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National Award SENCo (NASENCO) PG Cert Education (Special Educational Needs Coordination)

The National Award SENCo (NASENCO) is a statutory award for newly appointed SENCOs (since 2008) in maintained schools. It is fully validated as a University of Worcester award, the Postgraduate Certificate Education (Special Educational Needs Coordination) (60 credits at Masters level). NASC is also available to experienced SENCOs.

Entry requirements:

The PG Cert SENCO forms a core component of the National Award SENCO (NASENCO). Applicants for the PG Cert SENCO should be in-post in an educational setting. As stipulated by the Department for Education, all applicants wishing to complete the NASENCO must have one of the following qualifications;

• Qualified teacher status (QTS)

• Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS)

• Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS).

In order to graduate with the National Award SENCO (NASENCO), applicants must be practising SENCOs in a position to evidence full engagement with the DfE Learning Outcomes.

In the event that applicants are not practising SENCOs and aspire to assume the role, in order to join this PG Cert SENCO they must be able to evidence significant opportunities to impact on inclusive practice within their settings. Aspirant SENCOs will also require a letter of support from their head teacher indicating a capacity to meet the PG Cert SENCO Learning Objectives. Upon completion of the PG Cert SENCO, and once in post as a SENCO or Inclusion Manager, these graduates will be requested to evidence full engagement with the DfE NASENCO Learning Outcomes. Upon satisfactory completion of a framework of evidence, within three years of completing the PG Cert SENCO, they will also be awarded the National Award SENCO.

In November 2015, NASENCO provision at the University of Worcester was recognised as attaining the peer generated Quality Standards Framework and is therefore registered as provider on the NASEN portal

The University of Worcester continues to be an approved training provider for the NASENCO
Please contact to express your interest.

NASENCO at the University of Worcester has an exceptionally high attendance and retention rate. The external examiner has commended on aspects of “exemplary practice” in course provision. Former students describe course lecturers as “superb - engaging and approachable with a positive, enthusiastic attitude; always willing to help”. Participants particularly value opportunities to discuss and share good practice. They have also commented on the attraction of learning to critically evaluate their own practice, and having constructive conversations with experienced specialists in the field.

Participants also report significant impact of the course on their learners, their schools and on their own practice.

The course offered at the University is distinctive because:

  • Better inclusive practices are ensured for learners with special educational needs
  • Opportunities are provided to work with other SENCos in a diversity of settings
  • Clear links are established between theory and practice
  • A sound blend of face to face and virtual modes of learning is offered
  • Former participants and their schools rate this course very highly
  • The TDA mid-term course evaluation recognised its very high quality.

Anna's story

Anna Allsup is Deputy Head Teacher at The Forge alternative provision in Redditch. In these clips Anna shares her experiences of completing the National Award SENCO at the University of Worcester. Anna identifies how the course has transformed her practice and enabled her to lead SEN provision effectively within her setting.

Want to know more?

If you have further questions about the NASENCO please contact the Course Leader Seán Bracken -

If you would like further details about the registration process, or would like us to send you an application pack, please email

Course Delivery

Course delivery

The PG Cert. consists of three 20 credit modules, spread across seven contact and three study days throughout the academic year. The course also facilitates a network of support through a virtual learning platform and through peer engagement. Academic and professional mentoring and support is also a feature of the course.

Course Content


1. The role of the SENCO: the professional context and pupil learning (MAED 4049)
2. The role of the SENCO: meeting children’s needs in partnership (MAED 4050)
3. The role of the SENCO: leadership, change and impact (MAED 4051).

MAED4049 extends your understanding of the SENCo role. This module provides you with and understanding of, and an engagement with, the complexity of current policy, legal and professional contexts. It provides you with the professional capacity to identify, assess and provide for children with special educational needs within your setting.

MAED4050 focuses on the development of effective partnerships to meet the needs of children and their families. The module helps you to identify and use knowledge, skills and values required to communicate effectively with a range of stakeholders. There is also a strong focus on accessing and using the voice of the learner.

MAED4051 investigates how best to use your professional SENCo role to lead and manage change in the current fast changing climate. You will be provided with skills to identify and prioritise change agendas and to critically evaluate their impacts. The module highlights how data can be gathered, interpreted and used collaboratively to drive positive change for children and young people with special educational needs.


The assessment process prepares participants to meet the TA (Teaching Agency) Learning Outcomes. The assessment items promote critical discussions of your current professional practice. Assessments are supported with reference to a portfolio of evidence which illustrates how your practice is informed by reflection and the application of research pertaining to special educational needs. Assessment for each module consists of a 3,000 word essay, or its equivalent.



The PG Cert. Education (Special Educational Needs Coordination) (NASENCO) is worth 60 level 7 (Masters level) credits and is equivalent to one third of a Masters degree. Once you have completed the NASENCO, you can transfer your credits into the MA Education (Special and Inclusive Education) or the MA Education with the University of Worcester. Contact for more information.

Fees and Funding

Fees and Funding

Visit our course fees page for full information on tuition fees.