Special educational needs (SEN) teacher apprenticeships - where to start
You can get into this job through
a university coursean apprenticeshipworking towards this roleapplying directly
You can do an undergraduate degree that leads to qualified teacher status (QTS), for example:
You can also complete a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE), if you have a first degree without QTS. This is a common choice and can be done at university or on a school-based training programme.
There are more training options if you want to change career or specialise in teaching certain subjects.
Most teaching courses include options on teaching children with special educational needs.
- Bachelor of Education (BEd)
- Bachelor of Arts (BA) with QTS
- Bachelor of Science (BSc) with QTS
You'll usually need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
GCSE science at grade 9 to 4 (A* to C) and 2 to 3 A-Levels, or equivalent, for a degree. You'll need a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course.
You can get into this career through one of a small number of postgraduate teaching Apprenticeships, if you have a degree. You'll usually need GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths at grade 9 to 4 (A* to C) and a degree for a teaching apprenticeship.
You could start as a teaching assistant and do a part-time degree. From there, you can move onto a postgraduate teaching course to qualify as a teacher.
You'll find it helpful to get some experience of working with young people with special educational needs or disabilities through paid work or volunteering at a school, youth club or on a holiday scheme.
If you're a qualified teacher, you can get extra training to teach pupils with special educational needs. Many local education authorities offer courses for teachers who want to do this.
You'll usually need qualified teacher status (QTS) to teach in a state school in England. You can attend teacher training events before you apply to get advice about the profession, the different training routes and funding.
You can attend events in person and online.
You can find out more about developing your skills for working with pupils with special educational needs from National Association for Special Educational Needs.
Professional and industry bodies
You could become a member of National Association for Special Educational Needs to help with professional development.
Special educational needs (SEN) teacher apprenticeships - what it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
- sensitivity and understanding
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to work well with others
- the ability to create the best conditions for learning or teaching new things
- knowledge of English language
- to be flexible and open to change
- the ability to understand people’s reactions
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Restrictions and Requirements
You'll need to pass enhanced background checks, as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults.
To teach pupils with hearing impairment, vision impairment or multi-sensory impairment, you'll need further specialist qualifications.
Special educational needs (SEN) teacher apprenticeships - what you'll do
You'll sometimes also:
- plan lessons and prepare teaching materials
- teach whole class lessons, work with small groups and support pupils individually
- help pupils develop self-confidence, independence and skills for life
- manage pupils' behaviour, motivate and encourage them to learn
- mark and assess work
take registers and write reports
- work with specialist teaching services, medical staff, therapists and psychologists
- talk to parents and carers about their children's progress
- attend meetings, statutory reviews and training workshops
- organise outings, school social activities and sporting events
- run training sessions for other teaching staff on special needs issues
You could work at a school, at a special needs school or at a pupil referral unit.
Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.
Career path and progression - Special educational needs (SEN) teacher apprenticeships
You could become a special needs co-ordinator, head of department, deputy head or headteacher in your school, through training and promotion.