Development for leaders who are Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators, or leaders interested in developing expertise in SEND or undertaking a SENCO role in the future.


  • Build your understanding of supporting pupils with SEND.
  • Grow your skills as a leader of SEND.
  • Draw on a range of experiences and research to inform decision making in your context.
  • Free one-to-one support and coaching.
  • Join a passionate network striving for educational equality.
Applications Open

Build your understanding of supporting pupils with SEND:

  • Develop a clear and ambitious vision for inclusion in your context and community
  • Implement an efficient identification and assessment process
  • Support the delivery of effective provision and evidence-informed interventions
  • Use a range of data to monitor and evaluate the impact of support

Grow your skills as a leader of SEND:

  • Contribute to a positive and supportive school culture where staff and pupils can thrive
  • Help ensure the school’s strategic direction sets ambitious standards for pupils with SEND
  • Work with other leaders to support effective curriculum planning and high-quality teaching
  • Enable teachers and support staff to implement the graduated approach
  • Support senior leaders to enact statutory guidance, including preparation of the SEND information report and SEN policy
  • Work in partnership with other stakeholders including parents, external agencies and specialists

Draw on a range of experiences and research to inform decision-making in your context:

  • All modules are rooted in insights from academic research and best available evidence
  • You’ll have the opportunity to visit contrasting settings to observe and understand SEND expertise in different contexts
  • Explore diverse exemplification of SEND leadership throughout
  • Complete formative assessment tasks and consider how to apply new learning to your context

Free one-to-one support and coaching

  • If you work in a school serving disadvantaged communities, you may be able to access our free one to one support which runs alongside the NPQ for SENCOs.  This free support comes in the form of an experienced former school leader who will coach and guide you throughout the programme. You can apply for this additional support in your application.

Join a passionate network striving for educational equality

  • Share experiences with other school leaders, learn how they’ve faced similar challenges and build a professional network that will support you throughout your career.

The Programme

Is the NPQ SENCO programme for me?

This programme is for developing leaders who are SENCOs, or leaders interested in developing expertise in SEND or undertaking a SENCO role in the future.

From September 2024, the NPQ for SENCOs will become the mandatory qualification for SENCOs, replacing the NASENCO qualification.

How does the NPQ SENCO work? 

This 18-month programme (plus 3 to 4 months assessment window) consists of a series of modules based on the DfE’s NPQ frameworks. Each module cycle features:

  • evidence-based online content to refresh and build knowledge, as well as exemplify what this looks like for your role and level of leadership
  • a formative assessment task to support your learning
  • Online seminars with a group of peers, facilitated by an experienced school leader and SENCO
  • the opportunity to record reflections and consolidate learning.

This cycle repeats throughout the programme, with opportunities to consider implmentation in every module. You will apply key learning throughout the programme and plan a strategic improvement focused on your context and pupils. There will be ongoing support through a seminar group and discussion forum.

What will I learn? 

You’ll develop the knowledge, skills and concepts that underpin successful SEND leadership within a school. Modules include:

  • how to develop an inclusive culture
  • the identification and assessment of SEND
  • understanding and implementation of statutory SEND legislation
  • working in partnership with leaders, families and external agencies

Our content is informed by a strong and up to date evidence base, developed with input from practising SENCOs and inclusion experts such as the National Association for Special Educational Needs.

Our programmes have a practical focus. You’ll be supported to understand what makes an effective SENCO and the operational and strategic role you play or will play once in post.

Download Framework

What are the training commitments?

The programme is designed to fit around your teaching and other school commitments. Your learning will include a combination of seminars, online learning modules, conferences and a practical implementation cycle.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment takes place within three months of you completing your NPQ. Detailed dates will be shared with you before the start of the programme.

The assessment process for all NPQs has been refreshed to reduce the workload burden on teachers while still providing an opportunity to apply their knowledge. To pass the programme, you’ll need to engage with at least 90% of the course and pass one summative assessment.

Throughout the programme, you will participate in formative assessment tasks, so you can track your progress and understanding. This will also support you to demonstrate 90% engagement with the course.

At the start of your training, we’ll also provide you with the dates of the Summative Assessment so you can plan for this with your school. This will take the form of a case study which is a minimum of 2,000 words in length and will cover content referred to in the relevant NPQ Content Framework. It will represent a likely situation to be faced by a leader at the relevant NPQ qualification level or role and will allow you to demonstrate your understanding of the relevant NPQ Content Framework and offer you an opportunity to demonstrate that you can successfully apply this.

You will have an eight-day window to provide a written response of a maximum of 1500 words for the case study (unless adjustments are required on an individual basis) in an ‘open book’ setting. You will receive the unseen case study question at the start of the eight-day window; and submit your response by midnight of the eighth day.


Fully funded places will be available to all teachers and leaders from publicly funded schools and settings for the NPQ for SENCOs.

If you are not able to access a funded place the National Professional Qualification for SENCOs costs £1265.


Applications are now open for the Autumn 2024 intake.

Applications Open

If you have any further questions please contact Lindsey Martin at