I’m currently 25% in to the Real Training course – and the flexibility is fantastic. They even opened up the May cohort early so we could use our time in lockdown and have just announced a new July cohort as many people missed the reg time for May because of everything which was going on.
I needed the flexibility as I only work 3 days a week due to long term health conditions. Knowing I can do as much as I want, when I want, takes a lot of the stress and pressure away. I think, being part-time, losing me for whole days at a time would also have been a problem for school if I opted for the uni route…though they were supportive of whichever path I preferred. Also – it allows you to work on units in an order which works for you – helpful, as I am just transitioning into role and taking tasks from the DH/ex-Senco in a phased plan, so can tailor my theory to current responsibilities as I assume more of the role.
As we are a PRU, I am lucky to have a large number of partner schools I can approach for meetings and training with other SENCOs – but your area should have a regular SENCO forum, so contact with fellow SENCOs will still be available. (Plus, with the Real Training campus online discussion boards, you can get a range of opinions and feedback from SENCOs in all manner of different settings and parts of the country, which I have found very useful – and this is available all the time.)
Honestly, I don’t think I would have been able to juggle the new role and training course if it hadn’t been for online learning. Some days you just need to be able to say, ‘Today is not a day I can do this!’ It’s the nature of the job; but with uni days, that would have been a problem for me.