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Need a well respected, good and thorough distance learning course that will help me build a career in SEN

(11 Posts)
somuchtosortout Mon 19-May-14 13:59:14


I'm a teacher who has taught a bit of secondary and a bit of primary, as well as in international schools.

Because of following my husband round the world I've not been able to focus on my career development.

I would love to work in SEN and specialise in this area, but will be out of the UK for another 3 years. I figured I could use this time to get a qualification at least and maybe help out at the local international school.

Has anyone used distance learning courses?
If you are a SENCO or have experience of SEN is there anything in particular I should focus on, bearing in mind changing SEN policies etc?

Would you or your school respect it as a qualification or would I be wasting my money on something that would not hold much weight in the end?

Luckily we have some savings and budget is not too much of a problem, but I know these things can be very expensive and if we are going to fork out I would really need it to be worth it.
Any other tips most welcome.

Thank you very much!

somuchtosortout Mon 19-May-14 16:10:04


toomuchicecream Mon 19-May-14 21:20:29

I get the impression that most SEN training that's around at the moment is so people can get the SENCO accreditation.

A friend of mine was last summer appointed as SENCO in a private school. She's a speech therapist rather than a teacher and she and the school spent quite a bit of time hunting around for some training to help her in her new role. All that they could find was the SENCO accreditation through a local university - they took some persuading to accept her as she doesn't have QTS, and she won't be able to have the full qualification at the end, but there just wasn't any other course around for her. But you can't do it distance learning as you need to be working in a school and carry out various projects with your colleagues.

What area of SEN are you interested in? I know there are dyslexia diplomas of some kind that you can do, for example. Or if you had a way of learning British Sign Language (perhaps unlikely abroad!) you could then look at qualifying as a Teacher of the Deaf. Or I saw a job advert this week for a Teacher of the Visually Impaired. Does anything like that appeal?

somuchtosortout Mon 19-May-14 21:58:02

Thank you for your reply! Maybe it won't be as simple as I think. I am interested in supporting children with SEN in mainstream education. I worked as a teaching assistant for one year and saw how much more could be done with a well trained experience SENCO

Myself and other members of staff often felt like we didn't really have the right understanding of specific learning difficulties we faced with different children and there would not always be the time to read up or think of in depth strategies to help each child. The SENCO was well meaning but a bit lost a lot of the time as she didn't have a good grounding apart from a few courses.

I guess what I am striving for is to gain a really good understanding of children with SEN, starting with the most commonly found in mainstream schooling.

Maybe on reflection I need more of a Ed Psychology oriented thing rather than just a course on how to get a child statemented and how to write an Individual education plan!

level3at6months Mon 19-May-14 22:16:00

Edgehill are starting,or have started, an SEN course not for SENCos which goes into detail about different kinds of SEN. It's by distance learning afaik, and sounded so much better than the NatSenco award I've just struggled through.

toomuchicecream Tue 20-May-14 06:48:16

Have you worked through the inclusion development programme materials available on line? Google for them - 4 different modules inc ASD, dyslexia, SEBD. Would be a good starting point.

somuchtosortout Tue 20-May-14 19:21:42

Thanks Level3 (like your name!!) - can I just ask what did the NatSenco cover, how long did it take/how many sessions?

Toomuch I have not, I'm a bit out of the loop having been mostly teaching abroad, I will definitely look them up!

SpearmintLino Tue 20-May-14 22:06:06

Hello, I'm doing the National Award in SEN Coordination at the moment. It's mainly been home study, with 6 compulsory days at university. It costs 1,500 notes and is a legal requirement for anyone in post as SENCo since 2008.

level3at6months Wed 21-May-14 20:09:25

Hi somuch. Like Spearmint says, it's a mainly distance learning thing - mine was all online apart from 4 face to face days. It covers legislation, theories of inclusion, multi-agency collaboration etc. You also have to show that you have achieved the 55(?) teacher standards for SENCos, which involved putting together a portfolio of evidence from work related stuff - things like ieps, caf mtgs notes, staff training you've run. It would be difficult to do if you weren't already a SENCo or assistant. It took just over a year.

I got my lovely certificate through the post today to say I passed it with merit smile.

somuchtosortout Thu 22-May-14 08:30:36

Thanks, and well done on getting a merit! Always nice to get a certificate!

Doesn't sound feasible for me. I'm not even working at the moment as we are abroad for my husband's job.
I will have to find something more ed psychology based, which could be more interesting (I hope!).

Interesting to know steps required to be senco though.

I'm pretty sure that's the path I would like to take once back in UK.

Thanks for your input, enjoy senco-ing!

peacoat Sat 31-May-14 16:03:20

Check out Real Training. They run a MA (SEND) online through Middlesex uni. It's an organisation set up and run by Ed Psychs - I did my Test User course (CPT3A) through them and I thought they were great so I'm finishing off the MA through them.

Not cheap, but all online and they know their stuff.

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