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Working in an SEMH school

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by watson17, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. boxer20

    boxer20 New commenter


    An opportunity to potentially work in an SEMH school has cropped up and I wonder if anyone who has experience working in such a setting can tell me more about what it's like?

    I currently work in mainstream but the nature of the cohort means we have students who present with very challenging behaviours so I am fairly used to verbal abuse, defiance and occasionally aggression from young people.

    Is that the sort of thing I should expect? Or are the challenges different?
  2. cheesypop

    cheesypop Senior commenter

    I went to SEMH after 18 years in mainstream. Been head of year and assistant head in tricky schools so used to being told to go forth and multiply, etc. I went in as a teacher, no responsibility, as I recognised that it was a very different setting.
    I’m glad I did it, but I’ve left now and am back in mainstream as a SENCO. It was hard. I don’t think my age helped, it’s a very physical job. We were expected to restrain all the time and I just felt on edge constantly; you literally never knew what was going to happen and the threat of physical violence was never far away. I was always worried about not being physically strong enough and that this would endanger others.
    The staff, however, were fantastic. As I said it was an experience i am glad I had. But it wasn’t long term for me for that reason.
  3. torsky998

    torsky998 New commenter

    I work in an AP for Ks3 and 4. The challenges are difficult as you have up to 28 students with very differing needs. Yes, there are some physical challenges but the aim is to de escalate before it reaches a point of needing a physical intervention.
    In a strong staff team, the opportunities are great and the very fact these students allow you in to their lives is a privilege.

    I found mainstream stifling, one size fits all type of learning. the environment with no real diversity for learning or holistic opportunities for learning.
    If you go in with an open mind, you can only gain knowledge from it, whether you love or hate it is up to you.
    Personally, I love it
  4. boxer20

    boxer20 New commenter

    Thank you both for your helpful replies !
    torsky998 likes this.
  5. semolina29

    semolina29 New commenter

    Primary or secondary? I work in a primary setting...It's exhausting and physical but you don't have the same amount to do in the evenings and weekends.

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