What To Know Before Working In A SEND School

If you are considering working in SEND, it helps to be fully prepared with the right training, knowledge and expectations.

One of the greatest benefits of working in SEND is that you’ll get to see children overcome their physical or other additional needs. Tailored academic support can develop confidence, independence and fine motor skills during their time working with you. It might be a challenge to achieve small wins, especially for children with severe learning difficulties, but the payoff is in celebrating triumphs and seeing pupils ultimately succeed and overcome the challenges that they have been faced with.

Teachers who land permanent roles in SEND may qualify for an additional allowance, speak to your Engage consultant about your salary expectations!

Check our live vacancies page for senior SEND and SEND leadership opportunities.

From the moment you start your first SEND placement, you’ll be learning on the job. Children may attend SEND schools or require SEND support in mainstream schools for a very wide range of reasons and covering a broad spectrum of physical and learning disabilities. New (or even established SEND professionals!) are not expected to know the ins and outs of every pupil’s medical or development history, but a broad knowledge the types of needs you might come across will definitely help! There are some fantastic free online resources for anyone looking to grow their knowledge around SEND available on the web – for example, the Open University runs a highly rated free Understanding Autism course on their website. Once you are working in a SEND school you may find they offer training opportunities for specific needs you will be supporting.

From ADD to VI, any established SEND specialist will tell you, working in SEND means getting to grips with a wealth of new acronyms. Brush up your knowledge with our blog, Learning SEND Acronyms, or download our popular in-depth guide here!

Working in a SEND school isn’t just for experienced teachers and support staff. Actors, musicians and those with a drama background are also highly sought after to work in SEND education. The curriculum in SEND is different to the mainstream school system. For the vast majority of pupils, work is based on a learn through play and sensory activities. Often those who have acting or musical backgrounds, drama graduates, and dancers do fantastic work with SEND pupils because of the holistic approach in learning in schools.

There are many facets to every SEND career, and it wouldn’t be possible to cover everything you can expect from such a varied profession in one article, but we hope we’ve given you some starting points for planning your career move into SEND. At Engage, we have a dedicated team of SEND specialists who have themselves worked in SEND settings during the course of their career. They are able to answer your questions about the development options available to you on your SEND journey, so are a great place to take the next steps to your new career.

Training is ongoing

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