Special Education Needs and Disability Teacher


Special Education Needs and Disability Teachers also known as SEND Teachers, use creative, interactive, and engaging teaching methods to bring life to all levels of the key stage (KS) national curriculum, to pupils aged 5-16 with special educational needs and disabilities.


As a SEND Teacher, you are expected to teach all subjects, from Maths and English through to Music and Physical Education, focusing on encouraging pupils to actively participate in classroom activities and develop cognitive, numerical, and verbal reasoning skills to achieve their learning objectives. 

What does a SEND Teacher do?


SEND Teachers work across the full spectrum of both educational settings and age groups, from Early Years Foundation to Key Stage 4. You will need to be experienced in teaching all subjects, have knowledge of a variety of educational needs, and the ability to manage many component parts.


You will need a passion for engaging and inspiring pupils to enjoy learning, encouraging them to take pride in their achievements, both inside and outside school, and be confident in their own abilities. You are expected to lead by example, working closely with colleagues to plan the school’s work and liaising with parents to ensure a supporting learning environment at home and at school.


Ensuring your pupils get the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to flourish throughout their educational journey and beyond, will require a mix of resources to inspire their study, and to motivate them into investigating the lesson topic.


As a SEND Teacher, you will also promote the application of exciting and engaging teaching skills to enhance the pupil’s learning experience, thus making a difference to a pupil’s educational experience, expand their academic knowledge and play a positive role in school life. 

Is a SEND Teacher job a good fit for you?


To become a SEND teacher in an English state school, you will need to be a qualified teacher with classroom teaching experience. A SEND Teacher position is an excellent opportunity to enhance your teaching skills and gain experience in utilising a wide range of teaching methods, aids and approaches, to bring out the best in each pupil.


To be a SEND teacher you must have a degree and to have gained a Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) by following a programme of Initial Teacher Education or Training (ITET). These programmes usually form part of a post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and provide a combination of academic study and time spent teaching key methods in a school.


Previous in-school teaching experience is essential, often gained throughout your teacher training while working in education placement settings. 

Your duties as a SEND Teacher will include:


  • Set assignments, projects and tests, plan appropriate and effective lessons, carry out continuous assessment and mark pupils work, all within the Curriculum for Excellence national guidance for SEND pupils. 
  • Keep up to date with changes and developments to the national teaching curriculum.  
  • Work with the colleagues to plan and coordinate lessons. 
  • Organise learning resources suitable for the pupils in your care.  
  • Run practical activities using a variety of learning and teaching strategies.  
  • Motivate your pupils using group work, demonstrations, experiments and play.  
  • Provide a safe and healthy environment and follow safeguarding procedures.  
  • Attend meetings, parent evenings and teacher training programmes. 
  • Facilitate and attend outings, after school clubs, school social activities, school trips and sports events.  
  • Take responsibility for the academic progress of each pupil.  
  • Consciously set expectations for pupil discipline and behaviour at school.  
  • Create a learning environment that pupils respect and motivate them to take pride in their work and achievements.  
  • Encourage pupils to research topics.  
  • Encourage pupils to research topics, helping and supporting them as required.  
  • Admin work, including the register, updating records, and writing attainment reports.  
  • Set, mark and grade homework, record completion and individual pupil progress.  
  • Participate in training and development sessions at the school, partner schools or other training organisations.  
  • Liaise with senior teaching staff, parents or carers in relation to progress, behaviour, child protection and health.

Are you a good fit for a SEND Teacher job


To succeed in this role, you will need more than just teaching experience, your personality, passion and knowledge are vitally important. You will also need:


  • A sound knowledge of a variety of teaching methods appropriate for pupils with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and the ability to design adaptive lessons and projects. 
  • The ability to communicate with and inspire pupils. 
  • The ability to deliver engaging classes them to be excited about learning. 
  • A dedicated interest in learning, specifically enabling children and young people to access and thrive in education. 
  • A dedication to creating the best conditions and environments for learning. 
  • The ability to work well with others. 
  • A flexible attitude and be open to change. 
  • A commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. 
  • Patience and the ability to remain calm in sometimes stressful situations. 
  • Excellent verbal communication skills. 
  • Good organisational skills. 
  • A positive outlook and ability to inspire positivity in others. 
  • The ability to use a computer and the main office software packages competently such as Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint. 

Qualifications, Licenses and Certifications

The essential qualifications required to become a SEND Teacher include:


  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, Maths and Science. 
  • An Undergraduate Education Degree OR a degree in any subject and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) OR Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE – Scotland). 
  • Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) 
  • Previous in-school teaching experience. 
  • Fluent level of both spoken and written English.


Any qualified teacher can work as a SEND Teacher, but if you want to achieve a specific qualification, you could become a member of National Association for Special Educational Needs and become a registered Practitioner of SEND. 


If you do not currently have all the teaching qualifications and experience required to become a SEND Teacher, then providing you have a degree, you can start by enrolling on a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) this will usually include your Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) as part of the course.


You will also need to pass an enhanced background check, known as a Disclosure and Barring Service(DBS) check. 

In addition to the essential qualifications, employers will be looking for teachers who are caring, passionate and understanding, with a positive outlook.


Those who are knowledgeable, supportive, empathetic, and compassionate are highly regarded. You will also need to be trustworthy, ethical, energetic and enthusiastic, and possess assertiveness and confidence.


Where can a SEND Teacher job take you?


To future-proof your career in this field and progress your self-development, you should improve your computer skills, remote learning tools and software knowledge, to bring interactivity into the virtual classroom. If school trips are not possible, find ways to enhance education through remote learning and virtual trips.


If you want to develop further as a SEND Teacher, your next steps could be to move to another school, as SEND teaching jobs are vastly different in each individual school setting. You can also progress into the role of Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), you will need to complete the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordinationwithin three years of starting in a SEND post.  

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