The latest news on funding for SEN training
SENCO Update editor Christopher Robertson has important news about SEN training funding, applications and deadlines.
A ‘second round’ national scholarship fund for teachers, extending the scheme that was introduced last year, opens for applications on 30 April and closes on 17 May.
The priority areas are: English, mathematics, science and, as in the first round, special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
The overall aim of the scheme is to give teachers the opportunity to develop specialist knowledge and skills. 391 SEN scholarships were awarded in the first round, and for a range of professional development activities, so consider applying now!
A new national scholarship scheme for support staff working with pupils with SEND has also been introduced for the first time, building on a commitment outlined in Support and Aspiration last year. This scheme also opens for applications on 30 April and closes on 17 May. It aims to:
- foster high expectations of those working to support pupils with SEN and/or disabilities in the classroom
- strengthen knowledge and understanding of SEND among support staff and across the school
- provide career opportunities for SEN support staff
- share learning, knowledge and expertise across the school system
- raise expectations with regard to the importance of scholarship, specialist knowledge and skill, throughout the career of support staff.
The ‘first round’ of applications will prioritise support staff who already have:
- attained a full level 3 qualification
- hold higher level teaching assistant (HLTA) status.
It is anticipated that a further round for this scheme will be announced in the future.
Applications for both of the scholarship schemes outlined above must be submitted online. Full details are available on the DfE site.
SENCO training 2012-13
The DfE has also confirmed that it will continue to fund training for 1,000 new-to-role SENCOs in 2012-13. Nearly 9,000 SENCOs have completed, or are completing the National Award for SEN Coordination since it was introduced in 2009.
Funding will also be made available to include teachers working in pupil referral units (PRUs). This reflects an increasing awareness of the special educational needs of the majority of pupils attending PRUs. More information about SENCO training will be available shortly.