Students must apply via one of the following online application forms:-
Independent Distance Learning
Course starts: 18 October 2021Apply now
On completion of this qualification you will have qualified SENCO Status and the understanding to meet the requirements of this pivotal role in school provision. All SENCOs must have this qualification within three years of accepting the role so is ideal for both new and aspiring SENCOs.
The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (DfE, 2014) requires governing bodies of maintained mainstream schools and the proprietors of academy schools (including free schools) to ensure that there is a qualified teacher designated as Special Educational Needs (SEN) co-ordinator (SENCO) for the school. Where a SENCO appointed after 1 September 2008 has not previously been the SENCO at that or any other relevant school for a total period of more than twelve months, they must achieve the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination within three years of appointment.
This course is for professionals who have an interest in meeting the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
The course has been designed to fit around work commitments and is taught in independent learning mode under the guidance and support of the Programme Leader and Module Leaders.
You will be assessed with a portfolio of practice evidence to demonstrate your achievement of the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination learning outcomes. There are a range of assessments including a small scale practitioner enquiry and a critical incident which will support you in developing your practice using reflection and evidence-based research.
This course is made up of two 30-credit modules, both of which are at national level 7 (Masters). When you graduate you will have a Postgraduate Certificate in either:
This module enables you to investigate, critically evaluate and reflect on current educational policy and practice in inclusive education and the impact it has on pupil participation and outcomes. You will critically evaluate and analyse evidence about learning, teaching and assessment in relation to pupils with specific needs in order to improve practice.
You will have the opportunity to explore a range of issues such as being gifted and talented, socio-economic background, ethnic group, whether pupils are looked after and adopted and other relevant factors such as safeguarding, health and wellbeing and language and communication.
You will critically reflect on national policies, legislation, Ofsted frameworks, funding models and how these impact on provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities. The key role of the SENCO is an integral component of the module, in terms of their strategic role in leading a team of practitioners and support staff.
As part of the module there will be a critical exploration of multi-agency approaches and how to work effectively with parents and carers. In addition, you will need to demonstrate an understanding of data protection and the issues relating to confidentiality including Governor accountability. The module aims to enable critical reflection with a view to developing a deep understanding of the benefits, and challenges, of teaching pupils as defined above. You will engage with relevant theory, research and inspection evidence in order to evaluate the effectiveness of a range of interventions employed to support pupils.
This module enables you to investigate, evaluate and reflect on the characteristics of highly effective leadership. You will critically reflect on the generic attributes of leadership in the SENCO role and will use initiative, take responsibility and solve problems in creative and innovative ways, using a variety of media.
You will make decisions in challenging situations and communicate effectively with colleagues in school, other professionals and parents and carers. This will include a critical reflection on the effectiveness of school systems in order to strategically develop a person centred and inclusive ethos, policies, priorities and practices in relation to the provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and/or other identified groups. The module will develop leadership skills in the role of SENCO to ensure that statutory responsibilities are met through promoting improvements in teaching and learning.
A qualified SENCO will be able to model effective practice and to coach and mentor colleagues. The leadership of professional development of staff to ensure that they are able to remove barriers to learning and participation are fundamental to this module.
A key focus of the module is to adapt to the changes to the SEN system in light of current legislative and policy changes from 2014. You will critically self-evaluate your own leadership including strengths and areas for development, and learn to establish or improve systems to collect, analyse and interpret data to inform school policy and practices to raise expectations, pupil participation and ensure challenging targets are set.
There is a requirement for participants to engage with relevant theory, research in order to disseminate aspects of good practice to senior leadership, governors, colleagues and other organisations.
Our typical offer is:
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If you already hold a postgraduate qualification, please see our Applying for additional postgraduate degrees Help and Advice article.
If you don't meet our standard entry requirements, you can take one of the foundation pathways at our partners ONCAMPUS Sunderland. Find out more information and whether your course is eligible on our ONCAMPUS page.
If your qualification is not listed above, please contact the Student Administration team at email@example.com for further advice.
If you have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) you will qualify to be SENCO for all children and young people.
If you have Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYTS) or Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) you will qualify to be SENCO for children 0-5 years.
Before applying please note:
Along with your application form, you must upload the following documents on application:
Applicants from Ireland will need to have Qualified Teacher Status as recognised in England.
The annual fee for 2021/22 entry is £1,920.
Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.
This information was correct at the time of publication.
All maintained mainstream schools, academies and free schools must have a qualified teacher who is designated as the Special Educational Needs Coordinator for the school. As a SENCO, you will provide leadership and professional guidance to your colleagues and the school.
As a SENCO in a mainstream school, you are legally required to gain a National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination within three years of taking the post. This course meets that legal requirement. It delivers the learning outcomes required by the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) for the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination.
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