I am a SENCo. I say yes a lot. Yes, maybe, I will get to it, I will put it on my list, I can try, I will pass that on. But sometimes I wish I could say 'no' more powerfully.
Here are my list of things we could say no to (inspiration from Matt Haig).
What have I missed?
What would you say no to?
No I didn’t promise a 1-to-1 TA.
No I can’t cover that class at short notice.
No I can’t respond to EHCP consultations when they are sent in the middle of the summer holidays.
No I am too busy, and I haven’t eaten lunch yet.
No I couldn't get Egress to work today.
No I can’t do the SENCO role and have a heavy teaching timetable.
No half a day a week isn’t enough.
No I can’t work with an old laptop.
No it’s not my fault your child has lost their coat/bag/PE kit.
No zero tolerance doesn’t work for traumatised children.
No I don’t have the resources to remove your child from MFL lessons.
No I wasn’t aware that a TA has been seen reading the paper in the staffroom during lesson time.
No I am not going to share an office with anyone.
No I can’t assess all these extra pupils for exam arrangements at the last minute.
No I am not going to do a costed provision map, funding is already stretched beyond belief, so how will putting costs next to a few TA hours make any difference?
No it’s not OK to label children.
No I don’t think all SENCos are patient.
No the TA can't work downstairs with the child with physical difficulties, you need to swap classrooms for the year.
No I won’t apologise for being an advocate for pupils with SEN.
No I can’t lead on pupil premium as well because SENCo is a full-time role already.
No that pupil can do your subject, maybe you need to adapt your teaching so they can access it.
No that child shouldn’t be in a special school.
No I don’t think those parents are difficult, I think they are worried about their child.
No I can’t conjure up a TA for the end of topic test you’ve only just mentioned.
No I can’t diagnose dyslexia/ASD/ADHD because I am not a psychologist nor a paediatrician.
No that pupil should not be taught outside the lesson with the TA.
No I can’t provide a 1-to-1 TA, so that your child doesn’t lose another coat.
No the pupil wasn’t trying to wind you up.
No I am not doing unnecessary paperwork for Ofsted (although I will probably give in).
No I am not doing the SEN filing.
No I haven’t got to that yet, it’s on my list.
No I can’t do a CAMHS referral today, it takes at least 2 hours to fill in the paperwork.
No I don’t think TAs are doing the job ‘just for the love of it’ and that they knew the pay scale when they applied.
No it’s not the TAs job to adapt the lesson for the child.
No I do need a teacher comment for the meeting.
No I still haven’t found your child’s coat.
No I don't like spending so much time in my office.
No having a TA doesn't absolve you from adapting the lesson.
No I won’t agree that it is ‘for the best’ to exclude the pupil with the EHCP.
No I can’t remember the login.
No its not OK to shout at pupils.
No I can’t accommodate those year 11s who have dropped a subject.
No the pupil profile isn't written to be ignored.
No its not OK that you haven't read the SEN information because you want to make your own ind up about the pupil.
No I will not be calm, injustice makes me angry.
No I cant personally meet with the parents/carers of all the pupils on the SEN register three times a year.
No that pupil isn’t ‘lazy’. Maybe you need to change your lesson strategies.
No I don’t sleep at school ,although it feels like I am here more than at home!
No I can’t do my job effectively if I am not part of SLT.
No I can’t pay for my own NASENCo course.
No the pupil is not putting it on.
No I haven't read it yet.
No I can't get through to the SEN officer.
No I don’t think the behaviour policy works for all children.
No I can’t change the meeting date, I have a teaching timetable.
No that’s not what I said.
No I can’t find an additional TA for that class/pupil/trip because all my TAs are fully deployed.
No you can't just send the pupil to learning support in the middle of the lesson.
No I am not a martyr.
No I cant get any EP time this term.
No I am not letting that pupil ‘get away with it’ because I have adjusted the consequences to cater for their needs.
No the children with special needs are not ‘mine’.
No ‘learning support’ is not a separate part of the school.
No it’s not OK to have lower expectations for that set/child/cohort.
No I am not going to apologise for putting the children first.
No I can’t.
No, its not on my list.
No I can't find it.
No I haven't got time.
No you don’t understand.