Recruitment in SEND: Timing and Considerations

by | Oct 25, 2023

Roll up, roll up! Let’s imagine the SEND department as a delightful circus. Ah, but not just any circus – it’s a symphony of specialists, a carnival of carers, each with their unique act. Now, as the ringmaster (or SENCO, if you prefer the official title), you’ve a task cut out: ensuring every performer is on point and the audience (our wonderful students) get the best show. But, what if the trapeze artist retires, or the juggler decides to juggle dreams elsewhere? Fear not, for today, we dive into the grand act of recruitment in SEND, ensuring that your circus, erm, department, never misses a beat.


Identifying the Gaps: When is it Showtime?


1. Assessing the Act

Begin with a thorough analysis of your current SEND team. Who’s exiting the tent? Who’s potentially looking to switch roles? Also, consider natural attritions like retirements or maternity leaves.

2. Future Attractions

Forecast future needs. Will there be an influx of students requiring specific support next term? Does the upcoming curriculum demand a new specialist?


Timing the Auditions


1. Stay Ahead of the Curve

Recruitment is not a last-minute scramble. Start early, ideally a term in advance. This gives ample time for advertisements, interviews, onboarding, and training.

2. Peak Recruitment Seasons

Remember, there are certain times of the year, like right before a new academic year, when recruitment is rampant. Starting early ensures you get the cream of the crop.


Drafting the Perfect Invitation (Job Ad)


1. Clear Role Descriptions

Outline the role in detail. From qualifications to job responsibilities, ensure potential recruits know exactly what’s expected.

2. Showcase the Circus!

Promote your school’s or department’s ethos, the support they can expect, and opportunities for professional growth.


Audition Day: The Interview Process


1. Skills Test

For a SEND role, it’s beneficial to have a practical segment where candidates demonstrate their strategies and approaches.

2. Cultural Fit

Ensure the candidate aligns with the school’s values and has a genuine passion for SEND.


Onboarding & Continuous Training


Once you’ve got your new star performer, ensure they transition smoothly into their role. Regular training keeps them updated with the latest SEND strategies and policies.


Retention: Keeping the Stars Shining


1. Recognition & Growth

Celebrate successes and provide avenues for career progression.

2. Continuous Support

A well-supported SEND professional is likely to stay longer and perform better. Ensure they have access to resources, training, and emotional support.

In conclusion, dear ringmasters, while the spotlight often shines on the performers, the magic truly lies behind the curtains – in meticulous planning, timely actions, and thoughtful decisions. So, whether you’re recruiting a new mime artist or a specialist for dyslexia, always remember, with the right timing and considerations, every day can be a successful show day in the SEND circus. Until our next carnival chat, may your recruitment acts always receive standing ovations!

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