The National Award for SEN Coordination (NASENCO) is a statutory requirement for all SENCOs appointed new to role from September 2008 and is an excellent opportunity for professional development for experienced SENCOs.

Best Practice Network's NASENCO programme is delivered in partnership with the School of Education's CPD Department at Bath SPA University (BSU). It is a leading edge Master’s level programme, delivered by skilled tutors that is designed to transform professional practice.

It 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.



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. The programme is intended to support new SENCOs in their first year or two in post.

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 state:

49. Prescribed qualifications and experience of SENCOs

  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:
    1. is a qualified teacher;
    2. if required to complete an induction period under regulations made under section 135A of the Education Act 2002, has satisfactorily completed such an induction period; and
    3. is working as a teacher at the school.
  3. The requirement in this paragraph is that the SENCO is the head teacher or acting head teacher (or equivalent in the case of an Academy school) of the school.

Therefore only qualified teachers (QTS or QTLS) or headteacher/acting headteachers 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.



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.

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


Delivery Model

This programme is delivered nationally in partnership with Bath Spa University (BSU) and incorporates the Postgraduate Certificate in Inclusive Education worth 60 credits towards a Master’s degree.
 It offers a flexible combination of blended learning and support opportunities that include:

  • face-to-face sessions with expert facilitators
  • online learning
  • webinars exploring key themes and good practice in academic writing
  • personal tutor and peer support
  • technical and administrative support

The six-day programmes are typically delivered over one academic year. SENCOs on these programmes receive all-through individual tutor support to ensure successful completion.



The programme delivers the learning outcomes specified by the National College for Teaching and Leadership and 60 Master's level credits, through two elements:

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


The National Award for SEN Coordination costs £1,795 +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.


To Apply

Please complete the online registration form at:

Applicants completing their programme application are asked to identify whether they have been recommended by a delivery partner. Please select West Herts Teaching School from the drop down list and then enter our Partner allocation Code, which is WHTS.

If you are part of a school network or alliance with several SENCOs wishing to complete the award at the same time, please enquire about BPN's bespoke training that can be arranged at a local level and delivered within your schools.