Taught course

National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination

University of Chichester · Institute for Education

Entry requirements

Please see our website for details: https://www.chi.ac.uk/institute-education/masters-level/postgraduate-certificate-professional-practice-national-award-senco

Months of entry

February, September

Course content

The University of Chichester is one of the key providers in the south of England offering the mandatory qualification for newly appointed SENCOs. We are registered as an approved provider by the National Association for Special Educational Needs (NASEN). Our innovative programme attracts SENCOs from counties across the south coast. We have developed a strong collaboration with local authorities to ensure that it supports both local and national requirements and we involve both national and international consultants to work with us in delivering a relevant and up-to-date programme.

The National Award is required to be at Masters level and you will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice with 60 Masters level credits on completion of the programme. The course is structured over one academic year and SENCOs come to the Bognor Regis Campus for one day each month. These practical and interactive sessions are aimed at equipping SENCOs to evaluate and develop effective leadership and management of SEND provision. and improve the learning outcomes and achievements of pupils who have a special educational need and/or disability.

Topics include:

• 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 to advise on and influence the strategic development of a person-centred and inclusive ethos, policies, priorities and practices;

• leading, developing and, where necessary, challenging senior leaders, colleagues and governors to understand and meet their statutory responsibilities towards children and young people with SEN and/or disabilities;

• 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 to engage with the Local Offer to develop effective working partnerships with professionals in other services and agencies;

• developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating systems to identify pupils who may have SEN and/or disabilities, and informing all staff about the learning needs and emotional, social and mental health needs, and achievement of children and young people with SEN and/or disabilities;

• developing and demonstrating 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.

You will be required to undertake assignments that are strongly rooted in evidence-based SEND practice in the workplace. At the end of the programme SENCOs prepare a portfolio of evidence to show how they have met the Learning Outcomes for SENCOs (NCTL, 2014). Staff at the university offer support and guidance throughout the programme. As students of the University, SENCOs also have access to the library and online resources during the study days and off campus.

Delivery of course

One day each month


Seminars and Conference

Work-based projects


  • A brief Commentary (1000 words) on your role as SENCO
  • An Essay (3000 words) on your leadership and management of SEND provision
  • A Presentation (10 minutes/2000 word equivalent) outlining your proposed research project
  • A Research Project (4000 words) on an aspect of SEND provision and inclusive practice in your setting
  • A Portfolio (2000 word equivalent) with evidence of how you have met the Learning Outcomes

Assignment weighting:

Assignment 1 - 8%

Assignment 2 - 25%

Assignment 3 - 16%

Assignment 4 - 33%

Assignment 5 - 16%

Continuing your studies

Successful completion of the PGCiPP: National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination will give you 60 credits at Masters level. You will have the option to continue with an MA in Inclusive Special Education. Click here for more details.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PGCiPP
    part time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Dissertation60 (12,000 words)

Course contact details

Diana Seach
01243 812045