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  • Plymouth University

    Faculty of Arts and Humanities

    Plymouth Institute of Education

    Programme Specification

    The National Award for SEN Coordination (NASENCO)

    Postgraduate Certificate: Inclusive Education

    Approved January 2009

    Updated Programme Specification December 2016

    Updated by Minor Change 28/11/16

  • 2

    1. Final award title: The National Award for SEN Coordination - Postgraduate

    Certificate: Or the Postgraduate Certificate Inclusive Education (for students

    who do not have QTS/QTLS, or are not in the post, or leadership position of

    being able to evidence SENCO experiences).

    Intermediate award title(s): not applicable

    JACS code X360

    2. Awarding Institution: University of Plymouth

    Teaching institution(s): Plymouth University

    Accrediting body(ies): not applicable

    3. Distinctive Features of the Programme and the Student Experience

    The National Award is a modular level 7 programme that provides a structured pathway for

    practice-related research, professional development and scholarship within the field of SEN

    Coordination. It offers a number of distinctive features designed to make it professional work-

    based, as well as an academic worthwhile experience for teachers and other professionals.

    The programme aligns with a key strategic need in UK education, namely the provision of high

    quality teachers and advisory teachers with knowledge of issues relating to young people who

    experience SENDs.

    The programme is designed and taught in collaboration with regional local authorities

    (refer to Appendix 1 The National Award Course Guide).

    Teaching and learning on the programme uses a blended learning approach, which

    supports students through tutorial work, and face to face sessions. Pedagogically, the

    programme builds on long-term expertise within Plymouth Institute of Education, in

    supporting teaching and learning in this way, and with well established relationships with

    regional local authorities.

    Assessment is focused on the relationship between theory, policy, and practice. By

    building the gradual development of an assignment into the teaching of the modules and

    focusing this on participants’ policy and practice settings, students can learn to develop

    academically strong, but practically and professionally useful and innovative work and

    ideas at level-7.

    Work is assessed through a carefully constructed underpinning of research and

    scholarship approaches, (building on these if students wish to progress to PGDip/MA).

    Whilst the national award is an award in its own right, it is also designed to allow

    participants to transfer their credit into our MA Education programme. This means that

  • 3

    students who are new, or returning, to level-7 study are able to move on if they are

    successful and wish to progress to further level 7 outcomes..

    4. Relevant QAA Subject Benchmark Group(s)

    At the time of writing there are no QAA benchmark statements for Masters level programmes in

    Education.

    The NASENCO is based on the principles of the QAA Quality Code, and sets its expectations in

    line with the South East Education Consortium (SEEC) level descriptors.

    The credit structure of 30 credits per module aligns with the University Council for the Education

    of Teachers (UCET) national agreement across all UK HE institutions.

    5. Programme Structure

    The NASENCO is part-time only. The programme structure is as follows with the table showing

    the modules being offered each semester (all 30 credits modules):subject to any exemptions

    permitted.

    The programme received exemption from the semester structure in 2015.

    Semester 1 17/AU/SB/M Semester 2 17/SP/SB/M

    PGSEN704

    PGSEN703

    MODULE

    TITLE:SEN:

    Organisational

    Contexts.

    MODULE TITLE:

    National Award for

    SEN Coordination

    Learning Outcomes

    PGSEN705

    PGSEN703

    MODULE

    TITLE:Leading on

    Teaching and

    Learning.

    MODULE TITLE:

    National Award for

    SEN Coordination

    Learning Outcomes

    To gain the NASNCO participants must successfully complete two 30 credit modules.

    Participants must also complete the NASENCO outcomes portfolio (PGSEN703) which is non-

    credit bearing, but is ‘endorsed’ as a Pass/Fail. This module runs concurrently with

    PGSEN704/705. There are currently no choices of modules for students. Module 2 is not

    conditional on having successfully undertaken module 1, as assessment outcomes will not be

    available until April of the academic year. Module 2 does starts before the submission of module

    1 and so this must be recognised by participants. If a student fails the assessment of module 1

  • 4

    there is another submission date in the following semester which aligns with the submission of

    module 2. It is possible for modules to cross academic years, but this is unlikely unless a

    student has interrupted their studies. Normally the programme will be completed in one year,

    starting in September/October and ending in submission in September (and October). Module 1

    or 2 can be taken independently if a student wishes and they will gain 30 credits for each

    module but there is no named outcome, unless they are studied within the regulatory time scale

    for completion of a programme, when a PG Cert: Inclusive Education can be awarded. The

    award of 30 credits can be transferred to the MA programme if all other criteria are satisfied

    (refer to Operational Specification for APL/APCL and the MA specification for the transfer of

    credits).

    The period of registration is normally either one or two years, part-time only (please refer to the

    operational specification in relation to when modules occur because of resources and the need

    for flexibility/exemption needs). The outcome of PG Cert: Inclusive Education is possible where

    a student is not in the professional role to complete NASENCO learning outcomes portfolio and

    where they complete two modules, PGSEN 704/704, successfully. This allows prospective or

    aspiring SENCos, and other educational professionals to study on the programme. It is possible

    for a participant to submit the learning outcomes portfolio within three years of the completion of

    the PG Cert: Inclusive Education, and receive the NASENCO.

    Programme Aims

    The aims of the programme are for participants to be able to:

    Develop a theoretical and critical understanding of SEN coordination and leadership; and to be able to evaluate approaches, and resources which are relevant to the area of SEND.

    Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) need to fulfil the responsibilities set

    out in the SEND Code of Practice 0-25. They need to be effective in leading teaching

    and learning, and coordinating provision for pupils with SEND and/or disabilities in their

    schools/ educational settings, supporting and managing other staff; and ensuring that

    pupils/students receive high quality educational provision that enables them to make

    progress in their learning: and in addition the programme aims:

    to increase the participation of pupils/students with SEN and/or disabilities and raise

    their achievement, through developing SENCOs' professional attributes and

    improving their knowledge, understanding and skills. The ‘achievement’ of children

    and young people includes broader outcomes, not just academic attainment.

    to prepare SENCOs to lead teaching and learning and the provision for children and

    young people in their school/setting who have SEND and/or disabilities.

    to provide opportunities for SENCOs to share good practice and reflect critically and

    actively on their own role and practice.

  • 5

    The SEND Code of Practice 0-25 outlines the key responsibilities of the SENCO role

    (para 6.90). There are also specific module aims which are set out in the Module

    Documents and as set out in the NASENCO Course Guide for students.

    6 Programme Intended Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of the programme participants should be able to: demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the statutory and regulatory context for

    SEN and disability equality

    demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and understand the implications of the

    principles and practice of leadership in different contexts

    work strategically with senior colleagues and governors (or equivalent) to lead ethos

    and policy

    lead, develop and, where necessary, challenge senior leaders, colleagues and

    governors in relation to statutory responsibilities, professional development and staff

    deployment

    demonstrate systematic knowledge and critical skills in the collection, analysis and

    use of data at a strategic and organisational level

    demonstrate knowledge of how to draw on external sources of support and expertise

    develop, implement, monitor and critically evaluate systems to identify, inform, plan,

    record and review SEND provision

    THROUGH

    critically engaging in the relationship between theory, policy, and practice comparing and contrasting different perspectives handling relevant sources of literature, bodies of knowledge, and engage in current

    educational debates constructing organised, structured, critically reflective and analytic writing demonstrating

    critical and analytic thinking independent learning, self-management and organisation oral and written communication skills the ability to locate and use learning resources information technology skills the ability to work in groups and to problem solve

    : 6.1. Knowledge and understanding

    On successful completion participants should have developed:

    A deep theoretical and critical understanding of SEN Coordination

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/325875/SEND-Code_of_Practice-June2014.pdf

  • 6

    A systematic, theoretical understanding of SEND practice/s and the implications of this for

    planning and realising educational activity which supports teachers and learners in developing

    expertise towards SEND policy, and practices.

    6.2. Cognitive and intellectual skills

    On successful completion participants should have developed the ability to:

    Critically analyse relevant ideas and pedagogical approaches that underpin SEN

    policy and practice making use of theoretical and methodological tools of

    interpretation and analysis.

    Develop complex arguments about the theory and practice of teaching and

    learning for young people who experience SENDs.

    Synthesise information in a manner that may be innovative, critically utilising knowledge or processes from the forefront of SENco literature, research towards policy and practice

    Exhibit a level of conceptual understanding in the area of SEND that will allow critical evaluation of research, advanced scholarship and methodologies and an ability to understand alternative approaches. .

    6.3. Key and transferable skills

    On successful completion participants should have developed the ability to:

    Clearly communicate their knowledge and understanding of their work in clear and

    well-argued prose and in professional conversations, in order to influence practice

    Think clearly about new educational initiatives and test these in practice in an

    appropriate methodological and ethical manner

    Work effectively and flexibly with colleagues, and can clarify tasks and make

    appropriate use of the capacities of colleagues; and be able to negotiate and

    accept alternative views

    Critically select and use a full range of teaching and learning resources relevant to

    the area of professional work

    Critically reflect on own and others’ thinking and practice in order to improve policy

    and practice

    Undertake work-based tasks with minimum guidance and display abilities of

    independent and self-critical learning, guiding the learning of others and managing

    own requirements for continuing professional development and to raise skills to

    higher levels

    Engage confidently in academic and professional communications with others,

    reporting on action clearly, autonomously and competently, and with critical insight

    Carry out independent learning problem and solving required for continuing

    professional study, making professional use of others where appropriate

  • 7

    6.4. Employment related skills

    On successful completion participants should have developed:

    Greater confidence in the application of theoretical and practice based knowledge for

    SEN coordination and leadership, as well as the overall aims of the course and modules

    A more critical and analytical approach to supporting change and transformative thinking

    with regard to SEND, inclusion and disability.in the organisation

    An enhanced ability in supporting and leading the teaching and learning of colleagues.

    To enhance the teaching and learning of young people who experience SEND.

    6.5. Practical skills

    On successful completion participants should have developed:

    Greater confidence in generating and making use of theoretical ideas to understand

    practice, and initiate change, and to inform and support the practice of other

    professionals towards SENDs, such as how to construct relevant teaching environments

    The ability to undertake and set up a systematic inquiry/ies in educational practice

    related to SEND in their organisation and professional practice.

    See also ‘employment skills’ above.

  • 8

    7. Admissions Criteria, including APCL, APEL and DAS arrangements

    Applicants will normally hold a first degree (e.g. BA, BSc, BEd) or its equivalent and/or

    appropriate professional experience which demonstrates the potential capability to work

    successfully at level-7. To achieve the PG Cert: Inclusive Education there is no requirement on

    applicants to be working in an educational/school based capacity, or to have QTS/QTLS though

    they should be able to draw on past experience of, or have access to an appropriate

    educational environment. Participants who wish to study for the NASENCO must have

    QTS/QTLS, and ideally be in the role of SENCO. However, it is possible to achieve the

    NASENCO as an aspiring SENCO, who is able to evidence their engagement with the role

    through the Learning Outcomes Portfolio (PGSEN703).

    In brief participants to be able to undertake the programme will need:

    To have QTS or QTLS, be a qualified teacher (ie successfully completed (NQT) induction period) and preferably be a SENCO

    To have access to children/young people with SEND

    To be able to lead (at least some) aspects of SEND in the school/college/educational setting

    To have the support of the Headteacher/principal (or Chair of Governors or equivalent if you are the head)

    We also ask the Headteacher/principal ( appropriate line manager) to complete a memorandum

    of agreement which indicates the school/college’s support for the SENCO in terms of funding

    (where relevant), attendance on the course, time to study beyond the face to face sessions,

    access to relevant information in school/college, and to name an in-school supporter to provide

    general support for participants on the programme.

    APCL: Those who have undertaken elements of a similar level-7 award at another institution

    may, as part of the process of admission to the programme, apply for Accreditation of Prior

    Certificated Learning (APCL) for a maximum of 30 credits. Applicants must demonstrate how

    the outcomes of previous study can be matched against the outcomes for that part of the

    NASENCO for which they are claiming exemption. This is likely to involve providing associated

    evidence including: a transcript of credits awarded; previous coursework and the markers

    feedback/comments. This collated information is reviewed by the NASENCO programme leader.

    The outcome of this is then communicated to the applicant.

    APEL: It is possible that some applicants might, as part of the process of admission to the

    programme, be able to demonstrate their ability to match the success criteria in up to 30 credits

    through prior experiential learning. In this case they will be required to submit evidence of this in

    a form suitable for the Programme Leader to make an assessment. It should be noted that

    professional experience of teaching in the alone is not enough, and applicants must

    demonstrate how their experience matches the requirements of academic work at level-7.

    Disability Assist (DAS): The programme welcomes applicants from a wide range of cultural,

    social and professional backgrounds including those who have particular needs which need

    support in order to be able to learn effectively. Applicants will all go through the normal

  • 9

    postgraduate taught programme application process and will therefore have the opportunity to

    declare any disability or particular needs. Where appropriate, a referral to DAS will be

    undertaken and appropriate action taken from there. The programme will work within the policy

    of inclusive pedagogy and assessment policy of the university.

    8. Progression criteria for Final and Intermediate Awards

    Credits: some participants may complete one module of the PGCert/NASENCO and take their

    credits into another programme/institution, or continue within the MA programme framework. On

    successful completion of a module participants will receive a transcript outlining the number of

    credits gained at level-7.

    Postgraduate Certificate: Inclusive Education: on completion of the full PGCert participants

    will be awarded 60 credits at level-7 and receive the qualification entitled Postgraduate

    Certificate: Inclusive Education, or if they complete the National Outcomes Portfolio be awarded

    PG Cert: NASENCO.

    Progression: The PGCert programme has the option of progression onto the MA Education

    within PIoE.. Students can opt to follow the special educational needs (SEN) pathway to work

    towards an MA Education (Special Educational Needs) or the generic MA Education award

    upon a further 120 credits worth of study in accordance with the MA Education programme

    specification.

    9. Exceptions to Regulations

    All the modules in this programme are taught in affiliation with the regional local authorities (LA)

    - Appendix 1, and please refer to the memorandum of agreement Appendix 2) as LA lead tutors.

    Assessment involves teachers undertaking practice-related study/assessment tasks in their

    workplace which cannot generally fit within the semester period of assessment. (current

    university coursework guidelines suggest students ‘would not normally be expected to work on

    assignments during vacation periods’ and in light of how this expectation is also impacted on by

    school calendars, vacations and appropriate times when school based research can be carried

    out). In order to meet the needs of the student population the programme intends to attract (full-

    time professionals who are studying part-time) all the modules on the programme have been

    granted semester exemption with specific relation to the starting of module dates across local

    authorities ( though these adhere very closely to semester start dates where possible, but

    because of operational needs have to be staggered) and assessment completion to allow the

    teaching and the assessment of the modules to tie in with resource need and school based

    work and local authority resources.

    This exemption allows teaching and assessment to fall outside the semester structure in order

    for the programme to be viable and also so students are not disadvantaged with regard to

    assessment opportunities. Assessment therefore, is normally with a module 1 submission date

    at the end of March for ‘semester’ 1 module, allowing students the Spring term to undertake

    practice-related investigations; and late-September for ‘semester’ 2 modules, allowing students

    to use the full summer term (and summer break to undertake their work. The non-credit related

    module PGSEN703 has a later submission date (usually two weeks after module 2 PGSEN705)

  • 10

    10. Transitional Arrangements

    Not applicable.

    11. Mapping and Appendices:

    11.1. ILO’s against Modules Mapping

    Knowledge and understanding . On successful completion participants should have developed:

    A deep theoretical and critical understanding of SEND coordination. A systematic and contemporary understanding of learning as it applies to SEND. A systematic, theoretical understanding of SEND practice and the implications of this for planning and realising educational activity which supports teachers and learners in developing expertise towards SEND policy and practices.

    PGSEN703/704/705

    Cognitive and intellectual skills

    On successful completion participants should have developed the ability to:

    Critically analyse relevant discourses and pedagogical approaches that underpin SEND coordination making use of theoretical and methodological tools of interpretation and analysis.

    Develop complex arguments about the theory

    and practice of teaching and learning for young people with SENDs.

    Synthesise information in a manner that may be innovative, critically utilising knowledge or processes from the forefront of SEND literature, research towards discipline/practice

    Exhibit a level of conceptual understanding in the

    area of SEND coordination that will allow critical evaluation of research, advanced scholarship and methodologies and an ability to understand alternative approaches

    .

    PGSEN703/704/705

    Key and transferable skills

    On successful completion participants should have developed the ability to:

    Clearly communicate their knowledge and understanding of their work in clear and well-argued prose and in professional conversations, in order to influence practice.

    PGSEN703/704/705

  • 11

    Think clearly about new educational initiatives and test these in practice in an appropriate methodological and ethical manner.

    Work effectively with colleagues and can clarify tasks and make appropriate use of the capacities of colleagues; is able to negotiate and accept alternative views

    Critically select and use full range of teaching and learning resources relevant to the area.

    Critically reflect on own and others’ thinking and practice in order to improve practice

    Undertake work-based tasks with minimum guidance and is independent and self-critical learner, guiding the learning of others and managing own requirements for continuing professional development and to raise skills to higher level

    Engage confidently in academic and professional communications with others, reporting on action clearly, autonomously and competently, and with critical insight

    Carry out independent learning problem solving s required for continuing professional study, making professional use of others where appropriate

    Employment related skills

    On successful completion participants should have developed:

    Greater confidence and theoretical knowledge in leading learning and developing SEND coordination and pedagogy in their workplace.

    A more critical and analytical approach to change and transformation of thinking and practices in their workplace.

    PGSEN703/704/705

    Practical skills

    On successful completion participants should have developed:

    Greater confidence in generating and making use of theoretical ideas to understand practice and initiate change and to inform and support the practice of other professionals

    The ability to undertake a systematic enquiry/ies in educational practice related to SEND in their organisation and professional practice.

    PGSEN703/704/705

  • 12

    11.2. Assessment/Skills against Modules Mapping

    Assessment against Module Mapping

    Module/Programme intended learning outcomes

    Related Assessment

    At the end of a module the learner will normally through a critical reflection on theory and practice; a review of a body of knowledge; and through the understanding an aspect of data, (relevant to their work based context) be expected to be able to:

    identify, select, critically analyse and evaluate ideas, perspectives, theories or data relevant to SENCO; undertake a critical, imaginative and ethical investigation in the area of SEN which relates theory to practice; organise and manage a study relating to issues of teaching and learning and SENDs/SEN coordination.

    locate thinking about SEND within a broader context, usually through ideas, perspectives and theories from appropriate literature.

    adopt a questioning, reflective and critically aware stance towards SEND throughout the study.

    select, apply and evaluate appropriate methodologies to aspects of the module content and utilise them competently and methodically.

    show clarity and coherence in structure, writing conventions, style, presentation of evidence and argument; ensure the work is readable, accessible to its intended audience and effectively communicates the intended meaning.

    generate ‘new’ ideas and connection within the ideas contained in the module, apply existing material to new contexts or reappraise or critique familiar material; further, combine or resolve uncertainties, identify similarity, difference and interconnection, take risks and use rational and intuitive thinking.

    PGSEN704Coursework Pass/Fail 4000 – 5000 words assignment or equivalent. Critical reflection on theory and practice

    At the end of a module the learner normally through an ‘action research’ or a suitable form of practitioner research/enquiry relevant to their workplace context approach will be expected to be able to:

    identify, select, critically analyse and evaluate ideas, perspectives, theories or data relevant to SEND coordination; undertake a critical, imaginative and ethical investigation in the area of SEND Coordination

    PGSEN705 Coursework Pass/Fail 4000 – 5000 word assignment or equivalent. Action

  • 13

    which relates theory to practice; organise and manage a study relating to issues of teaching and learning.

    locate thinking about SEND within a broader context, usually through ideas, perspectives and theories from appropriate literature, with a focus on SEND and learning.

    adopt a questioning, reflective and critically aware stance towards SEND/learning throughout the study.

    select, apply and evaluate appropriate methodologies to aspects of the module content and utilise them competently and methodically (eg ‘action research’ or another approved/agreed methodology/approach).

    show clarity and coherence in structure, writing conventions, style, presentation of evidence and argument; ensure the work is readable, accessible to its intended audience and effectively communicates the intended meaning.

    generate new ideas and connections within the themes contained in the module, apply existing material to new contexts) or reappraise or critique familiar material; further, combine or resolve uncertainties, identify similarity, difference and interconnection, take risks and use rational and intuitive thinking.

    Research

  • 15

    Appendix 1 the NASENCO Programme Course Guide:

    The National Award

    for SEN Coordination

    South West Consortium

    Plymouth University

    and University of Exeter

    in conjunction with the regional local authorities

    of

    Bournemouth, Cornwall, Devon,

    Dorset, Plymouth, Poole, Somerset

    COURSE GUIDE

    September 2016

  • 16

    Contents Page

    South West Consortium 3

    The National Award for SEN Coordination 3

    Timescale 3

    Contacts 4

    Course Aims 4

    Link with SENCOs’ schools/settings 5

    Tutors 5

    Course Structure 6

    Assessment 6

    Quality Assurance 7

    Course structure diagram 8

    Roles and responsibilities diagram 9

    Module details

    Module 1 SEN: Organisational contexts 10

    Aims 10

    Intended module outcomes 10

    Indicative syllabus 11

    Assessed assignments 11

    Module 2 SEN: Leading on teaching and learning 12

    Aims 12

    Intended module outcomes 12

    Indicative syllabus 13

    Assessed assignments 13

    Assessment criteria 14

    Ethics 14

    Assignment guidance 16

    Assignment tips 22

    SENCO Learning Outcomes Portfolio 23

    Suggested reading list 25

    Web resources 32

    Critical reading and writing (Poulson and Wallace) 33

    Harvard referencing 34

  • 17

    South West Consortium

    The South West Consortium consists of: Plymouth University and the University of

    Exeter, working in conjunction with the local authorities of Bournemouth, Cornwall,

    Devon, Dorset, Plymouth, Poole and Somerset. The consortium offers the National

    Award for SEN Coordination through the Plymouth University or the University of Exeter,

    in conjunction with these local authorities.

    The National Award for SEN Coordination

    The National Award for SEN Coordination is a nationally approved qualification for

    teachers in the role of special educational needs co-coordinator (SENCO).

    The Award is available to all teachers in the role of SENCO and aspects may be

    attainable by those not currently in the role of SENCO.

    To achieve the Award teachers must successfully meet all the SENCO Learning

    Outcomes and successfully complete Masters level assignments. The Award is

    validated at Masters level and provides 60 credits.

    Timescale

    The length of time to complete the course will depend on participating SENCOs’ prior

    experience, knowledge, understanding and skills. It is anticipated that it will take one

    year part time for an eligible teacher starting ‘from scratch’. An eligible teacher has 3

    years in which to complete their national SENCO training.

    Please note that this National Award for SEN Coordination Course Guide should

    be read in the context of the regulations of the appropriate University.

    Plymouth University

    The full Student Handbook is available here. The university virtual learning environment is at

    http://dle.plymouth.ac.uk/ and you can log on for more information about the programme using

    your university username and password.

    University of Exeter

    The National Award for SEN Coordination is situated within the Postgraduate Taught

    programmes in the Graduate School of Education which is in the College of Social Sciences

    and International Studies. The Postgraduate Taught Handbook is available at

    http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/students/collegehandbook_pgt/. This includes information

    about marking and assessment.

    https://dle.plymouth.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=4555http://dle.plymouth.ac.uk/http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/students/collegehandbook_pgt/

  • 18

    Contacts

    Plymouth University

    Mike Murphy Course coordinator [email protected]

    Administration [email protected] (please put SENCO Award in subject of email)

    University of Exeter

    Dr Hazel Lawson Course coordinator [email protected]

    Administration [email protected] (please put SENCO Award in subject of email)

    Your local authority contacts (please add in):

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    ............................................................................................................................................

    Course Aims

    SENCOs need to fulfil the responsibilities set out in the SEND Code of Practice 0-25.

    They need to be effective in leading teaching and learning and coordinating provision

    for pupils with SEN and/or disabilities in their schools/settings, supporting and managing

    other staff; and ensuring that pupils receive high quality educational provision that

    enables them to make progress in their learning.

    Course aims:

    to increase the participation of pupils with SEN and/or disabilities and raise their

    achievement, through developing SENCOs' professional attributes and improving

    their knowledge, understanding and skills. The ‘achievement’ of children and young

    people includes broader outcomes, not just academic attainment.

    to prepare SENCOs to lead teaching and learning and the provision for children and

    young people in their school/setting who have SEN and/or disabilities.

    to provide opportunities for SENCOs to share good practice and reflect critically and

    actively on their own role and practice.

    The SEND Code of Practice 0-25 outlines the key responsibilities of the SENCO role

    (para 6.90).

    There are also specific module aims.

    Link with SENCOs’/teachers’ schools/settings

    mailto:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/325875/SEND-Code_of_Practice-June2014.pdf

  • 19

    Each participating SENCO/teacher must have the support of the school/setting and an

    in-school/setting sponsor. The in-school/setting sponsor should be a senior member of

    school/setting staff (e.g. member of senior management/leadership team or governor in

    the case of a headteacher who is also the SENCO). As part of a memorandum of

    agreement the sponsor will:

    provide confirmation of the eligibility of the SENCO/teacher

    assure attendance of the SENCO/teacher on the modules

    confirm support for the SENCO/teacher in relation to all elements of the course.

    They should also monitor and feed back on the impact of training at the individual

    child/young person, classroom and school/setting levels [this could be part of

    performance management processes]. We recommend that you have a termly meeting

    with your headteacher to discuss the course.

    The above refers to a ‘formal’ in-school/setting sponsor. During the course you may also

    need to liaise with particular staff in your school/setting with regard to specific

    assignments. In addition, you may also wish to receive personal support, perhaps from

    your line manager, perhaps from an experienced SENCO from another school/setting.

    Tutors

    Most of the teaching and tutorial support is carried out by local authority and school

    personnel – for example, SEN advisors, headteachers, experienced SENCOs. You will

    have a named lead tutor and this will be your usual first point of contact for any queries.

    The course and module coordinators are Mike Murphy (Plymouth University) and Hazel

    Lawson (University of Exeter). You will probably meet one of them during your course.

    See roles and responsibilities diagram (p.9).

  • 20

    Course Structure The course contains two modules:

    Module 1 SEN: Organisational contexts

    Module 2 SEN: Leading on teaching and learning

    See course structure diagram (p.8) and module details (pp.10-13).

    The modules are designed to explicitly relate to the SENCO Learning Outcomes. They

    ensure a critical theoretical perspective while also maintaining relevant context-based

    practical outcomes. The course is strongly rooted in effective practice (locally, regionally,

    nationally and internationally), being up-to-date, relevant, research-based and led,

    taught and facilitated by people with relevant, current experience, expertise and skills.

    Modules will draw upon local context and make use of local expertise. The course

    includes opportunities for SENCOs to apply theory to practice, to undertake practical

    activities in their own school/setting and evaluate and improve their practice, and learn

    from effective practice in other schools/settings.

    Each module consists of 3 full days taught sessions and 2 strongly recommended study

    days, so a total of 6 taught days and 4 study days. You are expected to attend all taught

    sessions except in exceptional circumstances. Suggestions for activities on the study

    days include: visiting another mainstream or special school or other setting; visiting LA

    caseworkers; meeting and studying together with other SENCOs on the course; using

    the University library; studying at home; gathering data in your school/setting.

    Assessment

    Summative assessment for the National Award for SEN Coordination consists of:

    Module 1 SEN: Organisational contexts Masters level assignment/s (30

    credits)

    Module 2 SEN: Leading on teaching and learning Masters level assignment

    (30 credits)

    SENCO Learning Outcomes Portfolio

    Through the portfolio and assignments, all participants are expected to provide

    evidence that they have effected some improvement in their own practice, effected

    change in SEN practice and provision within their school/setting, and that this has

    resulted in the raised achievement of pupils with SEN and/or disabilities.

    See Module details (pp.10-13), Assessment Criteria (p.14), Assignment Guidance

    (pp.16-21), Assignment tips (p.22) and SENCO Learning Outcomes Portfolio

    (pp.23-24) for further information.

  • 21

    Quality assurance

    Both Universities have their own University quality assurance procedures including:

    student and tutor module and course evaluation, monitoring and review; programme

    level committee with student and stakeholder representation; external examining

    processes.

    A South West Consortium National Award for SEN Coordination Management Group

    takes an overview of the provision. This group includes at least two SENCOs/teachers

    attending the course, usually at least one from each of the two Universities.

    Evaluations have highlighted a number of features of good practice: The structure and content of the course, which meets the participants’ needs very well

    and enables them to meet the SENCO learning outcomes.

    Face-to-face taught provision.

    The way the training is set in the context of the participants’ local authorities, which

    enables them to develop a thorough understanding of local resources to support their

    work.

    Rigorous academic assignments that develop a depth of knowledge and understanding

    of best practice in SEND provision.

    The full involvement of staff from the stakeholder LAs in planning, delivering and

    assuring the quality of the training programme.

    The involvement of experienced SENCOs in course delivery and supporting course

    participants.

    The very helpful exemplars provided for participants of how the SENCO learning

    outcomes can be evidenced and verified.

    The high level of participants’ satisfaction with the quality of training and support.

  • The National Award for SEN Coordination

    South West Consortium

    Plymouth University and University of Exeter in conjunction with regional local

    authorities

    Pre-Course

    Needs analysis

    questionnaire linked to

    learning outcomes

    In-school sponsor’s

    confirmation of

    organisational support –

    memo of agreement

    SENCOs can also connect

    with:

    Local SENCO networks and

    conferences

    Special schools’ outreach

    programmes

    Local authority training

    Post- course

    Questionnaire analysis,

    focusing on how participants’

    expertise, knowledge and

    skills have improved.

    Accreditation of Prior

    Experiential Learning

    This is possible for experienced

    SENCOs for one module of the

    two.

    Module 1 SEN: Organisational contexts

    Module 2 SEN: Leading on teaching and learning

    Each module consists of 3 full days taught sessions and 2 days

    supported and self-directed study.

    Each module follows a mixed approach to module delivery,

    using face to face taught sessions, tutorials, school based work,

    virtual learning environments and peer support. Taught sessions

    may be held in school, local authority or University venues.

    Directed tasks – including:

    school based practical tasks and projects reading analysis, critique and reflection upon recent research and

    inspection evidence SENCO Learning Outcomes Portfolio – ongoing self-

    monitoring and reflection in relation to the SENCO learning

    outcomes. Process and summative purposes.

    Assignments – Masters level assignments for each module

    relating theory and practice. (5000 words or equivalent for each

    module)

    Connects into:

    MA Education

    programmes.

    Credits transferable

    between Universities of

    Plymouth and Exeter.

    Course structure

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    Roles and

    responsibilities Course and Module coordinators Named University lecturer

    Mike Murphy - Plymouth University

    Dr Hazel Lawson - University of Exeter

    National Award for SEN Coordination

    South West Consortium

    Overall consortium bid/provision

    leader

    Mike Murphy

    Lead tutors

    Main tutor on module, contact point for

    student.

    University approved and trained in

    University assessment and QA

    processes.

    Likely to be LA adviser and/or

    experienced SENCO.

    Planning and teaching sessions

    Involved in support and

    assessment

    University tutors

    Co-tutor on module/course.

    Planning and teaching

    sessions

    Involved in support and

    assessment

    Represent the course into

    formal University processes

    Presenters

    This may include:

    experienced practitioners from

    mainstream and special schools

    experienced SENCOs

    headteachers

    local authority personnel (e.g. data

    officers; inclusion/SEN inspectors and

    advisers; school improvement team)

    pupils and parents

    multiagency practitioners

    CAMHs team

    Educational Psychologists

    teaching assistants

    In-school sponsor

    Senior member of participant’s school staff (e.g.

    member of senior management/leadership team or

    governor in the case of a headteacher who is also the

    SENCO)

    provide confirmation of the SENCO’s eligibility

    assure attendance of their SENCO on the modules

    outline how school will provide support to their

    SENCO in relation to all elements of the course

    monitor and feed back impact of training at the

    individual pupil, classroom and school levels. [this

    could be part of performance management

    processes] Peer group support

    Virtual learning

    environment

    Peer-professional

    Local authority advisers

    [may be lead tutors and presenters]

    Critical advisory friends to the course.

    LA advisers will be aware of developments

    and impacts and will be in a position as

    part of local forums to monitor and

    evaluate individual impacts as well as

    wider policy movements on practice,

    through the use of appropriate pupil

    tracking and performance data, via

    schools’ own systems and wider LA

    systems and monitoring approaches.

    SENCO Management Group (SMG)

    Quality assurance, Consistency,

    Standards, Evaluation

    The National Award for SEN Coordination

    South West Consortium

    Plymouth University and University of Exeter in conjunction with regional local authorities

  • Module details

    Module 1 SEN: Organisational contexts

    [Each University has its own detailed module template/record.

    Plymouth University code PGSEN704; University of Exeter code EFPM278]

    Aims:

    to develop your knowledge and understanding of statutory and regulatory

    frameworks and relevant developments at local and national level

    to apply this knowledge and understanding to strategic leadership and

    development of SEND policy and procedures in your own educational setting

    (e.g. school, college)

    to develop your knowledge and understanding of the roles and responsibilities in

    developing and implementing a whole educational setting SEND policy

    (communicating and collaborating effectively with internal and external staff,

    contributing to professional development of staff)

    to develop practical knowledge of identification and planning and of resources in

    relation to your setting’s SEND policy

    Intended learning outcomes:

    On successful completion of this module, you should be able to: demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the statutory and regulatory context

    for SEN and disability equality

    demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and understand the implications of the

    principles and practice of leadership in different contexts

    work strategically with senior colleagues and governors (or equivalent) to lead

    ethos and policy

    lead, develop and, where necessary, challenge senior leaders, colleagues and

    governors in relation to statutory responsibilities, professional development and

    staff deployment

    demonstrate systematic knowledge and critical skills in the collection, analysis

    and use of data at a strategic and organisational level

    demonstrate that you know how to draw on external sources of support and

    expertise

    THROUGH

    critically engaging in the relationship between theory and practice comparing and contrasting different perspectives handling relevant sources of literature and engage in current debates constructing organised, structured, critically reflective and analytic writing demonstrating

    critical and analytic thinking independent learning, self-management and organisation oral and written communication skills the ability to locate and use learning resources information technology skills

  • 25

    the ability to work in groups and to problem solve

    Indicative syllabus:

    Relevant SEN and disability education, health and social care legislation,

    guidance, agendas, regulations, OFSTED frameworks and statutory processes

    SEND funding – national and local models and contexts

    SEN systems, policies, priorities and practices, including statutory responsibilities

    in your own setting/context

    Leadership – characteristics and professional qualities of effective leadership

    External agencies and support Data (national, local and setting level), accountability, protection, collecting,

    analysing and interpreting All aspects of the module relate to the critical use of research and inspection evidence about effective practice.

    Assessed assignments:

    Module 1 SEN: Organisational contexts

    Tasks No. of words Draft for formative tutor feedback

    Critical review of a specific national

    policy/government document or

    research report in the field of SEND

    in relation to your role as SENCO

    1000 words

    Full draft

    Dates for

    submission of

    drafts of

    assignments

    will be set with

    your LA lead

    tutor.

    Small scale evaluative study

    2500 words

    Outline

    proposal

    One section

    Critical reflection on the use and

    understanding of one aspect of

    existing data relating to SEND

    1500 words

    Outline

    proposal

    One section

    Total word count 5000 words

    Module 1

    Summative assignment

    deadline

  • 26

    Module 2 SEN: Leading on teaching and learning [Each University has their own detailed module template/record

    Plymouth University code PGSEN705; University of Exeter code EFPM279]

    Aims:

    to develop your knowledge, understanding and skills about:

    o leading and coordinating provision for SEND

    o leading, supporting and developing the practice of colleagues

    o working in partnership with children and young people, families and other

    professionals

    to further develop your knowledge and understanding of how SEND affect the

    participation and learning of children and young people

    Intended learning outcomes:

    On successful completion of this module, you should be able to: demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and understand the implications of the

    principles and practice of leadership in different contexts

    demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of how SEND affect the participation

    and learning of children and young people

    demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of strategies for improving outcomes for

    learners with SEND

    work strategically with senior colleagues, governors (or equivalent) and others to

    lead practice/pedagogy

    lead, develop and, where necessary, challenge senior leaders, colleagues and

    governors in relation to teaching and learning, barriers to participation and

    learning and learner progress

    critically evaluate evidence/data about learning, teaching and assessment in

    relation to children and young people with SEND

    develop, implement, monitor and critically evaluate systems to identify, inform,

    plan, record and review SEND provision

    THROUGH

    critically engaging in the relationship between theory and practice comparing and contrasting different perspectives handling relevant sources of literature and engage in current debates constructing organised, structured, critically reflective and analytic writing demonstrating:

    critical and analytic thinking independent learning, self-management and organisation oral and written communication skills the ability to locate and use learning resources information technology skills the ability to work in groups and to problem solve

  • 27

    Indicative syllabus:

    Strategic leadership and management processes to support change, role of

    leadership in relation to professional development

    Causes of underachievement – breadth and complexity

    How children and young people’s development is affected by SEND

    High incidence SEN – implications for teaching and learning and inclusive

    practice

    Theories of learning in relation to interventions

    Barriers to learning, participation and achievement; discrimination, stereotyping

    and bullying related to SEND

    Overview of effective practice – principles, national research and local projects;

    for example, potential of new technologies, person-centred approaches, multi-

    agency working, transitions and preparation for adulthood

    Coaching and mentoring colleagues and deploying staff

    Children and young people’s and parents’ participation and engagement

    Consulting, engaging and communicating with colleagues, parents and carers

    and children and young people

    All aspects of the module relate to the critical use of research and inspection evidence about effective practice.

    Assessed Assignments:

    Module 2 SEN: Leading on teaching and learning

    Assignment No. of words Draft for formative tutor feedback

    Small scale action research study

    5000 words

    Outline

    structure

    One section

    Dates for

    submission of

    drafts of

    assignments

    will be set with

    your LA lead

    tutor.

    Total word count 5000 words

    Module 2

    Summative assignment

    deadline

  • 28

  • 29

    Assessment criteria

    Assignments are marked against generic Masters level assessment criteria which are similar

    for both Universities.

    Detailed assessment criteria will be provided at the beginning of the course.

    Ethics

    The ethical positions of the Plymouth University Institute of Education and the

    University of Exeter Graduate School of Education are based on the principle

    that in all research, teaching/training and professional activity the interests and rights

    of others must be respected and protected. The ‘others’ whose interests and

    rights need protection include children, adults, other sentient beings, and

    institutions such as schools or colleges with which we have professional

    contact. The kinds of ethical issues that arise for the School of Education

    usually concern the exercise of power in professional relationships, such as

    those between adult and child, or between teacher and student, as well as

    those arising from privileged access to confidential information about

    individuals or institutions. Although such relations and privileged access are

    generally conducted with the best of intentions, without proper safeguards

    they can result in unintentional abuse. Educational research requires that

    particular attention is devoted to ethical obligations because it often involves school

    children and students, who are in vulnerable positions. In the School of

    Education, the key areas of ethical concern to be monitored, and the

    guidelines, are as follows.

    Lack of Harm, Detriment or Unreasonable Stress

    Any research or teaching procedure carried out should not result in any risk of

    harm, detriment or unreasonable stress to participants. Educational

    interventions should not result in any educational disadvantage or loss of

    opportunity. Strong medical guidelines exist where physical risk-issues are

    involved. Where there is any doubt, all action should cease until full

    consultation and reassurance is given by appropriate authorities.

    Informed Consent

    If any experiment or intervention or collection of data does not go significantly

    beyond normal teaching functions, usually institutional (school/college)

    approval only is required.

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    Where normal teaching functions are significantly exceeded, as well as

    institutional approval all participants including children should understand the

    significance of their role (i.e. be informed) and should consent to their

    involvement. If you are unsure of the extent to which your research goes

    beyond normal teaching functions, please refer to your tutor for advice.

    Informed consent assumes that consent is freely given with a proper

    understanding of the nature and consequences of what is proposed and that

    undue influence is not used to obtain consent. It must be made clear to

    participants that at any moment they are free to withdraw from the research if

    they wish. Particular care is necessary when the participant has a special

    relationship to the investigator as in the case of a student to his/her teacher.

    Normally written consent should be gained by providing participants with a

    straightforward statement for them to sign, covering the aims of the research,

    and the potential consequences for participants. The language used in such

    statements must be understandable to the participants. For participants with

    limited communication, the efforts to gain consent should be specified in a

    written description of the procedure for explaining to participants what is

    happening. A responsible person should sign this statement (and indicate

    his/her relationship with the participant) to indicate that this work has been

    done. In such cases the onus is on the researcher to satisfy the School’s

    Ethics Committee, by the provision of appropriate evidence, that the

    information/consent requirements have been satisfied. In some cases this may

    require a clear justification for the involvement of the most vulnerable people

    (for example with disabilities or in stressed situations) and clarification that

    the information can be gained in no other way.

    Confidentiality and Non-Identifiability

    Persons (including children) and institutions that participate in research have

    the right to anonymity and non-identifiability unless they are individual adults

    who have explicitly, and in writing, consented to be identified. Otherwise all

    research data and results, in all media, are confidential and must not be

    disclosed to unauthorised third parties. Research reports, dissertations,

    theses and publications must not permit the identification of any individuals (e.g.

    children, parents or teachers) or institutions (e.g. schools or colleges).

  • 31

    The British Educational Research Association (BERA) produces ethical guidelines

    that can be found at the following link: http://www.bera.ac.uk/publications/ethical-

    guidelines

    http://www.bera.ac.uk/publications/ethical-guidelineshttp://www.bera.ac.uk/publications/ethical-guidelines

  • 32

    Assignment guidance

    Module 1 - Critical review of a national policy/government document or

    research report in the field of SEN in relation to your role of SENCO

    Task: Write a critical review of a government report, policy document, guidance

    document, research report or piece of legislation which significantly informs national

    policy in the field of SEN. Relate it to your role as SENCO. You should focus on one

    theme or section of the document.

    (1000 words)

    Here is your chance to study one document (e.g. SEND Code of Practice 0-25, Children and

    Families Act Part 3, Education Excellence Everywhere White Paper, Lamb Inquiry, Bercow

    Report, Steer Report, Rose Review, Warnock Report, Removing Barriers to Achievement,

    OFSTED - The SEN and Disability Review) in depth and critically examine it. You should

    focus on one aspect of the report. The advice on critical reading and writing from Poulson

    and Wallace (see p.33) is really helpful here.

    Questions you might ask about the report:

    Who wrote this? Are they academic, professional, policy-maker? Does this tell you anything about the ideas expressed?

    What are the purposes of this report? Who are the intended audiences?

    What messages are given? To/about whom? (e.g. how are parents positioned in the

    report)

    Are there opinions expressed? Or words which reflect a standpoint? A political or

    theoretical stance?

    What are the gaps and silences in the report? What is left out and why? What is not

    explained?

    Are any data presented? Is it evident how the data were analysed? Is it clear from the

    report itself how the conclusions were arrived at?

    How does your own professional experience as a teacher and SENCO connect to the

    ideas in the report? Can you provide a counterpoint to any of the arguments in the

    report?

    How does the report relate to your or your school/setting’s current practice?

    Are the implications/recommendations for practice relevant? Drawn from the rest of the

    report? Manageable?

    You should use other literature (books, journal articles, websites) to support your analysis

    and review.

    You might find it helpful to structure your review in the following way:

    Introduction: explain briefly the nature of your assignment. Provide a brief description of your

    professional context and your rationale for choice of document. Include a very brief overview

    of the document/report and how the assignment is structured. (100 words)

    Main section: divided into paragraphs which each examine a different point. (total of 800

    words)

    Conclusion: briefly sum up your review and provide implications for practice in your setting.

    (100 words)

    References: using Harvard referencing notation (see pp.33-38).

  • 33

  • 34

    Module 1 - Small scale evaluative study

    Task: Carry out a small scale study evaluating one aspect of SEN organisation relevant to

    your role as a SENCO/teacher in the context of your school/setting. (2500 words)

    This assignment enables you to select an aspect of SEN organisation in your school/setting

    and then to evaluate this practice as well as situate what is happening, what you are doing,

    and what you believe and think about your role in the light of wider school/setting and LA

    practices.

    Remember this is an evaluation study and does not involve starting or carrying out any

    intervention, new approach or new type of organisation. This is not action research.

    However, you may wish to link this evaluation with the action research study in Module 2.

    Suggested assignment structure

    Write this assignment in the past tense – by the time you submit it you have carried out the

    study. No of

    words

    Title: Provide your own title to match your study.

    Introduction: explain briefly the focus/nature of your assignment. This might include a brief description of the school/setting context, the chosen aspect of self evaluation, your interest in this and how the assignment is structured. (Type of writing required: description and reflection).

    400

    Broader context: more detailed examination of the chosen aspect in the context of school/setting, local and national situations. How are you involved in the activity and how does it relate to your views, beliefs, practice? This might include themes drawn from your reading and some review of wider literature/research. (Type of thinking required: reflection and critical review of issue, context).

    750

    Procedures and methods: a description of the way you carried out your evaluation. Make sure you explain your data collection fully – what method? Who are the participants? How many? How were they selected? Justify your choice with reference to methodology literature. Ethical issues: informed consent (parents? pupils?), anonymity and confidentiality. (Type of writing required: description).

    300

    Presentation and analysis of ‘findings’: present, describe and interpret your findings. Provide a sample of your raw data and show a collation of your data. The reader needs to follow your data collection and analysis process so they can follow how you come to your findings and conclusions. Percentages are generally not appropriate with small numbers. Discussion of the key findings from your enquiry, which involves critical review of ideas and critical reflections on what you did and what you found out. Critically evaluate your project - strengths and weaknesses. How you might have done things better or differently?

    750

  • 35

    Conclusion: critical speculation – what next, what needs to change be developed for your school/setting? Put your findings in the context of previous research – yours and others. Critique - constraints on outcomes - what other issues, policies, strategies have an influence? What implications do the outcomes have for: a) your setting – organisational content? b) the students? c) you in your role (if appropriate) / your professional development? d) recommendations for the future?

    300

    References: use the Harvard method of notation

    Relevant Appendices: Include relevant material which is too bulky to be included in the text but which is important and to which you refer. Ensure anonymity. Make sure you refer to the appendices in your text. Use one appendix for each item, numbered and titled.

    Module 1 - Critical reflection on the use and understanding of one aspect of

    existing data relating to SEN in your setting

    Task: Critically reflect on your understanding, and the use of, one aspect of data relating to

    SEN in your context. (1500 words)

    Understanding and using data:

    In your role you will collect/create/generate new data or use already existing data – both

    quantitative and qualitative data. However, the focus of this assignment is on the use and

    understanding of existing data. The use of data can take a variety of forms. It will involve

    an examination of what the data are and how they are conceptualised and represented. This

    will also involve a consideration of the validity, reliability and legitimacy of using data – the

    extent to which the data can be ‘trusted’ and you can have ‘confidence’ in the data. This

    assignment also allows a critical reflection, such as where the researcher/SENCO is

    considered to be involved in the co-construction of data and what the value of the data is.

    Understanding the use of data emphasises the importance of encouraging the user of the

    data to actually begin to think about what data ‘are’. By considering the ‘status’ of data in this

    way, you should also consider what it is reasonable to do and to say with the data about

    specific pupils. For example, a table of pupil statistics is different from a qualitative

    description or staffroom report. They each take a different stance towards the way this data

    is used to convince the audience of the ‘trustworthiness’ of the work. The former stance may

    perhaps start from an assumption that the ‘truth’ of a situation can be ‘revealed’ through

    quantifying and analysing; the latter might assume that one can only ‘construct stories’

    (albeit supported by evidence such as observations) about a situation that might be useful to

    the audience. So rather than simply using data in a way that makes claims to objectivity or to

    represent reality in some way, researchers/SENCOs should, perhaps, consider the following

    kinds of questions:

    How are the data created, collected or constructed?

    What are the processes of selection, interpretation and representation that have been

    engaged in during the generation/production of the data?

    Whose interests does the data best serve? Professionals, parents, pupils?

  • 36

    In what contexts are the data produced? In other words in what ways are the data

    culturally and socially located and shaped?

    In what ways have the data been produced/created?

    What are the effects/impact of the data?

    Schools are data rich. You are not expected to collect data but to critically reflect on the use

    and understanding of existing data in your working context. However it is worthwhile

    considering briefly methods of data collection and how the methods that are used to collect

    data may influence the ‘trustworthiness’ of the data. Methods used may involve interviews,

    observations, questionnaires, narratives and stories of events from others, pupil

    documentation from other sources/organisations/agencies as well as from within your own

    school/setting.

    Consider the nature of the data in your school/setting which informs your coordination role.

    Data come in many forms and are used for a variety of purposes. Think about the types of

    data you come across and need to engage with. Consider the most useful types of data and

    the least useful. Consider how collected information is different from active knowledge in

    practice – information is not knowledge. Consider the ethical processes necessary when

    collecting, analysing, disseminating and judging pupil data.

    Types of data you might choose to focus on include: a specific test (e.g. Salford Reading

    Test), Fischer Family Trust data, in-school tracking data, data relating to progression

    guidance, school/setting assessment data, qualitative data gathered for annual reviews,

    ‘pupil voice’ data, observation data, informally gathered data.

    You might find it helpful to structure your assignment in the following way:

    Introduction: explain briefly the nature of your assignment. This might include a brief

    description of your chosen type of data, the context (e.g. school) and how the assignment is

    structured. (200 words)

    Main section: divided into paragraphs which each examine a different point. If the terms

    reliability and validity are used these need further explanation to demonstrate that you

    understand what they mean with regard to data. (total of 1000 words)

    Conclusion: sum up your critical reflection and consider implications for your practice. (300

    words)

    References: using Harvard referencing notation.

    Relevant appendices: include relevant material which is too bulky to be included in the text

    but which is important and to which you refer. Ensure anonymity. Make sure you refer to the

    appendices in your text. Use one appendix for each item, numbered and titled.

    Although they are not all specifically related to SEN, you might find the following references useful to

    reflect on the nature of data and how it can impact on teacher and pupil identity, beliefs and practice:

    Ball, S.J. (2013) Foucault, power, and education. New York: Routledge.

    Florian, L., Rouse, M., Black-Hawkins, K. and Jull, S. (2004) What can national data sets tell us about

    inclusion and pupil achievement? British Journal of Special Education 31, 3, 115-121.

    Hall, K., Collins, J., Benjamin, S., Nind, M. and Sheehy, K. (2004) SATurated Models of Pupildom:

    Assessment and Inclusion/Exclusion. British Educational Research Journal 30, 6, 801-817.

  • 37

    Reay, D. and Wiliam, D. (1999) I'll be a nothing: Structure, agency and the construction of identity

    through assessment. British Educational Research Journal 25, 3, 343-354.

  • 38

    Module 2 - Small scale action research study

    Task: Carry out a small scale action research study examining an aspect of leading SEN

    teaching and learning practice in your school/setting. (5000 words)

    An action research study will enable you to investigate aspects of practice in order that you

    can further plan, act, observe, analyse, and reflect. Another way of thinking about it is to

    ‘plan, do, review.’ You need to identify a key problem, interest, issue or dilemma that you

    have encountered in your practice, and one that you are motivated to address in order to

    generate creative solutions and change in collaboration with others. The problem should be

    manageable, so that you can develop a small-scale research study which allows you to

    enquire into a specific aspect of practice, initiate some action and evaluate this action.

    You could focus on an aspect which arose from your evaluative study in module 1. Your

    study may involve the investigation of a teaching and learning approach (e.g. classroom

    withdrawal) relating to pupils with SEN specifically or of the wider school population more

    generally. It may involve the implementation of a specific project and the nature of the role of

    a teaching assistant within the project. It may be a small scale piece of research which

    explores staff beliefs about learning potential and the nature of ability.

    You are expected to gather your own data for this assignment – for example, through

    interviews, observations, questionnaires, practice diaries. There are many books on

    research methods, for example:

    Bell, J. with Walters, S. (2014) Doing Your Research Project (6th edition) Buckingham: OUP

    Clough, P. & Nutbrown, C. (2012) A Student's Guide to Methodology (3rd edition) London: SAGE

    Cohen, L., Manion, L. and Morrison, K. (2011) Research Methods in Education (7th edition) London: Routledge

    Denscombe, M. (2007) The Good Research Guide (3rd edition) Buckingham: OUP Koshy, V. (2010) Action research for improving practice. A practical guide (2nd

    edition) London: Paul Chapman Robson, C. (2016) Real World Research (4th edition) Oxford: Blackwell Thomas, G. (2013) How to do your research project: A guide for students in education and

    applied social sciences (2nd edition) London: SAGE

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    Suggested assignment structure

    Write this assignment in the past tense – by the time you submit it you have carried out the

    study.

    No.

    words

    Title: Add your own title to match your study

    Introduction: your own school/setting context; the nature of the problem; your

    interest in the topic. Introduce your research question.

    500

    Literature review: draw out common themes from the reading; or conflicting

    viewpoints; use the literature to reformulate, further focus your research question.

    It is best to use a range of sources (books, government policy documents, peer

    reviewed journal articles).

    Try to present a critical reading of the literature rather than just a ‘regurgitation’.

    The advice on critical reading from Poulson and Wallace (see p33) will be helpful

    here. When reading, think about the standpoint of the author/s, the focus of the

    article, the methods used and any limitations of these, etc.

    1500

    Procedures and methods: a description of the way you carried out your research.

    Make sure you explain your data collection fully – Who are the participants? How

    many? How were they selected? What method of data collection? How much data

    did you gather?

    Ethical issues: approavals, informed consent (parents? pupils?), anonymity and

    confidentiality.

    1000

    Presentation and analysis of findings: present, describe and interpret your

    findings Provide a sample of your raw data and show a collation of your data. The

    reader needs to follow your data collection and analysis process so they can follow

    how you come to your findings and conclusions. Percentages are generally not

    appropriate with small numbers. Discussion of the key findings from your enquiry.

    Reflection on your own professional learning about your research area.

    1500

    Conclusion: implications for your future practice; for your school/setting; for further

    research.

    500

    References: use the Harvard method of notation

    Relevant appendices: include relevant material which is too bulky to be included in

    the text but which is important and to which you refer. Ensure anonymity. Make

    sure you refer to the appendices in your text. Use one appendix for each item,

    numbered and titled.

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    Assignment tips In Module 1, include word count at the end of each task as well as an overall word count.

    Remember you must be within + 10% of the word lengths.

    Subheadings help the reader find their way through the assignment. Make sure they

    relate to what is included in that section and that they do not make the flow of the

    assignment too disjointed.

    Remember not to name your school/setting or staff/pupils in appendices!

    Spell out acronyms first time of use.

    Terminology - ‘SEN children’. This should be ‘children with SEN’ or ‘children defined as

    having SEN’ or ‘children designated as having SEN’.

    It is better to say – ‘I suggest..’, ‘I argue..’, ‘In my experience it seems that …’ rather than

    ‘I feel’ or ‘I believe’. Such assertions/claims should also be backed up from literature,

    your own or others’ research or from your own experience (an example from the latter is

    always helpful).

    Data = plural (datum = singular) e.g. ‘These data…’ not ‘this data …’.

    The most successful assignments are fluently written and coherently structured,

    organised and argued. They use a wide range of relevant literature, beyond those

    provided on the course, including peer reviewed journal articles. They demonstrate

    critical reflection and analysis, with a questioning stance. Points from literature are used

    to develop, challenge and support assertions. Often paraphrasing is used as well as

    pertinent quotes. The assignments link theory and practice together well. There are few

    typos or punctuation errors and referencing is accurate.

    The least successful assignments are difficult for the reader to follow. The organisation

    and structure is not clear. The points and argument being made are not clear.

    Paragraphs and sentences are not linked together. The assignment is descriptive rather

    than reflective or analytic. A limited range of literature is used. Quotes tend to sit alone

    and not be clearly relevant or integrated into the writing. There are many typos and

    errors and referencing is poor.

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    SENCO Learning Outcomes Portfolio

    SENCOs wishing to gain the National Award for SEN Coordination are required to

    meet the NCTL SENCO Learning Outcomes. The aim of the portfolio is to enable

    you to provide evidence of the range of essential knowledge, skills and experience

    gained prior to and during the SENCO course.

    Portfolios will be organised into the following sections, according to the SENCO

    Learning Outcomes:

    o Professional knowledge and understanding

    o Leading and coordinating provision

    o Personal and professional qualities

    You are asked to complete an initial self audit against the learning outcomes. You are

    expected to maintain and develop your portfolio electronically, monitoring, recording and

    reflecting upon your ongoing progress against the outcomes. The portfolio is a substantive

    learning tool on the course and enables a formative ongoing process of review against the

    outcomes, allowing SENCOs to self track and audit learning explicitly. Portfolios will

    demonstrate a clear element of self-reflection linked to their own school/setting context and

    their own professional development throughout the course. There will be opportunities for

    peer mentoring and support through self-reflection and discussion around progress towards

    the learning outcomes. The portfolio will be regularly reviewed in tutorials with your tutor,

    enabling personalised focused recommendations regarding relevant research, reading,

    assignments and/or visits for each SENCO. This process will conclude with a self-evaluation

    update and action plan for future personal development and CPD.

    The portfolio will ultimately provide summative evidence which will be verified and

    signed off by various others (tutors, headteachers, in-school/setting sponsors, line

    managers, LA advisers, and other stakeholders as appropriate). Final verification will

    be completed by the course tutor/s and there will be a standardisation and

    moderation procedure which follows the usual University protocols.

    Completing the SENCO Learning Outcomes Portfolio

    You are expected to provide evidence and self evaluation of awareness, level of

    knowledge, understanding or skills against each outcome. You should be self critical

    and reflective. Describe with a detailed example; reflect; consider the impact/next

    steps. Supporting information can be provided.

    A number and range of outcomes should be verified by others e.g. headteacher,

    lead tutor, LA adviser. A list of verifiers, their role/position and their contact details

    should be included at the front of the portfolio. Verifiers can sign the final copy or

    SENCOs can add ‘This can be verified by….’

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    You are encouraged and expected to use all elements of the course and your

    experience. You can map and reflect upon a range of learning experiences in

    relation the Learning Outcomes. This may include, for example, pre-course

    experience, reading, module taught elements and activities, module directed tasks,

    day-to-day school/setting practice, school/setting developments, action research

    projects, assignments, visits, attendance at other related courses and conferences

    as appropriate. You are expected to provide specific (dated) examples rather than

    vague statements.

    See SENCO Learning Outcomes Portfolio for further information and examples.

    SENCO Learning Outcomes Portfolio

    Deadline

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    Some suggested reading

    ** The starred items are those particularly recommended to support you in developing a

    crtical lens towards taken-for granted concepts of SEN.

    The emboldened books are core books for teachers engaged in the National Award

    for SEN Coordination.

    Organisational contexts, role of the SENCO, inclusion

    Armstrong, D. and Squires, G. (eds) (2012) Contemporary issues in special educational

    needs: Considering the whole child. Maidenhead: Open University Press

    Audit Commission (2008) Special educational needs / additional educational needs

    (SEN/AEN) value for money resource pack for schools www.sen-aen.audit-

    commission.gov.uk/

    Barnes, P. (2008) Multi-agency working: what are the perspectives of SENCOs and parents

    regarding it development and implementation? British Journal of Special Education, 35

    (4), 230-240

    Beveridge, S. (2005) Children, families and schools: Developing partnerships for inclusive

    education. London: Routledge-Falmer

    Burnett, N. (2005) Leadership and SEN: Meeting the challenge in special and mainstream

    settings. London: David Fulton

    Cheminais, R. (2010) Handbook for new SENCOs. London: Sage

    Clough, P. (ed.) (1998) Managing inclusive education. London: Paul Chapman **Clough, P. & Corbett, J. (2000) Theories of inclusive education. London: Paul Chapman

    Cole, B. (2005) Mission impossible? Special educational needs, inclusion and the re-

    conceptualization of the SENCO in England and Wales European Journal of Special

    Needs Education, 20 (3), 287-307

    Cooper, P. (1996) Are individual education plans a waste of paper? British Journal of Special

    Education, 23 (3), 115-119

    **Corbett, J. (1995) Bad mouthing: The language of special needs. Washington: Falmer

    Press

    DCSF (2010) Improving parental confidence in the special educational needs system: An

    implementation plan. London: DCSF

    http://www.sen-aen.audit-commission.gov.uk/http://www.sen-aen.audit-commission.gov.uk/

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    DCSF (2010) Breaking the link between special educational needs and low attainment.

    Annesley, Nottingham: DCSF

    DfE (2010) Support and aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and

    disability. [Green Paper] Norwich: The Stationery Office

    DfE (2015) SEN Code of Practice 0-25 [online] Available at:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/398815/SE

    ND_Code_of_Practice_January_2015.pdf

    DfES (2001) Inclusive schooling: Children with special educational needs. Annesley,

    Nottingham: DfES

    DfES (2004) Removing barriers to achievement: The government’s strategy for SEN. Ref:

    DfES/0117/2004. Annesley, Nottingham: DfES

    Digman, C. and Soan, S. (2008) Working with parents: A guide for education professionals.

    London: Sage

    Dyson, A. and Gallannaugh, F. (2007) National policy and the development of inclusive school practices: a case study. Cambridge Journal of Education, 37, 4, 473-488

    Ekins, A. and Grimes, P. (2009) Inclusion: Developing an effective whole school approach.

    Maidenhead: Open University Press

    Ellis, S., Tod, J. and Graham-Matheson, L. (2008) Special educational needs and inclusion:

    reflection and renewal. London: NASUWT

    Florian, L. (ed) (2014) The Sage handbook of special education. (2nd edition). London: Sage Frederickson, N. and Cline, T. (2015) Special educational needs, inclusion, and diversity: a

    textbook. (3rd edition). Buckingham: Open University Press Gibson, S. and Blandford, S. (2005) Managing special educational needs London: Paul

    Chapman

    Goodley, D. (2011) Disability Studies: an interdisciplinary introduction London: Sage.

    Griffiths, D. and Dubsky, R. (2012) Evaluating the impact of the new National Award for

    SENCos: transforming landscapes or gardening in a gale? British Journal of Special

    Education, 39, 164–172

    Gross, J. (2008) Beating bureaucracy in special needs education. London: Routledge

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/398815/SEND_Code_of_Practice_January_2015.pdfhttps://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/398815/SEND_Code_of_Practice_January_2015.pdf

  • 45

    Hallett, F. and Hallett, G. (eds) (2010) Transforming the role of the SENCO: Achieving

    the National Award for SEN Coordination. Buckingham: Open University Press

    House of Commons (2006) SEN. Education Select Committee Report. London: The Stationery Office www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmselect/cmeduski/478/478i.pdf

    Layton, L. (2005) Special educational needs coordinators and leadership: A role too far?

    Support for Learning, 20 (2), 53-60

    Lloyd, C. (2008) Removing barriers to achievement: A strategy for inclusion or inclusion or

    exclusion? International Journal of Inclusive Education, 12 (2), 221-236

    Mackenzie, S. (2008) A review of recent developments in the role of the SENCO in the UK.

    British Journal o