What does the SENCO course intend to do?
- Develop critically reflective, inclusive practitioners who advocate for SEND and Inclusion to ensure all children have their needs met and increase positive learning outcomes for vulnerable pupils, putting the child at the heart of provision.
- SENCO accreditation provides both aspiring and trainee SENCOs with a clear pathway towards developing critical, reflective and effective practice in their role.
- SENCOs explore how to utilise the SEN Code of Practice (2014) effectively to ensure meeting all needs of the children in your setting/school.
- With reference to relevant research and government initiatives, the course draws on effective practice in the teaching and learning of SEND, designed around the Learning Outcomes for SENCOs (TDA, 2009), specified by the National College for Teaching and Leadership.
In September 2009 it became law for every new SENCO in a mainstream school to gain the National Award for SEN Coordination within 3 years of taking up the post. The course is designed around the Learning Outcomes for SENCOs, specified by the Department for Education and aims to develop expertise in the leadership of SEN/D in schools.
The programme aims to develop reflective SENCOs who have a strong knowledge and understanding of the legislative context for SEND and are able to evidence application of theoretical concepts underpinning effective leadership and practice.
Students will have access to a high quality, interactive programme delivered by SEN specialists and will be provided with experienced Tutor support. They will learn how to integrate theory and practice to support the development of their role and in turn learn how to improve positive outcomes for children with SEND.
This is a Master’s level course with 60 credits at level 7. Students who successfully complete 60 Level 7 credits achieve a PGCert in Supporting SEN/D Through Inclusive Practice and may carry 60 credits towards future study at Master’s level.
The Rules: Why SENCOs and Schools will want to apply for the course?
- The SEN Code of Practice (2014) requires schools to ensure that there is a qualified teacher designated as Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO).
- All SENCos continue to be required to hold QTS and NASENCo training remains mandatory within the new funding arrangement.
- A SENCO appointed after 1st September 2008, who has not previously been the SENCO at that or any other relevant school for a total period of more than twelve months, must achieve the (NASENCO) National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination within 3 years of appointment.
- Schools must satisfy themselves that their SENCO is equipped for the role. They will decide how best to secure and fund appropriately accredited training.
The course requires attendance at 4 training days at the University of Buckingham and covers the following topics:
- Introduction to the NASENCO Course: Developing Context for Inclusive Education – SENCOs will demonstrate their professional knowledge and understanding in the legislative context for SEN and will link as evidence application of theoretical concepts that underpin effective leadership and practice
- The SENCO as an Inclusive Leader: Reflective Writing and Action Research – SENCOs will be required to demonstrate understanding and reflect on their expertise and capabilities needed to lead and coordinate provision effectively.
- The Critical Professional SENCO: Life & Career of a SENCO – SENCOs will be required to reflect on their personal and professional qualities needed to make a positive impact on the ethos and culture in schools and other settings.
Mode of delivery
- Work-based, flexible and practical programme.
- Attendance at University led events 4 days over 1 academic year.
- Delivered through a combination of seminars and tutorials with input from experts in the field of SEN
- Guided Tasks in relation to effectiveness in the role of SENCO e.g. SEN Audit/Suggested Reading/Practical Activities in line with training, module and evidence.
- School Visits from SENCO Tutor (in relation to personal targets)
- Self-supported study, assessments at M level and professional reviews
- Distance learning supported by VLE – evidence meeting Learning Outcomes via e-portfolio
Completion of two assignment: A Reflective Essay and a small-scale Action Research Project. Students will be visited by a SENCO Tutor twice and engage in weekly guided tasks to support understanding and application of best effective and inclusive practice as a SENCO.
- Submission of 2 written assignments (Reflective Essay and Action Research Project), completion of Evidence via E-Portfolio and course documentation and engagement in weekly Guided Tasks
- A Reflective Essay (3500-4000 words) (20 credits)
- Implementing and writing up of an Action Research Project (5,000-6000 words) (20 credits)
- Completion of a Professional SEN Development Portfolio (E-Portfolio) focus is on the student to evidence their own practice within their education institution in order to have verified and meet the SEN Learning Outcomes (20 credits)
For a full programme specification and module breakdown please email firstname.lastname@example.org
‘I have learned so much by studying for the NASENCO award at The University of Buckingham. The structure and content of the course has helped me to be a more effective and well informed SENCO.’
‘The course focus on guided tasks and evidencing the SENCO Learning Outcomes have made me much better at making decisions – both as a leader and as a teacher, benefiting both students and staff.’
‘Because of this NASENCO Course I am meeting needs much better and supporting colleagues more effectively.’
The training days are well structured and I really like the guidance and time to discuss with other SENCOs’
‘What really works well on the course is having access to supportive contact from the Course Lead and Tutor’