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What is the NPQ for SENCO?

The new NPQ for SENCO is a brand-new NPQ which will launch in November 2024. From September 2024, this new NPQ is the statutory required qualification for school, nursery and college SENCOs.

It’s an 18 month course delivered using a blend of online and face to face training sessions, small group coaching and self-study materials. We hold face to face sessions across England and deliver the NPQ for SENCO with local delivery partners across the country including teaching school hubs, diocese, multi-academy trust and other specialist organisations.

What will I learn on the course?

This 18-month course will enable you to:

  • co-ordinate special educational needs (SEN) provision throughout your school
  • work alongside other leaders to build a school culture in which pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can participate meaningfully in the full life of the school, achieve ambitious outcomes and make successful transitions to their next steps

During the course you’ll cover 8 units, which are:

  • school culture
  • statutory framework
  • identification of need
  • teaching
  • behaviour
  • leading and managing provision
  • professional development
  • implementation

What qualifications do I need to work as a SENCO in England?

All mainstream schools (including academies and free schools) must have a SENCO.

The SENCO must be a qualified teacher, or the headteacher, working at the school.

This NPQ will be the mandatory qualification for SENCOs from September 2024, with teaching beginning in November 2024.

This means that anyone who is working as SENCO must have completed the NPQ for SENCOs within the first 3 years of being in post.

SENCOs meet their statutory requirement on receiving the outcome of their NPQ (so this means that you must have begun the award within the first 12 months of starting a new role as a SENCO, so that there is time for you to complete the course and receive your award within the 3 years allocated).

If you’ve previously completed the NASENCO award you do not need to also complete the NPQ for SENCO.

Who is this course for?

The course is for those who are a SENCO or who aspire to be a SENCO, in a mainstream school or academy, independent school, special school, alternative provision setting or 16-19 organisation.

It is also suitable for:

  • Non-teaching staff who support the SENCO, either formally as a deputy SENCO or leading a particular area of SEND provision within the school
  • Line managers of SENCOs or other senior leaders with responsibility for curriculum, behaviour, pastoral needs or managing provision
  • Those who work outside of a school setting but work closely with SENCOs, e.g. in a local authority.
  • You don’t have to have secured a SENCO post to undertake this course and some applicants may not have QTS.

Will my school have to pay for the course?

The DFE has allocated a limited number of fully funded places to this NPQ, which will allocated on a first come first served basis. There are funded places available for this NPQ for any school in England, including (it doesn’t matter if your school is on the PP50 list or not for this one).

When all of our funded places have been allocated we will need to charge schools for the NPQ for SENCOs. The cost of the course will be £1333 which is payable in full before the programme commences. 

We will confirm with participants whether your place is fully funded or not in July 2024, when DFE announce how many places will be funded.

If it is important to your school that your place is fully funded, we’d encourage you to apply as soon as possible so that you have the best chance

  1. How do I apply for the NPQ for SENCO?
  2. Apply via our website here.
  3. Once you have applied, we will allocate you a place with the nearest local delivery partner.
  4. In July, the DFE will open their NPQ registration form and we will be in touch to ask you to urgently complete this.
  5. We will be in touch to confirm your funding or let you know your school will need to pay.

Unfortunately, until the DFE confirm the number of funded places in July, we are unable to confirm your funding. This is because we just don’t know how many funded places we will be able to offer on each course until we receive this DFE confirmation.

We do know, however, that funding will be allocated on a first come first served basis, so participants who are able to apply sooner have the best opportunity to secure a fully funded place.