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An Interview with Priya Shah – MEd SEND

What does graduating from this course mean to you on a personal and a professional level?

On both a personal level and a professional level, acquiring an M.Ed in SEND after 22 years as a teacher has really raised my confidence in general, whether it be listening for the sake of listening to gain all perspectives of an idea or argument, or responding after critically analysing the information (in oral or written form, or writing professional reports, or carrying out action research, etc.

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

I was looking to gain membership on Register for Qualified Test Users (RQTU) with the British Psychological Society (BPS). I found the CPT3A course online. As I work overseas, Real Training offered a user-friendly online platform and the turn-around time for replies to emails or queries was very quick. Also, I found that all the tutors I had were educational psychologists which have a lot to offer in terms of knowledge, experience and wisdom. The school that I work in then approached me and encouraged me to continue courses to achieve a Masters. And so I did!

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

The online platform was easy to use and the readings and videos were relevant to my work, thus the experience of learning was pleasant and interesting yet very rigorous. The amount of work to be done was vast but manageable once one gets organized.

How have the courses helped make an impact at school?

I have used the skills of administering standardized tests and writing reports for external exam boards from the CPT3A course and the students have thus benefitted from exam access accommodations.

I have utilized the knowledge and skills from the NASENCO course for my role as the Learning Support Case Manager of grade 11 and 12 and as the untitled team leader of our Learning Support department in the high school and work very closely with the Student Support Services Coordinator of the school as well as the grade level leaders who manage the Response to Intervention framework.

The Social, Emotional Learning course was a great learning experience and the knowledge gained has enhanced my skills as a teacher and advisor. It has been particularly useful in these unusual times of COVID-19 when we went virtual.

The Enquiry-based research module was excellent as I got exposure to action research and got to investigate the efficacy of an online math intervention in terms of raising mathematical resilience of students with needs in an international setting using the RADIO framework. This has helped me as a co-teacher in math classes.

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

My personal goal next academic year is to develop Social Emotional Learning in all my work in school, especially as we return to the school building on September 1st after the virtual learning environment since March 23rd. I have already started a virtual Meditation course for students for our optional summer school. As a lifelong learner, I am learning more and more about meditation and how it helps both professionally as a teacher and in my personal life as well.

How has the experience changed your view on continued professional development for your own career?

This experience has made me see that I can step out of my comfort zone in terms of professionally developing my own career. As all my tutors have been educational psychologists, I feel like I am ready to take the next step and pursue a doctorate in educational psychology. I completed my BSc (Hons) Psychology in the UK in 1993 and wanted to become an educational psychologist after that. In those days one also had to have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and a minimum of 2 years of teaching before applying for a Masters in Educational Psychology. I became a teacher and loved it so much that I stuck to it for 22 years. Now things have changed. One does not need to be a qualified teacher to pursue a career as an educational psychologist in the UK but one does need some experience with working with children or young people and then one pursues a 3-year Doctorate in Educational Psychology. As I do not live in the UK anymore and have responsibilities of taking care of a family overseas, I cannot go to the UK to train as an educational psychologist at the moment. I have yet to find a rigorous blended online course to fit my needs to pursue a course that will qualify me as an educational psychologist. My only wish now is that Real Training develops an online program that one can pursue to qualify as a working educational psychologist. If they do, I would have no hesitation in taking it up!

Emma Gray – NASENCO

 

An Interview with Emma Gray – NASENCO

Emma is currently the Learning Support Teacher in an international private school in Singapore, working mainly across Key Stage One. She has special interests in social, emotional communication and profiles consistent with ASD traits. Emma completed the NASENCO qualification with us at Real Training in 2020. Here is what she had to say about her time studying with us.

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

Real Training had a great reputation amongst colleagues for delivering high-quality and easily accessible online learning programmes. Being able to dip in and out of the course depending on my own schedule was a real selling point for me. Working in an international school in Asia, the course appealed to me as a way of keeping a handle on relevant policy, procedure and current best practice in the UK around SEND. 

What was your experience of learning with Real Training? 

My tutor was incredibly supportive when I requested extensions partway through the course. Feedback has been positive and constructive and this has motivated me to do better and develop further. My questions were always responded to in a timely manner, no matter how obtuse they seemed! I especially enjoyed being a part of the forums, collaborating and discussing issues linked to SEND globally, with a diverse group of delegates was a very worthwhile and enlightening experience.

How has the course helped make an impact at school?

Completing the NASENCO course has enabled me to feel confident about the provision that I am organising in my setting. I have acquired the knowledge and skills necessary to liaise between class teachers, parents and external specialists in order to better support pupils with SEND. The course involved Applied Practice tasks which gave me the opportunities to apply new learning to my setting and served as a platform on which to engage in professional dialogue around SEND. As our school’s curriculum is based on the British curriculum the course has enabled me to stay abreast with best practice in the UK. 

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?

The course has given me a qualification required to carry out the SENCO role in the UK. As well as becoming well versed in the legal and practical components of SEND practice I have also become aware of the degree of emotional intelligence needed to carry out the role effectively and have a greater appreciation of the diversity that SEND encompasses. Studying at Masters level has been a challenge that has reignited my own love of learning and I now intend to continue to study further.

Jennifer Root – NASENCO

An Interview with Jennifer Root – NASENCO

Jennifer is currently working in a school in East Sussex for children and young people aged 7-19. She completed the National Award for SEN Coordination with us here at Real Training this year!  With a particular interest in Autism, she is currently engaged in a project to get the school re-accredited with Autism Accreditation from the National Autistic Society. We asked Jennifer about her experience studying with Real Training, read what she had to say below.

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

I discovered Real Training through word of mouth. One of the other teachers working at my school was just about to start studying through Real Training and recommended them as a training provider. When looking over the course content I felt that it would strongly enhance my knowledge and understanding of the SENCo role, which I had been appointed to post with not much of a robust handover. I found the enrolment process easy and the support from both my appointed tutor and the Real Training team helpful and readily available at each stage of my learning journey. The benefit of distance learning with Real Training was that I was able to be in post whilst simultaneously putting my learning into practice. I was able to liaise with other course members to share experiences, successes and possible strategies to implement in the future. In this way, I still had access to a real learning community, even though our experiences were diverse and roles were across a range of geographic locations. 

What was your experience of learning with Real Training? 

The course was engaging and vital to my development as a SENCo within my school. At times I felt lost in the course content, not knowing where to start, but the online forums through Campus Online and discussion pages were a wonderful source of support and helped me to refocus my thinking and rationalize my ideas. My tutor was a real help, clear and concise in his feedback and supportive in his guidance. This meant that despite my initial fears of writing at Masters Level again (it has been quite a few years!) I was able to reframe my ideas and redraft to ensure that I met the course criteria. I really enjoyed the opportunity to complete the Action Research project. I completed a two-day visit to an outstanding school in Surrey and have maintained links that I made. I have been able to not only return to my setting to implement change, but it has highlighted the real positives already within my school which should be celebrated. I found that the EBSCO library had a wealth of information to delve through and again, whilst initially overwhelming, provided me with a huge amount of academic journals and research papers on which to either support or challenge my own perspectives. 

How has the course helped make an impact at school?

My headteacher Fran Pass commented: ‘The course has enabled Jenny to fine-tune her understanding of SEN and the complexities of ensuring that no child or young person is disadvantaged due to a diagnosis. The course enabled Jenny to route what she already does to a high standard within a theoretical framework.’ I feel that the course has enabled me to create an action plan in order to develop the role and has ensured greater and more knowledgeable support of the children and young people in our school. I look forward to further developing in the role of SENCo and aspire to make links with other SENCos and aspiring SENCos in the local area to share experiences and strategies.

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 feel that now, being a qualified SENCo, I have a greater knowledge and understanding of the role and the ways in which I can lead the staff team to implement change for the benefit of our children and young people. I am now conversant in the theoretical framework and am able to use my learning to underpin my experiences. I found the course hugely valuable and am now more able to perform the role of SENCo within my SEN setting. I encourage any aspiring SENCos to go ahead and enrol on this program, its engaging, varied and informative. Real Training and the tutors invest time and effort into people so that they can really make the most of this learning opportunity.

 

Taneisha Pascoe Matthews – Full MEd

An Interview with Taneisha Pascoe Matthews – Full MEd

Taneisha has a special interest in Autism, she is a mother of two boys who are both autistic and she uses her knowledge and social platforms to advocate for children with Autism whilst also working in a London Secondary school. Taneisha began her studies with us in May 2015. She completed her full Master of Education in SEND here at Real Training. Taneisha completed the National Award, Autism Spectrum Conditions module, CPT3A and Enquiry to achieve her full Masters. After 4 years of study over a variety of modules, here is her journey through our MEd SEND programme and her thoughts on studying with Real Training.

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

Real Training was the obvious choice for me based on recommendations from two teachers at my school who were completing the National Award for SEN Coordination. They spoke well of the course by highlighting both the practical aspects as well as theoretical areas. Within a year they had moved on to lead SEND Departments which created the opportunity for me to get on the course. The flexibility it afforded with 100% online was exactly what I needed. Once I completed the first course with Real Training and experienced first-hand the amazing culture of support and the readiness to confidently undertake the SENCO role, I decided that I was going to complete a full master’s degree.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

The learning experience at Real Training exceeded my expectations. The courses I completed were well written and I was surprised by the skills gained with the courses being 100% online. I was supported throughout by my tutors and it was easy to navigate the Campus Online platform.

How have the courses helped make an impact at school?

I completed the NASENCO course in 2016 and by 2017 I was hired in my current school as Head of Learning Support. I have received some lovely comments from staff about the impact on their teaching based on CPDs I have led. While completing the Enquiry-based project I did an investigation into the ability of staff to make reasonable adjustments for autistic pupils. This has become part of my advocacy on social media platforms. I host a Facebook page called One of Many Autism Voices, providing strategies and UpToDate information for families and educators. As a school, we are known to be a school making reasonable adjustments to SEND learners.

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

The courses I have completed have developed my SEND knowledge to expert level and provided the skills to complete my job with the level of competence that is needed to make a difference for young people. I have been promoted to Assistant Headteacher in the past year and have spoken at several educational conferences both locally and internationally (via Zoom). I am now the specialist assessor for exam dispensations at my school.

The journey so far – our delegates on studying with Real Training

We are always eager to collect the thoughts of our delegates. The majority come after they have completed their course. However, given the current circumstances, we felt it would be insightful to reach out to some of our current delegates to get their views on their course experience so far, and how studying during a global pandemic has affected their progress.

An interview with Eugene McFadden – NASENCO, intensive CPT3A

Eugene completed his intensive CPT3A course in 2017, and two and a half years later, joined Real Training again to begin his NASENCO qualification in January 2020, just as the enormity of the global pandemic was beginning to make itself clear. Here is his story so far.

How did you find out about Real Training and the CPT3A course?

“I became an assistant SENCO 3 or 4 years ago maybe, and I needed to do the access arrangements course because no-one else in the school was trained. I was speaking to one of the other SENCOs who said “You’ve got to do the Real Training one – it’s a lot quicker when you do the intensive course.” Because work is very busy and I have kids, I thought I’d rather have one, intensive hit. It was a really, really good course. It just worked really well. It was really professionally done, really well tailored to what was realistic and what we needed to do.

You’re now studying NASENCO with us. Tell us about why you chose Real Training for this qualification.

“I was looking around at other NASENCO courses, which looked mind-numbing, and then I saw Real Training’s course. For one, it was cheaper than local council’s one, and the fact that it’s all online and flexible. Some [school] weeks are 60 hours, so fitting things in is a bit of a nightmare, but with a course like this, I can think “oh, I have an hour to myself, I’m just going to hit it hard and do something”. The access to the big database is really helpful as well. I really like the bar at the top1. It’s actually really, really positive when you’re really busy.”

How has your experience with the online NASENCO course been versus your expectations, and versus your intensive experience with CPT3A?

“The intensive works really well with CCET as you’re learning to do one specific skill in testing, so you really want that intensity. This (NASENCO) is a bigger-picture thing. You need to step back and digest more. I have a two-year old who doesn’t sleep through the night yet, so I’d find myself rocking her to sleep at 2am reading things I’d downloaded. It gives you a chance to just think, make the notes and everything. A lot of the bigger articles I ended up printing out, to put in a folder where I can take it home and read it at my leisure.”

What parts of the NASENCO course have you found particularly interesting so far?

“There’s the wider reading; you’ve got the Lamb report, you can see how one thing informs another, which is actually really important. It’s interesting to have a timeline of when things happened and why. We’re kids of the 80s and things were very different back then. It’s good to have that time to just think and take it apart.”

Have you been able to put anything in particular into practice already?

“Well, ironically, I’ve been interviewing people for HLTA jobs through Google Meets. It’s been interesting to be having discussions with them, and having interviewed successfully, I’ve got someone to train up. I thought about how my training on the NASENCO course has informed me  and have been giving them reading to do from that course, which is quite helpful. So yeah, it’s definitely been having an impact. It’s interesting because I’ve been reading about outreach work into primary schools, because we’re quite a big MAT, and we’re going to have some primary schools placed in our secondary school for a few weeks for summer term 2. I want to incorporate that as my primary placement.”

How has the current lockdown situation influenced your studies?

“It’s actually given me more time to do it! It’s difficult, because the first few weeks were just trying to set things up, and I’ve been into school a fair bit as well running things on certain days, especially for some of our higher-needs kids. But the days when I’m home… the first few weeks were difficult, trying to get my head-space around being at home and working while at home with kids running around. Once I got the hang of it, I thought I’d set aside a day here and there, turn the emails off, and crack on with the NASENCO course. There’s always someone knocking on the door with a problem [when you’re in school]. My quality of life has actually improved – I’m not working 60 hours a week and have time to spend with the kids.”

What are your hopes and expectations for the rest of the course?

“Definitely to get it done – that’s the first thing! Definitely start to use what I’m learning to move forward. I’ve already kind of moved forward. I’ve been on a journey with my TAs (I’ve got TAs and HLTAs), and I’ve been on a journey with everyone’s practice board [a reflective practice of how staff are working with SEN pupils], tweaking that practice, fine-tuning it more and more. It’s good, because a lot of the things I’ve come across I already believed or knew or learned about already, so it’s nice to have those things reinforced. My focus has been on wave 1 teaching, and I’ve brought the SEN team so far, and now it’s all about raising all teaching and learning – the best input for an SEN kid is going to be in the classroom, the teacher teaching them right – it’s now given me that confidence to start addressing the bigger picture. It’s like “that’s gone alright, now we need to start doing this…” A rising tide raises all ships!”

¹ Campus Online holds a comprehensive online library containing all of the reading necessary for completing the courses. Additionally, access to EBSCO online journal databases allows for further reading to expand knowledge and understanding of the course material.

 

Dawn Johnson – SENCO, North West Kent Alternative Provision Service – NASENCO Course

What drew you to study with Real Training

I have heard of Real training as a reliable provider from a number of colleagues. Your company has a good reputation, and my DH/SENCO at the time had already mentioned your course before we had a little reshuffle of roles and I began to transition out of the English classroom and into the SENCO role.

How your experience has been vs your expectations so far

I have completed online training, including a PAPAA one-year course in the past with other providers and am very impressed with Real Training’s approach to online learning. I have found the site incredibly easy to use, the resources are quite varied and the discussion boards are well organised and easy to use. I am still learning how to use EBSCO but am sure, once I am used to they process, it will become faster and easier to access exactly what I want (I have only been enrolled since the end of April, so have not used every element of the site fully yet). The online notebook is very useful as I can make notes as I read or access slideshows. Overall, I would say it is a surprisingly well-presented, flexible course with an intuitive design for users.

What elements have been of particular interest/use to you so far

I have engaged far more with the discussion activities than on any previous course and have found the notebook, library of previous essays and general range of resources very helpful.

How you are managing your time to complete the work

I am stuck at home shielding with my husband who is also working from home. I work on the course more in weeks where I am needed less for school-based work, as I also run whole-school CPD and, during lockdown, we have had to adapt this rather a lot! The flexibility to use the course from half an hour to a whole day at any point has made this possible.

How the current lockdown has affected your studies

I have had a lot of tasks to complete at home for school but have had a lot more time that I had anticipated for the course. I was taking on areas of SENCO work while still preparing all of my classes for GCSEs and only working 3 days a week prior to Covid-19 – in a way, the lockdown has helped a lot with my availability to train! Being able to continue to work and train on something useful and relevant while shielding has definitely helped me to maintain good mental health during this time.

Your hopes/expectations/ambitions for the remainder of the course and beyond

Well, if we are talking hopes and dreams, I dream of a world where nobody has to use Harvard referencing ever again! (I completed my PGCE in 2000, that’s a long time to forget how to do these things…) Ultimately, I hope to be able to furnish myself with the theory and knowledge to succeed on my return to school, when I assume more of the role and responsibilities of the SENCO post. I would like to know I am doing everything I possibly can to support our pupils and this course will help me to ensure this. I have considered possibly using the points from the NASENCO course and my PAPAA to go on and complete a Masters…we’ll see.

Navjot Sandhu – NASENCO, Speech, Language & Communication Needs

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

I discovered Real Training in 2013 when I was looking to complete a Post graduate qualification in Speech, Language and Communication Needs.  I needed to gain this qualification in as part of my promotion to Head of Resource Base at my setting.  The structure of the course, linking it to workplace practice and being able to work through the strands at my own pace were very appealing to me and suited both my work and home situations.  I successfully completed this qualification in 2016 and then came back to Real Training when asked by my Head Teacher to complete the NASENCO.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

As previously, my experience with Real Training has been fantastic.  

Campus Online and all the tools available within this (EBESCO, discussion boards, Assignment Libraries….) were really beneficial and useful.  The flexibility to complete strands and tasks at my own pace and order was convenient and allowed me to spend extra time on the strands and areas that I needed to focus on and develop further.  The variety pf tasks that needed to be completed were interesting and thought-provoking.  The learning logs and applied practice tasks were the most useful for me. However, completing the MA assignments were challenging at times but really interesting.

The support I received from my Tutor – Helene- was fantastic! She always provided me with really helpful and useful feedback. I am really grateful for the extra support she gave me when I was really struggling with one of my assignments. The support and reassurance she has provided throughout the course has been invaluable. Thank you so much Helene!!!!

To anyone unsure about completing courses online with Real Training – Don’t hesitate – do it. I have now completed 2 courses with Real Training and have found both of them absolutely great!

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

I am more critical and analytical of the provision and support in place for students to ensure they have the best learning outcomes.

I have led staff training linked to my project and am able to more confidently support staff across the setting in ensuring that students needs are being catered for and met, as well as ensuring staff are meeting the requirements of SEND legislation and policy. 

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?

Completing this qualification has been challenging, stimulating and inspiring.  Each strand and each assignment has developed my knowledge, understanding, practical application and confidence in the multi-faceted role of a SENCo I have developed a secure understanding about SEND and the role of a SENCo, and how it is always changing, shifting, developing – something which I know I will need to keep abreast of and ensure is implemented at ground level, when I take on the role of Acting SENCo at my setting.

Laura Phillips – NASENCO

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

The Real Training NASENCO course was recommended to me by colleagues who had already completed the course. It also appealed to me as I didn’t have to have any days off of work to attend University Lectures.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

Anne has been fantastic. She has answered all my questions in a really clear and concise way. The feedback given to all the work submitted has been exceptionally prompt meaning that I can work on the improvements immediately and haven’t had to wait weeks to hear. The improvements suggested have been really helpful. Thank you very much.

An amazing course. I loved how accessible it was. I could work in the evenings/ weekends/ holidays etc. It fitted around my workload easily as there are no formal deadlines apart from the one a year on from when you start. As everyone’s workloads are different this is ideal. There were no university visits so no time off of work. The website was easy to use and navigate around. My Tutor was fantastic, and always available for support. I would really recommend booking a course with Real Training.

Really good tasks and assignments meaning everyone can relate them to their own setting and role that they are currently undertaking. This meant they were really accessible. All tasks and assignments helped me to gain a greater knowledge of the Role and Responsibilities of a SENCO.

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

I have formed a greater understanding for the SEN Code of Practice and how it is implemented in our school. With specific child centred focus – with an Assess/Plan/Do/Review approach to all decisions made.

Sharing knowledge and Skills through leading CPD sessions.

Implementing change for collection of data.

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?

A greater understanding of the bigger picture of SEND. A greater understanding of how our school supports SEND pupils I am currently not the SENCO so was able to work with her to form a greater understanding of a SENCO role at our school.

I have learnt about me and my personality to help me in this role.

I have learnt more about the structure of our school and how the SEND department operates.

I have been able to collaborate with other schools.

Sarah Johnson-Motyl – NASENCO, CCET, NPQSL, Enquiry-Based SEN Practice, Dyslexia – Leadership & Intervention

Why did you decide to study with us?

I discovered the Real Training courses when I was searching for an online course that could be flexible around my work and home commitments. When I started on my journey with Real Training I aspired to achieve the courses which could be combined to achieve a Masters qualification. At that time I was a single parent with 3 year old twins and a 5 year old, a full time job as a SENCO and so could not be away from home for childcare reasons. This ruled out most courses as weekend commitments were a pre-requisite which I was unable to do. Real Training allowed me to study at the times that suited me (evenings and early mornings) and having an online tutor meant I had flexibility to plan the tutorials and assessment work. I really liked the way the course was structured and it was easy to follow the pathway the from beginning through to final submission. The admin team and help desk always responded swiftly to any queries and so although the course used a remote model of studying, I never felt at a loss or unsupported. I liked the virtual community and the fact that we could all join groups and discussion threads from wherever we were in the world. This breadth of experience added the experience of being part of a group and we supported each other through this means.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

I have studied several courses and I have had a consistent experience with all my Real Training tutors – all have been utterly fabulous. I can honestly say they have been available at short notice for my questions (no matter how small!) and when I have needed additional flexibility to complete coursework they have been 100% supportive.

I like the fact that we are respected as professionals and there is an understanding that juggling family, study, work and of course ‘life’ means that sometimes more flexibility is needed. The encouragement of tutors spurs on any lagging motivation and the online system gives more support than any other course I have done, including face to face courses.

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

I completed the NASENCO course and was able to apply this to both KS1 and KS2 cohorts. By achieving the assessor qualification, I complemented my practice as a SENCO to deepen understanding of complex needs as well as train staff to further enhance their own CPD within SEN. As an experienced SENCO, I mentored international students on their SEND doctorate and MA courses from Exeter University, as well as participated in their research into Lesson Study.

Sarah’s headteacher

‘Sarah created a whole school assessment plan which meant we identified and addressed SEN at the earliest opportunity. She has driven effective interventions for pupils with both specific learning difficulties as well improving outcomes for these pupils. Her ability to scrutinise assessment data assimilate test scores into necessary individualised programmes of study means nobody slips through the net’

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 am looking forward to achieving my Masters qualification and also my National Professional Qualification in Senior Leadership. I love studying and am keen to further progress my practise next year.

Not sure which course I will enrol onto next… possibly NPQH! The world is your oyster with the REAL training programmes!

Catrin Brauner – NASENCO, CPT3A

Why did you decide to study with us?

I looked into Real Training as so many people across the UAE had recommended them to me as a good way to increase my knowledge and skills. I initially approached them as I needed to build my skills in understanding access arrangements and assessing learners but quickly realised how much more they had to offer. The range of courses is impressive and it’s easy to plan a CPD route that fits with your interests and other commitments. The ongoing tutor support is something that made real training a very desirable training provider. I was also very impressed that courses were accredited with Middlesex University which allows people to work towards a Masters Qualification in SEN. 

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

All of the courses I have enrolled on have exceeded my expectations. The first course was a mixture of face to face and online, both parts were delivered seamlessly. The detail and structure that goes into the planning of the courses allows for delegates to feel guided throughout the course, even when there is no face to face element. The course tutors are extremely knowledgeable, approachable and helpful; they respond quickly to any messages and are always willing to help.

I am currently completing the NASENCO course, despite being a UK qualification it is extremely applicable to anyone working in SEN or leadership. The course takes a true 360o approach to ensure delegates have a chance to develop all the skills required to be an inclusive leader of SEND. The course is arranged in a multi-faceted manner which increases engagement and allows people to work to their strengths.

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

The CPT3A course has had a huge impact on the children I work with and the provision we can offer in school, as well as helping me expand my understanding and skills significantly. The skills learnt allow us to understand our pupils in more depth in order to create the provision they deserve. This has been well received by all stakeholders including parents, governors, teachers and the children.

I am currently about halfway through completing the NASENCO course. The course has helped me reflect more on specific areas of what I do and find out what other schools are doing which is hugely helpful. I now have a better understanding of the history of SEN as well as current policy. This has helped me update some school approaches and action plan for the future.

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?

The CPT3A allowed me to have a deeper understanding of the pedagogy behind a lot of teaching tools and assessments. This has helped me use data to better understand, and therefore support, children’s needs on an individual level.

On the other hand the NASENCO course has taught me more about leadership, strategy and bringing about positive change. I believe both courses have allowed me to be better at my job and allow me to be a better leader and teacher.

Poonam Ahir – NASENCO

What do you do?

‘I am a SENCO in a two-form-entry primary school in a very affluent area which also has a very high deprivation rate.’

Why did you decide to study the National Award for SEN Coordination (NASENCO) with us?

‘My MA tutor at a London university recommended Real Training. I told her that my new head teacher wanted to appoint me as a SENCO and she suggested Real Training.’

What was your favourite part of the course?

‘The course has helped me to set up the correct targets, create an action plan and put the right provision in place for the children in my school. It has also given me the right guidance to enable me to hold key meetings with staff, parents and external agencies.’

What impact has it had on your professional life?

‘It’s given me a clear understanding of exactly what I need to do to improve the outcomes of the children in my care. I could do it while I was either at work or at home. So, I could pull up my case studies and have them to hand at work to use and reflect on. Then, I could go back home and speak to people on Real’s Campus OnlineTM forum. I never felt lonely.’

What can someone who has taken these modules offer?

‘A huge amount of structured expertise will work its way into their professional practice.’

Why would you advise someone to take this course?

‘Because you have to have it! However, more importantly, it will make a real difference to your professional life and the way in which you support children and liaise with parents and staff.’