SEND Casework Award

On-the-job training and accreditation

  Accredited training for staff directly involved in local authority case work for special educational needs and disabilities


This award is the only available qualification designed specifically for those directly involved in SEND casework and casework management. It is a way of developing and enhancing staff practice in implementing the SEND Code of Practice (2015) requirements.

To date, more than 50 local authorities from across the country have participated in the award. Many local authorities have built the award into their induction programme for new staff as well as using it when training and developing team members.

In partnership with the national Information, Advice and Support Services Network, we aim to make the award fully accessible to all IASS staff. The same levels and units are available, with guidance and support customised for any staff working in IASS across the country.

Content & Qualifications

Course Content
  • Four one-day workshops over the course of the year when key knowledge and skills will be covered and assessed;
  • Technical and legal aspects of SEND assessment;
  • Review and co-ordination process, with particular reference to the Code of Practice (2015); 
  • Interpersonal, communication and self-management skills required by staff for effective and excellent professional practice.

Most candidates take between 9 and 12 months to complete the award, with the majority of the programme being completed through daily working practices. On average, candidates estimate that they need about half a day every 4 weeks, including the workshops. Assessment for the award is by a portfolio of evidence which can be collected and annotated from your usual caseload or work priorities. These portfolios are then assessed by your award assessor, usually a member of senior staff within your local authority.


Depending on your existing level of knowledge and skills, and your current role, you can achieve a BTEC award at level 3 or 4. As this is an on-the-job accreditation, a major factor in deciding which level to take is what your current role entails. This is a national qualification accredited by Edexcel/Pearson.

L4 is aimed at the EHCP co-ordinator role, while L3 is suitable for those in a case officer role, supporting the EHCP co-ordinator in or between meetings.

Both the Level 3 and Level 4 courses cost £995 per candidate; with a 20% discount available for groups of 5 or more.

There are obvious advantages to having an additional qualification when applying for jobs or promotions, but the benefits are more far-reaching than that. Improvements in confidence and morale, knowing that you can do the job and do it well, are priceless.

Here are some examples of what previous successful candidates have said about the award:

"It has been really useful to hear how other LAs work differently and see if we can improve our practice from using their ways of working"

"I found the course very informative"

"Very useful to share experiences and practice"

"Very useful advice and practical support"

"Great tutor support - Thank you!"

"Further learning would be great - I've learnt a lot from these workshops"

"I have particularly appreciated the flexibility and responsiveness of the course leaders - this has ensured the course has met my needs well"



SEND Casework Advisory Board

The candidate and assessor representatives on the group would be happy to receive any comments from you to feed into this advisory board. Please contact them by email. The advisory board meets twice a year and is the reference point for the monitoring and development of the award.

  • Dr Steve Huggett


    After finishing his degree Steve completed a PhD in the area of cognitive development. He then became a teacher and trained as an Educational Psychologist. He worked in four local authorities-two London boroughs and two shire counties. He became a Principal Educational Psychologist, then managed SEN support services and led on Local Authority  SEN and inclusion strategy. He was then seconded as a DfES SEN National Adviser to help introduce the government’s SEN strategy Removing Barriers to Achievement . This national role continued as a Senior Director (SEND) for National Strategies where he coordinated nationwide SEND support for LAs and led the programme for the 10 Regional SEN Hubs. After the end of the National Strategies he became Director of the Autism Education Trust from 2011 to 2016 where he led the implementation of its DfE funded programme which trained over 100,000 education staff across England.  In 2016 he rejoined the DfE National SEN Adviser team to support the implementation of the 2014 SEND reforms. He (largely) retired in April 2018 although he continues to take a keen interest in the world of SEND.

    Show Biography

  • Tracey Jenkins


    Tracey provides administrative support to the SEND Casework Award group by ensuring materials and resources are availableahead of course dates.

    Show Biography

  • Alison Wilcox

    Vice Chair

    Alison worked for many years as a primary teacher before taking up a post with Birmingham Local Authority as an advisory teacher for SEN, working with schools and settings to develop their provision for children and young people with SEN in general, and those with learning and cognition difficulties in particular. Alison joined nasen in November 2014 as their Education Development Officer (EDO) and will contribute to the strategic direction of the Association; working to make the vision of securing the best possible outcomes for children and young people a reality. The role includes being responsible for production of educational materials, resources and training, connecting with members and other education colleagues at events and within seminars, providing professional advice and guidance, as well as working directly with schools where possible. Contact Alison on email via:

    Show Biography

  • Michael Surr

    Vice Chair

    Michael is head of Education and part of nasen’s senior management team. Michael is responsible for leading our membership offer and, as well being the editor of nasen's membership magazine, nasen Connect, he oversees nasen’s research journals and the nasen Spotlight series published by Routledge. Michael develops nasen resources and training, as well as providing valuable advice to our members.

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  • Professor Adam Boddison

    Chief Executive

    Professor Adam Boddison is the Chief Executive for nasen with responsibility for strategic direction and operational delivery across the full breadth of nasen’s activity. Prior to this, Adam held a number of senior education roles including Director of the Centre for Professional Education at the University of Warwick, Academic Principal for IGGY (an educational social network for gifted teenagers) and West Midlands Area Coordinator for the Further Mathematics Support Programme. In addition to a range of teaching and leadership posts in both primary and secondary schools, Adam has a portfolio of education research and international education projects. 

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  • Gina Wookey


    Gina joined nasen in September 2016 as their Head of Sales and Marketing. She brings with her over eight years of marketing and communication experience from within the public sector. Gina’s role within the organisation is to market and sell all that nasen has to offer, including the benefits of a nasen membership, advertising across various nasen channels and lots more. Gina will also manage any nasen events, as well as lead on partnerships with key stakeholders – all to ensure that the organisation continues to strengthen its support to thousands of SEND professionals.

    Show Biography

  • André Imich


    André is the DfE SEN and Disability Professional Adviser. He has been a teacher and educational psychologist and has held a number of practitioner and leadership roles in local authorities and at national level. Throughout his career, he has been committed to the continuous professional development of staff.

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  • Liz Malcolm


    Liz is an applied educational and child psychologist and previous Principal Educational Psychologist with expertise in SEND, organisational change and learning environments. Liz has many years of experience in consultancy, service development and management in local government. Over the last 10 years Liz has worked with Ian Palmer to develop and deliver the national SEN casework award for local authority staff. Recent areas of work have included managing the implementation of the SEND reforms; local area SEND self evaluations and strategic support for organisational change associated with redesign of local authority inclusion services. Contact Liz:

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  • Ian Palmer


    Ian has been a consultant, trainer and coach for 15 years. Over the last 10 years Ian has developed and run the national SEN casework award accreditation for local authority SEN team staff. As well as carrying out various SEND and inclusion consultancy projects for individual local authorities, Ian is currently the coordinator for the East of England regional SEND peer network, and for a regional group of local authority lead SEND officers. Previously, Ian had 18 years of school and local authority experience. He has an MBA, was a trained Ofsted inspector and is an accredited coach and mediator. Contact Ian via email:

    Show Biography

  • Emma Kinrade


    Contact Emma via email:

    Show Biography


Upcoming SEND Casework Award courses

SEND Casework Award

Events - 20 Jan 2021

This BTEC level 3 or 4 Award is the only on-the-job training and accreditation written specifically for those directly involved ...



Register your interest in our SEND Casework Award

If you are interested in finding out more about our SEND Casework Award and how it might benefit for your Local Authority, please fill out the form below and a member of the team will be in touch.


Online workshop recordings

Due to the current unprecedented times, some of our current SEND Casework Award workshops have been delivered online. If you have attended one of these online workshops, or you are booked onto the relevant cohort but were unable to attend the live online workshop, you can access the recordings through the following resources:

If you are experiencing issues with accessing these recordings then please email 



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