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SEN teaching internationally

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by emmac93, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. emmac93

    emmac93 New commenter


    I am just wondering if anyone is currently working in the Middle East teaching SEN. I am currently in the UK and hoping to make the move but I am really struggling with what my next step is. I have my CV and cover letter ready (to tweak) so now do I join an agency? Or is there a way to check schools out?

    I have found a centre specifically for SEN but after reading some comments I am dubious about applying for certain schools/areas. Also concerned that some roles are advertised as SEN but the job description is pretty much mainstream

    Basically any advice/ help is much appreciated.

  2. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter


    I have taught SEN/SPED in several different int'l schools (in several different countries, including Egypt). I'm not currently in the ME but happy to offer my input for what it's worth.

    There are always SEN/SPED positions available but it will depend on exactly what it is that you are looking for. The vast majority of int'l SEN positions (in the ME and the rest of the world) will be some type of learning support/resource room positions where you would be supporting students with "mild" learning needs to have success with the mainstream curriculum. Often there is also an ESL component (whether the school admits it or not) to the position.

    There are some more comprehensive SEN schools for more involved student in the ME (and other parts of the world) but they are definitely in the minority and take some looking. If you are interested I can pass on some names in a conversation since we cannot name names here.

    As for your other question, you should probably join Search Associates. There are other agencies but I've heard very mixed opinions about their usefulness and/or the quality of the schools they represent. You can also just apply directly to schools and see what type of response/feedback you get.
  3. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    SEN in international schools is not a money maker so most international schools will not take students with individual needs.

    At most students will have low to mild dyslexia, low spectrum autism and maybe a bit hyper active but not requiring medication. Here in China there is no support with medical practitioners or external educational support agencies with international schools. There is only one private organisation that provides support for students with individual needs to the expat community.

    I understand that in some ME countries schools can not turn down a student application on learning difficulties, so they require SEN provision in the school. How much provision is provided by the school and the state is something you may need ask at the interview. You will have access to medical Services and external agencies like you are use to in the UK.

    Many parents are reluctant to have students accessed as been autistic for various social reasons and this does prevent early professional intervention which is key in students development. Also parents are worried their child will not be accepted by the school and any other school afterwards.

    I will send you a conversation with the name of the organisation in Shanghai I have mentioned, maybe they can help.
  4. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    we have a system which encourages SEND in the uK, whereas many other countries discourage it and have no SEN provision.
    scott1980 likes this.
  5. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    My school provides SEN support. We are one of the only schools in our location that take students with identified needs. We have two SEN coordinators, and we're hiring an educational psychologist (from what I've heard). We also have two school counsellors.
    T0nyGT likes this.
  6. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    We have two SEN coordinators too. We're not a selective school but at the same time students with very specific needs may be turned away if the school feels like it does not have the facilities to offer them appropriate support.
  7. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    I have a feeling that my school aren't allowed to turn away European nationals whatever their needs are. I might be wrong but thought someone had told me that.
  8. yasf

    yasf Occasional commenter

    My school has about three SEN teachers in each section, and quite comprehensive support from councillors.

    Watch out if it's a school that combines ESL and LS, as they probably don't respect either.
  9. emmac93

    emmac93 New commenter

    Many thanks for all your replies.
    I love teaching pupils with profound and complex needs, maybe I will stick to what I’m doing here!!
  10. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    Well, that's not exactly what was said. There are programs/int'l schools that offer services for that population of student, they are just much less common than learning support type programs for students with more "mild" impairments.

    On the upside, there are probably fewer teachers who have the relevant qualifications and experience and are LOOKING to work with those students in int'l schools. So, you could have less competition for those positions (in many cases). The programs are out there if you decide to pursue them.
    Mermaid7 likes this.
  11. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    My school accepts children with various levels of needs. Anything from mild dyslexia to severe visual impairment. We had one student with Downs who had their own teacher for core subjects and joined the other students for PE, Music, Arts etc. I think however that we are rather unusual in this respect.
  12. amariB

    amariB New commenter

    If you're interested in looking outside the ME, I know of at least one school in Malaysia that has a dedicated SEN stream in secondary...
  13. S_Lenihan

    S_Lenihan New commenter

    There is also an International SEN school in Bangkok, Thailand.

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