What does a special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) teacher do? How many hours a week do they work? What do they get paid and what qualifications and experience do you need to find work in this field?
What does a SEND teacher do?
Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) teachers work with children and young people who need additional support with their learning, either in a specialist or mainstream school environment, or sometimes an alternative provision (AP). APs include any learning environment which does not fall into the category of a mainstream or special school. For example, secure units and hospital schools are APs. You might teach individual pupils or work in small groups, and you’ll often be supported by teaching assistants. You can also work as a SEND teacher in a further education (FE) college.
As a special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) teacher, you may work with children who have:
- mild to moderate learning difficulties (MLD)
- specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia (SPLD)
- physical disabilities (PD)
- hearing or visual impairment (HI, VI)
- social, emotional or mental health issues (SEMH)
Typically, your job will involve:
- teaching national curriculum subjects
- helping pupils to develop their self-confidence, independence and abilities
- preparing lessons and teaching materials
- marking and assessing work
- working with other professionals, such as medical staff, speech and language therapists and educational psychologists
- speaking to parents and carers about their children’s progress
- attending meetings and training workshops
- organising outings, social activities and sporting events
Hours and Pay
Full-time teachers work approximately 37 hours a week, with lessons taking place between approximately 9am and 3.30pm. Teachers usually spend more time outside of classroom hours, planning lessons, marking work and taking part in activities, like parents’ evenings, extra-curricular clubs and outings.
The main salary scale is from £22,244 to £32,831 a year (£27,819 to £37,862 in inner London). Teachers who reach the top of the main salary scale may be able to progress to the higher scale. This is from £35,218 to £37,871 (£42,756 to £46,365 in inner London). There are also separate scales for teachers who have advanced skills or who progress into leadership roles, and extra payments for those who take on extra responsibilities. Salary scales are usually updated annually, so for up to date information on pay scales, see the Department for Education website.
What qualifications and experience do you need?
To work as a SEND teacher in a state maintained school you’ll need to be a qualified teacher (hold QTS or an equivalent overseas qualification), ideally with some SEND experience. If you are working with VI, HI or Multi-Sensory Impairment (MSI) you may also need to complete a Mandatory Qualification. Most independent schools will also prefer you to be a qualified teacher, although it is not always essential. SEND teachers also work in further education (FE) colleges. For further information on qualifications, please visit Get Into Teaching
SEND teaching jobs with Axcis
At Axcis, we can help you to find a SEND teaching post. Even if you have no experience in this field, if you are a qualified teacher looking to move into this part of the sector, we can provide advice, training and support to smooth the transition. So why not register or get in touch today to find out how Axcis can help?
Tel: 0191 383 1155
Text: 07974 121594
Get Into Teaching
Tel: 0800 389 2500
Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB)
Tel: 0303 123 9999
British Association of Teachers of the Deaf