Serco Education

Senior Leader Master's Degree Apprenticeship (SLMDA) for SENCOs


Serco in partnership with the University of Wolverhampton are developing a bespoke Senior Leader Master's Degree Apprenticeship (SLMDA) for SENCOs. This will enable SENCOs with a strategic management role, to study for an MBA and gain the National Award for SENCOs while completing the apprenticeship.

Course code: 120

Duration: 27 months

Accreditation: UoW

Level: 7 (Master's)

Become a SUPER SENCO with us...

We have a fantastic opportunity for SENCOs in a management role to gain a Master's qualification!

Serco Education in partnership with the University of Wolverhampton have developed a Senior Leader Master's Degree Apprenticeship (SLMDA) for SENCOs.  This apprenticeship enables SENCOs to study for an MBA and gain the National Award for SEN Co-ordination while completing their studies.

If numbers permit we are scheduled to start a  FAST-TRACK version of the apprenticeship in January 2021.  Due to changes with government funding, this is the ONLY chance to start this programme whilst it is approved for LEVY-FUNDING!  Apply TODAY to take advantage of this amazing opportunity to gain a Master's qualification. 

The FAST-TRACK version is for students that have already successfully completed the National Award for SEN Co-ordination with an approved provider.

The programme will include face-to-face sessions with online and work-based learning, covering a wide range of management and leadership skills, knowledge, self awareness and behaviours, as well as a work based project, focussing on the SENCO role.

Who can apply?

The SLMDA for SENCOs apprenticeship is open to SENCOs who work in a school predominently based in England of any age.  Please note that for the purpose of this apprenticeship, we use the term 'school' to refer to any educational establishment.

Applicants will normally need to occupy a senior management position for a minimum of two years and have a first or second class undergraduate honours degree from a UK university (or an equivalent overseas qualification).  We do however, welcome applications from individuals who do not possess the above qualifications but who have significant management experience, for example Head of Depertment and Head of Year.

If you are not sure whether you are eligible to join the SLMDA for SENCOs apprenticeship, please click here to use our helpful Skill Scan Tool.  This tool provides details of the knowledge, skills and behaviours that thse studying the SLMDA for SENCOs will be required to evidence.  Applicants should be responsible for setting SEN strategy, direction and vision and providing a clear sense of purpose and driving strategic intent.  You will probably be a member of the SLT and/or a head of school/department.  We do not expect you to be able to cover all the activities included in the Skills Scan, but it is important that you are given the opportunity to experience  the different areas while you are studying this apprenticeship.

A minimum of English & Maths at Level 2 (equivalent to GCSE grade A*- C) are required for this apprenticeship but if you don't have these qualifications, you will need to complete functional skills tests in these subjects while you study the SLMDA for SENCOs.  Support is available to help you achieve this.

It is essential that you have the support of your line manager.

PLEASE NOTE: Anyone currently undertaking an apprenticeship or DfE funded programme of study will not be eligible for a higher apprenticeship until they have completed their current apprenticeship/studies.

Programme details

The SLMDA for SENCOs will take 27 months to complete, the study time for applicants that have already successfully completed the National Award for SEN Co-ordination, may be reduced to 18 months (plus EPA).

The SLMDA for SENCOs will include study blocks on:

  • Operations Management
  • Finance Management
  • Strategic Management
  • Orientation and Perspectives on SEN and Inclusive Practice (NASENCO Award module) 
  • Evidence Based Practice and Inclusion (NASENCO Award module) 
  • Whole School Development: Enabling Inclusion (NASENCO Award module) 

Apprentices will be required to produce a Portfolio of Evidence thoughout their studies and complete Work-Based Projects.

The cost of the full programme is £18,000 and the cost of the fast-track programme is £12,800, these costs are approved for levy-funding.  Please see our guidance below in 'Key Documents' on how to secure funding for both levy and non-levy organisations.

Our first cohort will be the fast-track version which will start in January 2021.  There will usually be one or two regional locations for the face-to-face workshops (or online webinars depending on the COVID-19 situation) with the remainder of the programme delivered at your workplace and online.

How will the SLMDA for SENCOs benefit you and your school?

Successful apprentices will achieve:

  • Master's in Business Administration (MBA) awarded by the University of Wolverhampton.
  • The National Award for SEN Co-ordination.
  • CMI Chartered Members status.

Other benefits include:

  • You will develop the highest skills and knowledge directly relevant to the SENCO profession.
  • Our apprenticeship is approved for levy funding.
  • Gain a full Master's qualification whilst in full time employment.
  • Enjoy student benefits such as retail discounts and reduced council tax.

Other considerations

The apprenticeship levy will cover the cost of the training programme but does not cover travel or accommodation costs for workshops, salaries will not be covered.

This is an exciting opportunity to gain a Master’s qualification whilst working but please think carefully about your time commitment and how you will manage the day-job. Your employer must allow you to spend a minimum of 20% of your normal working hours for off-the-job study/learning.

Please note that, whilst your learning will be guided, with support from your facilitators (at the workshops and online) and your mentor, you will be expected to work through the learning materials via the University’s online web platform.  Each module which you study will have a start and end date and you may have one or two milestones during the module, but aside from these it will be up to you to determine the pace at which you study and the amount of additional reading you do.  This may be a different style of learning to your previous experience and it relies on your own motivation and commitment to succeed.

Ready to apply?

If this is the apprenticeship for you, please visit the application area here to start the application process.

The application window is now open for the first cohort starting in January 2021, the deadline to apply is 8th January 2021.

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