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The Universal SEND Services Programme CPD Series, Powered by Real Group

We are delighted to partner with nasen to deliver the Universal SEND Services Programme.

In an ideal world, every learner’s journey through education would be marked by inclusivity, ambition, and unwavering support. Unfortunately, the reality is that many children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) continue to face obstacles in their pursuit of educational attainment and high outcomes. The Universal SEND Services programme’s ambition is poised to reshape the landscape of education, ensuring that all learners with SEND are given every opportunity to thrive both within education settings and beyond.
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Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) Awareness Day

Today is Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) Awareness Day!

Did you know that 2 children in a class of 30 have a DLD? This is just one of the many surprising facts about DLD.

Facts about Developmental Language Disorder
Our Speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) module builds understanding of the theories, research and practical skills that can be used to make a positive difference and improve the outcomes for people with DLD and other SLCN. Discover more

Also, please join us in celebrating the collaboration between RCSLT, Afasic, NAPLIC and Speech and Language UK’s who have worked alongside people with DLD and their families to create a new vision for the future. See ‘A vision for Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) for the UK‘ for more information.

DfE grant funding announcement

Senior Mental Health Lead Training – how to apply for grant funding                                                        

senior mental health lead grant

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced an additional year of grant funding for senior mental health leads, for all state-funded schools and colleges in England. They will also be offering second grants for eligible settings who have used their funding but whose Senior Mental Health Lead has left.

‘Second grants can be claimed by eligible schools and colleges if the senior mental health lead they previously trained left their setting before embedding a whole school or college approach to mental health and wellbeing.’

The availability of a second grant was announced recently and funding is only available until 31 March 2024.

This article provides information on how to apply for grant funding for the Real Training Senior Mental Health Leadership courses.

We are pleased to share that further funding available for senior mental health lead training, means that up to two thirds of eligible settings will have the opportunity to benefit from the training by the end of the 2023-2024 financial year! Applications are now open, and in this article, we guide you through the steps to complete the process. 


Step 1 – Read the guidance for grant funding to ensure eligibility

The DfE has published a comprehensive guide to applying for grant funding. Initially, we recommend you visit this page, which offers a useful overview of topics such as what the grant must be used for, eligibility criteria when to complete the submission and so on. It will also provide information regarding creating a ‘DfE Sign-in account’ which is necessary in order to access the form. 

You can also visit this page which will offer more information on the conditions of the grant and application guidance. We highly recommend you read all of this information to avoid submission errors that could delay or invalidate your application unnecessarily.

Note: if you are not eligible for funding, don’t worry as we have non-funded places available too. Our courses are just as relevant to those working in non-state or international settings as well.

Step 2 – Decide on the course you wish to apply for grant funding

In order to receive the grant payment, you will need to confirm to the DfE which training course you have chosen.

At Real Training, we offer two DfE quality-assured Senior Mental Health Leadership courses. Click the links below to visit our course pages and learn more:

Senior Mental Health Leadership Certificate (SMHLC) – aimed at those who are new to a Senior Mental Health Leadership role or are aspiring to become a leader in this area.

Senior Mental Health Leadership – Advanced Award (SMHLAA) – aimed at those who have some experience in the role, and have some existing training in mental health leadership.

If you are unsure which of these is best for you, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our experienced course advisors who will be happy to help, either by email info@realgroup.co.uk or by phone on +44 (0)1273 35 80 80.

We encourage you to apply for a grant BEFORE you book a course if your place is reliant on this funding.

Step 3 – Collate information for your setting in preparation for application

It is important to ensure you have the relevant information to hand in and that certain conditions are met before commencing the application process. This includes, but is in no way limited to:

  • Having a commitment from your setting’s senior leadership team to develop a whole school, college or centre approach to mental health and wellbeing
  • Details of your senior mental health lead, who will receive the training in 2023 to 2024 financial year, to oversee your setting’s whole school, college or centre approach
  • Authority to submit a claim for this training grant on behalf of your educational setting

Having this information readily available will enormously reduce the time it takes to apply and helps ensure correct information is provided first time.

Step 4 – Complete the application form

Once you have all of the necessary information required, you can access the form here. At this point, you will need to log into your DfE account. It is important to check all the details that the DfE holds for your account –  you can complete this form if any of them are incorrect. You will then be guided through the application form, step-by-step.

Once complete, you will be asked to agree to the declarations set out in the grant terms and conditions. You will then receive an email of confirmation, containing your claim reference. It isn’t possible to make amendments to the application form once submitted. However, if errors have been made or circumstances change, you can submit another application, the details of which will be used, and previous applications disregarded.

Step 5 – Book your course

Once you have received confirmation of your grant, you can visit our booking form to book your place on one of our Senior Mental Health Leadership courses. 

Step 6 – Confirm your chosen course with the DfE

The DfE will ask you to complete a further form to confirm that you have booked your chosen course. This form should appear right after completing the first form. This will enable them to authorise payment of your grant.


An interview with Alison Ford

Alison FordiSENCO

Alison Ford is Head of Inclusive Education & Therapy at The Overseas Family School, a non-selective international K-12 school in Singapore. Completing our International Award for SEN Coordination course while working in her previous setting, allowed her to progress in her career. Alison is particularly interested in Autism, Social Emotional Wellbeing & Mental Health, and Family Support.

What made you choose the Real Training course(s) over other options?

I heard of the iSENCO course through a colleague who had also completed it. He recommended the program and had found it very accessible. I was looking for a flexible online learning course with a view towards completing a master’s. I liked that the iSENCO was a self-paced and stand-alone certification that I could also use to build up credits towards the MEd.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

I found the online learning platform intuitive and my tutor was very personable and responsive. The support from others in the program was also valuable as we tried to find our way around. My only suggestion at the time was some collation of the assessments to help me plan my workload and approach to the course at the beginning. Once I had collated and got my head around this myself, I found the tasks much less overwhelming!

How has the course(s) helped make an impact at school?

My final project was an essential part of the service development at my school at the time. I have since moved on to a leadership role at a much larger school and what I learned from the iSENCO forms the foundation of my role now as I lead the strategic development of our whole school provision for therapy and learning support. The iSENCO was a good learning process for me to plan and think strategically, and helped to better inform my role now in a much larger setting.

How has the course(s) helped develop you as an educational professional and what do you hope to achieve with the new knowledge/skills in the future?

I think the iSENCO helped to develop my confidence and expertise in strategic service development. I gained an understanding of what it means to be a leader, the different approaches to leadership and how my own personality and life experience may shape my own approach to leading others. Career-wise, the iSENCO is a good certification to show employers that you have training and experience in leading and maintaining organisational change.

Lastly, what are the top 3 things you are looking to do within your setting, since completing the course?

  1. Guide our whole school initiative for inclusion! A challenging but rewarding role leading an amazing team of Learning Support specialists and Therapists in a busy school of 3000.
  2. Possible further study towards an Educational Doctorate.
  3. Support for colleagues also on the course. So far I have referred four others who have completed the course or have just joined!

If you’d like to connect with Alison, you can follow her on LinkedIn. You can find further information about the iSENCO on our webpage.

Tes SEND Show 2023


We are delighted to be exhibiting once again at the Tes SEND Show next month!

Taking place on 13 & 14 October, we will be at Stand 135 alongside our sister companies Dyslexia Action, Educational and Sporting Futures and the Dyslexia Action Shop.

The Tes SEND Show is the UK’s leading SEND show and an annual must-see. In addition to an exhibition, there are free talks, seminars and workshops on all aspects of SEND. We are looking forward to returning and meeting attendees.

Come and chat to us in-person about training courses, apprenticeships and educational resources!

If you’d like to attend, you can register HERE for this free event.

An Interview with Lucy Wayman

Lucy Wayman picture mentor and dyscalculia assessorLucy Wayman – CPT3A

Lucy from Bristol, UK, works as a freelance maths tutor for students not in the school system, she is also a dyscalculia assessor within Constellation Education. Lucy has a special interest in ADHD, ADD and autism. She has recently completed her Certificate of Competence in Education Testing (CCET), and will soon be completing the Access Arrangements course (AAC), for the Certificate in Psychometric Testing, Assessment and Access Arrangements (CPT3A).

What made you choose the Real Training course over other options?

It was a great blend of live online teaching and self-study. Having three full days of group teaching was really useful at raising the issues, meeting other people in the same situation and covering the main features of the course, with the opportunities to discuss and collaborate with other delegates.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training? 

The three days of teaching were incredibly enjoyable, and very full on. You really felt like every minute was accounted for and designed with a purpose. I came away from those days much better informed about psychometric testing, clear about the assignments I had to do, and enthused about getting my independent study done.

How has the course helped make an impact at school? 

Combined with my dyscalculia training, I feel confident about carrying out psychometric testing, and more importantly, being able to interpret results in a way which will help my students. 

How has the course helped develop you as an educational professional and what do you hope to achieve with the new knowledge/skills in the future?

I will complete the rest of the CPT3A course and look to gaining my APC so that I can both assess for exam access arrangements, and assess and diagnose dyscalculia.

Lastly, what are looking to do within your setting, since completing the course?

Review the efficacy of testing that is currently in place and try to streamline the process, while improving usefulness of the tests done.

If you would like to know more about Lucy Wayman, connect on LinkedIn. For more information on CPT3A, click here.

Middlesex University Graduation 2023

This week, Middlesex University will be hosting their 2023 Graduations. From everyone here at Real Training, we would like to congratulate all our delegates on their achievements.

We would love to share in your celebrations! Share photos of your special day with us on social media by tagging us in your posts and using our hashtag #RTGRAD2023

We look forward to seeing your photos and sharing the celebrations with you!

Introducing the Level 3 Learning and Skills Assessor Apprenticeship

We are delighted to partner with our ‘Ofsted Outstanding’ sister company, Sporting Futures Training (UK) Ltd on the launch of the Learning and Skills Assessor Apprenticeship. This is a brand new opportunity for primary schools to bring educational testing and assessment in-house. 

Image of a Learning and Skills Assessor Apprentice engaging a class of primary school students

Apprentices will learn how to use psychometric tests to effectively assess the progress of students and identify appropriate support strategies. Being able to better interpret test results will improve understanding and communication about individual learning needs, both internally and with external agencies, allowing the apprentice, and their colleagues, to respond to these needs more efficiently.

The apprenticeship offers free training as it can be funded through the Apprenticeship Levy at no additional cost to schools. (The government contributes 95% of training costs for a Non-Levy organisation).

Registration is open with the first cohort due to start in September 2023

A brief overview of the apprenticeship:

  • A 13 month online programme inclusive of the End Point Assessment
  • The apprenticeship comprises live teaching sessions, seminars and tutoring leading to the achievement of the Learning and Skills Assessor Apprenticeship
  • ‘Off the job’ training packages that work for schools
  • Requires a commitment of 6 hours release time per week
  • Open to all members of staff in a primary school that are interested in gaining additional skills in assessment. For example, schools may choose to upskill one or more teachers, HLTAs, TAs or LSAs to provide valuable support for the SENCO. Or you could opt to develop new expertise for the SENCO themselves.
  • Costs £0 as it is fully funded using the Apprenticeship Levy. An optional value-added extra is available for £75 + VAT, which enables apprentices to ‘top-up’ and gain the gold standard, Certificate of Competence in Educational Testing (CCET) qualification, set by the British Psychological Society

Interested in learning more about this opportunity to develop valuable skills in educational testing and assessment? Read additional information about the Learning and Skills Assessor Apprenticeship.

Find us at the COBIS Annual Conference!

We will be attending 41st COBIS Annual Conference, 6-8 May 2023 in London!

Catch us on Stand 35 for a chat about our courses, new routes to take with your previous qualifications and some freebies! 

The theme for this conference is Leading Learning for a New Paradigm, we are excited to be at this exhibition to learn more about evolving pedagogy and educational structures. 

We will be giving out our brochures which detail our courses, pathways, apprenticeships opportunities, as well as some pens and notepads! 

2022 Delegate Feedback Review


Feedback from our delegates is very important to us. This is why we ask every delegate to fill out a feedback form upon completion of their course. This provides us with extremely valuable data on what we’re doing right, and where we can improve. We’ve been carefully analysing the data from 2022, and below are highlights from the results.

  • 93% of delegates rated our course as good or very good.
  • 94% of delegates rated the extent to which their course met their developmental priorities as good or very good.
  • 94% of delegates rated the course tutors as good or very good.

Comments from our delegates!

“Real training is able to provide high quality blended learning CPD experiences for SENCos which are genuinely invaluable in their daily practice”

“It really makes you consider your setting and what needs addressing in terms of mental wellbeing”

“The course I studied was very relevant, well structured and very well supported by staff. The online portal was easy to navigate and use. Progress bars and days left on course helped to keep me on task”

We witnessed our dedicated delegates receive their Postgraduate Certificates, Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters at Middlesex University in July 2022. To see their months and years of hard work come to fruition on their day of graduation means a great deal to all of us at Real Training. This is an amazing opportunity for us to all come together and celebrate, especially for the delegates who opt to study with us completely online!

If you are thinking of enrolling on a course with us, either for the first time or are a returning delegate, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on +44 (0)1273 35 80 80 or contact us here.

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