Press Releases

University to offer new qualification for Special Educational Needs Coordinators – University of Reading

Release Date : 17 December 2009

The University of Reading has been accredited by the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA), to run a vital new course that leads to the new National Award for Special Educational Needs (SEN) Coordination.

SENCOs are highly-skilled teachers that play a vital role within the school community, leading teaching and coordinating provision for learners with additional needs. In September, a Government initiative came into force requiring all SEN Coordinators (SENCOs) who are new to their role, to undertake nationally approved training which is funded by the TDA.

Reading joins a group of only 23 UK higher education institutions to be able to offer a TDA approved course. The University will lead the training and provision of the course on behalf of all six Local Authorities in Berkshire. As well as teaching the course, the University's Institute of Education will provide its vast expertise and experience to help other institutions in the region deliver the course effectively.  

Professor Andy Goodwyn, Director of the University of Reading's Institute of Education, said: "This important new qualification underlines our developing strategy to improve the provision of SEN within schools and in the local community. It will certify, and provide, long overdue status to the role special educational needs co-ordinators play in shaping the future of teaching and learning."

The Reading programme is built around the individual professional development needs of SENCOs and their setting. The University organises and delivers the programme as a group, with both its staff and local authorities providing course teachers. 

Chris Ellis from Wokingham Local Authority said: "This is a new venture that is developing an exciting partnership between the University of Reading and local authorities. It will support the increasing and recognised professionalism of the crucial work of SENCOs."

This recognition follows news earlier this year of the University being awarded a contract to deliver Subject Knowledge Enhancements Courses, a vital new training course for those wishing to embark on a career in teaching. In September, the University's Institute of Education was named the number one place in the UK to train primary school teachers.

The first course at Reading will begin in January 2010. Anyone interested in applying should contact Rosemary Jones at  or 0118 378 8869.

Further information can be obtained from your Local Authority in Berkshire or Dr. Catherine Tissot at  or 0118 378 5946.



For all University of Reading media enquiries please contact James Barr, Press Officer tel 0118 378 7115 or email

The University of Reading's Institute of Education is a major provider of teachers nationally and regionally, offering PGCE Secondary and Primary, BA (Ed) and the Graduate Teacher Programmes (GTP). The secondary programme and the primary programme have both received the top Ofsted grades in 2006/7 and the Institute is now a category 'A' provider for all our courses. The employment rates of graduates are the highest in the University and the best in the country of any initial teacher training provider.


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