems. So, I suppose that would be a starting point.
Are none of the other staff interested in the role? Does it have to be you or do you need to look for somebody new? I would suggest that somebody new that you take on doesn't necessarily have to be a senco already but would be willing to have some training and take the job on!
Linda

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 08:37 PM

Our group have only had an official SENCO for the last couple of years. If I remember rightly, the owners asked a couple of members of staff if they would be interested in taking on the role and one of them was interested. She had no particular experience or training in special needs, but after taking on the role she has been on all the SENCO training days etc. She is paid eatra for being the SENCO, although I don't know how much :o
I'm sure that Linda is right in saying that if someone is interested in the role (whether an existing member of staff or someone new) experience is not essential as long as they are willing to train.

Hope this helps! :)

#4 Gezabel

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 09:03 PM

Hi

I think there are Senco's and Senco's! I am sure some are highly qualified and/or experienced within the field of special needs. I am not but I am the Senco for our small pre-school setting.

When it became a requirement for all settings to have one my boss asked me if I would be interested. Prior to this we would have contacted our local SENAPS service for advice if we were concerned about a child.As it is an area I am interested I agreed. I then underwent the traiinng provided locally. Fully understanding the Code of Practice was the first module. followed by modules in Assessment,planning and monitoring /reviewing. Each module was half a days training. In our setting we work as a team (sorry I know that's a cliche!) and any one of us would express concerns about a child and discuss which way to go but now we have a team member who knows how to write an IEP (argh! tha's me!!) how the system works etc The area team provide on going courses for Sencos on specific areas and I am really enjoying them - always nice to hear new ideas, deepen my knowledge and understanding and take on board the views of others. I attended two recently, one on the development of early listening skills and one on including chidren with physical and medical needs.

At our recent Ofsted inspection the inspector asked to see the SENCO so in i trembled! She was more than happy with my understanding of the code of practice, asked me what I would do if an EAL child arrived and again was happy. She seemed particularly pleased when I said that I would not hesitate to use the support network available ie area senco if I was in doubt, speech therapists, SENAPS, etc etc

I really dont want to make light of an important role but it really is not the big deal it may initially sound. I suppose it relates to your own setting though and the children you have. I cannot see why a current member of staff cant take on the role if the initial interest to do so is there. Why not phone the area senco and sound them out as to how to go about replacing - I am sure they will be only too willing to help.

If you want to know any more I am more than wiling to help if i can

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Posted 12 March 2004 - 06:40 AM

hali, I would agree with Geraldine. Your situation sounds awful. Surely it can only get better! Even if a SENCO starts from scratch, they must be better that the lady you have now. I usually find a few of my Practitioners are interested in taking on this role and once they start training, they quickly become really involved. Good luck! :o Chris

#6 Gezabel

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Posted 12 March 2004 - 10:22 AM

Just re read my previous message and want to make it clear that I have the utmost respect for qualified special educational needs teachers and was not inidcating this was an area 'anyone could take on' My comments related to SENCOs within early years settings and I think there is a vast difference between the two. In my role as SENCO I am the team member responsible for co-ordinating the area of special needs. IN fact on my training I was told that the CO of senco was the most important part.

Converse - with parents, team members and other professionals
Contemplate - have a non-judgemental approach and avoid making hasty decisions about a child's needs
Consider - your own experience as a valuable resource
Compliment - Applaud the strengths and achievements - little steps lead to big ones
Co-operate - with parents, colleagues and outside agencies
Comply - Follow the recommendations of the Code Of Practice
Consent - ensure that parental consent is sought and build good relationships with all parents
Consolidate - bring together all the information concerning the child - from all sources
Continue - review regularly and keep knowledge and paperwork up to date
Confidentiality - Remember you are dealing with personal, often sensitive information
Contact - Can't cope? contact Area Senco for support/help/advice

I think perhaps an awful lot of people are already doing alot of the above without necessarily being the "Senco"

I have a brief job description of a SENCO for Early Years Settings and the qualities and skills required to take on the role. If anyone wants me to I will happily put them here.

#7 Helen

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Posted 12 March 2004 - 04:06 PM

Geraldine,
I think you've made a couple of exceptionally helpful posts :D I would agree with all you say, and emphasise to Hali that it is not the knowledge of all kinds of SEN that is important when you're the SENCO, but your knowledge of the PROCEDURES involved when you have a child with special, or additional needs.

#8 LJW

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Posted 12 March 2004 - 06:16 PM

Hali
Fear not! If your EYDCP is like ours then you can access high quality support and input from your Area Senco who will undoubtedly be sympathetic to your plight! Ours are very human and really helpful!
Lisa
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language the bud;
action the fruit behind it.

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#9 bubblejack

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Posted 12 March 2004 - 07:00 PM

Geraldine,
I am the SENCO in my setting together with my deputy supervisor. We have other staff willing to take over. We would feel happier handing it over if we had a job description to explain what is required. Thanks in anticipation for a job description for a SENCO.

#10 hali

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Posted 12 March 2004 - 07:05 PM

Thank you all

thats really usful and i am very gratful, have a member of staff whos doing NVQ level 2 at moment who i have approached today and is thinking about taking the role on.

Thank you again :D

 
 

 

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#11 bubblejack

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Posted 12 March 2004 - 07:42 PM

If a group has concerns about a child and the parent refuses to give their consent for me to discuss their childs needs with any one outside the group. Am I correct in thinking that I must obey confidentiality.

#12 Gezabel

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Posted 13 March 2004 - 07:49 AM

OK here it is:

Senco job description

The drawing up, in consultation with the staff, of a policy for special educational needs and regular reviews of that policy.

The day to day organisation and administration of the SEN policy

Liaising with fellow providers and support staff

Advising and supporting colleagues

Contributing to the in-service training of colleagues concerning SEN

Liaising with parents

Liaising with external agencies

co-ordinating provision for children with SEN

maintaining and monitoring the records of all children with SEN

Co-ordinating reviews for all children with SEN

Managing and purchasing resources to support SEN provision.


THe above description if from my local SENAPS .

#13 Gezabel

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Posted 13 March 2004 - 07:53 AM

Thought you may like the "Qualities and Skills" as well! SENAPS recommend anyone thinking of becoming a senco should have the following:

Good observation and record-keeping skills

Ability to plan and implement Individual Educational Plans

Ability to plan and participate in reviews

Ability to write clear reports

Ability to work with a range of professionals

Ability to work with parents and encourage their involvement in their children's learning

Ability to work as a team and lead a team of adults.

#14 bubblejack

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Posted 13 March 2004 - 08:36 AM

Thanks a lot Geraldine




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