The National Award  for Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs)


Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs) play a vital role in leading the co-ordination of provision for children and young people with SEN and/or disabilities in schools. The importance of SENCOs in schools has been reiterated in the new SEN code of Practice and the Children’s and Families Act (2014).

Legislation introduced in 2008 prescribes the qualifications and experience a teacher should have to be designated a SENCO and the governing bodies’ functions relating to the key responsibilities of the SENCO.

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.

It will consist of 10 taught days, 4 days at the University of Roehampton and 6 days locally in Lambeth. 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.


The course content will be informed by current SEN and disability legislation and underpinned by current theory and research led practice pertaining to Special and Inclusive Education. It will provide 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.

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

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

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.

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 comprises 4 elements, two of which are marked against the Level 7/Master’s assessment criteria (element 1 and element 2) and which must both be passed (equivalent to 5000 words), and two of which are professional training requirements, which must also both be met.

Element 1: Critical Reflections on Practice (5000 word equivalent)

This comprises three extended critical reflections, each relating to parts A, B and C of the Learning Outcomes. Each CR is drawn from practice-based experience and from learning through the programme and is submitted along with related materials and professional learning evidence.

Element 2: A Reflective Practitioner Enquiry Report (5000 word equivalent)

The report must be based on a reflective practitioner enquiry carried out in the school, which explores an area/issue of practice in order to support inclusion and improvement.

Element 3: Professional Element – school based

Completion of a School Based NASENCO Performance Booklet, which should be signed at the end by the school’s head teacher.


To express interest for October 2020 please email







To be advised 




University of Roehampton London, Roehampton Lane, London, SW15 5PU  & Aurora House, 22 Kennington Park Gardens, London SE11 4AX