Are you eager to make a difference in the lives of others? Do you want to help make education inclusive and enjoyable for all students regardless of their personal circumstance? Special Education is the answer you may be looking for.
There are a number of postgraduate courses available in the area which may suit you and help you to specialise in an area such as this one.
What is Special Education?
Special education is the practice of educating students and accommodates their individual differences, disabilities and special needs in the classroom.
As a Special Education Needs Teacher (SEN) you will work with students who may have physical disabilities, learning difficulties, speech and language difficulties, sensory impairments, emotional and mental health needs and similar situations.
Your working hours will be a general school day from around 8:30am to 3:30, Monday to Friday during the school term. You will carry out different tasks and duties from day to day that may differ from student to student. The main tasks include teaching individuals and/or small groups, mark and assess work, plam, create and adapt different teaching and learning styles depending on student needs, use specialist skills when teaching and use equipment. It is also important to have the skills to be able to identify certain difficulties in students and ensure you create an environment that will help students to grow and reach their highest potential.
You will also work closely with colleagues, school management, parents and guardians to keep up to date with student development and progress. You may also work closely with other professionals such as social workers, physiotherapists and similar. It is also possible to work as a freelancer or self-employment and may do consultancy work.
There are courses on offer in the area across the UK. Some courses offer the opportunity to study either part time or full time. Universities may have certain restrictions in place due to Covid-19 and may offer courses online. The majority of courses available under this heading are related to landscaping. Courses available include:
National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordinator (PgCert)
Postgraduate courses in this area will give students the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of the importance of delivering an effective education to those who have specific needs. These courses will focus on the specific developments needed by staff as well as gaining critical awareness of current issues and developments in the area. Modules may include Improving learning outcomes for children and young people with SEND and Leadership and Management of provision for children and young people with SNED.
Special Education Needs Coordinator (PgCert) (SENCO)
Quite similar to the above course, this postgraduate course will ensure that you meet the learning outcomes for the National Award for SEN coordination. The aim is to help those working in the field to develop their skill and knowledge even further. Modules include THe Role of SENCO, Teaching Young People with Special Education Needs and Professional Development for Leadership.
Other courses available include Inclusion and Special Education Needs, SEND and Inclusion, Understanding and Supporting Behaviour, Special Education Needs and many under the same heading as the two examples described above.
Entry requirements may differ from course to course or university to university. Therefore, it is important to research your specific course in detail to ensure you meet the entry requirements. As these courses are postgraduate courses, you will need a bachelor’s degree. Some courses may accept a 2.2 degree while others will require a 2.1 in a related area, such as teaching, for example.
Your salary may depend on your experience and employment type. It is believed that the average salary for those working as Special Education Needs teachers earn between £38,500 and £41,600 with experience. Starting out your salary may be lower and exact salaries will depend on your employment. Starting out your salary may range from £25,500 and £37,000. All figures are based on estimates and are intended to be used as a guide only.
- Special Education teacher
- Special Education teaching assistant
- Primary school teacher
- Secondary school teacher
- School Principal
- Adult educator
- School Inspector
Skills and requirements
Skills and requirements helpful in this area include:
- Excellent communication skills
- Strong verbal and written skills
- The ability to work well with others
- A people’s person
- Behavioural management skills
- A positive person
- Time management skills
- Organisation skills
- Flexible teaching style