Press release

More support for special educational needs teachers

More than 500 teachers and special educational needs (SEN) support staff have been awarded scholarships worth up to £3,500 to develop their specialist knowledge and skills.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


For the third year running, the National Scholarship Fund will support successful applicants in funding their professional development. Combined, today’s awards are worth more than £950,000, bringing the total given through the fund over the 3 years to £3.7 million.

Today’s announcement reflects the government’s commitment to continuing professional development for the profession – particularly those who educate children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Charlie Taylor, Chief Executive of the National College for Teaching Leadership, said:

A teaching profession that values continuing professional development is crucial to raising standards in our schools. These scholarships – alongside our wider educational reforms – will help deliver our objective of raising the status of teachers.

Scholarships have been awarded to 303 SEN teachers and 113 SEN support staff, as well as 98 English, maths and science teachers, where they have successfully met the set criteria.

SEN teachers and support staff who have been successful in today’s award round will go on to study courses such as Advanced Certificate in Special Education: Autism (Children) and MA Specific Learning Difficulties – Dyslexia.

Successful applicants in the priority subjects of English, maths and science will take up courses such as Post-Graduate Certificate in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Master of Education (Applied Linguistics), and MA Educational Innovation with a Specialism in Mathematics.

The National Scholarship Fund for teachers and SEN support staff is administered by the National College for Teaching and Leadership. Further information can be found on the Department for Education website.

Notes to editors

  • Breakdown of today’s awards by subject:
(Priority) Subject No. of actual applications No. successful Spend
English 76 39 £71,941
Mathematics 76 46 £69,740
Science 28 13 £27,881
SEN 579 303 £621,076
SEN SS 225 113 £169,067
Total 984 514 £959,705

The awards will be worth up to £3,500 for teachers and a maximum of £2,000 for SEN support staff.

  • Breakdown of today’s awards by region:
Region Number of awards
London 105
East of England 73
South-east 65
South-west 64
North-west 58
Yorkshire and the Humber 50
West Midlands 45
East Midlands 40
North-east 10
Unknown 4
Total 514
  • The scholarships are awarded where applications are judged to be of sufficient merit. This third round of the National Scholarship Fund (which is the second round for SEN support staff), was awarded based on the following criteria:

    • priority subjects/specialism, including maths, English, science and SEN
    • support from school – teachers and SEN support staff are required to demonstrate support from their schools in terms of accessing resources and being able to carry out activities within and outside the school
    • level and type of scholarship activity – encourages serving teachers and SEN support staff to deepen knowledge independently to Master level and beyond
  • To qualify for a scholarship, SEN support staff must:

    • work in an eligible school in England
    • spend at least 50% of their contracted time supporting pupils who have special educational needs and disabilities in learning based activities
    • have achieved qualifications equivalent to, at least, full level 3 or hold higher level teaching assistant status

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Published 23 August 2013