How to Get a Job in SEND
Jobs working with people with additional needs and disabilities are challenging, diverse and hugely rewarding. If you choose a career in SEND, you're certain to find high levels of job satisfaction and you'll come home each day with the knowledge that you're improving people's lives.
But how do you start your career in SEND? Whether you're a recent graduate looking for your first SEND appointment, you're still studying, or you're hoping to switch to work in a more satisfying profession, read our tips below to help you land your first SEND job.
Find your Niche
Entry level jobs in SEND include teaching assistants, residential support workers, health care assistants and administrators, learning support assistants, so consider what you could bring to these roles.Read up on the skills and personality traits outlined in similar job advertisements and keep an eye on our jobs board for vacancies being uploaded each day. Senploy Jobs . You can also read our blogs about the different roles in SEND. Senploy Blog
Applying for an entry level SEND position is a great way to get your foot in the door and it's an opportunity to learn on the job. Some employers will pay for you to take further qualifications as you work, especially if you show promise and demonstrate that you're keen to progress. This is a great option for those who wish to gain qualifications but can't afford to give up working full time.
Whichever route you decide to take, getting some basic qualifications is a way to kick start your career. Specific requirements will of course depend on the role, but GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent in English and maths are a minimum for most college courses and lesser-skilled roles.
The Level 2 and 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools and Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education Early Years Educator are just a couple of the college courses you can take - visit https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk for more information. Often there are opportunities for work placements as part of these courses, which will give you vital hands on experience.
Apprenticeships are another route to working in SEND – they're basically a job with training included.You may spend one or two days a week at a college or a training centre and the rest of the week with your employer. So, it's a great way to get experience while earning a wage.Some examples of apprenticeships in the SEND industry are a teaching assistant advanced apprenticeship or intermediate or advanced apprenticeship in childcare.
Experience is something that will undoubtedly give you the edge over other candidates, while also helping you to decide if a career in SEND is definitely for you. Very often the only way to gain experience is by working for free for a short period of time but the experience you'll gain is priceless.
You can give your time to a mainstream school or a SEND school, as many skills will be transferable. Another option would be volunteering with a community group or charitable organisation.
You may need to pay for a DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service) to demonstrate you don't hold any criminal convictions that would stop you working with children and vulnerable adults. The good news is that, if you have a valid DBS certificate (preferably on the Update Service), this is another thing to highlight on your CV or job application.
We hope these tips were useful for anyone thinking about a career in SEND, don't forget our jobs board is being updated with new jobs daily and contains only jobs within the SEND sector.Why not take a look for jobs near you now: Senploy