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					Devon County Council
Job Description

Role Title                   SEN ADMINISTRATOR
Location                     CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE’S SERVICE
Reporting to                 SEN ASSESSMENT TEAM LEADER
Post Number                                            Grade         C
Work Base                    Bradninch Hall
Effective date of JD         2008                JE Job number

The County Special Education Team (CSET) is responsible for:

        The timely completion of statutory assessment procedures for children who
         have special educational needs (SEN)
        The drawing up and issue of proposed and final Statements of SEN or Notes
         in Lieu of a Statement
        The annual review of all Statements of SEN
        Strategic planning and joint working with parents, schools, Children and
         Young People's Services and the Health Authority to meet the needs of
         children with SEN, wherever possible in mainstream schools
        Arranging appropriate school placements for individual children

1.       Job Purpose including main duties and responsibilities:

To support the Team Manager in the delivery of a specialised service in relation to
the work of the County Special Education Team and to ensure the Authority carries
out its duties under the 1996 Education Act and the DCSF SEN Code of Practice.

To take direct responsibility for a designated caseload based on a section of the
alphabet relating to approximately 500 Annual Review cases per year and
approximately 70 Statutory Assessments per annum and to act as the main contact,
dealing independently with queries from parents, Headteachers, SEN Co-ordinators
and other service users for children and young people undergoing statutory

To take direct responsibility for the timely receipt and collation of reports and advice
in relation to the statutory assessment of children who have special educational
needs and ensure completion within statutory timescales. The post holder will
independently monitor and log the receipt of reports and check for outstanding
advice on a frequent basis and write or telephone to chase advice from providers.

To liaise closely and work co-operatively with the SEN Casework Managers and
SEN Casework Officers on cases

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Job Description
To take responsibility and use own initiative to flag up cases where disputes may
arise and work consistently to find creative solutions in contentious and complex
cases in order to prevent appeals being lodged with the SEN & Disability Tribunal

To take responsibility and provide a good level of support to parents through the
processes, including providing advice to parents and professionals on processes
and timescales. The post holder will be expected to deal with and resolve the
majority of calls and enquiries relating to Statutory Assessments and processes
independently without escalating the issue or needing to pass the caller on.

To provide support to the Casework Teams and other colleagues with word
processing, filing, photocopying, etc as required.

To take responsibility for the receipt and logging of Annual Review reports, sending
out the statutory reminders and monitor receipt, chasing by letter or telephone when
reports are overdue.

To provide administrative support for the issuing of Amendment Notices and
Amended Statements at times of phase transfer and change of school (e.g. for
pupils who have moved into the Authority).

To set up arrangements for, invite representatives and attend the Inclusive
Education and Specialist Provision Panels as required, prepare agendas and take
minutes and input decisions onto the EMS database

To set up arrangements for, invite representatives and attend the Specialist
Provision Panel as required. prepare agendas and take minutes and input decisions
on the the EMS database.

To take responsibility and liaise with parents, schools and other Local Authorities
regarding transfer in or out of the Authority of Statemented pupils.

To take responsibility for requesting and forwarding papers from or to other
Authorities, produce correspondence and be responsible for housekeeping duties in
relation to children‟s files.

To liaise with Admissions Team and Education Welfare Service in relation to school
placements and attendance as required.

Independently carry out administrative tasks in respect of SENDIST appeals within
the statutory timescales as required, including maintenance of spreadsheets,
preparation of correspondence, issuing Tribunal Orders and ensuring that all
appropriate actions are taken as laid down in the Tribunal Regulations.

To take responsibility for the administrative tasks in respect of the Early Years Action
Plus Funding Panel as required, including setting up arrangements for meetings,
inviting representatives, preparing agendas and accurately maintaining budgetary

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Devon County Council
Job Description
Carry out administrative tasks and attend meetings of the Children‟s Joint Equipment
Service as required maintaining budgetary spreadsheets and processing and
monitoring equipment orders.

To process orders and invoices as required using the Finest electronic system

To assist with the general clerical and support work of the section including:
      dealing with telephone calls
      photocopying, collating and filing as required
      opening, sorting and distributing mail
      arranging meetings, booking rooms, refreshments, travel and courses as

2.     Supervision:

The SEN Assessment Team Leader directly supervises and will be responsible for
the appraisal of the post holder

The post holder will be responsible for the supervision of temporarily assigned or
shared employees for on the job training or the allocation and checking of work for
quality and quantity

The post holder will take responsibility for the accuracy and quality of their own work,
issuing standard letters and information as appropriate.

3.     Creativity and Innovation:

The work is largely regulated by laid down statutory procedures but there is a
requirement to use creative thinking skills to deal with routine as well as some
complex problems. There is a requirement for problem solving and creativity as a
feature of the post on a regular basis. Some issues are likely to be contentious or
complex and will require the postholder to remain assertive and use tact,
persuasion, sensitivity and support including a good knowledge of legislation in
respect of the statutory assessment processes

The postholder will need to exercise judgement and take responsibility for ensuring
the appropriate evidence is received from schools and key professionals in order for
a decision to be made as to whether the case meets the Authority‟s criteria for
statutory assessment and resource allocation.

The post holder will be required to contribute to providing a range of imaginative
solutions using innovative thinking to enable the Team to work more efficiently and

The post holder will liaise with parents, schools and other service users where there
is dissatisfaction or disagreement and work consistently to find creative solutions
and to prevent cases escalating to a situation where an appeal is lodged with the
SEN & Disability Tribunal.

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Job Description
4.     Links with other officers, Service users or Members of the Public:

To be first point of contact for parents, Headteachers, SEN Co-ordinators, young
people, other service users and professionals in relation to cases undergoing
assessment and provide advice, information, monitor cases and develop and
maintain good working relationships. As the issues involved are often contentious
and emotive, it is essential for the post holder to be able to maintain a calm and
helpful manner. Callers may be distressed, angry and occasionally abusive. The
post holder will be required to provide support using advocacy, persuasion, tact and
sensitivity within the application of operational guidelines. Outcomes could have
significant implications for the contact or the Authority.

To work closely with the SEN Casework Teams, the Resources Team, the
Admissions, Transport and Escort Teams, Joint Agency Teams and the SEN &
Conflict Resolution Officer to share information and advice and enable joint working
to reduce confusion for parents and schools. The postholder will be required to
contribute to working groups and provide creative solutions to assist with developing
joint processes and protocols across Schools Access Services.

To work closely with schools, Educational Psychologists, Specialist Advisory
Service Professionals, Educational Welfare Officers, Community Paediatricians and
other professionals in respect of advice and report and to share information.


The post holder will be expected to independently respond to a range of requests for
information from parents, school-based staff and other professionals. Information
will need to be provided clearly and in an accessible way. While many of the
requests and contacts will be relatively straightforward, there will be regular and
frequent occasions where the issues are sensitive or contentious requiring tactful
and diplomatic and sometimes innovative responses. Examples could include
parents who feel that identification of their child‟s Special Educational Needs has
already taken a long time before a referral for a Statutory Assessment has been
made, or who become anxious during the Statutory Assessment as a result of issues
such as exclusions from school or about possible outcomes of the Assessment. It is
essential that the post holder is aware of both the parents‟ anxieties and special
needs and the roles of other professionals within CYPS and Health such as
Exclusions and Reintegration Officers, Advisory Teachers, Education Welfare,
Social Care, Joint Agency Teams, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and

The post holder will be expected to join working groups to develop joined up working
processes, ie for Admission of children with Statements to mainstream and special

5.     Levels of responsibility:

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Job Description
Work is usually carried out within clearly defined rules and procedures involving
decisions chosen from a range of established alternatives. However, there will also
be a requirement to choose from a range of options where advice may not be
available and where policy, procedures and legislation provide only general

To take responsibility for ensuring advice is received in a timely manner and within
the statutory timescales to enable the Authority to meet its duties under the SEN
Code of Practice

To independently prepare standard letters, sign and issue with attachments

To record accurately the decisions of professionals at the Inclusive Education Panel
(weekly) and Specialist Provision Panel (monthly).

6.     Effects of decisions:

The post holder will need to work closely with and provide appropriate advice to
service users in order to avoid or prevent appeals being lodged with the SEN &
Disability Tribunal

The post holder will need to adhere to statutory procedures in order to avoid or
prevent complaints being made to the DCSF or the Local Government Ombudsman,
which in turn could lead to a claim for compensation

The post holder will need to meet statutory timescales in relation to the assessment
process and the issue of Proposed Statements within 18 weeks in order to maintain
the Authority‟s status under the Best Value Performance Indicators and prevent the
loss of star rating as part of the Comprehensive Performance Assessment and Joint
Area Reviews

The post holder will need to contribute to finding creative solutions to prevent or
avoid appeals to the SEN & Disability Tribunal which could potentially lead to the
Authority being ordered to place a child in an independent or non-maintained
educational placement which can have a major impact on the budget and the
efficient use of the Authority‟s resources

7.     Resources:

Responsible for the proper use, application and care of ICT equipment, such as
computers, appropriate software and other equipment

To be responsible for the administrative documentation for pupils undergoing
statutory assessment

Maintenance of accurate electronic data.

The maintenance and development of filing systems both electronic and paper-

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Devon County Council
Job Description
8.     Work demands:

The statutory duties in respect of statutory assessment, making, maintenance and
review process for a Statement of Special Educational Needs are complex
procedures laid down by the DCSF and encompassed in the 1996 Education Act
and SEN Code of Practice. This involves liaison with a wide range of professionals,
parents and other interested parties. The Post holder needs to liaise with
colleagues in respect of the processes to ensure that the Authority is able to fulfil its
statutory duties within context, with high external demand, volume and a
requirement to juggle priorities and provide an efficient, effective and equitable
service within mandatory timescales.

To manage own workload including high volumes, against constantly changing
priorities and demands within tight statutory deadlines. The work has to be
managed against constant interruptions by telephone calls from parents and
professionals, emails, fax and colleagues.

To manage fluctuating levels of demand, which can be predicted (such as high
volumes of work relating to Amended Statement for phase transfers) or
unpredictable (Statutory Assessment requests, children moving in or out of the

To deputise for and provide support to the SEN Assessment Team Leader, the
Resources Officer, SEN Casework Officers and other SEN Administrators as

9.     Physical demands:

Physical demands are minimal. Post is desk based with some travel to meetings at
other locations

10.    Working conditions:

The work is mostly based within a busy, often noisy office environment. There are
constant interruptions and a requirement to reprioritise frequently.

Working environment can be very hot in summer and cold in the winter. Long
periods at the computer lead to tiredness and other physical discomfort

There may also be a requirement to travel to other locations to ensure multi agency

11.    Work context:

The work is pressurised, very emotive and challenging. There may be stress-related

There will be daily contact with aggrieved members of the public and schools by
telephone and sometimes face to face.

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Devon County Council
Job Description
12.    Knowledge and skills:

Knowledge of the framework and procedures governing statutory assessment and
making statements under the 1996 Education Act and SEN Code of Practice, the
Authority‟s Guidance Criteria for Statutory Assessment and Resource Allocation and
associated policies. This requires a thorough familiarity with the SEN Code of
Practice, the Disability and Discrimination Act and an ability to provide information to
a range of questions from parents and professionals on the main points and
timescales for Statutory Assessment procedures.

The is a requirement for highly developed organisational skills, ability to work
independently and unsupervised to tight deadlines using own initiative and whilst
managing conflicting priorities

Ability to communicate at a very high level, clearly verbally and in writing,
demonstrating good listening skills, ability to handle confrontation with confidence,
discretion and diplomacy and negotiating successfully under pressure

Ability to produce clear and accurate minutes and records of decisions at Panel

The ability to demonstrate a commitment to good practice and creative problem
solving within the Team and Directorate

Ability to foster a “team”culture, mutual respect, team members supporting each
other and an ability to demonstrate intolerance of disrespectful behaviour.

The ability to demonstrate a commitment to team working

Calm approach in highly sensitive situations

Ability to maintain confidentiality

Highly developed ICT skills including the use of Excel spreadsheets, Microsoft Word,
Outlook, complex databases, eg EMS and Finest

Some knowledge of schools systems.

To conform to, actively commit to and promote DCC Customer Service Standards
both with internal and external 'customers' when using any communication media
including telephone, email and face to face.

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       Devon County Council
       Job Description

Structure chart:

                                    Director of CYPS

                           Assistant Director Policy & Strategy

 Strategic Lead for     Schools Access Services Manager              SEN & Tribunal
      SEN                                                              Officer

                      Team Manager SEN & Inclusion

SEN Casework Managers x 4.8         Resources/Data Manager

SEN Casework Officers x 4.5            SEN Resources Officer      SEN Assessment Team

                                                             SEN Adminstrators x 7

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       Devon County Council
       Job Description
       Job specification:

   Attribute                     Essential                            Desirable            Method of Assessment

                   Ability to work well under pressure
                  both within a team and under own
Management         Ability to manage a high volume                                        Application and interview
                   diverse workload and meet conflicting

                                                              General knowledge of the
                  Knowledge of the procedures                 structure and workings of
                  governing statutory assessment and          local government
                  making statements and the 1996
Experience        Education Act and SEN Code of               At least 2 years            Application and interview
                  Practice, the Disability Discrimination     experience in an office
                  Act, the Children‟s Act                     environment
                  Some knowledge of schools systems            Experience in an
                                                               educational setting
                 Highly developed organisational skills,
                 ability to work independently and
                 unsupervised to tight deadlines using
                 own initiative , whilst managing
                 conflicting priorities
                  Experience of working in a Team
                 Methodical approach and attention to
Practical Skills                                                                          Application and interview
                  Proof reading skills and an eye for
                 Actively focus on own/team
                 performance in contributing to
                 meeting customer needs, setting,
                 tracking acting on and reporting
                 against appropriate performance
                 targets and objectives.
                  Excellent verbal and written
                  communication skills. demonstrating
                  good listening skills, ability to handle
Communication confrontation with confidence. Ability                                      Application and interview
                  to use discretion, tact, advocacy,
                  diplomacy to assist in negotiating
                  successfully under pressure
                  A self starter
                 A „can do‟ attitude
                 Ability to handle information of a
                 confidential and sensitive nature
                 Ability to remain calm and be tactful
                                                              Good sense of humour
Personal         and diplomatic
                                                              Ability to find creative    Application and interview
Qualities        Ability inspire others
                 Ability to foster a team culture, with
                 mutual respect and team members
                 supporting each other,
                 Ability to demonstrate intolerance of
                 unacceptable behaviour.
                  Ability to contribute to the
Strategic         development of protocols across the
                                                                                          Application and interview
Thinking          service
                 Ability to work co-operatively and
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      Devon County Council
      Job Description
                  contribute to developments across
                  School Access Teams
                  Highly developed IT skills including
Technology / IT   complex databases, Microsoft Word,        ECDL, Excel, Word,
                                                                                     Application and interview
Skills            Outlook and Finest Accounting             Databases
                                                            A levels or relevant
                  GCSE with passes in English and           equivalent
Education and     Maths or equivalent                       Proven experience in a
                                                                                     Application and interview
Training          Highly literate and numerate              similar setting
                  ECDL or equivalent                        SEN Caseworker B Tech
                  Commitment to Equal Opportunities
Equal             Ability to perform role with reasonable
                  adjustments                                                        Application and interview
                  Commitment to DCC Customer
                  Service Standards

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