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If you do your NQT year in a special school, would it still count for mainstream schools?

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by 2babib, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. I am a Primary NQT and have had quite a lot of experience as an SEN teaching assistant in mainstream schools (EYFS to KS2) as well as a primary and then a secondary special needs school.
    Having recently graduated I have been joining agencies and am keen to do SEN teaching, as it is my ultimate goal. However, one agency was under the impression that if I completed my NQT year at a special needs school, it wouldn't count if I then went to a mainstream school. I would obviously prefer to go straight into special needs but I also don't want to limit myself in the future.
    Also (lots of questions!), if I were to do my NQT year in a special needs school, would it have to be in a primary school or would a secondary school be acceptable? I've just found info that PRUs cannot support NQTs but nothing of greater detail.
    I would really appreciate any information on this.
    Thank you!
     
  2. There have been a few threads on this recently. In short, you can certainly do your induction year in a special school. You couldn't up until a couple of years ago but you certainly can now. I work in a special school and we have an NQT at present. If you are working with secondary age pupils who are working at primary NC levels then this experience will be transferable.
    I thought the situation had changed or was going to change so that you could do your induction in a PRU though I'm not certain on this.
    The only thing to consider is that by doing this you may be limiting yourself in the future. It will depend very much on the attitude of the head in the mainstream school to which you apply but there are going to be quite a few who will prefer someone who has had some experience in mainstream. There may well be those, however, who will value your experience of supporting pupils with SEN because many new teachers can feel uncertain about this. For this reason, some choose to do their induction in a mainstream and perhaps gain a couple of years' experience there first before moving into special education, so as to keep all their options open later.
    I suppose it will depend on what you feel you really want to do and how likely you think it is that you will want to move to mainstream later on. If you feel special education is for you then there is no reason why you can't go straight into it.
     
  3. RamC

    RamC New commenter

    The previous poster is correct. I'm an NQT and working in a special school- the agency is wrong. Good luck getting your first post :)
     
  4. I completed my NQT year in a special school in 2006, and have recently moved to teach in an SEN unit in a mainstream school. When I went for interview, they almost but my arm off in terms of my experience, but there was concern about whether I would be capable of doing the job, as i had no proven track record with children above NC2 and I really had to prove myself in terms of my understanding of mainstream curriculum and assessment. I was a TA in a special school before I trained as a teacher and have never wanted to teach in mainstream so was delighted to get my first teaching post in an SEN school, but I would say that in my experience, it does make it much harder to move into a mainstream setting (even a unit in a mainstream school). I would seriously advise you to consider doing your NQT and possibly second year in mainstream before moving to a special school for this reason. Not only that, but it's enough work doing your NQT year without learning to teach in a very different type of school.
     
  5. Riv

    Riv New commenter

    As has been said, If you may want to go into mainstream after doing your induction in special you may have difficulties with mainstream teachers and management questioning your skills with more able children or managing larger groups, but an induction done in a special school counts officially. We've had an NQT completing induction in our special school (SLD and PMLD) virtually every year since 1999, possibly longer, to my certain knowledge. many of whom have moved on with some going into mainstream... usually primay but one or two went into secondary subject teaching too.
     

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