SENCO Qualifications: How to Become a SENCO – New SENCO Basics

by | Apr 7, 2023

SENCO Qualifications: How to Become a SENCO

If you are passionate about supporting students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), becoming a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) can be a rewarding career choice. However, to become a SENCO, you need to have the right qualifications and training.

SENCO Qualifications and Requirements in the UK

In the UK, the qualifications and requirements to become a SENCO include:

  • Qualified Teacher Status (QTS): You must have QTS to be eligible to become a SENCO.
  • A minimum of two years of teaching experience: You should have at least two years of experience working as a teacher before pursuing a SENCO qualification.
  • A postgraduate certificate in Special Educational Needs Coordination (SENCO) (NASENCO): This is a mandatory requirement for becoming a SENCO in the UK and must be completed within the first 3 years of taking up the role.

Whilst the NASENCO is the correct course at present, the NPQ is the proposed replacement model, but will not be available until at least September 2025.


Postgraduate Courses in SENCO

Several universities and colleges in the UK offer postgraduate courses in SENCO. You can find a list of approved courses on this website.  If you want to upskill further we offer our own Masters Degree in Inclusive Educational Leadership with the University of Buckingham

Skills and Knowledge Required

In addition to the formal qualifications, SENCOs must possess a range of skills and knowledge related to special educational needs and inclusive education practices. These may include an understanding of different types of special educational needs and disabilities, knowledge of the legal and regulatory framework related to SEND, and strong communication and interpersonal skills for working with students, parents, and external agencies.

Organisations and Resources for Additional Guidance

If you are interested in training as a SENCO, there are several organisations and resources that can provide additional guidance and support. These include:

  1. NASEN: The National Association for Special Educational Needs is a UK-based organisation that provides support, resources, and training for professionals working in the field of SEND.
  2. The Department for Education: The UK government’s Department for Education provides information and guidance on SEND policy and practice.
  3. The Council for Disabled Children: The Council for Disabled Children is a UK-based organisation that provides support and resources for professionals working with children and young people with disabilities.
  4. SENsible SENCO: A great place full of information and growing every day, best of all it’s mostly free! (We just had to)

Becoming a SENCO requires a significant amount of education, training, and experience, but it can be a rewarding and fulfilling career choice for those passionate about inclusive education practices and supporting students with special educational needs.

Abigail Hawkins FCCT

Abigail Hawkins FCCT

Director of SENDCO Solutions

Abigail Hawkins was a SENCO for over 25 years and has worked with pupils with all types of needs.  Abigail has worked with Ed-Tech companies on developing their software and also been chair of governors for a multi-academy trust. Abigail now runs SENsible SENCO and SENDCO Solutions, with the aim of working with SENCOs and inclusion leaders across the UK to improve their support for SEND pupils. See our school services for more information.

Become a Member and Support the Community!

This website is supported by 100’s of members who believe in what we are trying to achieve.

Why not join them for just £5 a month?

Being a member is like buying us a coffee once a month to keep us building something special. If that’s too much, become a free member and get our weekly update sent directly to you.

Of course there are more benefits than just an weekly email…