NPQ for SENCOs (NPQ SENCO)

We are now taking registrations of interest for autumn 2024.

From September 2024 this course replaces the NASENCO qualification as the mandatory qualification for SENCOs. Colleagues who have completed NASENCO will not need to complete the NPQ.

This is a new course designed for SENCOs. It begins in autumn 2024 and replaces the
NASENCO qualification. Become an expert leader of special educational needs and learn how you can build an inclusive culture in your school where all pupils can succeed.

  • A new 18-month leadership qualification
  •  Build on your existing SEND expertise
  •  Flexible learning to suit your timetable
  •  Fully funded for autumn 2024
  • Assistant Headteacher / Associate Assistant Headteacher
  • Deputy Headteacher / Vice Principal
  • Head of Faculty / Department / Subject
  • Head of Year
  • Head of Key Stage / Early Years
  • Headteacher / Principal
  • SENCO

This programme follows the Department for Education’s National Professional Qualification (NPQ): SENCO framework.
On this programme, you will learn how to:

  • Contribute to establishing and sustaining a positive and supportive culture across the school for all pupils
  • Support senior leaders to ensure staff and governors enact statutory guidance
  • Support teachers and support staff to understand the importance of expert teaching for all pupils and to implement a graduated approach in the classroom, subject or domain effectively
  • Support the delivery of effective provision for pupils with SEND and their families, and be able to review, monitor, evaluate and improve the impact of SEND provision
  • Work with staff, specialists and other agencies to assist the school in meeting the needs of all pupils
  • Implement an efficient SEND identification process across the school which ensures that barriers to learning are identified and addressed at the earliest opportunity
  • Work with and equip fellow leaders with the skills to establish and sustain effective curriculum planning that enable teachers to plan, adapt and teach effectively for all pupils
  • Support the development of a positive, safe and supportive environment for pupils across the whole school
  • Ensure all pupils feel motivated in school with a supportive setting to enable them to reach their aspirations and potential
    Note: programme content is subject to change

Our NPQ for SENCOs is designed so you can engage in live, facilitated sessions alongside modules you can complete at any time. The first cohort will start in October 2024. Partner cohort locations and dates may vary.
Over 18 months, our NPQ for SENCOs includes:

  • Two full day conferences (6hrs each)
  • Nine courses (each course lasts six weeks and loosely aligned to a school half term)
  • Each course includes six modules
  • Seven two-hour clinics (facilitated sessions)
  • One two-hour assessment clinic
  • Five communities (1hr 15mins group sessions)
  • The content is delivered through blended learning. This includes a mix of real-time, interactive online sessions and self-guided modules you complete in your own time
  • The programme includes facilitator-led sessions with your peer group that focus on decision making. The programme starts with a one-day live conference
  • Excel as a SENCO – Learn how to become a strategic leader of SEND. You’ll discover what good SEND provision looks like and work with other staff to support your school to meet the needs of all pupils, whilst working confidently within statutory guidance
  • Establish a positive culture – You’ll lead on establishing and sustaining a positive, safe and supportive culture across your school for all pupils
  • Develop a strategic SEND provision – Learn how to contribute to and implement a strong and robust SEND strategy and support the delivery of effective provision, working with other agencies and specialists for pupils with SEND, and their families
  • Designed by SEND experts – Benefit from a programme which is designed and delivered by SEND specialists including current SENCOs and experts from across the sector
  • Invest in your future – Ongoing professional development helps you to grow and thrive as a SENCO. You will follow an evidence-informed framework and gain a professional accreditation at the end of the programme
  • Learn at your pace – This programme is designed to fit around your leadership role and much of the work can be completed in bite-size chunks around your existing work timetable
  • Connect with your peers – You will train alongside other SENCOs from similar school contexts. You can share your experiences and build a strong support network
  • Develop your school’s SEND provision – Your SENCOs will learn strategies and solutions to implement a strong SEND provision across your school. This includes creating an effective school-wide culture and supporting the development of a positive, safe and supportive school environment where all pupils can thrive
  • Access the latest SEND learning – Teachers and leaders will bring more evidence-based teaching and learning into your classrooms, meaning high quality teaching and improved outcomes for all pupils, including those with SEND
  • Create a ‘golden thread’ – The NPQs are all aligned. So, no matter what career stage your teachers are at, by joining this programme, they will benefit from an evidence-based framework. They will also share a common language with other NPQ participants that they can pass on to colleagues
  • Identify future leaders – Competent and confident leaders who excel in their roles will be more likely to apply for senior positions in your school when they arise
  • Retain your teaching talent – By allowing teachers to develop and nurture their talents in specialist areas such as SEND, you are investing in their future. This will boost their confidence, making them feel supported and less likely to apply for jobs elsewhere
  • Tap into a network – Your teachers will train alongside peers from other schools with similar contexts, supported by facilitators that fully understand your school’s needs

Our NPQ courses no longer include a large project at the end. Instead, you’ll sit an ‘open book’ style assessment in which you respond to a short case study.
The assessment window starts at the end of the 18-month programme; during this time you’ll be given an eight-day window to complete the case study.

There are two assessment windows every year, and participants have up to two opportunities to sit the assessment, if they need to.

You need to pass the assessment and engage with 90% of the course to qualify for
the NPQ accreditation.
We will offer a webinar and a live clinic in advance of the assessment window to
support you.

NEW for autumn 2024! Department for Education NPQ scholarship funding is available for this NPQ to all publicly funded schools and 16 to 19 educational organisations in England.

DfE-funded scholarships are available for all those who meet the following criteria:
- a current or aspiring SENCO, or a school leader such as a senior leader or headteacher.

We expect more information to be provided by the Department for Education in the summer term.

Extended eligibility
Organisations now eligible to access scholarships include:
 – independent special schools
 – virtual schools (Local Authority run organisations that support the education of
children in care)
 – hospital schools not already included in other categories of eligible organisations.
 – young offender institutions

If you do not work in an eligible school, the NPQ in Headship costs £1,332 plus VAT

SENCOs who have already obtained the NASENCO do not need to complete the SENCO NPQ.

From September 2024, all SENCOs and aspiring SENCOs will need to:

  • take the NPQ if they have not completed or started the NASENCO
  • complete training within 3 years of appointment – schools and SENCOs must make sure they enrol on training that will meet this requirement

SENCOs appointed before 1 September 2009 are not be required to take the NPQ, but will be expected to ensure compliance with the regulations.

You can read more about the new NPQ for SENDCO in this article from Ambition Institute.

How to apply

Applications for autumn 2024 are yet to open, but we are currently taking registrations of interests.

Fill out this form, to be added onto our waiting list and be the first to know when applications open!

Programme dates

Dates for this programme are yet to be confirmed. The first cohort will begin in autumn 2024.