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The University of Birmingham is a Department for Education and National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) approved provider for the National Award for SEN Co-ordination. Read more

The University of Birmingham is a Department for Education and National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) approved provider for the National Award for SEN Co-ordination.

It has been running accredited (Masters level) professional development programmes for special educational needs co-ordinators (SENCos) for over 15 years. Over a thousand SENCos have successfully completed their training over this period and given excellent course feedback!

The University runs partnership versions of the National Award for SEN Co-ordination course with the following Local Authority partners: Birmingham; Dudley, Sandwell & Wolverhampton (combined cohort); Staffordshire (Entrust). 

Within these Local Authority areas teachers wishing to apply for a place on the course work in a range of maintained mainstream schools, maintained nursery schools, academy and free schools, and pupil referral units (PRUs).

SENCos working in other neighbouring Local Authority areas may also be able to join one of the partnership courses (in 2014-2015 for example, SENCos from Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Solihull, Telford and Wrekin and Warwickshire were participating in versions of the course).

This Masters level course (60 credits) has been updated to reflect changes to the NCTL learning outcomes framework. It is also closely aligned to the changes taking place to special educational needs and disability policy, provision and practice in England including the changes to SEN Code of Practice (2015).

We are currently recruiting to this programme. The programme is inviting applications for the following cohorts.  

  • Birmingham and Black Country based programmes starting September 2018. 
  • Staffordshire based programmes starting January 2019. 

Course details

The National Award is a mandatory qualification, 60 Credit Masters level course which all SENCos who are new in role must undertake. The course meets the requirements of the SEN Code of Practice (2015 Section 6.86).

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations (2014) states:

(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:

  • is a qualified teacher;
  • if required to complete an induction period under regulations made under section 135A of the Education Act 2002, has satisfactorily completed such an induction period; and
  • is working as a teacher at the school. 

(3) The requirement in this paragraph is that the SENCO is the head teacher or acting head teacher (or equivalent in the case of an Academy school) of the school. 

(4) Where a person becomes the SENCO at a relevant school after 1st September 2009, and has not previously been the SENCO at that or any other relevant school for a total period of more than twelve months, the appropriate authority of the school must ensure that, if the person is the SENCO at the school at any time after the third anniversary of the date on which that person becomes a SENCO, that person holds the qualification. 

The training courses are 12 months in duration; however, SENCos have up to three years from the point at which they are designated as a SENCo in which to complete the award. Final responsibility for ensuring the school’s compliance lies with the school’s governing body.

The course is designed to support a SENCo’s professional development, giving them an opportunity to reflect upon and improve their practice whilst learning more about the coordination of special educational needs, leadership and management, policy and supporting the individual needs of children and young people.

Learning and teaching

The course content is related to local and national contexts and the teaching and learning opportunities are delivered by local and nationally based experts such as experienced teachers, Educational Psychologists, school leaders, Inspectors, therapists and service leads.

The National Award covers: 

  • the role of the SENCo & the statutory framework for SEND (including relevant policy requirements) 
  • effective approaches to identification, assessment and intervention (principles and practice; differentiation – quality first teaching, waves of intervention, individualised education planning)
  • responding to diversity (areas of need) – cognition and learning; communication & interaction; social, emotional and mental health, sensory and/or physical needs 
  • pupil participation, parent partnership & inter-service collaboration 
  • inclusive provision management (effective use of human resources and interventions, and evidence based practice) 
  • developing and sustaining effective SEND leadership (preparation for inspection; whole-school initiatives such as Achievement for All) 
  • Professional development to improve practice. 

The teaching takes place over ten face to face days during term-time. The days are evenly spread over the school year and sessions are taught in local authority/school centres and at the University of Birmingham. In addition, all students have access to the online virtual learning environment and full library facilities to support their learning.  

Assessment

The assessments have been designed to meet the requirements of the course and enhance school self evaluation procedures.

Specific assignments - course participants all need to complete three 4000 word written assignments at Masters Level:

  • An evaluation: focusing on specific course content and aspects of the SENCo’s role and school based SEN procedures. 
  • A case study:  focusing on in-depth work with a young person and their family.
  • A professional development project presented as a brief ‘research report’ focusing on an aspect of professional development carried out by the SENCo in her/his school or setting.

Employability

This course will enable SENCos to meet essential requirements for undertaking the role in English schools. These requirements are set out in regulations and state that:

Governing bodies of maintained mainstream schools, maintained nursery schools and the proprietors of Academy (including Free Schools) must ensure that there is a qualified teacher designated as SENCo for the school.

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 mainstream school for a total period of more than twelve months , they must achieve the National Award in Special Educational Needs Coordination within 3 years of appointment.



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This course starts in January with the majority of teaching being completed by the end of the summer term with the last assessment submission in October. Read more

This course starts in January with the majority of teaching being completed by the end of the summer term with the last assessment submission in October.

The National Award for SEN Co-ordination is a statutory requirement for new SENCos to achieve within three years of appointment.

The course is open to new SENCos, aspiring SENCos - and experienced SENCos who may wish to update and review their thinking and practice.

This programme enables you to achieve a Postgraduate Certificate (60 Masters level credits), which you can also use towards gaining the MA in Inclusive Education. In addition, students who have QTS/QTLS and complete a portfolio to evidence they meet NCTL learning outcomes for SENCos are eligible for the NASENCO Award.

The course comprises two 30-credit Masters level modules and critically considers current issues, debates, theories, recent research findings and the practical implications of special educational needs provision. The first module concentrates on the contexts for SEN/D practice at the present time and the influence of this on developing school policy and practice. The second module focuses on the SENCO’s role in leading and supporting provision for learners with SEN.

Study style

Study is on a part-time basis. Assessment includes a presentation, a written assignment and a small-scale research project.

In order to achieve the NASENCo Award students also need to submit a professional portfolio and have QTS/QTLS.

Those students who are qualified teachers and gain the Postgraduate Certificate can convert their award to a National SENCO Award within five years on submission of their SENCO portfolio.

Careers

  • SENCO / Inclusion Manager
  • Middle and Senior leadership roles
  • Teachers and lecturers wishing to develop their practice
  • Progression for further study onto MA and PhD /EdD


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This qualification is a requirement for special educational needs coordinators (SENCO) working in state-maintained schools in England and Wales. Read more

This qualification is a requirement for special educational needs coordinators (SENCO) working in state-maintained schools in England and Wales. The course is also highly relevant to inclusion and special educational needs leaders and managers who wish to improve the quality of inclusion and special educational needs and disability provision in their setting, whether they are working in the UK or abroad.

Developed in collaboration with academic staff and expert practitioners, the course provides an exceptional distance learning programme coupled with opportunities to participate in workshops and conferences available to all students in the Carnegie School of Education. Working closely with your tutor, you will undertake a thorough self-evaluation to identify gaps in your knowledge and understanding. This will help to link your learning to your professional practice and will enable you to steer the direction of your development.

Our Virtual Learning Environment will allow you to regularly connect with your personal tutor and share your experiences with your peers. You will be encouraged to collaborate with fellow students on the course and colleagues in your school in order to refine your knowledge and get the most from the programme. Throughout the year, you will be provided with online resources and support materials, including recorded expert presentations, to help you meet your learning needs.

Our vision for children with special educational needs and disabilities is the same as for all children and young people - that they achieve well in their early years, at school and in college, and lead happy and fulfilled lives.

SEN Code of Practice, 0-25 yrs, Page 11, DfE 2014.

Research Excellence Framework 2014

Research Excellence Framework 2014: twice as many of our staff - 220 - were entered into the research assessment for 2014 compared to the number entered in 2008.

Core Module

Special Educational Needs Coordination

Job prospects

Having developed essential skills in diagnosis and intervention, provision management and coaching and having also refined your ability to work effectively with outside agencies and stakeholders, you will be able to practise as a SENCO in any school. You will also have the confidence to take on a high-profile leadership role in your school, and you will be able to successfully motivate other teachers to promote inclusion in their classrooms.

  • SEN Co-ordinator
  • SEN Teacher
  • SEN Teaching Assistant
  • SEN Support Worker


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The National Award SENCo (NASENCO) is a statutory award for newly appointed SENCOs (since 2008) in maintained schools. It is fully validated as a University of Worcester award, the Postgraduate Certificate Education (Special Educational Needs Coordination) (60 credits at Masters level). Read more
The National Award SENCo (NASENCO) is a statutory award for newly appointed SENCOs (since 2008) in maintained schools. It is fully validated as a University of Worcester award, the Postgraduate Certificate Education (Special Educational Needs Coordination) (60 credits at Masters level). NASC is also available to experienced SENCOs.

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Course content. Our innovative programme attracts teachers from West Sussex, East Sussex, Brighton & Hove, Hampshire, Portsmouth, Surrey and the Isle of Wight. Read more

Course content

Our innovative programme attracts teachers from West Sussex, East Sussex, Brighton & Hove, Hampshire, Portsmouth, Surrey and the Isle of Wight.

We have developed a strong collaboration with local authorities and partners to ensure that it supports both local and national requirements and we involve national and international experts to work with us in delivering a relevant and up-to-date programme.

The programme is strongly rooted in work-based practice, equipping SENCOs to evaluate and develop effective leadership and management of SEND provision.

The National Award is required to be at Masters level and you will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice with 60 Masters level credits on completion of the programme.

The practical and interactive sessions are an opportunity for SENCOs to meet and discuss topics including:

  • the statutory and regulatory context for SEN and the implications for practice in the school or setting (including requirements for the Local Offer)
  • the principles and practice of leadership in different contexts
  • how a SEN and/or disability affect pupils’ participation and learning
  • strategies for improving outcomes for pupils with SEN and/or disabilities
  • working strategically with senior colleagues and governors
  • leading and developing colleagues and promoting improvements in teaching
  • evaluating evidence about learning, teaching and assessment in relation pupils with SEN to inform practice
  • drawing on external sources of support and expertise
  • developing, implementing and monitoring systems
  • using person-centred approaches to build on and extend the experiences, interests, skills and knowledge of children and young people with SEN and/or disabilities
  • encouraging family leadership with parents and carers as equal partners in their child’s achievement, progress and well-being

Our facilities

You will study for your PGCiPP at our Bognor Regis Campus. Over the past few years, we have redeveloped both of our campuses so that you have the best facilities available for your degree.

We pride ourselves on the quality of the learning environment we can offer our students. At the Bognor Regis Campus there is an integrated approach to the provision of learning resources and support. 

We offer a substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your research.

A range of study areas for group and quiet study including Wi-Fi areas for laptop use are available, or you can use our open access PC and Mac areas. We use an electronic learning environment with an expanding portfolio of online library resources from anywhere at any time.

Our brand new award winning Learning Resource Centre is at the heart of the campus hosting a modern library service with areas for quiet and silent study on both floors. Also situated in the LRC is the Support and Information Zone, Costa Coffee and over 80 open access work stations. 

An equipment loans centre offers laptops, tablets and other electronic devices for short and long term loans. The campus also offers purpose built classrooms for the teacher training courses, as well as lecture and seminar rooms.

Where this can take you

SENCOs who successfully complete the programme will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice (60 Masters level credits) and will have the opportunity to continue their study to a full MA qualification.

Indicative modules

The PGCiPP: National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination is delivered part time over one year and includes nine study days and a conference, work-based research, peer support and access to the University library and online resources.

Sessions are aimed at equipping SENCOs to evaluate and develop effective leadership and management of SEND provision and improve the learning outcomes and achievements of pupils who have a special educational need and/or disability.

The practical and interactive sessions are an opportunity for SENCOs to discuss topics including:

  • the statutory and regulatory context for SEND provision and the implications for practice in the school or setting (including requirements for the Local Offer)
  • the principles and practice of leadership in different contexts
  • how SEND affect pupils’ participation and learning
  • strategies for improving outcomes for pupils with SEND
  • working strategically with senior colleagues and governors
  • leading and developing colleagues and promoting improvements in teaching
  • evaluating evidence about learning, teaching and assessment in relation pupils with SEND to inform practice
  • drawing on external sources of support and expertise
  • developing, implementing and monitoring systems
  • using person-centred approaches to build on and extend the experiences, interests, skills and knowledge of children and young people with SEND
  • encouraging family leadership with parents and carers as equal partners in their child’s achievement, progress and well-being

Teaching and assessment

The course is structured over one academic year and SENCOs come to the Bognor Regis Campus for one day each month. The interactive seminars include information on current legislation and policies, discussions on practical strategies for their implementation and opportunities for independent study.

You will be required to undertake assignments that are strongly rooted in evidence-based SEND practice in the work place and support you in achieving the Learning Outcomes for SENCOs (NCTL, 2014).

Assignment 1: Commentary (1000 words) A critical understanding of your current role as SENCO.

Assignment 2: Essay (3000 words) Using critical incidents to evaluation your leadership and management role in developing SEND provision in your workplace.

Assignment 3: Presentation (10 minute/2000 word equivalent) – outlining the small-scale research you will undertake in your workplace.

Assignment 4: Research Project (4000 words) on an aspect of SEND provision that promotes inclusive practice in the workplace.

Assignment 5: Portfolio (2000 words) At the end of the programme SENCOs prepare a portfolio of evidence to show how they have met the Learning Outcomes for SENCOs (NCTL, 2014). This will be a critical evaluation of your leadership and management development with supportive evidence from key stakeholders and the changes you have made to SEND provision and inclusive practice in the workplace.

Staff at the university offer support and guidance throughout the programme.

As students of the University, SENCOs also have opportunities to access the library and online resources during the study days and off campus.



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Why study at Roehampton. The course is accessible with 10 taught days that can be fit around an existing job and personal commitments. Read more

Why study at Roehampton

  • The course is accessible with 10 taught days that can be fit around an existing job and personal commitments.
  • This course fulfils the Statutory requirements of the 2014 Children and Families Act that all new-to-post SENCOs should receive a postgraduate qualification to equip them with the knowledge and skills to undertake this complex role. We are one of the accredited national providers, found on the National Association for Special Education Needs website (NASEN).
  • We provide ongoing support with extensive electronic resources on and off-site and a university tutor and school based mentor assigned to each student.
  • You will be working with a group of your peers and have the opportunity, should you wish, to use the credits gained on this course, towards an MA. 

Course summary

The course meets the learning outcomes agreed nationally by the DFE and the SENCO Award providers’ group for the NASENCO qualification. The course content is informed by current SEN and disability legislation and underpinned by current theory and research led practice pertaining to Special and Inclusive Education.

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs) play a vital role in leading the co-ordination of provision for children and young people with SEN and/or disabilities in schools. In September 2009 it became law for every new SENCO in a mainstream school to gain the Masters-level National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination within 3 years of taking up the post.

Content

It will consist of 9 taught days and one further day at the university for tutorials, study and research. It provides professional development for new to post SENCOs to enhance the quality of teaching for children and young people with SEN and/or a disability and to improve provision and outcomes for them. Course teaching days always take place on Wednesdays at Roehampton. 

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs) play a vital role in leading the co-ordination of provision for children and young people with SEN and/or disabilities in schools. In September 2009 it became law for every new SENCO in a mainstream school to gain the Masters-level National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination within 3 years of taking up the post.

Following new legislation around Special Educational Needs included within the Children and Families Bill 2014, the outcomes for the National SENCO Award have changed for the cohort 2014/15. This is to ensure the Award continues to reflect the role of the SENCO, within the changing national and local context of Special Educational Needs.

The National College for Teaching and Leadership has provided provisional learning outcomes for the NASENCO Award next year, focused on three areas:

A. Professional Knowledge and Understanding.

B. Leading and Coordinating Provision

C. Personal and Professional Qualities

Academic Support

Each participant on the programme will be allocated a tutor within the University who will have experience in tutoring and supporting participants from a range of university programmes, including those who are studying whilst working full time. Additionally, the SENCO host school will provide a school-based mentor to oversee and support the school based element of the training, and to mark the portfolio. The school-based mentor will also play a key role in supporting and advising the new to post SENCO.

Assessment

The assessment is in two parts, each of which must be passed and each of which is equivalent to 5000 words.

Part 1: A Portfolio of Evidence

The portfolio must comprise evidence to demonstrate meeting the SENCO training standards. The evidence should be drawn from practice-based experience and from learning through the programme. Reflective commentary on evidence provided must be included. A reflective reading log must be included as an Appendix. The Mentor Handbook must be included as an Appendix.

Part 2: A Report of a Reflective Practitioner Enquiry (5000 word report)

The report must be based on a practitioner led enquiry carried out in the school, which explores an area/issue of inclusive practice or provision in order to support improvement for pupils with SEN and/or a disability.

Career options

The Award should enable SENCOs to develop and demonstrate the personal and professional qualities and leadership they need to shape an ethos and culture based upon person-centred, inclusive, practice in which the interests and needs of children and young people, pupils with SEN and/or disabilities are at the heart of all that takes place.

Our experience is that many students undertaking this award progress quickly to further promotion, especially to school leadership teams.

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This course has been developed for those who are currently working as special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) and is mandatory for all SENCOs appointed since 2008. Read more

This course has been developed for those who are currently working as special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) and is mandatory for all SENCOs appointed since 2008. This course will enable you to meet the learning outcomes as prescribed by the government.

You about skills and approaches to leadership; and to develop and evaluate inclusive cultures, systems and approaches to education. These new skills help you to make a difference in your school and to the wellbeing, participation and achievement of children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities.

You reflect on, analyse and respond to current issues of practice through professional learning in the workplace and you are supported by experienced local special educational needs and disability (SEND) professionals as well as a mentor in your own school.

You develop

  • a critical understanding of the values, principles and dilemmas of inclusive practices and policies
  • a specialist knowledge base enabling you to obtain, evaluate and communicate current information regarding special educational needs and disabilities.
  • an active community of practice with SENCOs and experienced SEN professionals supporting your leadership of change
  • the skills and practices of reflective practice to develop effective partnership working with pupils, families and colleagues
  • the skills and practices of professional enquiry to enable you to evaluate the impact of practice

You have access to current SEND practitioners and experts in the field who share up-to-date practice. Your university tutors specialise in SEND and have complementary experience across age phases and special and mainstream schools. Their expertise supports your understanding of inclusive principles and practice, using research and theory to support your reflections, enquiries and study skills.

You complete a number of assessments that are focused on the development of effective practice in your school. Assessments consist of two practice-based portfolios

Portfolio 1 – SENCO as manager

This consists of

  • an evaluation of school policy relating to special educational needs and disability in relation to current national policy and guidance. This involves engaging with parent's in order to inform policy.
  • an evaluation of the school’s additional provision for children and young people with special educational needs. This includes an analysis of school data and lesson study to inform effective provision mapping

Portfolio 2 – SENCO as leader

This consists of

  • developing the role of SENCO as leader through evaluating and developing effective partnerships with other stakeholders
  • engaging with pupil voice in order to inform professional learning developments and to support colleagues in making effective provision for children with particular SEN or disability

Further information

For more information regarding our routes into teaching, including funding, placements, QTS skills tests and career prospects visit our teach site.

Course structure

12 months part-time

You attend up to ten teaching/tutorial/study days which are spread over the course duration.

Core modules

  • SENCO as manager: evaluation and developing policy and provision

This module enables special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) to engage critically with their management role evaluating, reporting on and developing policy, systems and provision in the context of national legislation and guidance, current knowledge on effective practice and wider equality and human rights agendas.

  • SENCO as leader: people, principles and partnerships

This module enables special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) to engage critically with their leadership role in the context of the principles of inclusion, person centred planning and working in partnership with colleagues, children and young people and their families.

Modules

Modules cover • inclusive principles and values • social and medical modules of disability • the role of the SENCO in analysing organisational needs and managing change • the national policy context for SEN and disability including the SEN Code of Practice • equality and data protection requirements • formulating and reviewing policy • accessing and interpreting school data - tracking progression and participation • provision mapping • designing, evaluating and reporting on systems and provision • lesson study and action research methods • rights and duties under equality legislation • person centred planning and partnership working • the local context for the implementation of Child Assessment Framework (CAF), school support and Education Health Care Plans (EHCPs) • leadership • role of the SENCO in leading professional learning • holistic assessment • researching and evaluatiing current knowledge and debates regarding high incidence special educational needs and disabilities • theories of learning and development • identifying needs and barriers to learning and participation • systematic evaluation in professional contexts

Assessment

Portfolio 1 – evaluation and review of policy, and analysis of additional provision for children and young people with SEN.

Portfolio 2 – evaluation of partnership with stakeholders, and planning for strategic professional learning.

Employability

This course enhances your skills as a special educational needs co-ordinator so you can continue to improve the school experience for children with SENs or disability and to support the developing practice of other professionals working in your school or setting. It also develops your leadership skills, enabling you to explore whole issues and development. It is also suitable if you want to work in an advisory or support role in the area of SEND.

Academic credits gained by successfully completing this course can be used towards a masters degree.



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The PGCert SENCO is required for all new SENCOs within three years of appointment . Reflect on, examine and explore ways to meet individual differences through appropriate educational provision . Read more
  • The PGCert SENCO is required for all new SENCOs within three years of appointment 
  • Reflect on, examine and explore ways to meet individual differences through appropriate educational provision 
  • Consists of three 20-credit modules, which provide a combination of theoretical and practical information 
  • Taught by expert practitioners, researchers and academics

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • Policies and practice
  • Overcoming barriers to learning
  • Learners with difficulties and disabilities

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

In addition to the many masters' and PhD graduates, each year we have over 500 students become newly qualified teachers (NQTs). Our excellent links with local schools ensure that our employment rates are consistently high, with well over 90 per cent of our NQTs finding a teaching job last year.

With pay scales to match other industries, job security, an excellent pension and better work-life balance, teaching is becoming one of the most sought-after professions of today. Our masters' and professional courses have allowed many teachers to gain promotion within their institutions. A number of students also continue their studies onto EdD/PhD courses to develop a career in educational research.



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Developed and delivered in partnership by LJMU and School Improvement Liverpool, this innovative programme meets the requirements of the National Award for SENCOs. Read more

Developed and delivered in partnership by LJMU and School Improvement Liverpool, this innovative programme meets the requirements of the National Award for SENCOs. It provides a unique professional development experience, enabling you to fulfil the role’s demanding expectations.

  • A practical, relevant programme, designed by SENCOs for SENCOs
  • Delivered by experts in the field who bring professional currency and academic expertise to the fore
  • Covers a wide range of topics and enables you to develop your ability to fulfil a strategic leadership role
  • Enables you to work with colleagues from other Local Education Authorities and education sectors
  • Provides significant benefits for your organisation and for you professionally, as a nationally qualified SENCO
  • Offers tailored support and guidance as you need it


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It is now statutory that all new SENCOs to post, working in maintained schools must attend and complete the National Award for SEN Co-ordination. Read more

It is now statutory that all new SENCOs to post, working in maintained schools must attend and complete the National Award for SEN Co-ordination.

The National Award for SEN Coordination is a one year, part time postgraduate certificate course, which, on successful completion of the assessed work will give SENCOs 60 Masters level credits (the equivalent to a third of a full Masters).

Visit the website: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/courses/postgraduate/senco.aspx

Course detail

Please note: If you are not the named SENCO at the school, then we are unable to award you the full National Award for SEN Coordination. You will, however, still be able to attend all sessions and on successful completion of the 3x20 credit modules, will be awarded the Postgraduate Certificate in Special Educational Needs. If you later become the SENCO (within 3 years of enrolment) it is possible to submit a Portfolio of Learning Outcomes specific to the SENCO role. When this Portfolio is combined with the 3x20 credit modules, you will then be awarded the Postgraduate Certificate in Special Educational Needs and the National Award for SEN Coordination.

The Faculty of Education at Canterbury Christ Church University is one of the University’s leading edge academic units and is recognised nationally as a centre of excellence for teacher education and whole school development.

What are the potential benefits?

Having now worked with over 1100 SENCOs from maintained, specialist and independent sector settings, we have clear evidence of the impact that this training programme has had upon not only the SENCO, in terms of developing confidence and understanding of current legislation and the impacts that this has for practice; but also upon the school itself: as capacity and strategic leadership is developed within the school.

All schools are noticing an increase in the number of complex educational needs that staff are needing to understand and manage, and this course therefore provides SENCOs with up to date information about a range of best practices, in terms of the understanding and identification of need, as well as effective processes and practices to support a strategic rather reactive approach to meeting needs.

SENCOs also have the benefit of studying within localised cohorts of around 20: this provides a supportive network, and enables the SENCO to gain first hand understanding of the wider context of SEN, and alternative ways to approach the meeting of needs.

Content

The course is built around the 49 professional learning outcomes that have been developed by the NCTL (National College for Teaching and Leadership), and covers the following key areas:

• Understanding the roles and responsibilities of the SENCO

• Understanding SEN, disability and underachievement

• Introducing evidence based practice and Action Research to inform and improve practice within the school

• Whole school systems: co-ordinating provision effectively

• Understanding funding systems and implications for strategic resource planning

• Working collaboratively and strategically with others: introducing the key skills of leadership, enabling and delegation

• Working in partnership – with other professionals, agencies and services

• Working in partnership – with pupils, parents and carers

Format

The National Award for SEN Co-ordination comprises 9 full days taught input and 2 half day sessions.

You'll be fully supported through expert teaching, practical discussions with other participants and direct email tutorial support.

Cohorts are run throughout the academic year, to respond to interest and demand, and can be set up in different teaching venues to make it more accessible for a group of SENCOs.

Assessment

A range of written assignments.

How to apply

For information on how to apply, please follow this link: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/how-to-apply/how-to-apply.aspx

Fees and Funding

See our postgraduate fees and funding page to discover the loans, scholarships and bursaries available.

View https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/fees-and-funding/postgraduate-fees-funding/postgraduate-funding.aspx



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Special Education Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) play a very important role in leading the coordination of provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in schools. Read more
Special Education Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) play a very important role in leading the coordination of provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in schools.

Course overview

It is a legal requirement for new SENCOs in mainstream schools to gain a National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination (NASENCO) within three years of taking up their post.

Our course directly addresses the learning outcomes for NASENCO that have been specified by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL). These learning outcomes include:
-The professional context of relevant frameworks and methodologies, and types of disabilities
-The strategic development of SEND policy and procedures
-How to coordinate provision
-Leading, developing and supporting colleagues
-Working in partnership with children, families and other professionals

A full list of the NASENCO learning outcomes is available on the gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/354172/nasc-learning-outcomes-final.pdf

While the National Award is a statutory requirement for teachers who have become SENCOs, the course is at the level of a Masters degree (Level 7). There are two 30 credit modules:
-The SENCO as Professional Guide deepens your understanding of SEN and disabilities
-The SENCO as Leader equips you to strategically develop policies and practices

The course will develop your knowledge, leadership skills and understanding of the challenges children and young people with Special Education Needs Disabilities (SEND) may encounter in their day-to-day lives.

Classes take place over five Saturdays and one additional school-led day and there is additional input through tutorials. We understand that you will already have a role in teaching and we work hard to ensure the course compliments your existing commitments.

Course content

The course consists of two 30 credit Masters level modules.
-The SENCO as Professional Guide (30 Credits)
-The SENCO as Leader (30 Credits)

Teaching and assessment

Input will come from tutors at the University as well as from SENCOs who are currently working within schools. Assessment is via a portfolio of practice evidence to demonstrate your achievement of the National Award for SEN Co-ordination learning outcomes. There are a range of assessments including a small scale practitioner enquiry and a critical incident analysis.

Facilities & location

The Saturday sessions are based at the University of Sunderland. The online elements are powered by the University’s Virtual Learning Environment, which makes the most of today’s communication technologies.

Employment & careers

This course is aimed directly at teachers who have become Special Education Needs Coordinators, with the course being at the level of a Masters degree. The course will develop your leadership skills to support you within your role as an SENCO.

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This successful one year training programme is designed to support the professional development of special educational needs coordinators (SENCOS). Read more
This successful one year training programme is designed to support the professional development of special educational needs coordinators (SENCOS). Gain 60 credits at masters level and join the hundreds of SENCOs in the South West Consortium who have already gained the award. Discover how you can get involved and make a positive impact on practice, and the achievements of schools and their pupils.

Key features

-Take the opportunity to undertake this Department for Education (DfE) approved post-graduate qualification which must be achieved by teachers new to the role of SENCO. If you are an experienced SENCO or working in a related professional role you can also apply. To achieve the National Award you must have QTS/QTLS, and if not it may be possible for you to achieve the PgCert Inclusive Education (60 masters level credits).
-Benefit from an award offered through the South West Consortium consisting of Plymouth University and the University of Exeter, working in partnership with the local authorities of Bournemouth, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Plymouth, Poole and Somerset.
-Take part in a programme which runs in Bodmin, Plymouth, Exeter, Ilminster, and Dorchester. The local tutors are mainly Special Educational Needs (SEN) advisory teachers and experienced SENCOs, working in conjunction with university tutors.
-Gain experience working with a tutor allocated to you, offering extensive expertise, knowledge and experience and high quality local personal tuition.
-Draw on support from a professional learning community through face-to-face and virtual learning support and resources. Access valuable university facilities and online resources.
-Gain 60 masters level credits which can be used towards a masters degree (e.g. MA Education Special Educational Needs).

Course details

You'll complete two modules (each worth 30 masters level credits) which include a total of six days attendance at sessions in your local authority location. As well as four school focused/research days. Each module consists of three full days taught sessions and two recommended study days (four total) which you will individually agree with your own organisation. The modules are designed to explicitly relate to the DfE SENCO Learning Outcomes.

Optional modules
-PGSEN703CW National Award for SEN Coordination Learning Outcomes
-PGSEN703DV National Award for SEN Coordination Learning Outcomes
-PGSEN703PL National Award for SEN Coordination Learning Outcomes
-PGSEN703SS National Award for SEN Coordination Learning Outcomes
-PGSEN704CW SEN: Organisational Contexts
-PGSEN704DV SEN: Organisational Contexts
-PGSEN704PL SEN: Organisational Contexts
-PGSEN704SS SEN: Organisational Contexts
-PGSEN705CW SEN: Leading on Teaching and Learning
-PGSEN705DV SEN: Leading on Teaching and Learning
-PGSEN705PL SEN: Leading on Teaching and Learning
-PGSEN705SS SEN: Leading on Teaching and Learning

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Since 2009 the national award for SEN Co-ordination is mandatory if you are the designated SENCo for your school and must be completed within three years of taking up the post. Read more

Since 2009 the national award for SEN Co-ordination is mandatory if you are the designated SENCo for your school and must be completed within three years of taking up the post. You may also find it useful to study this award if you are aspiring to the role of SENCo in your career development, or if you became a SENCo before 2009. Completing this course also gives you 60 credits towards the MA in SEN and Inclusion.

This course is taught by experienced senior lecturers from our Centre for Education and Research (CESNER) alongside Local Authority and Teaching School partners with expertise in SEND. It is endorsed by NASEN.

We will help you to:

  • develop inclusive teaching approaches and co-ordinating provision for pupils with SEN and/or disabilities in their schools
  • apply methods to identify additional needs and monitor the progress of pupils with SEN and/or disabilities
  • instigate evidence-based, strategic approaches when deploying, supporting and managing other teaching and support staff
  • establish networks and partnerships with other SENCos and local advisors

 The programme includes:

  • two modules each worth 30 Level 7 credits at Master’s Level
  • face-to-face taught sessions (seven days in total spread across the academic year)
  • online support – discussion groups, networking
  • access to University support and services
  • mentor support

 



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This one year, National Award is available to SENCOs from any school in the UK. It is delivered though a partnership between Nottingham Trent University and Nottinghamshire County Council. Read more
This one year, National Award is available to SENCOs from any school in the UK. It is delivered though a partnership between Nottingham Trent University and Nottinghamshire County Council. Prior to the establishment of the National Award, we had an established track record of jointly delivering a highly regarded induction course for SENCOs.

Why study this course?

1. Achievement of this National Award is a legal requirement for all new SENCOs
2. With only five compulsory days attendance, and distance support it is ideal to fit in with a busy lifestyle
3. Benefit from a course leader with a national and international reputation in special education and inclusion
4. Access all the University's resources and online workspace

What will I study

The National Award comprises of two elements:
1. A practical competency framework where you collect evidence for a series of nationally-set professional outcomes
2. Master's level study (60 credits), which can be used towards gaining an MA in Special and Inclusive Education

Study sessions involve:
* five compulsory days attendance the University
* five days for independent set tasks
* Personal or virtual tutorial and tutor support sessions as required by you

Compulsory taught sessions

The compulsory taught sessions cover:
1. Introduction to National Award for SEN Co-ordination and induction into NTU; ethics; and the importance of pupil voice.
2. The national and local policy context; an overview of the legislative framework; SEN tribunals; and removing barriers to achievement.
3. The professional role of the SENCO and the role of leadership.
4. Assessment and planning.
5. Working in partnership with others.

Independent set tasks

The set tasks all involve school-based activities and include:
1. One day (equivalent) of meetings with your head teacher to focus on the professional role of the SENCO and review how to meet your learning outcomes. It is recommended this is around two hours a term.
2. Half day visit to an alternative phase mainstream setting, focussing on the professional role of the SENCO, low / high incidence of SEN and disabilities, participation and learning, and working in partnership with other professionals.
3. Half day visit to either a community special school or a special school focussing on a particular needs, for example autism. The focus is on high incidence of SEN and disabilities, participation and learning, and working in partnership with other professionals.
4. Half day attendance at a multi-professional / multi-agency meeting, with a focus on working with other professionals.
5. Two days in school to undertake tasks linked to the written assignments, with a focus on conducting an inquiry, audit and evaluation of provision and working with pupils, parents and colleagues.
6. Half day optional attendance at a tutorial on Meeting the Learning Outcomes at NTU. If you decide not to attend this, you may use the time for further course related work in school.

Masters level study

The Master's component consists of four compulsory tasks:
1. A critical review of legislation, policy and literature as it relates to the SENCO role.
2. A critical review of SEN policy in action within your school
3. A small-scale research study about improving pupil achievement.
4. A critical analysis of school practice of consulting, engaging and communicating with pupils and parents.

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The PGCert Education. National Award for Special Educational Needs (SEN) Co-ordination is a mandatory course for all SENCOs new to the role. Read more
The PGCert Education: National Award for Special Educational Needs (SEN) Co-ordination is a mandatory course for all SENCOs new to the role.

See the website http://www.brookes.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/pgcert-education-national-award-for-sen-coordination/

Why choose this course?

- The government is committed to improving outcomes for children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities. SENCOs have a central role to play in schools to ensure effective provision for children with SEN and disabilities and that individual children's needs are met.

- This course is delivered jointly with the Oxfordshire Inclusion Support Team (OXIST) and the Buckinghamshire Learning Trust (BLT) who provide in-school support.

- The School of Education at Oxford Brookes is one of the largest schools of education in the UK, combining high quality teaching and significant research and consultancy activity, and is a focal point for lively, informed debate on education through its seminar and lecture programmes.

- You will be joining a university which is widely regarded as a major contributor to the improvement of education and learning, locally and nationally.

- We work in close partnership with hundreds of schools and colleges and other organisations.

- You will be based on a a great campus, with strong sporting, recreational and study facilities.

Teaching and learning

Policy and Practice for Special Educational Needs course schedule:
- one whole day and five evenings (approximately 21 hours of contact time)
- one online discussion (approximately three hours of contact time)

Assessment:
There are two elements to the assignment - an online summary and a report evaluating the role of the SENCO (4,000 words).

Teaching and Learning for SEN course schedule:
- one whole day and five evenings (approximately 21 hours of contact time)
- one online discussion (approximately three hours of contact time).

Assessment:
The assessment will include an online summary, a presentation and an essay (4.000 words).

Managing Issues in Special Educational Needs course schedule:
- one whole day and five evenings (approximately 21 hours of contact time)
- one online discussion (approximately three hours of contact time).

Assessment:
There are two elements to this assignment, a summary of an online discussion and a report on a school project relating to an aspect of the SENCO management role.

In addition SENCOs must present a portfolio of evidence for assessment which demonstrate that they have met all the 49 learning outcomes specified by the National College for Teaching and Leadership.

Please note: as our courses are reviewed regularly the list of modules you choose from may vary from that shown here.

How this course helps you develop

The post of SENCO is likely to have an increasing importance within the structure of schools, becoming a clear route for career progression. It is also an important step towards a master's degree.

Careers

Many of our SENCOs who complete the course go onto further career progression eg Director of Inclusion across a federation of schools, Inclusion consultant with OXIST, Deputy and Assistant Head roles with responsibility for Inclusion.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

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