National Award for SEN Coordination
Sign up by July 15th and your school will receive two free logins to the SEN Toolkit
✅ Distance Learning option – complete NASENCO safely & conveniently from any part of the country
✅ Face-to-Face options - delivered with TS Hub, Local Authority and other school network partners on a national basis
✅ Start the award before or after your appointment to school SENCO
✅ Gain a Post Graduate Certificate in SEN Co-ordination, worth 60 Master's credits
✅ Spread the cost & pay via interest-free instalments, if self-funding
"A huge thank you for the Zoom meeting last week. I found it super useful and it really helped me to structure my thinking and the direction of my academic writing."
The programme will provide the opportunity for participants to reflect upon and improve their practice whilst learning more about the coordination of special educational needs, policy and supporting the individual needs of children and young people.
Our NASENCO programme incorporates the award of a Postgraduate Certificate in SEN Coordination, validated by Bath Spa University (BSU) as part of their Professional Master’s Programme, worth the first 60 credits towards a Master’s (MA) degree.
Ours is a work-based, flexible and practical programme that will equip you with the tools and knowledge you need to enhance achievement and maximise impact upon learners with SEN and/or disabilities.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed the (NASENCo) course and would recommend highly to others. The course has helped me to be more strategic and think outside of the box. Thank you!"
What are the benefits?
This programme will improve your awareness and understanding of professional practice, signpost/provide access to relevant research and help you develop supportive learning networks. It is work-based, flexible and practical and will equip you with the tools and knowledge you need to increase the participation of learners with SEN and/or disabilities within your particular educational setting.
Working at Master's level, alongside others who share your passion for SEN and Inclusion, will sharpen your analytical and evaluative skills and deepen your knowledge of your specific specialist areas. In addition, the achievement of the award can contribute to higher levels of self-esteem and open up career progression opportunities.
Participants will develop their knowledge, understanding and skills across the 10 key themes
- The statutory and regulatory context for SEN and disability equality and the implications for practice in their school or work setting
- The principles and practice of leadership in different contexts
- How SEN and disabilities affect pupils’ participation and learning
- Strategies for improving outcomes for pupils with SEN and/or disabilities
- Working strategically with senior colleagues and governors
- Leading, developing and, where necessary, challenging senior leaders, colleagues and governors
- Critically evaluating evidence about learning, teaching and assessment in relation to pupils with SEN to inform practice
- Drawing on external sources of support and expertise
- Developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating relevant systems
- Personal and Professional Qualities
How is it delivered?
Our programme is delivered nationally in partnership with Teaching School Hubs, Local Authorities and other school networks. Our standard programme offers a flexible combination of blended learning and support opportunities that include:
- face-to-face sessions with expert facilitators
- tutor and peer support
- academic writing and SENCO practice workshops
- technical and administrative support
- discussion forums that link all participants nationally
We also deliver an alternative Distance Learning (online only) version of the standard programme for individuals preferring this method. All learning and support opportunities remain the same, the only difference is the 6 taught sessions are facilitated online with break-out rooms for discussion, rather than face to face.
Whether Distance Learning or face-to-face as part of the standard blended learning programme, our six-day facilitated sessions are typically delivered over one academic year. SENCOs on these programmes receive all-through individual tutor support to ensure successful completion.
Duration of study and outline of the programme
For the Master’s level work, participants will typically have 15 months within which to submit their academic assignments. To complete the programme participants will be expected to:
- Attend 6 face-to-face day or Distance Learning sessions to engage in learning, share good practice and practice key skills
- Write two assignments that add up to 60 credits
- Complete an e-portfolio to ensure that documentary evidence is provided for any learning outcomes not covered elsewhere
- Invest time in personal study - reading, research and on-going reflection on practice - will be required
- Liaise with their group and academic tutor
To support successful completion, we ask and encourage schools to provide appropriate release time in order to give participants the opportunity to:
- Visits other workplaces, where appropriate
- Engage in academic reading and writing
- Complete the requirements of the e-portfolio
The programme delivers the learning outcomes specified by the Department for Education and 60 Master's level credits, through two elements:
- 2 x 30 credit assignments as part of the PG Certificate
- E-portfolio - evidence is drawn from school-based activities such as policies, procedures and systems that SENCOs have put in place, used, developed or reviewed
Who is this for?
The Department for Education (DfE) regulations 2014 require school governing bodies to ensure that SENCOs who are new to the role gain the National Award for SEN Coordination within three years of appointment. Furthermore, the prescribed qualifications and experience of SENCos is stated clearly within the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014, paragraph 49, i.e.
49.—(1) The appropriate authority of a relevant school must ensure that the SENCO appointed under section 67(2) of the Act meets all of the requirements in either paragraph (2) or (3).
(2) The requirements in this paragraph are that the SENCO—
(a) is a qualified teacher;
(b) if required to complete an induction period under regulations made under section 135A of the Education Act 2002(1), has satisfactorily completed such an induction period; and
(c) is working as a teacher at the school.
(3) The requirement in this paragraph is that the SENCO is the headteacher or acting headteacher (or equivalent in the case of an Academy school) of the school.
Therefore, only qualified teachers (QTS or QTLS) are eligible to undertake the programme.
Individuals who hold Early Years Initial Teacher Status are also able to gain the Award but this will only be recognised within the 0-5 sector.
The NASENCo programme is also available to aspiring SENCOs who have their school’s support to work with the designated SENCO to ensure they have the opportunity to meet all Learning Outcomes.
In order to be accepted onto NASENCo, prospective participants must secure support from their Headteacher to:
- confirm that the school will provide sufficient support to enable you to complete the National Award for SEN Co-ordination training and assessment programme (Please note: BPN recommends that schools allow at least 4-5 days release in addition to the training days to effectively support their SENCO)
- confirm that you have been DBS checked and/or ISA registered in accordance with government regulations and are considered safe to work with children
- confirm that you are employed under a permanent or fixed-term contract that will continue for at least 1 (one) year from the date of this application until the National Award for SEN Co-ordination is completed
Only applicants with a completed corresponding Headteacher declaration form will be accepted onto the qualification & offered a place in one of our delivery groups.
If you are the Schools’ designated SENCO, please complete the below form which must have a physical signature (typed is not accepted):
If you are not the School’s designated SENCO, please complete the below forms which must have a physical signature (typed is not accepted):
What does it cost?
The National Award for SEN Coordination costs £2,250 +VAT.
Fees include ongoing tutor support, registration with Bath Spa University and access to our virtual learning environment for the duration of the programme.
NASENCO Programme Information
On occasion we accept aspiring SENCo, who are often those identified by the school as a future SENCo and in anticipation of, for example, the current designated SENCo retiring or leaving in the near future.
When an aspiring SENCO applies, we provide a needs analysis document based on the NASENCO Learning Outcomes (LOs). We ask that the applicant and their headteacher review the needs analysis and the applicant’s ability and opportunity to evidence all the LOs in the context of their non-designated SENCo role.
We can only accept applicants who have a signed statement from the headteacher to confirm the applicant will have the school’s support to meet all the LOs. We do not specify a minimum number of hours that the applicant must work, but clearly the number of hours will impact on the ability and opportunity to demonstrate all the LOs.
No, QTS or QTLS is an entrance requirement for the programme.
Individuals holding Early Years Teacher Status can also be considered. However, the qualification they achieve will be limited to the 0-5 sector and is not transferable to a SENCO role in a mainstream school. When an Early Years Teacher applies, we provide a needs analysis document based on the NASENCO Learning Outcomes (LOs). We ask that the applicant and their headteacher or head of setting review the needs analysis and the applicant’s ability and opportunity to evidence all the LOs in the context of their role. We can only accept applicants who have a signed statement from the headteacher or head of setting to confirm the applicant will have the settings support to meet all the LOs.
Our expectation is that all participants will complete the 2 academic assignments within 4 school terms and will complete the full NASENCO within a maximum of 5 school terms of starting.
However, if you are the school’s designated SENCo please note requirements confirmed in the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities 0-25 Code of Practice (DfE and DoH 2015) that ‘The SENCO must be a qualified teacher working at the school. A newly appointed SENCO must be a qualified teacher and, where they have not previously been the SENCO at that or any other relevant school for a total period of more than twelve months, they must achieve a National Award in Special Educational Needs Co-ordination within three years of appointment.’
The National Award for SEN Coordination costs £1,980 +VAT.
Fees include ongoing personal tutor support, registration with Bath Spa University and access to our virtual learning environment for the duration of the programme.
We base the location of training groups on the location of candidates who apply for the course to ensure that groups are as convenient as possible for most people.
The majority of our groups are linked to school network and local authority delivery partners who host the training. Other groups are city centre-based to ensure accessibility for many. If it turns out to be too far for you to travel, you can either defer your place to a later cohort (when the group locations may be different) or withdraw from the programme free of charge.
- You will need to be out of school for 6 days over one academic year.
- To support successful completion, we ask and encourage schools to provide appropriate release time in order to give participants the opportunity to:
- Carry out some days of school-based activities for research and development activity in school
- Visits other workplaces, where appropriate
- Engage in additional national workshop days or half days