National Award for SEN Co-ordination: learning outcomes

This guide lists requirements for the National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination. This is a Master's-level qualification required for all new SENCOs.


SENCOs play a very important role in leading the co-ordination of provision for children and young people with SEN and/or disabilities in schools.

The importance of SENCOs in schools has been reiterated in the draft SEN code of Practice and the Children’s and Families Bill.

Legislation introduced in 2008 prescribes the qualifications and experience a teacher should have to be designated a SENCO and the governing bodies’ functions relating to the key responsibilities of the SENCO.

In September 2009 it became law for every new SENCO in a mainstream school to gain the Master’s-level National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination within 3 years of taking up the post.

The learning outcomes for this Award are under review. New learning outcomes will be published here shortly, and will replace the current outcomes.

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