Partnerships and NASENCo
nasen has an influential voice at national level on issues concerning special educational needs. We are regularly invited to meet with government agencies to offer advice and support at policy level, and are represented on many influential national organisations, some of which you can see below.
Our members are part of this influential network by responding to national consultations or by volunteering to be part of nasen’s varied Advisory Groups which have the responsibility of providing advice, support and guidance to the Governing Body and CEO to ensure nasen’s aims and objectives are fully achieved. If you would like to be part of the nasen Advisory Groups please contact us.
NASENCo Providers & nasen
Appointing a SENCO
All state-funded mainstream schools in England, including Academies, free schools, university technical colleges and maintained nurseries are required to employ a teacher with qualified teacher status (QTS) in a Special Educational Co-ordinator (SENCO) role.
It may be appropriate for a number of small primary schools to share a SENCO employed to work across the individual schools. Where a shared approach is taken the SENCO:
- should not normally have a significant class teaching commitment
- should not be the headteacher at one of the schools.
Schools should regularly review the effectiveness of such a shared SENCO to ensure that the approach is having a positive impact on the quality of SEN provision and progress of pupils with SEN in all of the schools involved in the arrangement.
SENCO qualification requirements
Most SENCos are required to undertake mandatory training (the National Award for SEN Coordination).
Where a person becomes the SENCO at a relevant school after 1st September 2009, and has not previously been the SENCO at that or any other relevant school for a total period of more than twelve months, the appropriate authority (governing body or proprietor) of the school must ensure that, if the person is the SENCO at the school at any time after the third anniversary of the date on which that person becomes a SENCO, that person holds the qualification.
In practice this means that all ‘new to role’ SENCOs must achieve a National Award in Special Educational Needs Co-ordination within three years of appointment.
From 2009-2014 twenty-five providers of NASENCo training were accredited to deliver NASENCo training by the Training and Development Agency (TDA). NASENCo training was centrally funded during this time.
From September 2014 national accreditation of NASENCo providers ceased and an open market for NASENCo training was initiated. At the same time central funding for training ceased in 2014; schools/ settings and individuals are responsible for financing training.
All SENCos/ALNCos continue to be required to hold QTS and NASENCo training remains mandatory within the new funding arrangements.
Why have a Quality Standard for NASENCo training
Until September 2014 DfE accredited 24 providers to deliver the NASENCo Award, listed on the DfE website. The accreditation of providers and funding for schools ceased in 2014 and in order to preserve the high standard and quality of NASENCo training the previously accredited NASENCo providers formed themselves into a Provider Group network. Since September 2014 head teachers and SENCos/ALNCos can choose to engage with any provider delivering NASENCo training, previously accredited DfE providers or new training providers, in an open market. The previously accredited providers felt they needed to safeguard the quality of the award and be able to assure those purchasing NASENCo training that they were engaging with providers offering quality training.
The NASENCo Provider Group was formed in September 2014 with the support of nasen. The providers meet on a voluntary basis twice a year, with a commitment to continue working together to preserve the quality of NASENCo training offered to SENCos/ALNCos in a free market.
In March 2018 the providers applied to Companies House to form a Community Interest Group: Leading Learning for Special Educational Needs Community Interest Group.
The Group was endorsed by Companies House in July 2018. It is a non-profit organisation charging a small yearly fee to member providers to support costs and future development.
The NASENCo Quality Standard
These NASENCo providers have together developed a Quality Standards Framework; a self-evaluation assessment framework to be completed and submitted every three years by current providers and during the first year for a new provider. All assessment for the Quality Standard is undertaken by current providers, who have themselves been successfully assessed, on a rota basis.
The Provider Group welcomes new NASENCo providers to join the Provider Group and to submit an application for the Quality Standard. For more information please contact:
Register of Quality Providers: NASENCo training
The list below comprises providers who are on the Register of Quality Providers, having successfully met the requirements of the Quality Standard.
- Bath Spa University
- Bedfordshire University
- Best Practice Network
- University of Birmingham
- Canterbury Christ Church University
- Chester University
- University of Chichester
- Cumbria University
- East London University
- Eastern Partnership UK (SEND)
- Edge Hill University
- Exeter University
- University of Gloucestershire
- Leeds Beckett University
- Liverpool Hope University
- Liverpool John Moores University in collaboration with School Improvement Liverpool
- Manchester Metropolitan University
- Northampton University
- Northumbria University Newcastle
- Nottingham Trent University
- Oxford Brookes University
- Plymouth University
- Reading University
- Real Group
- Roehampton University
- SENJIT/ IoE
- Sheffield Hallam University
- University of Derby
- University of Sunderland
- Winchester University
nasen is committed to supporting quality NASENCo training and preserving the integrity of the Award. It has agreed with providers to publish the list of “quality providers” on its website to support this. Accountability for NASENCo training and associated outcomes remains with DfE.
Special Education Consortium (SEC)
Hosted by CDC, part funded by nasen, SEC was first established by the Council for Disabled Children. SEC is consortium of the voluntary sector, education providers and professional associations who work together to protect and promote the interests of disabled children and children with special educational needs. SEC works to ensure that children with special educational needs and disabled children get the education they need. Over the past 21 years, SEC has worked on issues affecting children and young people with SEN/ALN during the passage of 18 pieces of legislation. SEC started with the Education Act 1993 and is still going strong with the Children and Families Act 2014, the Care Act more recently. Nasen member representative for SEC is Sheila Kitchener, click here to contact her.
National SEND Forum
Update on national issues relating to SEND/ALN, part funded by nasen. The National Special Educational Needs and Disability Forum is a regular meeting of the leading representatives of significant national organisations in this field. It is attended by the Department for Education. The National SEND Forum (NSENDF) is politically neutral, drawing together the providers, champions and commissioners of services for the most vulnerable in the maintained, non-maintained and independent sectors and across the 0-25 age range. The Forum is facilitated and convened by the Federation of Leaders in Special Education.
SEN Policy Research Forum
Part funded by nasen, the SEN Policy Research Forum contributes intelligent analysis, knowledge and experience to promote the development of policy and practice for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. You can join the forum and participate in its activities. Their latest policy paper, “Governance in a changing education system: ensuring equity and entitlement for disabled children and young people and those with special educational needs” is available online for free, along with previous papers. The report is based on the joint seminar with the Special Educational Consortium in January 2015.
These two projects below are funded specifically by DfE national prospectus grant, nasen providing strategic support.
Ambitious about Autism – Finished at School programme 2015/16
Ambitious about Autism (AaA) every day, strive to make sure that the people who make the policies know how important it is to make the world a more autism-friendly place. They work hand in hand with young people with autism, their parents and carers and the professionals who support them, because they're the most powerful campaigners we know.
KIDS Project Making it Personal 3 (MIP3)
nasen are a member of the strategic advisory project board of the MIP3 project led by the charity KIDS. This project will look at the personalisation agenda in schools and colleges and in particular the ways of overcoming the real and perceived challenges of personal budgets in the education sector. Other strategic advisory board partners involved in this project include the NAHT, ASCL, and NGA.