How To Manage the Demands of Your SENCO Job05 Jan, 20241-2 minutes
In this blog, you will learn:
- How to manage the demands of your SENCO job.
- The main responsibilities of a SENCO.
- How to become a successful SENCO.
- If being a SENCO is stressful.
- Where the latest SENCO jobs are and how to apply for them.
Being a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) is a rewarding job, but it can be challenging and demanding. The SENCO plays a critical role ensuring children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) receive the support they need.
According to GovUK, over 1.5 million pupils in England have SEND, an increase of 87,000 from 2022, giving rise to a greater need for good SENCOs. This means that with the increasing demand for SENCOs comes with it more responsibilities and pressures in the SENCO role.
Throughout this comprehensive guide, we detail how to overcome challenges and the key responsibilities and effective strategies to navigate the role of a SENCO to ensure the best outcomes for students with SEND.
What are the 3 major responsibilities of a SENCO?
A SENCO is essential to create an inclusive and supportive learning environment that enables students with SEND to thrive.
The main responsibilities of a SENCO are:
- Identifying children with special educational needs
- Coordinating provision for children with SEND
- Liaising with individuals.
Identifying children with special educational needs
A SENCO is responsible for supporting the identification of children with SEND and ensuring that a plan is in place to provide for their needs. In the most recent Code of Practice, the SENCO must be a qualified teacher, responsible for carrying out the day-to-day operation of a school’s SEN policy and assessments of pupils with SEN.
Every mainstream school in the UK must have a SENCO to identify what extra support an individual with SEND requires in order to thrive in the education system.
They are responsible for creating a safe environment that ensures all children with SEND are well supported and have the opportunity to reach their full potential both academically and socially.
<H3>Coordinating provision for children with SEND<H3>
Once children with SEND have been identified, it is up to the SENCO to implement the right strategy to ensure the needs of the student are met. A SENCO is responsible for developing and overseeing the implementation of the school's SEND strategy and policy.
These individual plans outline specific goals and strategies to support the student’s learning and development.
A SENCO is responsible for coordinating provision for children with SEND and ensuring that those strategies are implemented. This means that changes can be made to the strategy as necessary to address changing needs and promote student success.
Liaising with individuals
SENCOs are responsible for communicating with a variety of individuals to keep them informed about the right process and strategies for the pupil with SEND. SENCOs liaise with parents of children with SEND and keep them informed through progress reports.
A SENCO also works closely with other professionals, outside agencies and external agencies particularly for children receiving support to ensure that the school keeps the records of all pupils with SEND up to date.
They work closely with external experts such as Educational Psychologists and Speech and Language Therapists, and provide guidance to internal professionals such as Teachers and Teaching Assistants to help with classroom management.
By advising staff and colleagues on the SEND strategy within the school, they ensure the needs of pupils are met and that provisions are in order. This involves making the necessary adjustments to the EHCP plan for a child with SEN. SENCOS act as advocates for students and facilitate collaboration among various stakeholders to ensure their needs are met.
<H2>How do I become a successful SENCO?<H2>
Ways to become a successful SENCO and meet the demands of the job include:
- Create a career plan.
- Understand the role.
- Work as part of a team.
- Be positive.
- Network and speak out.
- Manage workload.
Create a career plan
By creating a career plan for the year and setting goals for the future, individuals can discover how to organise their time, efforts and responsibilities efficiently. A plan can’t prevent stressful situations or unexpected challenges from occurring, but it can help to prepare a SENCO or make time to come up with a solution.
Understand the role
Knowing the responsibilities of the role and how to share the workload with others is the best way to ensure that SENCOs are successfully meeting the needs of students with SEND and maintaining a work life balance. The SEN policy is most effective if it is developed and maintained by the school leadership team.
Work in a team
Teamwork is a crucial part of being a SENCO, as they must collaborate with professionals to ensure students with SEND have the ability to reach their full potential. Teamwork can positively involve participation and benefit pupils with SEND. Therefore SENCOs can advise Teachers and Teaching Assistants on strategies they can incorporate in the classroom.
Learning to work as part of a team will help SENCOs to be more patient, empathetic and embrace compromise, all of which can contribute to becoming a successful SENCO.
As a SENCO, your role is to ensure the wellbeing of students with SEND is met, and that there are measures in place so that they reach their potential.
Adopt a positive attitude and encourage staff and students to do the same. Maximise the positive impact you can have by being a productive, encouraging and trusting influence and engage with wellbeing. When looking after the needs of others, don’t forget to ensure your own wellbeing is being a priority.
Network and speak out
Make the most of opportunities to network with SENCOs at events, training sessions, or in online forums to get your voice heard. Join a forum to discuss work-life balance and ways of reducing stress levels. Seek support and advice when required from others to get first hand experience and gain knowledge from them.
Reduce or manage workload by sharing responsibilities and dividing tasks between others. Determine the scope and timing of work for each task and compile a list of duties that your team is responsible for.
You can better manage the demands of your SENCO job by making sure you prioritise your workload based on importance and break down projects into smaller tasks.
Is being a SENCO stressful?
Meeting daily demands and a heavy workload, while maintaining a work-life balance can be challenging and stressful. The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers found that 90% of Teachers considered themselves to be stressed, and SENCOs are no exception.
Increasing needs, pressure from parents and the expectations of being an expert in all areas of SEND impacts the stress of teaching staff including SENCOs. However, with the right support and advice, it is possible to maximise positive impact and reduce pressure on yourself.
Being patient and having the ability to remain calm in stressful situations is crucial to ensure that pupils are provided with the right support and that SENCOs maintain a mental health balance.
If you’re searching for your next SENCO job, why not contact our Divisional Manager, Richard Shorrock, to find the best temporary, interim or permanent SENCO jobs on the market now. Or you can upload your CV and be notified when relevant job opportunities become available for you.
Already got your next SENCO interview lined up? Discover the most common SENCO interview questions and answers which you could be asked during the interview.
If you found this advice and expertise helpful, why not check out our interview with a professional in the insights from a SENCO and 12 exciting opportunities for children with special needs.
Local authority and school recruitment services
As an award winning SEND recruitment agency in the UK, we support schools and local authorities with:
- SEND Teachers and SEND Teaching Assistants
- Service restructure- Mid to senior hires across the SEND service to assist in service redesign.
- Annual review backlogs - Including multiple hire projects to assist councils in removing Education Health and Care Plans backlogs.
- Appointing Executives & Directors e.g Directors of Education / Heads of Service.
- SEND/EHC Case workers who can hold annual review meetings, liaise with families, education settings and professionals as appropriate, preparing and following up in line with the SEND Code of Practice processes. SEND/EHC Case workers can also amend plans where appropriate, working through your governance/approval arrangements.
Who is Spencer Clarke Group?
Based in the heart of Lancashire, we’re an award winning recruitment agency that is driven by a desire to effect positive change.
We are constantly reshaping and innovating the recruitment industry to create a brighter, more fulfilling future for all by ensuring that we do more than just match candidates and clients. For us, recruitment is about finding candidates the perfect job that can not only boost their salary, but also improve their standard of living, better their work life balance and improve their mental health.
From individuals looking to progress or change careers, to organisations aiming for unprecedented growth, we're unwavering in our resolve to shape a positive and more fulfilling future for all.
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