Children, Young People and Families
Start date(s)
September 2023
Study Mode
Part time (1 year)

Course overview

How can outstanding provision be developed in schools for children and young people with SEN using evidenced-based best practice?

The field of SEND is complex and constantly changing. This part-time course will give aspiring and practicing SENCo’s an in-depth understanding of effective policy, provision and practice to meet the diverse needs of children with SEND. 

The course will address all the professional learning outcomes required by the national award. You will meet colleagues and develop professional networks with both practitioners and leaders in the field of SEN.

The Student Contract

About this course

Leeds Trinity University provides postgraduate training to professionalise the SENCo role, improve pupil outcomes and to invest in and retain current SENCos.

It is a requirement that all schools have a qualified SENCo and all new to role SENCos will need to achieve this qualification within three years of taking up their post. 

This course is taught over ten teaching days over a period of a year or across an academic year. You will focus on both SENCo as practitioner and SENCo as leader across two modules.

You will be asked to explore the reasons why a child cannot access learning and will develop innovative ways to remove barriers to progression for children and young people with SEND. You will develop skills to critically evaluate policy and provision to develop outstanding inclusive practice with children and care givers. 

You will also develop skills to understand each child’s needs and start the journey to becoming an expert in identification and assessment to allow personalised planning and support to be developed so no child is left behind in their educational journey.

Celebrating strengths in children and planning for teaching methods which incorporate these will be explored in detail.

You will develop:

  • Professional knowledge and understanding that you as a SENCo will need.
  • Expertise and capabilities that a SENCo needs to lead and coordinate effective provision.
  • Personal and professional qualities that are specific to your role, and will be key in you making a positive impact on the ethos and culture in your setting will also be explored and developed.

You will evaluate evidence-based practice on learning, teaching and assessing students with SEND, such as the impact of research evidence on different literacy schemes or the impact of CPD on support staff effectiveness in schools.

The course is delivered as blended learning with on-campus days, work-based tasks and activities on the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

The course will take place within our excellent School of Teacher Education in the Institute of Childhood and Education at Leeds Trinity University, with the support of our on-campus support services such as the library and Learning Hub. You will have a personal tutor who will support you in developing your own school-based practice and in submitting your final work-based portfolio.

Career progression

After completing the PG Cert, you could apply for new opportunities within SEN, as well as promotions to senior leadership roles. SENCos could also provide consultancy to other schools in a Multi Academy Trust, or undertake further postgraduate study and research.

Why study with us

  • Developed for SENCos by SENCos, with the now-legal requirement as its focus.
  • The course is aligned with the national outcomes for the NASENCo qualification and the national strategy which focuses on the development of skilled professionals who work in a range of provision in both mainstream and specialist settings.
  • Learn from staff who are highly experienced in SEND practice.
  • Receive highly personalised learning to help you develop your skills and school-based practice to work strategically in educational settings.
  • Grow your professional networks with practitioners and leaders in the field of SEN.
  • Benefit from campus-based learning, with personal tutors and support services such as our Learning Hub, which provides personalised academic support, and our library. 
  • Progress onto further postgraduate study or research, using credits gained on the course towards a postgraduate diploma or Master's degree.
  • On completion of the course, join our Leeds Trinity Alumni community and benefit from our networks, research and conference opportunities.
  • Enhance your career opportunities within SEN, senior leadership or consultancy to education providers.
  • Leeds Trinity University is on the LLSENDCIC (Leading Learning for Send Community Interest Company) Register of Quality Providers for our National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination (NASENCo) programme.


On this part-time course, you will complete two modules and you will also complete a portfolio of work-related tasks for each.

These portfolios will be the assessment element of the course. The tasks included in each portfolio will help you apply theory to your practice in supporting children with SEND learning.

SENCo as Practitioner 

This module will focus on your work understanding and implementing the statutory and regulatory framework. You will focus your work on the graduated approach and the four areas of SEN. There will be a significant focus on your personal and professional skills linked to child-centred approaches and developing the practice of quality first teaching to meeting these. You will develop a practitioner enquiry on a child within your provision and submit a portfolio based on your own provision and work within it.

SENCo as Leader 

This module will focus on developing your leadership skills to developing your school provision to improve outcomes for SEND. Leading in the SENCo role will be the focus of this module. You will learn best practice in collecting and using data. You will develop a deeper understanding about developing whole school provision for SEND. There will be content linked to the effective management of support staff and developing a coaching culture in your school to support teaching staff to develop effective practice in their classrooms. The SENCo as leader of CPD will also be an area of exploration to develop whole school improvement. You will complete a practitioner enquiry on leading and developing your own provision linked to your developing leadership skills in SEND and you will submit your second portfolio based on this work.

Independent Learning

There is an expectation that you will study and undertake independent learning outside of campus study days.

We understand the challenges of SENCo workload and have designed the course and have developed assignments linked to your core role in school or setting. There is a significant amount of choice in the portfolio development and tutorials can help you personalise your learning to your own needs and specific SEND areas of interest.

For students attending our course partnered with Leeds City Council

There will be a contextual session giving input into the Leeds Strategy for SEND and the services available to support your work. You will have access to SENDIT staff at key points over the year to help support your work. You will be offered two optional study support days on campus.

Course dates

These are the provisional module timetables for September 2023 entry for both Leeds City Council and other Local Authority cohorts. These are not yet confirmed and may be subject to change.

Course dates for students partnered with Leeds City Council

For students partnered with Leeds City Council, provisional dates for September 2023 entry are below:

SENCo as a Practitioner Monday 11 September Teaching session
  Monday 9 October Teaching session
  Friday 24 November Teaching session
  Monday 11 December Teaching session
  Monday 15 January 2024 Teaching session
  Monday 4 March 2024  Study Day
  Monday 15 April 2024 Submission of Portfolio 1
SENCo as a Leader Monday 5 February 2024 Teaching session 
  Monday 11 March 2024 Teaching session 
  Monday 29 April 2024 Teaching session
  Wednesday 20 May 2024 Teaching session
  Friday 28 June 2024 Teaching session
  Thursday 4 July 2024 Study Day
  Monday 9 September 202 Submission of Portfolio 2


Course dates for other Local Authorities

For students from other Local Authorities, provisional course dates for September 2023 entry are below:

SENCo as a Practitioner Wednesday 20 September  Teaching session
  Wednesday 25 October Teaching session
  Wednesday 22 November  Teaching session
  Wednesday 17 January 2024 Teaching session
  Wednesday 7 February 2024 Teaching session
  Wednesday 21 February 2024 Study Day
  Wednesday 24 April 2024 Submission of Portfolio 1
SENCo as a Leader Wednesday 20 March 2024 Teaching session
  Wednesday 17 April 2024 Teaching session
  Wednesday 15 May 2024 Teaching session
  Wednesday 12 June 2024 Teaching session
  Wednesday 3 July 2024 Teaching session
  Wednesday 17 July 2024 Study Day
  Monday 2 September 2024 Submission of Portfolio 2

Entry Requirements

Leeds Trinity University is committed to recruiting students with talent and potential and who we feel will benefit greatly from their academic and non-academic experiences here. We treat every application on its own merits.

The following information is designed to give you a general overview of the qualifications we accept. If you are taking qualifications that are not included below, please contact our Admissions Office who will be happy to advise you.

Applicants with QTS/QTLS/EYTS status

You will need to be a teacher who holds Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) or Early Year Teacher Status (EYTS) working in or with access to an educational setting.

You may work in a range of settings and be from a range of local authorities in or outside of our region. 

You must be:

  • A designated or deputy SENCo 
  • An aspirant SENCo
  • An inclusion manager
  • In a position to undertake or support some of the SENCo duties over an extended period.

You will also need to have completed an induction period.

You will need a document of support from your head teacher and an understanding that you will be involved in ten days of learning on campus over the course of the year or across an academic year.

You will need to complete an application form and send a letter of support with the form from your setting. 

Applicants without QTS/QTLS/EYTS status

If you are not a qualified teacher and work within special needs co-ordination in a provision you can apply to undertake the course, however whilst you will not gain the NASENCo, you would receive the award of PGCert Special Educational Needs Co-ordination. You would need the support of your establishment in undertaking the course due to the work-based learning focus of the course. This includes the portfolio development based on your work in your setting. You will also need to complete an application form and send a letter of support with the form from your Headteacher.

This course is not available to students on a Student Route Visa.

For more information on entry requirements, email 

Fees and finance


UK Home Students:

For information about our tuition fees please visit our Student Fees and Finance pages.


How to apply

Applications for September 2023 entry are now closed. Applications for 2024 entry open in early October.

Information for applicants awaiting award results

For any students applying for postgraduate study with Leeds Trinity University, who are impacted by UCU action connected to the marking of assessment for their first degree, the University has agreed the following approach:

New postgraduate students will be permitted to enrol on their LTU postgraduate programme but will remain provisionally registered with the University pending the final award of their degree. The deadline for confirmation of their final award is Friday 27 October 2023.

During the period of provisional registration, any finance arranged via the Student Loans Company, ITT bursaries etc will not be paid out. Payments to eligible students will be triggered when a student has met all their conditions of entry and are fully registered with the University. Students who do not meet the conditions of entry, following confirmation of a late award, will be withdrawn.

Applicants who have been made an offer for a postgraduate programme at LTU starting in September 2023 and are impacted by the UCU action may contact the Admissions team to discuss their position at

NASENCo qualification and national strategy

We’ve aligned this course with the national outcomes for the NASENCo qualification and the national strategy which focuses on the development of skilled professionals who work in a range of provision in both mainstream and specialist settings.

If you have a desire to make a real and practical difference to children and young people with SEND in education, then this course will support your career development and enhance the development of provision in your setting.

For students attending our course partnered with Leeds City Council

We have secured a contract to work in collaboration with our partner, Leeds City Council to deliver SENCo education for the NASENCo award for the local authority and embed the ‘Leeds Approach’ to inclusion.

Leeds Local Authority state:

"Our vision in Leeds is to be the best city in the UK, and the best city for children and young people to grow up in. We want Leeds to be a child friendly city and we aim to improve outcomes for all our children, especially the most vulnerable.

"The benefit of working in partnership with Leeds Trinity University is that that new SENCos will develop the skills to implement
the graduated approach to identifying and meeting SEND needs and secure an appropriate continuum of support for pupils."