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National Professional Qualification for Special Educational Needs Coordinators

We are pleased to announce that from Autumn 2024 we will be partnering with Ambition Institute to deliver the new NPQ for Special Educational Needs Coordinators (NPQSENCO). 

This 18 month leadership NPQ will become the mandatory qualification for SENCOs from September 2024, replacing the current NASENCO qualification.  

Requirements for SENCOs:

  • From September 2024, all SENCOs and aspiring SENCOS will need to:
    • Take the NPQSENCO if they have not completed or started the NASENCO.
    • Complete this training within 3 years of appointment. 
  • SENCOs who have already gained the NASENCO qualification can undertake the NPQSENCO, but it is not mandatory. 
  • SENCOs enrolled on a NASENCO course starting in the 2023 to 2024 academic year will be considered to have fulfilled the mandatory training as long as they complete it within 3 years of their appointment.
  • SENCOs appointed before 1 September 2009 are not required to take the NPQSENCO, but will be expected to ensure compliance with the regulations.  

Those doing the training will learn: 

  • To become an expert leader of special educational needs.
  • How to work with staff, specialists and other agencies to assist your school in meeting the needs of all pupils.
  • Implement an efficient SEND identification process across your school which ensures that barriers to learning are identified and addressed at the earliest opportunity.

How you will learn:

  • The content is delivered through blended learning over a period of 18 months. This includes real-time, interactive online sessions, face-to-face conferences and self-guided modules you can fit around your timetable. You will put what you learn into practice in your school and be able to track your progress and get feedback as you go. 
    • 2 x full day conferences (facilitated, in-person)
    • 9 x courses (each course lasts six weeks and loosely aligned to a school half term).  Each course includes six modules which you complete on Steplab, your online learning platform.
    •  7 x two-hour clinics (facilitated, online 4-6pm)
    • 1 x two-hour assessment clinic (facilitated, in-person)
    • 5 x communities (1hr 15mins group sessions)

NPQ suitability:

A Qualified Teacher Status certificate is required as part of the application process. 

  • Suitable for: current SENCOs, aspiring SENCOs or Senior Leaders with responsibility for curriculum, behaviours, pastoral needs or managing provision. 
  • Example roles: Headteacher / Principal | Assistant Headteacher / Associate Assistant Headteacher | Deputy Headteacher / Vice Principal | Head of Faculty/Department/Subject | Head of Year | Head of Key Stage/Early Years | SENCO
  • Not suitable for: ECT | Unqualified teachers | Teaching Assistants | Higher Level Teaching Assistants


  • NEW for autumn 2024!  DfE NPQ scholarship funding is available for this NPQ to all publicly funded schools and 16 to 19 educational organisations in England.
  • DfE-funded scholarships are available for all those who meet the following criteria:
    • A current or aspiring SENCO, or a school leader such as a senior leader or headteacher.
  • We expect more information to be provided by the DfE in the summer term.

Find out more:

  • See the DfE’s NPQ for SENCOs content framework attached below which sets out what participants should know and be able to do after completing the qualification.


  • Our next NPQSENCO cohort commences Autumn 2024.  If you wish to register your interest, please complete this form and the Hub will contact you nearer the time.