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2k extra fully funded places announced on BPN early years SENCo programme

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Best Practice Network’s fully funded Early Years SENCo programme is to be massively expanded to meet demand.

The Department for Education confirmed 2,000 extra places on the accredited Level 3 qualification this week. The places will be available until August 2024, with priority given to SENCos in areas currently under-represented in the training uptake, including the north east and north west of England.

The expanded programme is part of the Department for Education’s early years education recovery programme. It will mean up to 7,000 SENCos will be trained by August 2024.

Existing Early Years SENCos with a Level 3 Early Year educator qualification, or those due to take up the role of SENCo, are eligible for the training if working in a group-based setting or as a childminder.

Best Practice Network’s Early Years SENCO programme was launched in summer 2022. Evaluations carried out by Best Practice Network in January 2023 reveal that 90% of current programme participants believe that the training has already had a positive impact on their own CPD and their skill levels. 

Sian Marsh, Director, Early Years and ITT at Best Practice Network, said:

“We’re delighted to be able to offer these additional fully-funded places to satisfy this demand from the sector.

“Having more qualified SENCos in the EY sector will have positive impacts on children with SEND and on the sector as a whole, giving professionals the skills to address urgent priorities – and a big incentive to stay in a sector that they know will invest in their professional journey.”

Best Practice Network, which also provides EYITT and level 2, 3 and 5 qualifications and the NPQEYL, is delivering the qualification with a national network of partners: Elklan, Kids Planet Day Nurseries, Snapdragons Nurseries, Bristol City Council, Derbyshire LA, Durham CC and Telford and Wrekin LA, and the National Day Nurseries Association.

Participants on the four-month long programme participate in a rich mix of online facilitated training, mentoring, online study and enrichment, including a group discussion forum and communities of good practice. Participants build up an e-portfolio of learning for final assessment.

Further details about the programme are available here. Information about Best Practice Network’s first Early Years SEN Conference, to be held in Bristol on 10 November is available here.  

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