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).
Applicants should be SENCos or aspirant SENCos. All applicants must have qualified teacher status (QTS) or be teachers with QTS working in pupil referral units.
As this course has been designed to enable participants to fulfil this strategic role, all applicants must have full support of their school leadership team and access to both an appropriate setting and relevant school based experiences.
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 law states that SENCos in all mainstream, state-funded English schools must either be “experienced”, hold the award, or be working towards the award. All prospective applicants must refer to the detailed eligibility criteria for the Award which is available in the how to apply section.
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 lead 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.
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:
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