In response to a reader’s comment regarding SENCo’s holding QTS…
I sympathise with your situation. From what I can gather, having done a lot of research around this for a member of my own staff, the view is that gaining QTS and then ‘specialising’ in SEN straight away is akin to becoming a consultant straight away after not having been a GP or general doctor first.
I don’t personally, see this as a barrier, however, and think that creative solutions need to be explored.
If you have the support of your Head, have you thought about seeing if the Graduate Teaching Route is available for you? Your existing qualification may be sufficient.
There are also flexible PGCE options, however these may well have a ‘degree of equivalent’ stipulation.
Being a SENCo is a so much more than a qualification, but this does appear to be a significant barrier to people in your situation.
Your Head could always designate him/herself as SENCo, but in reality leave the job to you, that would then eliminate the stress of trying to find a qualification that is appropriate. Or they could simply do this until you complete the necessary qualifications.
But I think the main thing here is to find an institution that is flexible. I am sure some institutions will give you credit for your HLTS and BTEC qualifications, therefore leaving you with a top up amount required to gain a degree. Have you looked at the Open University? Credit transfer is a difficult area, and, after all, as you say this is a ‘new situation’.
I am sorry I don’t have any ‘answers’, but with your Head supporting you I think you should follow the course of action that your feel most comfortable with.
Good luck and feel free to keep asking questions; I am certain I don’t have the answers, but from my personal and professional experience, maybe I can offer you some ideas that will help!