My experience is secondary and in a specialist unit. Love the idea of the challenge of an FE setting. My guess is that the task will test managing EHCP provision within context of limited resources and professional support, ie, TA.
Would appreciate hints about what else will be a concern.
I don't do FE. But I would think there would be an emphasis on access arrangements and how you test and process the amount of students they have. Make sure you are clued up about the jcq requirements. Also, questions about DSA too, I would imagine.
FE is a fast moving environment with the a significant student turnover year on year. In a school you get new yr7 but most year groups remain the same, in FE progression is limited to 2 or 3, very occasionally 4 years. Massive churn.
So lots on new EHCP students to asses. Staff need to be trained to ask the right questions or new EHCP students may be offered places without proper assessment.
Students often arrive from non traditional backgrounds: school refusers, ex PRU students, asylum seekers and they all need to be assessed and put on the right course and given support.
FE is a lot more flexible than schools, but it is more difficult to manage.
The biggest difference between schools and FE is the sheer size. The ALS dept will be much bigger than in a school. In most colleges the role of senco is shared between a number of coordinators. My college has 5 and I am the EHCP coordinator. We have 140 EHCPs so a fair chunk of the working week is conducting annual reviews, evaluating provision plans, monitoring the setting of interim targets and training the support staff in the C&F Act, SEND regs and COP etc.
Your role might be managing the support staff (could be be the LSAs, could be the specialist spld tutors, could be the ASD provision) or it could be based more around funding or dealing with all the consultations that come in and there are hunderds every year.
Unless its a very small independent college, the job will be split up. In my place access arrangements are done by the spld team.
That could mean anything really but if you are havng to source external provision I would emphasise any links you have with multiagency professionals - if you haven't worked in a senco role in your secondary unit, familiarise yourself with funding sources particularly element 3. The job spec might mean however that you are repsonsible for allocating LSAs to paritcular students. Top tip - don't refer to the students as pupils - its not school and there is a much bigger emphasis on independence in college. As everyone is over 16 you should make sure you are familiar with the MCA. Thesebooks are useful if you are succesful. Good luck