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National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination - PGCert

Course content

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 website:

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.

Visit the National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination - PGCert page on the University of Sunderland website for more details!





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Recipient: University of Sunderland

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