Partnerships & NASENCo

Collaborating with other providers to effectively support educators

nasen has an influential voice at national level on issues concerning special educational needs. We are regularly invited to meet with government agencies to offer advice and support at policy level and are represented on many influential national organisations.


NASENCo Providers & nasen

nasen is committed to supporting quality NASENCo training and preserving the integrity of the award. As a result, we have agreed that Leading Learning for SEND Community Interest Company (LLSENDCiC) are the preferred organisation to quality assure NASENCo courses. For more information about the NASENCo training please visit the LLSENDCIC website  or email the organisation at

Appointing a SENCO


All state-funded mainstream schools in England, including academies, free schools, university technical colleges and maintained nurseries are required to employ a teacher with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in a Special Educational Co-ordinator (SENCO) role. 

It may be appropriate for a number of small primary schools to share a SENCO who is employed to work across the individual schools. Where a shared approach is taken the SENCO:

  • should not normally have a significant class teaching commitment
  • should not be the headteacher at one of the schools.

Schools should regularly review the effectiveness of such a shared SENCO to ensure that the approach is having a positive impact on the quality of SEN provision and progress of pupils with SEN in all of the schools involved in the arrangement. 

SENCO qualification requirements


Most SENCos are required to undertake mandatory training (the National Award for SEN Coordination).

Where a person becomes the SENCO at a relevant school after 1st September 2009, and has not previously been the SENCO at that or any other relevant school for a total period of more than twelve months, the appropriate authority (governing body or proprietor) of the school must ensure that, if the person is the SENCO at the school at any time after the third anniversary of the date on which that person becomes a SENCO, that person holds the qualification. 

In practice this means that all ‘new to role’ SENCOs must achieve a National Award in Special Educational Needs Co-ordination within three years of appointment.

From 2009-2014, 25 providers of NASENCo training were accredited to deliver NASENCo training by the Training and Development Agency (TDA). NASENCo training was centrally funded during this time.

From September 2014 national accreditation of NASENCo providers ceased and an open market for NASENCo training was initiated. At the same time central funding for training ceased in 2014; schools/ settings and individuals are responsible for financing training.

All SENCos continue to be required to hold QTS and NASENCo training remains mandatory within the new funding arrangements.

Why have a Quality Standard for NASENCo training


Until September 2014 the DfE accredited 24 providers to deliver the NASENCo Award, who are all listed on the DfE website. The accreditation of providers and funding for schools ceased in 2014 and in order to preserve the high standard and quality of NASENCo training the previously accredited NASENCo providers formed themselves into a Provider Group network. Since September 2014 head teachers and SENCos can choose to engage with any provider delivering NASENCo training, previously accredited DfE providers or new training providers, in an open market. The previously accredited providers felt they needed to safeguard the quality of the award and be able to assure those purchasing NASENCo training that they were engaging with providers offering quality training.

Our credentials

The NASENCo Provider Group was formed in September 2014 with the support of nasen. The providers meet on a voluntary basis twice a year, with a commitment to continue working together to preserve the quality of NASENCo training offered to SENCos in a free market.

In March 2018 the providers applied to Companies House to form a Community Interest Group: Leading Learning for Special Educational Needs Community Interest Group.

The Group was endorsed by Companies House in July 2018. It is a non-profit organisation charging a small yearly fee to member providers to support costs and future development.

The NASENCo Quality Standard

These NASENCo providers have together developed a Quality Standards Framework; a self-evaluation assessment framework to be completed and submitted every three years by current providers and during the first year for a new provider. All assessment for the Quality Standard is undertaken by current providers, who have themselves been successfully assessed, on a rota basis.

The Provider Group welcomes new NASENCo providers to join the Provider Group and to submit an application for the Quality Standard. For more information please contact:


Register of Quality Providers: NASENCo training 

For a list of approved courses which are on the LLSENDCiC Register of Quality Providers, as part of the Provider Partnership, having successfully met the requirements of the Quality Standard, please use this link to the LLSENDCiC website:


Funded projects

Whole School SEND

Whole School SEND

The Whole School SEND Consortium brings together schools, organisations and individuals who are committed to ensuring that every child and young person with SEND can achieve their potential at school.

EYSEND Partnership: Meeting the needs of every child: SEND for managers in PVIs

EYSEND Partnership: Meeting the needs of every child: SEND for managers in PVIs

A DfE funded project: Information and resources for supporting all children with SEND in PVI settings, including the role of the SENCO and effective inclusive practice. It focuses specifically on speech, language and communication needs.

Accredited Early Years SENCO Award

Accredited Early Years SENCO Award

As part of this DfE funded project, we are now able to offer a free accredited 21.5 day face-to-face training course for educators in a PVI Early Years Setting. Find out more about the project and its projected impact.


Inclusive Education and the National Association of Special Educational Needs (ISEC)

The UCL Centre for Inclusive Education and the National Association of Special Educational Needs (NASEN) will host the Inclusive and Supportive Education Conference (ISEC) in 2021 at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) in London. The event, which typically attracts more than 500 visitors worldwide and runs every five years will focus on 'Closing the Research to Practice Gap'. This follows on from the Inclusion and Equity theme in 2015, which took place in Lisbon. 

During the ISEC 2021 conference the topics explored will be: interrelationship between researchers, educational practitioners and parents examining the unique role each has in applying theory to practice and creating environments for a lasting and positive change.

Commonly asked questions will be addressed, such as:

  • Do researchers share the same priorities as practitioners?
  • Do academics and teachers share a common language?
  • What are the barriers to productive and successful co-operation?


Special Education Consortium (SEC)

Hosted by CDC, part funded by nasen, SEC was first established by the Council for Disabled Children. SEC is a consortium of the voluntary sector, education providers and professional associations who work together to protect and promote the interests of disabled children and children with special educational needs. SEC works to ensure that children with special educational needs and disabled children get the education they need. Over the past 21 years, SEC has worked on issues affecting children and young people with SEN/ALN during the passage of 18 pieces of legislation. SEC started with the Education Act 1993 and is still going strong with the Children and Families Act 2014 and the Care Act more recently. 


National SEND Forum

The SEND Forum provides updates on national issues relating to SEND/ALN and is part funded by nasen. The National Special Educational Needs and Disability Forum is a regular meeting of the leading representatives of significant national organisations in this field. It is attended by the Department for Education (DfE). The National SEND Forum (NSENDF) is politically neutral, drawing together the providers, champions and commissioners of services for the most vulnerable in the maintained, non-maintained and independent sectors and across the 0-25 age range. The forum is facilitated and convened by the Federation of Leaders in Special Education.


SEN Policy Research Forum

Part funded by nasen, the SEN Policy Research Forum contributes intelligent analysis, knowledge and experience to promote the development of policy and practice for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. You can join the forum and participate in its activities. Their latest policy paper, “Governance in a changing education system: ensuring equity and entitlement for disabled children and young people and those with special educational needs” is available online for free, along with previous papers. The report is based on the joint seminar with the Special Educational Consortium in January 2015.


The International Examination Officers’ Association (iEOA)

nasen has partnered with The International Examination officers.

They focus on providing a more ‘user friendly’ exam experience for all learners!

The iEOA is an independent professional body and registered charity focused on providing support on exams and delivery in centres which will benefit all learners and help them reach their full potential within the education and commercial sectorsm. 



Axcis Education

Axcis Education

Axcis is the leading supplier of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) staff in England and Wales. They recruit special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) staff for mainstream schools and alternative provision.

Nisai Group

Nisai Group

Nisai Group work with students to help them achieve their ambitions through holistic learning and creating pathways to university and future employment. Over the years, they have worked with thousands of learners with various barriers.

GL Assessment

GL Assessment

GL Assessment is the leading provider of formative assessments to UK schools. They also provide assessments for overseas ministries and British, bilingual and international schools in over 100 countries worldwide.