National Scholarship Fund for teachers and SEND support staff

Information about applying for the National Scholarship Fund, including eligibility criteria and a link to the application form.

This guidance was withdrawn on

This guidance was withdrawn because there is no funding available for future rounds of the National Scholarship Fund from the Department for Education.

The National Scholarship Fund provides an opportunity for teachers and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) support staff to:

  • increase their specialist knowledge in the priority area of SEND
  • renew their passion for teaching

The goal is that this will also lead to the sharing of learning, knowledge and expertise across the school system, and to increasing public perception of teachers as scholars.

The scholarship awards funding for continuing professional development courses or activities that are judged by the application process to be intellectually rigorous and challenging.

This year the Department for Education is interested in applications from groups of teachers or SEND support staff who want to work together. The activity should deepen SEND knowledge and ability to provide effective support to pupils with SEND.

For example, teachers or support staff across a group of schools could apply to complete a course on assessing and supporting pupils with an autism spectrum disorder.

Eligible institutions include:

  • maintained schools (including special schools)
  • non-maintained special schools
  • city technology colleges
  • academies
  • free schools
  • pupil referral units
  • sixth form colleges

You can’t apply for funding if you’ve already started a course through this scholarship fund and want to secure funding for additional parts or years.


Applications for round 4 of the National Scholarship Fund for Teachers and round 3 of the National Scholarship Fund for SEN Support Staff are now closed. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their applications by the end of August 2014.

Round 4: teachers

The goal of the fund is to:

  • create expectations in the teaching profession about the importance of scholarship
  • enhance the idea that teachers, alongside university academics, are guardians of the intellectual life of the nation

The majority of scholarships will be awarded to teachers who apply to study up to Master’s level.

More information, including eligibility criteria and application support, is available in the NSF teachers round 4 handbook (PDF, 570KB, 15 pages).

Round 3: SEND support staff

The aims of the National Scholarship Fund for SEND support staff are to:

  • create high expectations of those working to support pupils with SEND in the classroom
  • strengthen knowledge of SEND, both in support staff and across the school
  • open up career opportunities for SEND support staff and give them more control of their careers
  • create expectations about the importance of scholarship throughout a support staff’s career

The majority of scholarships will be awarded to SEND support staff who apply to study at level 4 and beyond.

More information, including eligibility criteria and application support, is available in the NSF SEND support staff round 3 handbook (PDF, 574KB, 16 pages).

Published 24 April 2014
Last updated 30 April 2014 + show all updates
  1. The application round is now open and application support materials are available.

  2. Application round dates have changed.

  3. Closing date for the application round was incorrect and has been corrected.

  4. First published.