"I just wanted to say a big thank you. I’m thrilled to have completed the portfolio! I’ve had a great experience through BPN and have felt fully supported at every point - far beyond what I thought would be possible through an online only course."

NASENCO Participant


Who is it 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.

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.

Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014, Paragraph 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.

Key Information

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.

Event Content
Day 1
  • Qualification insights, qualification organisation, and development expectations
  • Introducing the Learning Outcomes and how they can be evidenced
  • Introducing the requirements for assignments 1 and 2
  • Inclusion, the role of the SENCO, Working with Stakeholders
  • How SEND affect learning and participation
Day 2
  • Developing an assignment – Speech, language and communication needs
  • Inspection frameworks
  • The Local Offer, funding models, mediation and the policy and legislative context for health and social care
  • Safeguarding and data protection
  • How SEND affect learning and participation
Day 3
  • Leading and Coordinating provision
  • Working with governors
  • The characteristics of highly effective leadership
  • Role modelling, coaching and mentoring
  • How SEND affect learning and participation
Day 4
  • Factors that influence learning
  • Severe and complex SEND
  • Developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating systems
  • Children with SEND and bullying
  • How SEND affect learning and participation
Day 5
  • Provision mapping
  • Assessment of SEND
  • Developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating systems
  • Focus on Reflective Account 2
  • How SEND affect learning and participation
Day 6
  • Differentiation
  • Structured conversations
  • How SEND affect learning and participation
  • Needs-led workshop
  • Review and next steps

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 events 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

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.

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 Coordination 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 Coordination 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):

NASENCO Programme Information



Related Courses and Content