SEN Organisational Contexts (EFPM278)

StaffProfessor Hazel Lawson - Convenor
Credit Value30
Academic Year2017/8
ECTS Value15
NQF Level7
Co-requisitesEFPM279 SEN: Leading on Teaching and Learning
Duration of Module Term 1: 10 weeks; Term 2: 5 weeks;

Module aims

Both the EFPM278 and EFPM279 modules reflect the overall course aims:

  • to increase the participation of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and raise their achievement, through developing SENCOs' professional attributes and improving their knowledge, understanding and skills;
  • to prepare SENCOs to lead teaching and learning and the provision for children and young people in their school or other educational setting who have SEND; and
  • to provide opportunities for SENCOs to share good practice and reflect critically and actively on their own role and practice.

Each module has a distinctive focus and set of aims. With regard to this module, the aims are:

  • to develop your knowledge and understanding of statutory and regulatory frameworks and relevant developments at local and national level;
  • to apply this knowledge and understanding to strategic leadership and development of SEND policy and procedures in your own educational setting (e.g. school, college);
  • to develop your knowledge and understanding of the roles and responsibilities in developing and implementing a whole educational setting SEND policy (communicating and collaborating effectively with internal and external staff, contributing to professional development of staff); and
  • to develop practical knowledge of identification and planning of resources in relation to setting’s SEND policy.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the statutory and regulatory context for SEN and Disability Equality;
  • 2. demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and understand the implications of the principles and practice of leadership in different contexts;
  • 3. work strategically with senior colleagues and governors (or equivalent) to lead ethos and policy;
  • 4. lead, develop and, where necessary, challenge senior leaders, colleagues and governors in relation to statutory responsibilities, professional development and staff deployment;
  • 5. demonstrate systematic knowledge and critical skills in the collection, analysis and use of data at a strategic and organisational level;
  • 6. demonstrate that you know how to draw upon external sources of support and expertise;

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 7. critically engage in the relationship between educational theory and practice;
  • 8. compare and contrast different educational perspectives;
  • 9. handle relevant sources of literature and engage in current educational debates;
  • 10. construct organised, structured, critically reflective and analytic writing on educational issues;

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 11. demonstrate critical and analytic thinking;
  • 12. demonstrate the skills of independent learning, self-management and organisation;
  • 13. demonstrate oral and written communication skills;
  • 14. locate and use learning resources;
  • 15. demonstrate information technology skills;
  • 16. work in groups; and
  • 17. problem solve.

Syllabus plan

The content of this syllabus plan is related to the syllabus plan in the related module EFPM279 SEN: Leading on teaching and learning. Some aspects of the content are common to both modules. All aspects of the module relate to the critical use of research and inspection evidence about effective practice. Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Relevant SEN and disability education, health and social care legislation, guidance, agendas, regulations, OFSTED frameworks and statutory processes
  • SEND funding – national and local models and contexts
  • SEN systems, policies, priorities and practices, including statutory responsibilities, in your own setting/context
  • Leadership – characteristics and professional qualities of effective leadership
  • External agencies and support
  • Data (national, local and setting level), accountability, protection, collecting, analysing and interpreting.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities18Lectures and seminars led by module tutors and guest speakers over 3 contact days
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities3Tutorials with local module tutor – face to face or virtual. You will discuss your 3 individual mini-assignments with your local module tutor. Your local module tutor will also provide you with feedback on a draft of these assignments.
Guided independent study3You will need to prepare for each contact day with directed activities and reading as indicated on ele.
Guided independent study30Reading and research around a government report, then writing a critical review of one government report in a specific area
Guided independent study100Reading and research around self- directed study one aspect of your school SEN data, then writing assignment on critical reflection on the use and understanding of (your school) SEN data
Guided independent study146Reading and research for small scale evaluative study, then writing evaluative study assignment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Critical discussion of set readings and practical tasksEquivalent to 2500 words1-2, 7-9, 11-14, 16-17Tutor and peer oral feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Portfolio, consisting of the following three elements, with indicative weightings of their contribution to the overall assessment mark:0All 3 elements of the proposal are submitted together and will receive an overall grade and feedback
Critical review of a specific national policy/ government document or research report in the field of SEND in relation to your role as a SENCO201000 words1-6 (depending on choice of report), 7-15Formal written tutor feedback and grade
Written assignment - Small scale evaluative study502500 words1, 2-6 (depending on choice of focus), 7-15, 17Formal written tutor feedback and grade
Critical written reflection on the use and understanding of one aspect of existing data relating to SEND301500 words5, 7-15Formal written tutor feedback and grade

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Portfolio, consisting of the following three elements, with indicative weightings of their contribution to the overall assessment mark in brackets:All 3 elements of the proposal are submitted together and will receive an overall grade and feedback
Critical review (20%)Critical review (1000 words)1-6 (depending on choice of report), 7-156 weeks
Written assignment - Small scale evaluative study (50%)Written assignment - Small scale evaluative study (2500 words)1, 2-6 (depending on choice of focus), 7-15, 176 weeks
Critical written reflection (30%)Critical written reflection (1500 words)5, 7-156 weeks

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

DfE (2015) SEN Code of Practice 0-25 [online] Available at:

Hallett, F. and Hallett, G. (eds) (2010) Transforming the role of the SENCO: Achieving the National Award for SEN Coordination. Buckingham: Open University Press

Wearmouth, J. (2016) Effective SENCO: Meeting the challenge. Maidenhead: Open University Press

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

DfE SEN pages

Nasen (National Association of Special Educational Needs)

Training materials for teachers of learners with severe, profound and complex learning difficulties


Advanced training materials for autism; dyslexia; speech, language and communication; emotional, social andbehavioural difficulties; moderate learning difficulties

Inclusion Development Programme


SEN Policy Research Forum  


Council for Disabled Children

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

British Journal of Special Education

Support for Learning

European Journal of Special Needs Education

Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs

International Journal of Inclusive Education

Available as distance learning?


Last revision date


Key words search

SENCO, SEN, Organisational, Contexts