National Award for SEN Coordinators


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Postgraduate On-Campus Open Day
Sunday 1 August 2021, 9am–1pm

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Postgraduate and Doctoral open evening
Wednesday 3 November 2021, 5–7.30pm

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  • The course is accessible with 10 taught days that can be fit around an existing job and personal commitments.
  • This course fulfils the statutory requirements of the 2014 Children and Families Act that all new-to-post SENCOs should have a postgraduate qualification.
  • We are one of the accredited national providers, found on the National Association for Special Education Needs website (NASEN).
  • We provide ongoing support with extensive electronic resources on and off-site. 
  • A university tutor and school based mentor assigned to each student.
  • You will be working with a group of your peers and have the opportunity, should you wish, to use the credits gained on this course, towards an MA. 


The course meets the learning outcomes agreed nationally by the DFE and the SENCO Award providers' group for the NASENCO qualification. The course content is informed by current SEN and disability legislation and underpinned by current theory and research led practice pertaining to Special and Inclusive Education.

Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) play a vital role in leading the coordination 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 3 years of taking up the post.

Note: The accreditation of prior learning is not permitted as part of the assessment for this programme.

Enrolment and funding

To avoid delays in the enrolment process please read carefully the specific criteria document.  You must also download the Head Teacher agreement document and submit a signed copy with your application.  

It will consist of 9 taught days and one further day at the university for tutorials, study and research. It provides professional development for new to post SENCOs to enhance the quality of teaching for children and young people with SEN and/or a disability and to improve provision and outcomes for them. Course teaching days always take place on Wednesdays at Roehampton. 

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 3 years of taking up the post.

Following new legislation around Special Educational Needs included within the Children and Families Bill 2014, the outcomes for the National SENCO Award have changed for the cohort 2014/15. This is to ensure the Award continues to reflect the role of the SENCO, within the changing national and local context of Special Educational Needs.

The National College for Teaching and Leadership has provided provisional learning outcomes for the NASENCO Award next year, focused on three areas:

A. Professional Knowledge and Understanding.
B. Leading and Coordinating Provision
C. Personal and Professional Qualities

Academic Support

Each participant on the programme will be allocated a tutor within the University who will have experience in tutoring and supporting participants from a range of university programmes, including those who are studying whilst working full time. Additionally, the SENCO host school will provide a school-based mentor to oversee and support the school based element of the training, and to mark the portfolio. The school-based mentor will also play a key role in supporting and advising the new to post SENCO.


The assessment is in two parts, each of which must be passed and each of which is equivalent to 5000 words.

Part 1: A Portfolio of Evidence
The portfolio must comprise evidence to demonstrate meeting the SENCO training standards. The evidence should be drawn from practice-based experience and from learning through the programme. Reflective commentary on evidence provided must be included. A reflective reading log must be included as an Appendix. The Mentor Handbook must be included as an Appendix.

Part 2: A Report of a Reflective Practitioner Enquiry (5000 word report)
The report must be based on a practitioner led enquiry carried out in the school, which explores an area/issue of inclusive practice or provision in order to support improvement for pupils with SEN and/or a disability.


(1) critical reflections on practice (5000 words equiv.)
(2) reflective practitioner enquiry report (5000 words equiv.)
(3) completion of school-based NASENCO Performance Booklet, which should be signed at the end by the school’s head teacher
(4) attendance at 80% of taught sessions (8-10 days) at Roehampton University as a minimum

Prerequisite(s): QTS/SENCO status
Venue: on-site at Roehampton University

Unit 1 provides opportunities for SENCOs to translate theory into effective practice and to critically explore new understandings of barriers to learning and the impact of disabilities and difficulties on pupils' learning in schools and classrooms.

In Unit 2 participants will be enabled to become reflective practitioners with a view to exploring, reviewing and evaluating their and others' practice in order to increase participation and enhance provision for all pupils, including those with SEN/disabilities.

In Unit 3 participants will complete their studies by demonstrating the ability to plan, collaborate on and implement interventions engendering positive developments in a mainstream school in or beyond their own.


Compulsory and Required modules
Compulsory and/or required modules may change when we review and update programmes. Above is a list of modules offered this academic year.

Optional modules
Optional modules, when offered as part of a programme, may vary from year to year and are subject to viability.

The Award should enable SENCOs to develop and demonstrate the personal and professional qualities and leadership they need to shape an ethos and culture based upon person-centred, inclusive, practice in which the interests and needs of children and young people, pupils with SEN and/or disabilities are at the heart of all that takes place.

Our experience is that many students undertaking this award progress quickly to further promotion, especially to school leadership teams.

Life at Roehampton

At Roehampton, we can offer all new students the opportunity to live in accommodation on our beautiful parkland campus, including affordable and high-end options.

We offer scholarships, provide hardship funding and help you find advice on managing your finances while you study.

We provide plenty of opportunities for you to get involved, through volunteering, playing sport or music, or joining one of our many active student societies.

Chat to one of our advisers online