Evaluation of the impact and effectiveness of the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination
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This report presents findings of an independent evaluation into the effectiveness and impact of the National Award for SEN Coordination. Questionnaire data were collected from 1,109 school staff, 532 parents/carers and 9 pupils; we also interviewed 20 SENCOs and 15 parents/carers of children with SEND. Key findings included: • Statistically-significant evidence that a majority of NASENCO Award-holders and trainees felt that the Award increased their confidence in some aspects of all three Award domains of Professional Knowledge and Understanding; Leading and Coordinating Provision; Personal and Professional Qualities. • Award-holding survey respondents commented on aspects of course delivery that allowed them to reflect on their SENCO role. These included discussion and sharing practice with other SENCOs, academic study and tasks, and the taught sessions. Some commented on the challenges of completing Master’s level study with their employment in school. • Issues that SENCOs thought should be addressed in the Award in future included practical advice that was applicable to the SENCO role; budget management and funding training; working with outside agencies; supporting pupils; training, supporting and managing staff; and understanding/implementing current legislation. • School staff who were not SENCOs were asked for their views of the support provided to them by their SENCO. The majority of respondents knew if their school SENCO had achieved the Award or not. A large majority reported that their SENCO supported them in almost all aspects of the three Award domains. The SENCO’s role in working with parents/carers was the aspect most often highly rated by school staff respondents; other highly-rated aspects were concerned with working strategically to develop support systems, both within and beyond the school, followed by supporting pupils’ learning and progress. • The majority of parents/carers who responded to the survey did not know if their child’s school SENCO held the Award. Most parent interviewees reported that they had not heard of the Award before completing the survey. • Around half of the pupils in our sample felt that they were able to get help at least some of the time at school, and that this help came mainly from staff at school or from family. The Report concludes with recommendations to government, Award providers, schools and individuals.
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