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National Award for SEN Coordination (NASCO)60 creditsMaster of EducationOnlineContinuing Professional DevelopmentValidated by Middlesex University

The module

‘Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs) play a vital role in leading the co-ordination of provision for children and young people with SEN and/or disabilities in schools… In September 2009, it became law for every new SENCO in a mainstream school to gain the Masters-level National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination within three years of taking up the post.’

The Department for Education

Why take this module?

Achieve the gold standard award for SENCOs that drives up teaching standards and outcomes for those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

Discover the latest research, policy and guidance and develop first-rate skills in SEND practice. Evidence your skills, competences and leadership abilities, gain essential experience and take a real step forward.

If you’re a new-to-role SENCO working in a maintained school, academy, nursery, free school or Pupil Referral Unit, the government requires you to have this qualification.

If you’re a SENCO working in a private, independent, special or international school, college or nursery, it isn’t mandatory, but you should still consider it. Why? Because it’s the benchmark qualification and makes a professional difference to the careers of all who take it.

How will you benefit?

Add real value to your school

  • Gain an internationally respected, highly valued qualification.
  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of the background legislation, policies and evidence that are key to inclusion and SEN provision.
  • Secure your knowledge of the high incidence disabilities and their effect on each pupil’s learning and development.
  • Draw on a wide range of evidence, policy and resources and work with others to influence the delivery of inclusive education.
  • Design, implement and evaluate an intervention in your setting to improve the outcomes of one or more SEN pupils.
  • Cultivate your collaborative, leadership and staff management skills with multiple stakeholders.
  • Explore the importance of interpersonal relationships to achieve robust planning and intervention delivery.
  • Enhance your own and others’ personal and professional development.

Learn on the job

  • Harness your day-to-day professional experience and work with your tutor to develop your skills.
  • Theories, reflection and activities will help you to explore aspects of your own and others’ practice.

Engage with flexible e-learning

  • Study online and integrate your learning into your working day.
  • Work at a time and pace that suits you.
  • Take part in a flexible module that draws on a broad range of learning tasks and practical experience.
  • Work closely with your peers and dedicated tutors online.
  • Experience mentoring and work placements that really complement your learning.
  • Access our sophisticated online learning platform and utilise the latest technologies: video and multimedia content, case-studies and problem-based scenarios, directed reading, structured learning logs, online discussion, online questionnaires, peer evaluation, student forum and webinars (with tutors and guest lecturers).

Accrue credits towards your MEd

  • Attain 60 credits towards a Masters when you successfully complete this module.
  • We offer an unrivalled range of follow-on, practice-led SEND courses that count towards your MEd.
  • Get 180 credits and the MEd is yours.

Connect with SENCO colleagues

  • Obtain exclusive access to Campus Online.
  • Interact with SENCO colleagues using our advanced learning platform and our unique student forum.

We will ensure that you never feel lonely or unsupported in your studies – read the feedback from SENCOs who have completed successfully.

Liaise with experienced tutors

  • Enjoy dedicated specialist support from a broad range of experienced tutors.
  • Work with a learning coach, professional tutor and received dedicated support from the tutor team — made up of experienced SENCOs/SEN consultants/educational psychologists.

Our SENCOs and educational psychologists know the education sector inside out.

Choose a start date that suits you

Start the module at a time of the year that suits you — September, January or May.

Get a complementary subscription to Special Children Magazine

Sign up for our course and we will give you a complementary digital subscription to Optimus Education’s respected Special Children Magazine.

The module content

Strand 1: The context for inclusive education

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the background legislation, policies and evidence that inform inclusion and SEN provision.
  • Also, learn to appreciate how high incidence disabilities affect your pupils’ learning and development.
  • Activity-wise: you will analyse SEND/Inclusion policies within your school and look at their background —  and how they relate to the current legislative climate.

Strand 2: Developing strategy and policies for inclusive education

  • Draw on a broad range of evidence, policy and resources, to work with others to positively influence the delivery of inclusive education — particularly in relation to strategic vision and commitment.
  • Activity-wise: you will compare and contrast elements of SEND practice currently under review in your school through a visit to a local school to compare SEND practice in an alternative setting.

Strand 3: The development, planning and application of inclusive practice

  • Analyse the intervention choices offered in your setting and evaluate the outcomes of one intervention in detail.
  • Draw on the theory, evidence, local practice and external sources of support to design, implement and evaluate a local intervention that will enhance the outcomes of one or more SEND pupils in your school.
  • Activity-wise: you will analyse the implementation and monitoring of interventions and practice for children with SEND. You will evaluate your existing systems for SEND data management.

Strand 4: Working with others

  • Enhance collaborative, leadership and staff management skills, by fostering an understanding of the key roles and relationships that SENCO’s have with multiple stakeholders.
  • You will also focus on the essential nature of interpersonal relationships for the effective planning and delivery of interventions.

How will you be assessed?

You will need to:

  • Complete multiple choice questionnaires to self-check your understanding
  • Submit self-assessment questionnaires as you start and progress through the course to document the development of your confidence, skills and knowledge.
  • Write  short reflective learning logs that document examples of your school-based SEND practice.
  • Collate evidence of your applied practice in managing and interpreting SEND data and in reviewing your commissioning of outside professionals.
  • Write three written assignments  – one on inclusion research / policy, one comparing your school SEND policy and practice with another provision, and another evaluating an intervention running in your setting.
  • Write a reflective evaluation of the impact of the whole course on the development of applied professional knowledge and leadership skills (1,000-1,500 words).

How is the module delivered?

  • You will develop your professional knowledge and understanding through analysing your applied practice — it’s the best way to learn.
  • Campus Online will support you with content that complements your learning every step of the way.
  • We provide a manual written by experts summarising key SEND information.
  • We host regular webinars to ensure you have the latest thinking and updates delivered direct to you – interact live as they happen or watch the recorded version online at your convenience.
  • Study with some of the finest practitioners around and engage with outstanding content and practical activities that truly enhance your professional development.

Are you eligible?

You will need to have completed an undergraduate degree. You should either have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status. You will need to be employed for the duration of the course, either as the SENCO in your setting, or in another position within the setting with the full support of the current SENCO/Head Teacher to enable you to undertake the wide range of tasks and responsibilities of the SENCO role, in addition to your current duties.

How much does it cost?

We offer a flexible range of fees to suit your finances:

  • Single payment of £1,800 + VAT.
  • Three monthly instalments of £625 + VAT.
  • Ten monthly instalments of £192 + VAT.

Speak to us (01273 358080) or make a booking.

Download a brochure

Our NASCO brochure will provide you with additional information on this course.

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Meet the module leader
Siobhan Mellor

‘Aspiring and practising SENCOs will encounter the latest literature, apply it to their current practice, and evaluate the impact of their practice within a supportive network of professionals.’
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