SENCOs have until the 31 January 2012 to register with training providers to secure funding for the National Award for SEN Co-ordination (NASCO). SENCOs who register before this date can still receive guaranteed funded places and supply cover up to a total of £3000 (£1500 course fees, plus a maximum of £1500 supply fees).
The Award was introduced in 2009 by the Labour Government, through the Training and Development Agency (TDA), to support the professional development of SENCOs. The TDA approved a number of training providers and paid the course fees. However, following the abolition of the TDA by the Coalition Government, the Agency will cease to exist from April 2012.
The Government has not, so far, announced a new funding stream for the Award and the TDA has said that it will not fund any course places beyond its 31 January cut-off point.
Urging schools to apply for funded places before the deadline, Siobhan Mellor, of approved Award provider Real Training, said: “We are concerned that schools aren’t aware that funding for this mandatory award is coming to an end, and that schools will have to find an alternative way to fund the training.”
The NASCO is compulsory for any teacher who has become a SENCO in the last 12 months, and even those who do not register before the January deadline, will still have to undertake the training, but the SENCO or their school will have to pay the course fees.