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Secondary Teaching and Special Needs

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by melc04, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. Quick question, if I qualify as a Secondary School teacher in Computing will I be eligible to teach within the Special needs sector in schools, and what about at Primary level aswell?? Is there a need for teachers in this area?? Any help or advice would be great...
  2. Quick question, if I qualify as a Secondary School teacher in Computing will I be eligible to teach within the Special needs sector in schools, and what about at Primary level aswell?? Is there a need for teachers in this area?? Any help or advice would be great...
  3. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    ScotSen is the best one to answer this, but I think it's a no, sorry. But if you have experience in SEN (as a volunteer, LSA or similar) that would help.
    depends on your region at the moment I'd say? Someone correct me if I'm wrong. To go into SEN you need to have teaching experience of a subject-area before moving across to special needs. Can I ask why you're asking melc?
    Hope that helps.
  4. The reason I ask is that I would like to go into teaching, I already have a degree in Information Technology but want to teach within Special Needs and this would be the easiest and quickest way to get into teaching right now.
    I have worked in this area with adults for the last 11 years and would like to work/teach kids and try change their lives, even a little bit. The adults I work with now, all have Challenging Behaviours and they could of had a much better chance in life if they were able to get the help and guidence kids have now, so would like to help somehow.
    Thanks for your help.
  5. ScotSEN

    ScotSEN Senior commenter

    You can teach in Primary/Nursery ASN with a Secondary quailification and in Secondary ASN with a primary qualification. Once upon a time you were expected to have had some experience in mainstream before moving into ASN now however so long as you have completed your probation you can apply for an ASN post.
    Whether or not you will be sucessful in your application is another story. I suspect that most HTs would prefer someone with more experience(mainstream and ASN). My authority is going to have about 30 ASN teacher surplus to requirements this summer so you could well be up against a lot of experienced teachers, who in addition to the experience are likely to have already undertaken a lot of expensive addtional CPD eg Inclusive Practice Certificates and Diplomas,(which are no longer so readily available as some authorities are no longer funding these courses). They will also probably be up to date with manual handling, risk assessments, writing IEPs, completing CSP reports and so on.
    If you have some previous experience(paid or voluntary) in ASN then you would probably be more likely to be sucessful with an application.
    I would also like to say that ASN isn't for everyone(no shame in that) - even people who think they might like it so if you can the chance of gaining experience before getting a permanent post then take it. It can sometimes be a difficult sector to get out of once you are in!
    Good luck whatever you decide and don't worry if you don't get into ASN as soon as you would like. As a teenager I did voluntary work with children with ASN but it wasn't until I was in my 40s that I finally got a teaching job in ASN. However the experience I gained over the years has helped me in my current post.
  6. ScotSEN

    ScotSEN Senior commenter

    Oops you posted while I was typing! I understand your reasoning. The fact that you are older and have experience within the ASN sector would obviously be to your advantage.
  7. Correct me if I have picked up on this incorrectly. did you so that Special Needs is the easiest and quickest way to get into teaching right now? For one, it really isn't. Secondly, I don't think that should be your guiding reason to work with SEN children. Last point - I think you would do yourself and the children a favour if you understood how to teach mainstream children first so you had a good understanding of a child's development so you can see how SEN children differ (and how inclusion works or doesn't.). Going head first into SEN isn't a good idea and you may never get back into mainstream as you will be seen as having no experience in that sector.
  8. ScotSEN

    ScotSEN Senior commenter

    I would say that it would be inadvisable to do into teaching with the hope of going into ASN unless you are willing and able to spend a considerable time teaching in mainstream.
  9. categed

    categed New commenter




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    I finished my probation year last year (2010) and am now working in a
    special needs school, I have a class of 4 pupils aged 16-18. I am primary
    trained but had 6 years experience of working with adults with severe learning
    difficulties and behavioural issues. I was lucky that my head was willing to
    give me a go and took into account my previous experience both inside and out
    with the classroom.

    SEN is not an easy option, paperwork and planning take up more time for planning
    than my primary class did. I have had to learn (and am still learning) about
    the different things that I need to know from access units to our council’s way
    of doing risk assessments and managing a fairly large team of people. I am
    lucky that I have a very supportive school and had a lot of previous experience
    in the day to day issues that arise (personal care, target setting, behaviours,
    working with other agencies/parents etc).

    I love the job I am doing and I was lucky to get it, but many local
    authorities are cutting back on ASN spending and staff are being moved/ out of
    a job so there will be a lot of competition out there. Don't go into teaching
    if you only want to work with ASN as you may never get the chance, but, if you
    want to teach then this is an area well worth moving into if you get the

    Good luck.
  10. <font size="2">This is incorrect please do not take this information as advice. </font><font size="2">Being &lsquo;willing&rsquo; or &lsquo;able&rsquo; to work in mainstream is not a requirement , in fact the earlier the better to get into SEN. </font><font size="2">There is no requirement to have mainstream experience to teach in a Special School.</font> <font size="2">It is a great area, very focused, better pay, less government interference/restrictions. smaller classes, ( 6-9 pupils + 4 TAs) in some classes. Parental support etc......</font>
    <font size="2">HOPE THIS HELPS! </font>
    <font size="2">P.S Im in my 4th year, I had to complete 1 yr secondary mainstream which delayed my career - don't feel you have to! </font>

  11. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Not quite sure about all of the above umist. Smaller classes, probably, but 6-9 pupils and 4 TAs - not in our dept ever. Parental support is very unpredictable - you'd like to think parents were on board, but sometimes the unrealistic pressure can be detrimental to child and teacher.
    It is a great area but like ScotSEN, I was (a young!) 40-something with several years of mainstream teaching before my SEN opportunity came along.
    OP - how are you getting on?
  12. ScotSEN

    ScotSEN Senior commenter

    not sure where you get the idea that the pay is better. It is just the same in SEN as it is mainstream. Also parental support is very variable especially in the early years where parents are often still coming to terms with a diagnosis etc. Level of support varies too anything from 1 teacher and one PSA or NN to 10 pupils.
  13. I really disagree with "the early the better to get into SEN". I think you should have some experience of mainstream before you leap into SEN but hey just me. There is no requirement but usually schools do look for some kind of experience. I do agree it is a great are to work in - doesn't have better pay - teachers in special ed get the same pay as teachers in mainstream. For a fact there is no less government interference (HMIE visit just as often!) yes there are smaller classes and no you wouldn't get 4 TAs unless you had serious needs in your class. I had 10 autistic pupils and I had 1 classroom assistant. 4? I wish... and for parental support it is as iffy as any school. Some parents are brilliant - some have special needs themselves so you can't expect them to exactly read with their child at home etc... I get the feeling this poster comes from England?

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