What are the different roles within the SEND industry?
Spotlight on Education
So, you've decided you'd like to work in the SEND sector? Congratulations, you're on the way to an extremely fulfilling career helping others to reach their full potential. Perhaps you're already working in a SEND role and you love making a difference, but you'd like to transfer your skills to another area.
There are lots of career paths to choose from, because people with special educational needs and disabilities can have varied and complex requirements. So, over the next few months we'll be exploring some of these routes. Starting with education, we'll take an in-depth look at the roles and responsibilities within SEND, including: Nursing, Residential, Therapy, Business Support, Technology and ICT.
SEND Educational Jobs
Teachers and educational support staff are often the first thing that springs to mind when people think about a career in SEND. Within education there are a variety of jobs you could consider, all of which can be hugely rewarding. Take a look at our jobs pages for live opportunities within education that we're currently advertising.
To become a SEND teacher, you'll need to be educated to degree level, ideally with a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). It's also really important to try and get some experience working directly with children or adults with additional needs and disabilities – either through volunteering or casual jobs when studying.
Some people start off as a SEND teaching assistant or learning support assistant, then work their way towards their teaching qualifications while in employment. Both roles are extremely fulfilling and hands on, directly helping the teacher and pupils in the classroom. The main point of difference is that learning support assistants focus more on pastoral care and individual sessions, where teaching assistants provide academic support for the whole class.
You could also become a learning mentor or behavioural mentor - again working one-to-one or in small groups of people with similar needs. Often these roles will support pupils with behavioural problems that have become a barrier to learning. Where the issues are more extreme or complex, an educational psychologist may be brought in to provide further assistance to the school. This is another role that requires post graduate degree level education, specifically in psychology.
Opportunities for furthering your career could include higher-level teaching assistants (HLTA) who have similar duties to a teaching assistant, but with extra responsibilities such as covering absences or leading classes to give the teacher chance to plan, mark and have non-contact time.
Teachers looking to further their career could become advanced practitioners (a highly qualified, expert in the field) or special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) - a teacher that is responsible for assessing and planning for all pupils with additional needs. Some teachers also explore tutoring, either as a supplementary income stream or to give greater flexibility over their hours.
Even within the roles we've outlined above there are areas where people can specialise and hone their expertise. The great news is that means there are even more opportunities for you to find your perfect role in SEND education– so why not start your journey today by registering with Senploy and visiting our jobs board.