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Special Educational Needs Coordination National Award

  • Level(s) of Study: Postgraduate taught
  • Start Date(s): September 2024
  • Duration: One year
  • Study Mode(s): Part-time
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


National Award: Special Educational Needs Coordination at Nottingham Trent University (NTU)

The Nottingham Institute of Education offers a very successful National SENCO Award. This fourteen-month programme is available to existing and aspiring SENCOs from any school or educational setting in the UK and meets the certification requirement that SENCOs must achieve within three years of their appointment. It enables you to develop your professional attributes, and improve your knowledge, skills and understanding so that you can carry out your SENCO role effectively and with confidence.

Why study this course?

  • Achievement of this National Award is a legal requirement for all new SENCOs
  • There are five full days of compulsory attendance and with on-line and face-to-face support, it is an ideal fit in work and home life
  • Benefit from an experienced course tutor team with national and international reputations in special education and inclusion
  • Access all the University's resources and online workspace

What you’ll study

The National Special Educational Coordination Award (NASENCO) comprises of two complimentary elements:

  • Level 7 PGCert SENCO (60 credits) which can be used towards gaining an MA Education and recognises your experience in special and inclusive education.
  • A practical competency framework where you collect evidence for a series of 49 nationally et professional learning outcomes.

Independent set tasks

The set tasks all involve school/educational setting based activities and include:

  • One day (equivalent) of meetings with your head teacher/manager to focus on the professional role of the SENCO and review how to meet your learning outcomes. It is recommended this is around two hours a term.
  • Half day visit to an alternative phase mainstream setting, focusing on the professional role of the SENCO, low / high incidence of SEN and disabilities, participation and learning, and working in partnership with other professionals.
  • Half day visit to either a community special school or a special school focusing on a particular need, for example autism. The focus is on high incidence of SEN and disabilities, participation and learning, and working in partnership with other professionals.
  • Half day attendance at a multi-professional / multi-agency meeting, with a focus on working with other professionals.
  • Two days in school/educational setting to undertake tasks linked to the written assignments, with a focus on conducting an inquiry, audit and evaluation of provision and working with pupils, parents and colleagues.
  • Half day optional attendance at a tutorial on Meeting the Learning Outcomes at NTU. If you decide not to attend this, you may use the time for further course related work in school.

Masters level study

The level 7 component of the course requires completion of assessment tasks that include:

  • A critical review of legislation, policy and literature as it relates to the SENCO role, with a critical review of SEND policy in action within your school/educational setting.
  • A small-scale action research study about SENCO leadership.
  • A critical analysis of school practice of consulting, engaging and communicating with pupils and parents.

How you’re taught

Study sessions involve:

  • five compulsory days attendance the University
  • five days for independent set tasks
  • personal or virtual tutorial and tutor support sessions as required by you.

Compulsory taught sessions

The compulsory taught sessions cover:

Dates (To be confirmed)Session

Day 1 - September 2024

Introduction to National Award for SEND Coordination and NTU; the SENCO role; parent and pupil voice.

Day 2 - November 2024

An overview of the legislative framework; SEND Tribunals; SEND policy in practice; Removing barriers to inclusion.

Day 3 - January 2025

Evidence based practice in SEND support; Impact of interventions; the professional role of the SENCO as a leader.

Day 4 - March 2025

Working in partnership with others.

Day 5 - May 2025

Assessment and Planning.

Staff Profiles

Michelle Bramley-Brookes

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Michelle Bramley-Brookes, Senior Lecturer

Gill Richards

Emeritus Professor

School of Social Sciences

Gill Richards

Careers and employability

Successful completion of the National Award is a pre-requisite for all new SENCOs to be able to continue in the role and this must be completed within three years from the date of your appointment. This course does not currently offer placements.

Campus and facilities

Entry requirements

You must be one of the following:

  • a current SEND Coordinator
  • aspiring SEND Coordinator role in the future and have access to the practice-based elements required for the course
  • You must have obtained Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status, prior to applying
  • School staff in the role of SENCO will have completed an induction period (refer to SEND Regs 2014, paragraph 49)
  • Letter of authorisation from Head Teacher/Manager to undertake Award.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2023 entry are set at £2100.00 and may be subject to change. (2024 entry fees TBC)

Find out more about how to pay your fees on our Online payment pages.

If your tuition fees are being met either fully or partly by your employer or other organisation, you can find more details on our Sponsored students page. For further clarification please contact Michele Taylor on

How to apply

Contact the Course Administrator to request further information and an application form:

Course Administrator

Michele Taylor

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