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Liverpool John Moores University

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Liverpool John Moores University

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO)

Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) play a vital role in leading the co-ordination of provision for children and young people with SEN and/or disabilities in schools.

This programme has been carefully mapped against the learning outcomes of the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination (NCTL, June 2014).

It is taught during six full training days and six additional twilight sessions. These are organised on a half-termly basis at the Toxteth Annexe Conference Centre and the IM Marsh Campus in South Liverpool.

The programme will enable you to expand your knowledge and understanding of the SENCO role through learning based on engagement with current educational theory, research, policy and practice in Special Educational Needs Coordination.

You will develop critical professional practice through analysis of, reflection on, and engagement with this knowledge and understanding in your professional setting.

The programme utilises a wide range of activities to develop learning, with an emphasis on teaching approaches which build on your experience in educational workplaces.

Learning activities are designed to encourage critical engagement with literature; theory; research and critical analysis and reflection on practice.

Lectures and workshops are highly interactive drawing on your knowledge, understanding and skills in analysing and constructing responses to real problems and then developing these understandings through reference to academic literature.

Entry requirements

You will need:

  • an Honours degree (minimum 2:2) or recognised equivalent
  • a Certificate in Education (post 16) with appropriate professional experience

All offers are conditional on applicants securing satisfactory Enhanced DBS Disclosure and health checks.

English language requirements

LJMU welcomes applications from international students. In addition to normal entry requirements, you will be expected to demonstrate a very good level of English language competence, for example an IELTS score of 6.0-6.5 or equivalent.

Course modules

The Role of the SENCO

  • Roles and responsibilities of practitioners in planning and supporting learning
  • Learning policy and provision; auditing current provision
  • Managing resources: time, space, people, finance, materials

Teaching Young People with Special Educational Needs

  • Key concepts and theoretical frameworks associated with Learning Difficulties
  • Legislation, research and initiatives into teaching and learning for children and young people with significant learning needs
  • Using assessment to identify a range of learning needs
  • Effective planning and monitoring of intervention programmes

Professional Development for Leadership

  • Reflective practice for leadership development in the context of the role of the SENCO
  • Leadership styles and strategies
  • Working with colleagues and others in schools - communication, securing commitment, negotiation and meeting skills
  • Planning for and implementing change

Assessment methods

This programme has a blended approach that involves workplace learning and practical activities, face-to-face activity, including peer and facilitated learning, reading and reflection, on-line learning and projects plus other pieces of work at masters level carried out in your workplace.

Learning will be assessed through a single coursework assignment in each of the three modules. Assignments have been designed to meet the academic requirements of the programme and enable each student to demonstrate their growing knowledge and skill base as a SENCO.

Each assignment involves engagement in work-based activity that is part of the professional role and allows for flexibility of approach and for different interpretations according to the phase, size and type of school or setting, making them pertinent and relevant to all.

These will include:

  • analysis of policy and practice in your context
  • small-scale practitioner enquiry
  • development of school policy

Graduates from our programme report that their assignments help them to perform the SENCO role effectively and have a positive impact on school improvement.


The fees for this course are still being confirmed. Please contact the university for more information.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Fee locale Course duration
PgCert Part-time 6 terms

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