1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Training for moving to SEN

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by watson17, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. boxer20

    boxer20 New commenter


    I wonder if anyone could recommend courses/training for a secondary English teacher who would like to make the move to SEN teaching?
    I worked as SEN teaching assistant in mainstream before my teacher training so I have some foundational knowledge but I'd like to develop this further!

  2. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    I don't think any training course is useful unless you are already in post. It is one of those specialisms that (in my opinion) really needs experience before any training becomes useful or relatable.

    If you want to work in SEN settings then you can apply already, and given your background and desire to move in to the area I would expect you to be a serious candidate.
  3. boxer20

    boxer20 New commenter

    That's good to know - thank you!
  4. Dodros

    Dodros Star commenter

    What do you mean by "making the move to SEN teaching"? Teaching students with SEND within a mainstream school, or moving to join the staff of a special school for students with a variety of SEND? The priorities and expectations within these two settings will differ.

    A number of years before I retired, I moved into the SEND department of my mainstream secondary school, where I continued to teach my subject specialism (MFL) alongside literacy, numeracy and ICT. When I first made this move, I elected to study part-time (evenings and weekends) for an advanced diploma in special needs in education with the Open University, achieving the qualification in two years by sitting exams and submitting assignments based on classroom research. I found the OU course both challenging and relevant in informing and supporting my new teaching role.

    As a former SEND teaching assistant, you will be aware of the importance of the SEND "bible", the current SEND Code of Practice, which can be downloaded from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25.
    minnie me likes this.
  5. dzil

    dzil Occasional commenter

    As Dodros and Flanks mention, the field of SEN teaching covers a huge range of difficulties.
    As an experienced secondary teacher keen to move into special you can apply for jobs straight away and will be in a good position. But be warned, it’s a very steep learning curve, and often hardest for secondary teachers. Their training doesn’t always cover early childhood development as well as primary training does and so it’s harder to find the appropriate levels, and you may have to teach the full curriculum, not just your specialism.
    Is there a specific area of SEN you want to move in to? Autism? Severe learning difficulty? Profound learning difficulty? Specific difficulty (usually dyslexia, dyspraxia, sensory needs.) emotional and behavioural difficulties? Each specialism has it’s own, different set of skills and requirements. If you can give us an idea of what area you are interested in we may be able to point you towards some relevant courses or reading that will support you in your chosen path.
    minnie me likes this.
  6. boxer20

    boxer20 New commenter

    Thank you for your response.
    I'm certainly up for the challenge of relearning on the job. However, in the research I've done I've concluded my skill set is best suited to schools which cater for students with more moderate needs.
    I've seen some schools where I live (London) which follow the NC and students complete entry level English, for example.
    I am also particularly interested in ASD provision.
  7. dzil

    dzil Occasional commenter

    Thank you for explaining further.
    I'm sorry I can't really help here as my experience is based in working with secondary aged students with severe and profound difficulties. I did successfully teach entry level English to several of my more able students but there were students in the same class who were at the earliest stages of language development and still learning to talk. who needed a very different approach .
    I'm sure there will be some others along soon who can be of far more help to you. Good luck.

Share This Page