Beverley Clarke: What's my job... multi-professional team manager

9th December 2005 at 00:00
I am involved in most issues which relate to the way vulnerable children and young people are supported in schools and their communities. I support and manage the people who work directly with teachers and other professionals who educate and care for children and young people with special educational needs, additional language needs, a range of disabilities and social and emotional vulnerabilities. This means managing staff from eight different professional groups, including social workers and casework staff involved in statementing.

There is no such thing as an average week in my working life, but to take one at random: Monday: interviewing all day for a new head of pupil-referral unit.

Tuesday: a planning meeting on working with schools to create extended schools. Then a meeting with my area specialists who deal with pupils out of school to examine how to get our resources to meet the needs of pupils with long-term absence.

Wednesday: I meet monthly with the leaders of each of the eight services to discuss targets, difficult casework and budgets. Today I have three lots of supervision and a meeting examining county performance in relation to looked-after children.

Thursday: children's service leadership team meeting followed by training in budget monitoring.

Friday: meeting to plan response to workforce remodelling.

In between, I'm negotiating a place for a pupil with complex needs at one of our schools. Now at a special school, "Joshua" is about to move to Surrey. He has Asperger's syndrome and learning difficulties. I am negotiating with a mainstream school with a specialist unit to enhance their provision so that Joshua has support from specialist assistants, therapists and from the multi-professional team so that the transition is as smooth as possible.

Beverley Clarke works for Surrey children's service. She was talking to Carolyn O'Grady

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