Alnco Interview Questions

Schools are finding it hard to recruit successful SENCOs. Daniel Sobel believes this is down to the changing requirements of this broad and vital position. He looks at the modern SENCO role and advises on recruiting effectively.

A recent survey by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) found that only 14 per cent of SENCOs were recruited with ease, while 56 per cent recruited with difficulty and in 30 per cent of the cases, the school failed to recruit.

We have waltzed slap-bang into a national crisis and no-one seems to have woken up to this problem or is doing anything about it.

Since there is such a broad reach for the SENCO role, what sort of person are we looking for, what do we need to prioritise, and what can we get someone else to do?

In the past, the stereotypical SENCO has been seen as the sensitive one, often slightly eccentric (yours truly) and happy to be based in that room under the stairs or down the quiet corridor away from the bustle of normal school happenings.

Students were removed to this special room, those who needed extra attention. That role required patience to work with socially awkward and frustrating students (and their parents), the ability to adapt resources for a broad spectrum of needs, and healthy bouts of resignation to the lengthy paperwork, the outside agencies that were forever lacking and unavailable and, of course, the teachers who would expect them to take all the responsibility for any student with an SEN label.

You could hire that SENCO – it was clear what you needed and there were plenty out there.

Thanks to Ofsted, the SEND Code of Practice and the Teachers’ Standards, we have seen a significant attitude shift – from keeping those SEN students in that back room to making them a central measure of a successful lesson.

“Rapid and sustained progress of all groups” is interpreted to mean that the students beyond the edges of the average need to be making significant progress in a teacher’s class for it to be considered any good.

When SEN students do not make adequate progress then it can call into question the ability of that teacher, but also your broader school system and its capacity to accurately identify needs.

SEN is no longer something that happens in the room down that quiet corridor, rather it is taking centre stage as a top Ofsted priority. Our SENCO needs to get this to happen – but not from the quiet of their office where they are busy slaving over yet more local authority paperwork and babysitting those same students who have been excluded from class again.

That sensitivity, which was the hallmark of the SENCO, is no longer a top priority. The new SENCO is someone who can think in whole-school leadership terms, has great communication skills with staff and a deft ability to get your school into gear for the Ofsted challenge. That’s a different SENCO altogether – a different job description requiring a different type of person.

Teaching in a special school can be really beneficial to your career. Many mainstream schools educate children with a high level of additional need, therefore, you will have the experience to draw upon. Teaching in special education requires a number of unique skills that you can apply in mainstream schools as well.

How do you become a special needs teacher? There are many good reasons to become a special education teacher. This post seeks to ensure you are ready for a special education interview in 2020. One of the most asked questions by applicants is

SEN is a great field to work in, here is an article about why NQT’s should become special school teachers. Whether you are a newly qualified teacher or an experienced educator, we will be able to help you secure positions working in one of the most rewarding sectors of UK education.

In this article, I will outline some of the potential special education teaching interview questions you will be asked. Also suggested are some things you might want to plan to talk about in your interview.

The interview panel will definitely ask about any discrepancies between your application and the person specification of the job role. So if there is an area you know you don’t meet try and show that you have identified this and sort to rectify the issue. This might be simply a case of reading up on that niche. In my case, it was working with PMLD learners, for instance, I was able to quote some research and a book I have read. I was also lucky enough to have been able to visit a special school and do a learning walk involving this area of need. Reach out and people will want to share their knowledge similarly if you can help someone then share your skills.

See SENCO interview tasks

Read our other article to find examples of tasks you could use in an interview for a SENCO.

  • Lorraine Petersen is an education consultant. Previously the chief executive officer of Nasen and a primary school headteacher, she is also a chair of governors
  • Jenny Moss was the headteacher of a special school judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. She has worked in school leadership for almost 20 years
  • Trevor Bailey has extensive experience in school leadership and management, and was a secondary headteacher for 14 years
  • Im interviewing for a SENCo next week and have taken the questions from Use The Key website. Might be worth a look! Are you up to speed with the iminent changes to CoP/ statements etc?

    Do you have link to the changes in the code of practice for a PoP (pissed off parent)

    Good luck sparrow.. Yes icecream, Ive been busy creating mind maps to possible questions rather than rote learning answers to specific questions. Inclusionist.. ok now im scared .. what is CoP?

    Asked me why I went into special needs teaching how I would reach out to a parent with a child with aln who was reluctant to come to school how I manage a wrk/life balance how I would manage behaviour within my small group teaching how I would assess pupils for progress explain my experience of writing iep s and how I would use these will have athink about what else they asked me…. mrsnw

    Have you looked at all the stuff in the jobseekers forum on TES? Loads of sample questions and good advice there.

    Special Education Interview Questions- Teaching Job

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