To help you feel prepared for your postgraduate studies, you’re asked to complete a pre-course task and a short survey to assess your leadership style. Read on to find out more.
Your pre-course task
Special Educational Needs and Disability: Policy context and leadership reflection
Your task summary
Your task is to look at the latest documents from Government around Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND). And investigate policy within your own school context and then reflect upon your role as a SEND leader within your setting. This will involve Independent research using Government publications and school policy, with completion of a leadership survey around the SENCo role.
These activities should be completed prior to your course commencement in September and should take between two to three hours to complete. On your induction day you’ll be invited to share your thoughts around the Leadership Survey activity and how this may shape your expectations of the course. You will be sharing your thoughts from activities one and two at the training day within module one. Please bring your completed activity three to share. This could either be a typed document or handwritten notes.
‘Children only get one childhood. They deserve to get the support they need to thrive and prepare for happy, healthy and productive adulthoods. For children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), or in alternative provision, this is especially vital’ (HM Government, 2023)
Your tasks to complete
The context of SEND within education has been fast-changing since the implementation of the latest Code of Practice (DfE, 2015) and continues to offer challenges to all those who work within this field. In preparation for your learning on the National Award for SEN Co-ordination, you are asked to engage with the following 3 activities:
Read the documents below
- The SEN Review: right support, right place, right time (HM Government, 2022)
- Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) Improvement Plan (HM Government, 2023)
Prepare a short summary of these documents in relation and their possible implications for your own setting. What concerns do you have? What conversations may need to take place?
Think now about your own school context. Find and read any of the following policies which are in place. How are learners with SEND represented within these policies? Are there aspects of these documents which may need to be amended or added to?
- Anti-bullying policy
- IT/technology policy
- Equality policy
- Health and Safety policy
- Behaviour policy
To help you plan for your own learning on the course, please complete the Leadership Survey (Cheminais, 2014) and begin to reflect on your strengths and future priorities within your enactment of the SENCo role.
Frequently asked questions
What is The National Award for SEN Coordination?
The National Award for Special Education Needs (SEN) Coordination is a programme of study which aims to support the professional development of SENCOs. This award is mandatory for all SENCos appointed since September 2008.
Why should I do this course?
This course aims to support the development of your strategic vision for SEN within your setting and allows opportunity for your reflection on current practice as part of this aim. The award is mandatory for all SENCos appointed since September 2008, however, it is clearly in the best interest of experienced SENCos to also achieve the award for their own professional development.
SENCos are required to achieve the award within three years of being appointed to the SENCo role.
What are the modules?
The Award comprises two Masters level modules:
PBM 4015: Excellent Teaching and Learning in Inclusive Learning Environments
PBM 4016: Developing Excellent Consultative and Collaborative Working Practices
How is the course assessed?
To achieve the award, you will need to pass two Masters level modules and complete a professional portfolio of evidence. Each of the two Masters level modules is assessed via an Assessment Portfolio which comprises a series of practice-based tasks and a written reflection.
There is also a requirement to submit a work-based portfolio of professional evidence relating to the 49 SENCo Standards.
When will I need to submit my portfolio?
Your Assessment portfolio (comprising practice-based tasks and a written reflection) will be submitted at the end of each module.
The standards e-portfolio submission is split into two halves, with each half being submitted at the mid-point in both modules.
How long will the course take?
This is a one-year, part-time course.
What if I start the programme and my work/home commitments change?
The team at Edge Hill University will support you both face-to-face and online, with group sessions and personal tutorials. Please let us know as soon as possible if you are struggling to meet any of the requirements or if your circumstances change and this is likely to affect your studies.
We also have an extensive Learning Support Service accessible online for all our students.
How will I be taught on this course?
You will complete your Masters level work online via our virtual learning environment. This allows you to study at a time of your own choosing each week.
You will attend an Induction session held on Saturday 16 September at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk.
In addition to this, there will be four face-to-face days throughout the course which will incorporate role-related training and workshop activities. These sessions will be held within the area you select as your cohort.
Each cohort will be allocated a personal tutor who will guide you through the online materials and a learning technologist will be on hand to offer support.
Who will my tutors be?
You will be taught by a team of tutors who are very experienced and knowledgeable about Special Educational Needs in various age ranges, in many different settings from early years to higher education. Tutors working in our team have previously been employed as SENCos, teachers specialising in SEN or worked in an advisory capacity in the field of SEN.
It is also expected that you will meet and network with other SENCos in local settings and support each other in meeting the needs of pupils with SEN.
Where will I study for this course?
Edge Hill University offers courses nationally in regional centres throughout England. The location for delivery of face-to-face sessions on the National Award for SEN Co-ordination is dependent on the areas from which the majority of students register each semester.
Personal study will take place online through the virtual learning environment (VLE) where you will be supported by your personal tutor.
What technology will I require to participate on this course?
You will need access to a computer with a connection to the Internet that has an up-to-date web browser installed on it e.g. the latest version of Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari.
More information on the VLE and Blackboard is available online.
What support is in place that acknowledges SENCos’ time constraints?
We know that, as a SENCo, it is highly likely that there are already many demands on your time at work. To support your engagement with this Award we have developed the following:
- Guidance on academic writing (including some examples)
- Personal tutoring to offer advise and support you throughout the course
- Online tasks which have been developed to support you in the role and guide you towards module completion
- Readings provided for each module which can be downloaded or printed to ensure easy access
I have another question who can I contact?
Please contact the Primary Support Team at [email protected]
Your induction will take place on Saturday 16 September 2023.
Please head to the Faculty of Education – Lakeside building (number 9 on the map). A member of team will be there to greet you in the foyer and direct you to your classroom.
If you are travelling to campus by car, please display your temporary parking notice on your dashboard.