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Teaching abraod, schools with SEN provison , UAE, Qatar

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by redname, Jun 5, 2020.

  1. redname

    redname New commenter


    I am planning on moving abroad with my husband and two children. I am a teacher and hope to teach in either Qatar or UAE ( the two locations where my partner has been offered a job). However i am worried about the provision that are available for children that have speech and language disorders. My child as SEN and requires additional support in speech ad language, However I am worried that he will not be able to obtain a placement in a school that can meet his needs as i am struggling to find schools that offer such provisions.

    In the teaching roles that I have seen offered it states in the package up to two children fee funded school placements/allowance, Should I make the school aware before my Interview of my child SEN. I am reluctant to do this as I want to be offered a job based on my qualifications and experiences and not because of my sons additional needs, but on the other hand i want to be honest and open and should i be offered the job my child will require additional support in school which may be an additional cost to what they offer on the package and whether they are actually able to meet is needs.

    Has anyone taken a teaching job in the UAE/Qatar with children that have SEN and what was the process like?
    Any advise would be great!
  2. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    Between the two countries you mentioned, The UAE should be your only option. However, in terms of support and expertise in school and externally, staying put the U.K. is the best option for your child.

    If you really NEED to head overseas (the ME) and you want your child to develop in a way his speech and language should he or she will need,
    1) A TA with experience.
    2) Speech therapy sessions on at the very least twice per week bases (I am hoping your child has been going to one outside of school since he was able to).

    Unless you are going for a Head of School or deputy H of School job or your husband lands a high paying job first, this is going to personally cost you a fortune. Pre-Covid, I haven’t heard of a school who would pay for a teacher’s 3 dependants, a TA and or a specialist like a Speechy. Post Covid, you are a very (very) expensive hire.

    Lastly, in regards to your child’s needs. It would be highly advisable for you to be upfront with the school. Keeping this a secret won’t be the best of ways in building relationships with your line manager and other colleagues. In particular if your child requires 1 on 1 attention in class. The ME is not the region to get a job first and THEN investigate your child’s SEN possible options.
  3. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    Qatar does not have any SEN provision, not even in local schools for local students.
  4. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    I would agree with everything @taiyah has said.

    In 18 years of overseas work I have never been at a school that matches what is available in the UK. There may be schools that can do this, but I’ve not seen them.

    Granted, many children with SEN do better overseas, I put that down to the quality of the school, not the SEN provision. I am not bashing the SEN teachers here. They simply don’t have the support services available to them. They often work very hard to help in challenging circumstances.

    It also breaks my heart when I see students and parents being taken for a ride by shonky expensive local support services who are cashing in on the wealthy local and expat community.

    Specialized support is hard to come by in many locations.
  5. redname

    redname New commenter

    Thank you all for your replies, its been great to get your feedback. Its so sad to hear that so many countries are so far behind with regards to SEN, I am sure there are hundreds of children that need additional support but are missing out for a number of reasons. This breaks my heart too!
    We are not necessarily tied to moving to the ME, another location we have been offered is Malaysia but perhaps we will be faced with the same challenges there too.

    I think a lot of research is needed from my end before making any desc ions!
  6. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Mad Woman Afaf, the owner of the rotten apple schools in Qatar, does not really believe in SEN provision and so there isn't any.
  7. amariB

    amariB New commenter

    If you’re considering Malaysia, I know at least one school there that caters very well for special needs. Feel free to message me if you want more info.
  8. redname

    redname New commenter

    Thanks amariB - can you advise how to send you a message sorry new to this and cant see the tab for sending a private message!
  9. Bytor

    Bytor Occasional commenter

  10. amariB

    amariB New commenter

    You’re probably not able to send a message yet if you’re a new commenter. I have sent you one. Just click on your avatar in the top right and you should see ‘conversations’, that’s what the PM function is called.
  11. mummalea

    mummalea New commenter

    Good morning

    I'm currently in Muscat, worked here and in Qatar five years ago and previously spent two years in Malaysia. I concur with what has been said about SEN provision in the GCC countries. Don't risk it, or go the home schooling route, which is becoming more and more popular here.

    Malaysia is not exactly SEN-friendly, but my old school on the outskirts of KL was really beginning to move on provision and differentiation for a variety of different needs. If I had to choose between the two, that's where I'd probably go...

    Good luck.
  12. redname

    redname New commenter

    Thanks so much for your feedback mummalea. Its been so helpful to get information from individuals that are working in the countries I refer too. Its a shame about the poor SEN provisions available in GCC countries but I am very interested about the homeschooling route you mention. Are there specialist services available such as SALT and occupational therapists for those that do want home school and what would be the costs be for that?

    Would the school you refer to in KL be in a city called Putrajaya?
  13. redname

    redname New commenter

  14. markedout

    markedout Occasional commenter

    I will send you a conversation. I'm Head of Inclusion in a school in the UAE.

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