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PgCert Special Educational Needs Coordination

Course Description

This course has been developed for those who are currently working as special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs).
You learn to lead, 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. 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.

For more information, see the website: https://www.shu.ac.uk/study-here/find-a-course/pgcert-special-educational-needs-coordination

You have access to current SEND practitioners 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 voice.
-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.
-Designing professional guidance materials to support colleagues in making effective provision for children with particular SEN or disability.

Course structure

12 months part time. You attend up to ten teaching/tutorial/study days which are spread over the course duration. Starts September

Core modules
-SENCO as manager: evaluation and developing policy and provision
-SENCO as leader: people, principles and partnerships

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)
-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

-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 design of professional guidance materials.

Visit the PgCert Special Educational Needs Coordination page on the Sheffield Hallam University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You must be a qualified teacher who is: designated as the SENCO OR an inclusion manager OR in a position to undertake the duties of a SENCO. You also need a document from your head teacher supporting your application and to provide your sponsorship details. The course is designed for new SENCOs but we also welcome applications from experienced SENCOs.

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Recipient: Sheffield Hallam University
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