Dear potential Senco,
You may not be aware at this point of what being a Senco is all about. But don’t worry, you can learn on the job. We think it’s absolutely fine for the person within the school who will have strategic responsibility for the most vulnerable and complicated learners in the school to, well, make it up as they go along.
Additionally, did you know that you need to be one of the most highly trained members of staff in the school? Yes! You get to do a Level 7 qualification, (probably as you go along, in your own time, while you also work out how to do the job). What an incredible privilege. However, don’t expect to get any status with this; after all, it’s just a piece of paper. The NASENCO award is simply theory and professional expertise with some research practice and leadership thrown in. You can still definitely be put in your place by those who are not as qualified as you on SLT who are paid more.
Speaking of which, the SEND Code of Practice strongly recommends that the Senco should be on the Senior Leadership Team. We can see how this might make sense. However, with us you get to be a strategist, legal advisor, teacher and learning expert, child whisperer, trainer of teachers, mopper of brows and calmer of parents without the stress of SLT. We have decided that we don’t really need you on the Senior Leadership Team. You can just ‘advise us’ as and when and put your feet up the rest of the time.
So luckily this means that we can just pay you as a mainscale teacher. Or maybe we’ll offer you a TLR or SEN point. But don’t get too excited; ultimately the ‘pastoral’ lead (who, by the way has not done any specific training in understanding and supporting students with special educational needs like you will have done by the time you complete your NASENCO award) will tell you what to do. So you can relax a bit, not worry about statutory requirements, malpractice in exams etc and get paid less than you should be. Although you will actually have to worry about the malpractice. And statutory requirements. And legal obligations. #donttelltheunion
Be aware, if you are feeling stressed or concerned at the thought of all this, you might not have the resilience required to do the job. We will suggest to you that your resilience is not quite up to the mark of you ever raise any of these contradictions. Bear this in mind as we don’t want anyone critical coming onto our incredibly inclusive and resilient team.
If you would like to apply for this job, just search Senco on any well known teacher recruitment website.
Finally, if you do find a Senco job advertised as an SLT position on the leadership scale asking for those with previous experience and expertise in this complex area of education, run a mile. The school quite clearly knows what it’s doing.