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Undertaking SENCO Responsibilities (preview)

If you book the National Award for SEN Coordination course, and are not working as the named SENCO in your setting, Real Training will ask for some extra assurances from you and your head of centre. As the course is focussed on practice-led learning and reflection on your own practice, we will seek confirmation that you will have access to the roles and opportunities that will enable you to gather the evidence required to meet the NASENCO Learning Outcomes, before accepting you onto the course. This will also require the support of your Head Teacher and Senior Leadership Team, as some of the tasks that you will be required to undertake may fall outside your existing role in school.

When you book you will be sent an additional online form to complete, with input from your head of centre. The form allows you and your head to review the course requirements and confirm that you will have appropriate support in your setting.

The information below is designed to provide you with an overview of all the tasks that need to be completed as part of Real Training’s NASENCO course. You are not required to do anything with this information at this stage, other than read through it to check that you can complete all the requirements in your setting.

We would advise discussing the requirements with your head of centre prior to booking.

If you have any questions, please contact us on 01273 358080 or info@realgroup.co.uk


Strand 1 activities to assess the NASENCO Learning outcomes

  1. Read and review the historical background to inclusive education using the key references on inclusion identified for the module. Also review some of the controversial perspectives on Inclusion. Make notes on your critical reading of Strand 1 of the NASENCO course manual. Complete a multiple-choice questionnaire to assess your understanding.
  2. Develop a question, based on your reading to discuss with your colleagues. Arrange discussions to gather the views of your colleagues on the issues surrounding inclusion. Summarise your discussion with colleagues and share with delegates on the course.
  3. Reflect on the key areas of learning and implications for your practice by writing a learning log on implications for your applied practice.
  4. Consolidate your learning on inclusive education by writing a Masters level assignment (3000 words) entitled The Context for Inclusive Education. Your essay will include an analysis of the local, national and international context of inclusive education. We give you suggestion about how to structure this assignment, a guide to referencing and the criteria for Masters level submissions.

Strand 2 activities to assess the NASENCO Learning outcomes

  1. Identify an existing ‘SEND development project’ in your school. Arrange to visit another school which has established good SEND practice. Discuss the objectives for your placement with your headteacher and how this course activity will support you to achieve good outcomes in your own school project.
  2. Review the literature and guidance on the area of SEND you will focus on in your project to establish the research background for the area on which you will be focusing.
  3. Arrange your placement school visit for 2-4 days in another setting. Contact the headteacher and/or SENCO of the placement school. Outline the purpose of your placement activity and agree a way forward. Discuss the information & documentation you will need from the school and your expectations from the visit. Undertake your placement visit & gather information.
  4. Compare the SEND/inclusion policy documents from the two schools. Write a summary of your policy analysis and an anonymised version of your own school policy.
  5. Review the information you have gathered on your setting and your placement setting and develop an implementation plan for your own setting’s SEND project. A range of activities support you to do this.
  6. Write your second Masters level assignment or produce a multi-media presentation for your colleagues to present your action-research for your SEND project. The assignment will be entitled ‘A critical analysis, evaluation and comparison of the strategy and policies for inclusive education within two diverse schools / working contexts / learning environments’. It is important to also analyse the approach to inclusive education and current policies in both contexts, addressing both the stated strategic goals and how these are implemented through policies and action ‘on-the-ground’.

Strand 3 activities to assess the NASENCO Learning outcomes

  1. Collate an overview of the data systems used in your setting to track and monitor the SEND data in your setting to share with your tutor and other delegates. Read and consider the information available in Strand 3 of the course manual on systems for tracking and monitoring pupils with SEND. In your overview, include: (a) At least two pieces of evidence of your own practice at the systemic (whole-school) level, e.g. an anonymised section of your SEN or AEN Register highlighting those pupils at SA, SAP, Statements/ Sample IEP or an anonymised copy of your Provision Map/other data management systems that you use at a school, LA, National level, e.g. Raise online. You may wish to include more than two. (b) Also provide and annotate an anonymised screenshot of your data systems at the ‘individual learner’ level to demonstrate your monitoring/ tracking of progress. In your overview document, annotate the images and information to explain the systems, how the processes work to manage these systems and the functions achieved.
  2. Discuss your systems overview with colleagues in your setting – Share your overview of systems with some of your colleagues. Discuss their views on how the systems you have outlined can support their teaching and how their own assessment data can be used to inform your monitoring of SEND progress.
  3. Share with other delegates your recent involvement in SEND projects –Review the range of SEND projects to develop new provision, resources or services that you have been involved in over recent months. This could range from development projects focussed on improving provision for a specific need type within your setting or wider SEND projects with other local schools, linked settings, associated service providers or LA-wide initiatives. Consider the ways in which you demonstrated strategic financial planning, budget management and use of resources to deliver high quality SEND provision in line with best value principles.
  4. Review the range of interventions in your setting – Review the range of interventions offered within your school. Discuss with colleagues how well informed they feel about the range of interventions offered and the criteria for accessing different interventions. Discuss the accessibility of the information about interventions and ways in which you could structure the information for colleagues and/or parents.
  5. Evaluating the impact of an intervention Decide which intervention will be the focus of your evaluation. You may choose to focus on a widely used approach to assess its effectiveness across a wide cohort of pupils, or a more specific approach recommended for only a small number of pupils. You may decide to review an existing intervention or a new intervention about to begin in your setting. Choose one learner who will be part of the intervention to focus your evaluation upon. The process outlined for the evaluation will support you in developing your approach to leading and managing the decisions on a broader scale within your setting.
  6. Undertake a literature review for the intervention – Undertake a literature review on the evidence provided by the publisher of your focus intervention and other published evaluations. You will need to organise the information that you find into: The evidence base for the intervention; The programme design – how do the various aspects of the activities and resources link to a theoretical framework; The instructional theory – how is the intervention intended to be delivered? By whom? Training required? Frequency of sessions? Other requirements?
  7. Create an intervention evaluation framework – Use your notes on the key themes for the intervention outcomes, to use as the basis of your framework for evaluating your focus intervention. Summarise published information about learners where there have been good outcomes with this intervention (e.g. pupil age) and how this relates to learners offered the intervention in your setting.
  8. Plan and then implement your evaluation – Plan how you will gather the information to evaluate the impact of this evaluation. Undertake the activities outlined in your plan and keep careful records on the data, feedback and observations you make on the intervention. Summarise the evaluation outcomes – Produce a summary of the evaluation information that you have gathered and outcomes for your focus learner – either as a document, table, chart or other.
  9. Review the proposals for multi-agency service provision in recent legislation – Review policy and literature that discuss ways in which services within education, health and social services can work together better to meet the needs of children and young people with SEND, and their families. You can review the proposals in Chapter 5 of the Support and Aspiration Green paper: Support and Aspiration Write a learning log in your Notebook to describe how you currently recognise the contribution of all stakeholders (professionals, parents, voluntary agencies) in supporting the learning needs of pupils with SEND and your views on how these new proposals could be implemented in your setting to achieve the best outcomes for this group of learners (500 words).
  10. Review your skills in working with external partners – Locate some written evidence to document the range of your experiences so far in liaising with external professional colleagues. The evidence could be varied, e.g.: Anonymised minutes from a Team Around the Child meeting. Anonymised minutes from a termly ‘inclusion meeting’ in your setting involving a range of agencies. Anonymised minutes from a meeting commissioning services for learners in your setting. A copy of your Provision Map detailing range of agencies involved within your Wave 1,2 and 3 provision. Create a summary document and include screen-shots/photos or other evidence of your work. Annotate the document with comments to highlight your role in the process, your reflections on the skills you demonstrated during the meeting and areas of strength in your practice.
  11. Outline the impact of your learning on your applied practice – Summarise your key points of learning and the impact on your practice from Strand 3 (and include reference to strand 4 content, where relevant also). Write and upload your Assignment 3 – Having decided which of the two options for this assignment you are going to complete (review of a SEND project or an intervention evaluation).

Strand 4 activities to assess the NASENCO Learning outcomes

  1. Reflect on your characteristics in your professional role – Spend a few minutes thinking about how you would describe yourself in your professional role. Focus on what you see as your most important characteristics or attributes and write these down. Review your list of characteristics and then use the model (outlined in Strand 4 content within your manual) to categorise what you have written as being aspects of personality, capabilities, values and motivation or core self-concept.
  2. Undertake the same reflective task with colleagues – Arrange an informal discussion with colleagues that you work closely with and/or line manage to encourage them to reflect also on the characteristics they present in their work supporting learners with SEND. Consider how the values and motivations of you and your colleagues support and challenge the work that you do together and develop ideas to build on your applied practice for learners with SEND.
  3. Review your professional development with your headteacher – Use the range of materials you have gathered in preparing for this meeting to outline your experiences in the past year, your learning, your achievements and your targets for the future:
    • The work that you have undertaken so far to strategically develop policy and practices for meeting the needs of learners with SEND. Successful outcomes achieved through work at a strategic, leadership level and any factors which may have prevented positive outcomes.
    • Your experiences of working in the role of ‘SENCO as leader’ in the school promoting teaching and learning improvements for pupils with SEND. The ways in which you currently organise and manage the range of staff resources within the school to support learners with SEND and the opportunities that you have had so far to lead and influence the structure of line management and day-to-day management of these staff.
    • Your aspirations for further developing this work with colleagues, parents and other stakeholders in the coming year. The areas in which you would like to further develop your leadership role to ensure even greater effectiveness for learners with SEND. The opportunities and challenges that these aspirations may present for you.
  4. Write your assignment – Complete the self-assessment questionnaire. Then write your reflective summary assignment entitled ‘An evaluation of the impact of the whole course on development of applied professional knowledge and leadership skills’ (1000-1500 words). This assignment is intended to comprise your personal reflections on your professional development, however it will still be marked using Masters-level criteria so please include references to the reading that you have undertaken in relevant areas, such as Teachers’ professional development & CPD for SENCOs, Online practice-led learning.

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