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Starts on 01/10/2024

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18 months

Designed for

SENCOs / teachers / school leaders


The new NPQ for SENCOs programme aims to develop participants’ professional knowledge and critical understanding of key concepts and debates addressed in the academic and professional literature, in order to lead and co-ordinate special educational needs and disability (SEN and D) provision across an educational setting.

Who is this course designed for?

  • Special educational needs co-ordinators (SENCOs).
  • Teachers interested in developing expertise in special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) or undertaking a SENCO role in future.
  • School leaders.

All mainstream schools (including academies and free schools) must have a SENCO. The SENCO must be a qualified teacher, or the headteacher, working at the school.

This NPQ will be the mandatory qualification for SENCOs from September 2024, with teaching beginning in autumn 2024. The 3-year window to complete the mandatory qualification on taking up a SENCO post will remain following the introduction of the NPQ for SENCOs.

Please refer to 🔗transition to national professional qualification for special educational needs co-ordinators for further information.

What will this course cover?

Designed in collaboration with leading experts and system leaders and informed by the latest evidence, the NPQ for SENCOs curriculum covers areas including:

  • Establishing an inclusive school culture in which all pupils can flourish.
  • Developing an expert knowledge of the statutory framework and identification of need.
  • The strategic leadership and management of provision.
  • Enhancing curriculum implementation, teaching and inclusive pedagogy.
  • Supporting the professional development of colleagues through clear theories of change.

The programme is delivered by Exchange Teaching Hub, in partnership with UCLs national delivery partners, through a blend of online self-study, face to face events and peer coaching sessions.


In order to complete NPQSENCO, you will be required to:

  • Attend all programme sessions.
  • Complete an implementation project based on your current work.
  • Complete and pass a written assessment (between 1,500 and 2,500 words).


To support you in the completion of NPQSENCO, our offer includes as standard:

  • An engaging curriculum which blends face-to-face, online and self-study and which exemplifies the DfE standard for teachers’ professional development.
  • A supportive facilitator and peer network.
  • Local cohort groups to reduce travel time.

Dates, times & locations of training sessions

October 2024 – March 2026 (18 months)

February 2025 – July 2026 (18 months)

Face-to-face sessions will be held mainly in Barnsley, Doncaster, Selby or Wakefield.


The programme is delivered by Exchange Teaching Hub, in partnership with UCLs national delivery partners, through a blend of online self-study, face to face events and peer coaching sessions.

Our facilitators are expert teachers and proven leaders working in schools throughout the hub communities.

Next Steps

Apply now

The Department for Education (DfE) are currently not accepting registrations for Autumn 2024 cohort as they complete the maintenance of their registration portal which is expected to be open in July 2024.

UCL Institute of Education is encouraging prospective participants to complete the form linked below to register your interest in pursuing an NPQ with UCL as your provider for the Autumn 2024 cohort. You will need to select Exchange Teaching Hub from the list of delivery partners.

🔗Pre-Registration Form – Autumn 2024


Once the DfE registration portal re-opens, applicants who have completed this form will be emailed the DfE registration link to complete their registration with the DfE.

For an exploratory conversation about which NPQ is right for you, contact

Further Info

Scholarship funding

Scholarships are still to be confirmed for the Autumn 2024 cohort. We will update this page once we have received information from the Department for Education.

Deferral or Withdrawal from an NPQ Programme

Only in exceptional circumstances may a participant request either a deferral or withdrawal from their programme. Participants should be aware that there is a process to follow which is outlined in UCL’s NPQ Deferral and Withdrawal Policy.

A participant considering withdrawal from an NPQ Programme should be aware that it is Department for Education Policy to only fund an NPQ course for a participant once. This means that a participant who starts a Department for Education funded NPQ course, and then withdraws from that course, will not be funded again for the same programme.