Developing the DfE funded online training offer - technical update

  • 18 Sep 2015
  • By Terry Waller
  • 0

An update on the technical developments that will support nasen's SEND online training for educational professionals.

The September 2015 issue of Special has several articles on nasen's online SEND training for educational professionals. Alison Wilcox, Educational Development Officer and project lead for this work, highlights the challenge of translating ideas in the form of advice, examples through multimedia and real-life scenarios to more reflective real-life scenarios in our classrooms.

The ambition of the online training, to provide CPD that supports education professionals in early years, schools and colleges, provides not only a writing but a technical challenge. This blog will keep you informed of developments, right up to the launch of this free resource in the 2016 spring term.


The challenges include:

  • creating an easy to navigate structure for the learning content
  • developing the management system for SENCOs and others who act as learning mentors or coaches
  • making registration, progress recording and using the system as easy and intuitive as possible


So how far have we got with these challenges? The encouraging answer is that we are just finalising the detailed specification for the system.

The designs will be ready early next month. They will be striking and distinctive but in harmony with the nasen brand that you are used to seeing. 

Drawing on the advice and expertise of our expert advisory group, and applying the considerable technical and design skills of our website and management systems developers we will build the system over the next five to seven months.

At the heart of the system will be regularly updated reliable data on settings, schools and colleges that we are adding to our management system. This will save you time when registering by providing most of your organisation’s information, and then link appropriate contacts within them together – with you permission of course.

Rather than create a new website we are keen to keep everything in one place. Therefore the online training area will be accessed by a tab on the main nasen website, and following a simple registration process, you will be able to register to access the course or as a mentor/coach (or both if you wish)!

Next steps

The team of sector specific expert writers will be creating the content over the next couple of months, along with links to existing content – much of which is located on the SEND Gateway – as well as to newly created text and multimedia resources.

As the system is built we will add some of this content for test purposes. We expect to be able to review the content and the system with a small group of volunteers in November or soon afterwards. If you are interested in being part of that team of tester please either contact Alison or myself.

Your comments

Although we have access to advice and expertise from different groups we are keen to seek your views and welcome your comments on what we must do to make the system work for you – and what to avoid!

Please feel free to add a comment to this blog.

I will post an update next month to let you know about progress in developing the free online offer.


Terry Waller -

Terry worked for many years at Becta, the government’s agency for educational technology, to ensure that the needs of inclusion of children and young people with special educational needs were considered in national technology strategies, developments and projects. As a consultant he provides expert advice for international agencies in Europe and beyond, as well as for UK organisations.

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