National Award for SEN Coordination

✅ Flexible online learning – complete NASENCO safely & conveniently

✅ Start the award before or after your appointment to school SENCO

✅ Validated by Bath Spa University & worth 60 Master's credits

✅ Spread the cost & pay via interest-free instalments

"A huge thank you for the Zoom meeting last week. I found it super useful and it really helped me to structure my thinking and the direction of my academic writing."
NASENCO Candidate, 2020

The National Award for SEN Coordination (NASENCO) is a statutory requirement for all SENCOs appointed new to the role (in a mainstream school or academy), and an excellent opportunity for professional development for current and aspiring SENCOs.

The programme will provide the opportunity for participants to reflect upon and improve their practice whilst learning more about the coordination of special educational needs, policy and supporting the individual needs of children and young people.

Our NASENCO programme incorporates the award of a Postgraduate Certificate in SEN Coordination, validated by Bath Spa University (BSU) as part of their Professional Master’s Programme, worth the first 60 credits towards a Master’s (MA) degree.

Ours is a work-based, flexible and practical programme that will equip you with the tools and knowledge you need to enhance achievement and maximise impact upon learners with SEN and/or disabilities.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed the (NASENCo) course and would recommend highly to others. The course has helped me to be more strategic and think outside of the box. Thank you!"
NASENCo Candidate, 2020

What are the benefits?

This programme will improve your awareness and understanding of professional practice, signpost/provide access to relevant research and help you develop supportive learning networks. It is work-based, flexible and practical and will equip you with the tools and knowledge you need to increase the participation of learners with SEN and/or disabilities within your particular educational setting.

Working at Master's level, alongside others who share your passion for SEN and Inclusion, will sharpen your analytical and evaluative skills and deepen your knowledge of your specific specialist areas. In addition, the achievement of the award can contribute to higher levels of self-esteem and open up career progression opportunities. In addition, candidates will receive an NUS  card for the duration of the programme.

Participants will develop their knowledge, understanding and skills across the 10 key themes

  • The statutory and regulatory context for SEN and disability equality and the implications for practice in their school or work setting
  • The principles and practice of leadership in different contexts
  • How SEN and disabilities affect pupils’ participation and learning
  • Strategies for improving outcomes for pupils with SEN and/or disabilities
  • Working strategically with senior colleagues and governors
  • Leading, developing  and, where necessary, challenging  senior leaders, colleagues and governors
  • Critically evaluating evidence about learning, teaching and assessment in relation to pupils with SEN to inform practice
  • Drawing on external sources of support and expertise
  • Developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating relevant systems
  • Personal and Professional Qualities

How is it delivered?

Our programme is delivered nationally in partnership with Bath Spa University (BSU) and incorporates the Postgraduate Certificate in SEN Co-ordination worth 60 credits towards a Master’s degree. Our standard programme offers a flexible combination of blended learning and support opportunities that include:

  • face-to-face sessions with expert facilitators (currently delivered via facilitated online workshops due to Covid)
  • online learning
  • webinars exploring key themes and good practice in academic writing
  • personal tutor and peer support
  • technical and administrative support

From 1st September 2021, we are also able to offer an online version of the standard programme that can be accessed by individuals unable to attend as part of a face-to-face group.

Whether online or face-to-face as part of the standard blended learning programme, our six-day programmes are typically delivered over one academic year. SENCOs on these programmes receive all-through individual tutor support to ensure successful completion.

Event Content
Day 1
  • Qualification insights, qualification organisation, and development expectations
  • Introducing the Learning Outcomes and how they can be evidenced
  • Introducing the requirements for assignments 1 and 2
  • Inclusion, the role of the SENCO, Working with Stakeholders
  • How SEND affect learning and participation
Day 2
  • Developing an assignment – Speech, language and communication needs
  • Inspection frameworks
  • The Local Offer, funding models, mediation and the policy and legislative context for health and social care
  • Safeguarding and data protection
  • How SEND affect learning and participation
Day 3
  • Leading and Coordinating provision
  • Working with governors
  • The characteristics of highly effective leadership
  • Role modelling, coaching and mentoring
  • How SEND affect learning and participation
Day 4
  • Factors that influence learning
  • Severe and complex SEND
  • Developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating systems
  • Children with SEND and bullying
  • How SEND affect learning and participation
Day 5
  • Provision mapping
  • Assessment of SEND
  • Developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating systems
  • Focus on Reflective Account 2
  • How SEND affect learning and participation
Day 6
  • Differentiation
  • Structured conversations
  • How SEND affect learning and participation
  • Needs-led workshop
  • Review and next steps

Duration of study and outline of the programme

For the Master’s level work, participants will have a year within which to submit their academic assignments. To complete the programme participants will be expected to:

  • Attend 6 face-to-face day sessions to engage in learning, share good practice and practice key skills
  • Write two assignments that add up to 60 credits
  • Complete an e-portfolio to ensure that documentary evidence is provided for any learning outcomes not covered elsewhere
  • Invest time in personal study - reading, research and on-going reflection on practice - will be required
  • Liaise with their group and academic tutor

To support successful completion we ask and encourage schools to provide appropriate release time in order to give participants the opportunity to:

  • Carry out some days of school-based activities for research and development activity in school
  • Visits other workplaces, where appropriate
  • Engage in additional national workshop days or half days


The programme delivers the learning outcomes specified by the Department for Education and 60 Master's level credits, through two elements:

  • 2 x 30 credit assignments as part of the PG Certificate
  • E-portfolio - evidence is drawn from school-based activities such as policies, procedures and systems that SENCOs have put in place, used, developed or reviewed

Who is this for?

The Department for Education (DfE) regulations 2014 require school governing bodies to ensure that SENCOs who are new to the role gain the National Award for SEN Coordination within three years of appointment. Furthermore, the prescribed qualifications and experience of SENCos is stated clearly within the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014, paragraph 49, i.e.

49.—(1) The appropriate authority of a relevant school must ensure that the SENCO appointed under section 67(2) of the Act meets all of the requirements in either paragraph (2) or (3).

(2) The requirements in this paragraph are that the SENCO—

(a) is a qualified teacher;

(b) if required to complete an induction period under regulations made under section 135A of the Education Act 2002(1), has satisfactorily completed such an induction period; and

(c) is working as a teacher at the school.

(3) The requirement in this paragraph is that the SENCO is the headteacher or acting headteacher (or equivalent in the case of an Academy school) of the school.

 Therefore, only qualified teachers (QTS or QTLS) are eligible to undertake the programme.

 Individuals who hold Early Years Initial Teacher Status are also able to gain the Award but this will only be recognised within the 0-5 sector.

 The NASENCo programme is also available to aspiring SENCOs who have their school’s support to work with the designated SENCO to ensure they have the opportunity to meet all Learning Outcomes.

Application Process

In order to be accepted onto  NASENCo, prospective participants must secure support from their Headteacher to:

  • confirm that the school will provide sufficient support to enable you to complete the National Award for SEN Co-ordination training and assessment programme (Please note: BPN recommends that schools allow at least 2-3 days release in addition to the face-to-face training days to effectively support their SENCO)
  • confirm that you have been DBS checked and/or ISA registered in accordance with government regulations and are considered safe to work with children
  • confirm that you are employed under a permanent or fixed-term contract that will continue for at least 1 (one) year from the date of this application until the National Award for SEN Co-ordination is completed

Only applicants with a completed corresponding Headteacher declaration form will be accepted onto the qualification & offered a place in one of our delivery groups.

If you are the Schools’ designated SENCO, please complete the below form which must have a physical signature (typed is not accepted):

If you are not the School’s designated SENCO, please complete the below forms which must have a physical signature (typed is not accepted):

What does it cost?

The National Award for SEN Coordination costs £2,250 +VAT. 

Fees include ongoing personal tutor support, registration with Bath Spa University and access to our virtual learning environment for the duration of the programme.

NASENCO Programme Information