Embarking on a career as a supply SEN (Special Educational Needs) Teacher involves supporting students with diverse disabilities and learning needs, like autism, learning difficulties, or emotional disorders. At Career Teachers, we’re here to guide you through the unique journey of becoming a supply SEN Teacher and how you can thrive in this flexible and rewarding role. 


What Does an SEN Teacher Do?

An SEN Teacher works closely with students who require extra help due to their special educational needs. They assist in classrooms, focusing on both academics and social skills. These teachers create personalised lesson plans tailored to each student’s abilities. 

SEN Teachers can work in mainstream schools or specialised SEN schools. They collaborate with other professionals to provide comprehensive support for these students and their families. 

Salary and Working Hours 

The average special needs teacher salary in the United Kingdom is £37,086 per year or £19.02 per hour. Entry level positions start at £32,500 per year while most experienced workers make up to £48,031 per year, working around 37 to 45 hours per week during term time. 

Daily Responsibilities

In this role, you might: 

  • Plan and teach lessons for small groups or individual students. 
  • Prepare teaching materials, keep records, and write reports. 
  • Help students gain confidence and independence in their learning. 
  • Manage behaviour and communicate progress with parents and carers. 
  • Collaborate with specialists and medical staff, ensuring comprehensive support for students. 

Skills and Qualifications Required

To excel as an SEN Teacher, you’ll need: 

  • Teaching knowledge and course design skills. 
  • Empathy, patience, and a calm demeanour, especially in stressful situations. 
  • Collaboration skills and the ability to foster optimal learning environments. 
  • Basic IT skills and proficiency in English language. 


Typically, you’ll need: 

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs, including English and Maths, or equivalent. 
  • A degree or 2 to 3 A levels for higher education. 
  • Further qualifications may be necessary for teaching students with specific impairments. 
  • Training through School-Centred Initial Teacher Training, School Direct, or Teach First can lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). 

Starting Out as an SEN Teacher 

Starting early in your career is possible. Many SEN Teachers begin as teaching assistants, gaining essential experience and training. Seek mentorship and consider further studies in SEN if you aim for a long-term career in this field. 

When applying for SEN Teaching roles, having experience with SEN students or those with learning difficulties is beneficial. 

Join the World of SEN Teaching with Career Teachers 

With an increasing number of students requiring specialised education, 2024 offers ample opportunities for SEN Teachers in both mainstream and specialist schools. Working in SEND can be incredibly fulfilling for the right individuals, requiring dedication, patience, and training. 

If you’re intrigued by this profession, reach out to us for guidance on your path to becoming an SEN Teacher. We hope this blog post has shed light on the impactful world of SEN Teaching. 


Click below to view all current SEN Teaching Roles. 

SEND Teaching Jobs