If you are considering working with kids with special needs, you have a high chance of finding a suitable position in the sector. Many mainstream and specialist schools and colleges for special needs students are actively searching for passionate and committed employees to assist kids in getting the education they need amid serious employee scarcity in numerous sectors of SEND.
There are numerous roles individuals can play when helping kids with special needs ranging from offering direct learning support in mainstream institutions to personal, social, and educational support in SEND environment or helping young delinquents. Below we provide a list of the available roles and ways you can begin a career in SEND.
Who Can Work In SEND?
All types of individuals are needed to offer the specialist care that kids with an extensive array of needs may require. The main motivation for working in a SEND setting is to assist a kid with special needs to thrive, which can be exciting and satisfying for many people.
You will only need to be patient and compassionate, have great problem-solving skills, and have the ability and willingness to work with people from all walks of life to set a mark in your career in SEND. Often, your work will entail supporting kids with various difficulties that make it hard for them to learn freely. Therefore, you must adopt an open mindset that all kids require equal opportunities in life.
Qualifications Needed To Work In SEND
No particular set of qualifications is needed to function in a supporting role in SEND. However, prior school experience will be an added advantage during the interview phase. For example, you may need to help a kid with Autism walk about in the school compound or participate in various activities.
Alternatively, you might be required to help lesser groupings of young individuals who cannot get mainstream education for various reasons. Participating in specialized training and CPD will boost your chances of working in the SEND sector. You can make the most of the training opportunities offered through the schools you work with or your agency.
How Does One Begin The Job Search?
Before you start working with kids with extra or special needs, it is always helpful to begin by getting the experience you need working with young individuals. You might naturally know how to engage with kids and get the respect and common understanding you need; however, taking a deliberate effort to grasp what young people seek through active volunteer work makes your CV more appealing to potential employers.
After you have gathered some of the experience and developed the passion needed, you can begin applying for various support roles. Certainly, you will be expected to pass different compliance levels that apply when working with children with special needs. Find an agency with a dedicated SEND department. They will likely have existing links to schools and may give you the recommendations you need if you are starting in SEND.
The Best Way To Develop Your Career In SEND
Though you require a degree to be employed as a teacher, there are numerous ways of developing your career if you lack degree-level qualifications. Request for leads in your school or talk to your recruitment consultant to guide you towards an ideal training and CPD that can expand your scope on specialist SEND subject matters. It is helpful to stay alert and look out for opportunities for career development, potential employment areas, and online networking platforms.
In addition, maintain an active engagement with your recruitment consultant. They are likely to understand your skill set much better and are in a more strategic position to recommend roles that could suit you. Like most professions in the education sector, continually growing your knowledge and training level is the best way to remain ahead of your competition in the job market.