In response to The Fielder’s blog, ‘Should Sencos be monitored by governors?’ I clicked on the link to the article in the Guardian.
I can’t agree with the Fielder more that Sencos cannot be held responsible for poor results in maths and English GCSEs, but I guess our esteemed (?) government had to make some response to the Conservative Party’s observation about poor exam results.
The Fielder evidently feels affronted that Sencos are not automatically members of the SLT. My understanding is that schools and governing bodies are required to make Sencos members of the SLT where possible – currently, I believe, Sencos can be teaching assistants and the changes would mean that this will not be allowed.
As far as governors monitoring the Senco role is concerned – do schools not currently have a governor who is linked to SEN? Our certainly does. I think that it is important that governors understand what goes on and how the needs of this group of children are met.
Where I fear that the proposal goes too far is in the following: governors are expected to support, advise on, participate in and monitor the effectiveness of their school's SEN provision - and that includes overseeing pupils' records, securing services from outside agencies and liaising with parents.
Apart from the staff representatives, I am one of only two governors with teaching experience on our governing body. I taught in a school with a large number of children with SEN and I am also lucky enough not to have a full time job (apart from the kids). But I am far from an expert in the field and wouldn’t like to get involved in telling our extremely competent Senco how to do her job.
Considering that it is hard enough to get some of our governors to attend meetings and make visits to the school, I can’t see anyone going through the enough training to gain the level of experience needed.