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SEND Job Prospects Abroad

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Romoletto, Jul 31, 2020 at 10:21 PM.

  1. Romoletto

    Romoletto Occasional commenter

    Hello all, I have been considering going abroad for some time, but my field is SEND and I wonder about the extend and stability of the jobs market in the areas I am interested in (Middle east and South East Asia like Maylasia and Indonesia). Does anyone have any knowledge or experience they can impart to help me get a better picture of the SEN scene is like out there?

    Some questions I have:

    Are jobs plentiful and stable or is there a revolving door culture?

    Are the salary packages enough to emigrate with a young family in toe?

    what is the SEND teaching environment like over there (is there the equivalent of an EHCP and all that come with that)?

    what qualifications are most portable or valued?
  2. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    Being a special needs teacher from a US background, I can't speak specifically to British int'l schools but in general, most int'l schools will have some type of learning support program and employ at least one/two teachers and a few TA's to implement the program. Some of these will be relatively large and some will be one person departments.

    Most schools will have a fairly narrow admissions policy so students will be expected to be able to be successful in general education classes with some push-in/pull-out and/or some resource room support. Most schools will also have some type of document that spells out accommodations, level of support to be provided etc., but will not generally have the weight/significance (or legal requirements) of an EHCP/IEP.

    Job stability, salary packages etc, will vary wildly by school. The locations you mention will all have schools that run the gamut from excellent to horrible with job stability and financial rewards spanning a similar spectrum.

    Most schools will want teachers to be qualified/certified in a SPED/SEN field and be able to demonstrate successful experience supporting students to achieve grade/year level success. A very few schools might have more comprehensive programs and will want education/experience consistent with the specific populations that they serve.

    Sorry to be so vague. Maybe someone will be able to be more specific with British schools in the countries that you are considering. Having a special needs background has been useful and rewarding for me and my family and I have always generated a large number of interviews/made short lists and had my share of offers.
  3. Romoletto

    Romoletto Occasional commenter

    Thanks that is helpful and I appreciate you taking the time out to give me al that information, it’s helping me get a better idea of the viability of moving abroad.
  4. MsBunnell

    MsBunnell New commenter

    Hello Romoletto,

    I am an SEN teacher who have taught both in the US and the UK and now am on my last day of quarantine in Singapore, ready to start my new post which begins next week.

    In response to your question, yes there are a lot of positions for SEN teachers in international schools. My questions is what level of ability you teach? If your experience is in teaching students with severe disabilities, then look for specialised schools. My speciality is Learning Disabilities/ Autism and as such there is more a call for this experience in more traditional international schools. It also helps if you have mainstream school experience as schools still need to be able to help them with accreditation.

    The package that I received in Singapore is generous. It includes housing and fees for, I believe, 2 of your dependents. I’m not sure, as I have none.

    I don’t know what the culture is like yet as I’ve not started but judging from the support of the admin to get us in in a closed border situation, I would think that it would be a great place to work.

    Message me if you have any questions.
  5. molly147

    molly147 New commenter

    Hi MsBunnell,

    If you could message me I would also like to find out more. Thanks in advance.
  6. MsBunnell

    MsBunnell New commenter

    Hi Molly,
    Just sent you a convo.
  7. markedout

    markedout Occasional commenter

    There are plenty of roles in this field in the UAE, especially Dubai, and it can be challenging to recruit teachers with relevant qualifications so my team are a mixture of those with relevant experience and classroom teachers who wanted to broaden their experience. Schools here vary from truly inclusive to inclusive in ethos but not as much in reality. Look on TES for job ads for SEN Support Teacher or similar. In my school, teaching staff receive a housing allowance or accommodation, health insurance, annual flight allowance and two free places.
  8. Romoletto

    Romoletto Occasional commenter

    thank you for you for taking the time to respond, I very much appreciate it. Can I ask, other than looking at the TES jobs website are there any teaching agencies which could prove helpful in finding a job abroad? I know of TIC but I haven’t really seen any SEN vacancies on there.
  9. markedout

    markedout Occasional commenter

    I got mine through TES, but you can apply to GEMS directly and there are also many agencies such as Teacher Horizons, Seek Teachers and Chard Christie.
  10. rosiecg

    rosiecg Occasional commenter

    I was the Head of Inclusion in an international school in Malaysia for 3yrs up til last Christmas. I had zero support, no funding and spent most of my time fighting fires.

    My school was mid tier and just wanted bums in seats, meaning we had several students who just should not have been there - working below P4/5 with no support or differentiation. The local teachers still used words like ********, slow, dumb etc to talk about SEN students so a lot of what I did was staff development. The 1:1 support was privately hired by the families so some were exceptionally bad (and some were good).

    Ask lots of questions at interview and be very wary if the principal/head fudges the answers.

    I feel totally burned out by my experience, but I learnt a lot and am grateful for the skills I was able to develop.
  11. Romoletto

    Romoletto Occasional commenter

    Thank you for your response. If you don’t mind, what questions would you have wanted to ask which could have helped to forewarn you?
  12. rosiecg

    rosiecg Occasional commenter

    Asking about exact numbers, type of support available, is it provided by the school or parents, is your position on the leadership team, what training have staff had on SEN, what is the cultural view on disability and SEN in the country/school. Are you office based or teaching?
    treefrog101 likes this.

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