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A very large proportion of our teaching jobs are for special needs schools, but we do also get teaching positions working with small groups of pupils with more moderate types of special needs in mainstream settings.
In order for us to be able to assist you in finding work as a teacher in the UK you will need to hold a UK recognised teaching qualification. If you qualified as a teacher within the European Union you should quite easily be able to obtain UK Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). You can do this by contacting the Department for Education (DfE.) If you qualified as a teacher in a country outside of the EU then you will need to contact UK Naric to confirm the comparability of your qualification with those recognised in the UK.
Although we are a dedicated special needs teaching agency and welcome candidates with previous SEN experience or qualifications, we do also acknowledge that a huge part of working successfully within the special needs sector is related to the “right fit” personality wise. If you are a qualified teacher with an interest in working with special needs but no formal experience or SEN qualification, please call the office and speak to a consultant who will be happy to offer you advice on this matter.
Special Educational Needs can be vast and varied. You may have heard of terms such as PMLD, SLD, EBD and Autism, among others. These terms are used to refer to many different types of needs, and cover areas such as learning difficulties, behavioural and emotional difficulties, and physical disabilities.
Most Special Needs Teachers are used to having at least a couple of statemented pupils in their classroom, and with inclusive education these may be children with Down’s syndrome or those on the autistic spectrum. However, children unable to cope in the mainstream will attend a special school. (NB Statements will continue until new legislation comes into place and replaces them with Care Plan- existing statements will be transferred over)
(PRU's (Pupil Referral Units) are for students who usually have behavioural issues or chronic truancy. Their problems can be due to a specific incident, e.g. bereavement at home. The aim is to enable pupils to be reintegrated into mainstream. They will follow the NC/GCSE courses but will be taught in smaller groups, usually with SEN Teaching Assistants who have special needs classroom experience.
EBD schools cater for pupils who have often been excluded from mainstream schools. They may have severe social, emotional and behavioural problems. These schools can be a culture shock, but often they do manage to get students through their GCSE's or similar. They are very structured in their approach to students and have clear guidelines for their SEN teachers.
Working with SEBD (Social Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties) students requires you to be "unshockable", calm and highly committed. Despite smaller class sizes and Teaching Assistant support it can be very stressful. Special Needs Teachers will be instructed for example in handling and restraint techniques. If you have worked with young offenders or disenchanted young people in other areas then SEBD may be for you. As with any kind of SEN teaching, the rewards are immense as you do gain the trust of students and help pupils who may have been dismissed as "unteachable" to succeed.
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulties There are very few MLD schools now. They usually cater for pupils with developmental delays and/or specific learning difficulties. Teachers who have worked in SEN Departments in the mainstream can adapt to this environment.
SLD (Severe Learning Difficulties) / PMLD (Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties) It takes a very special person to work with pupils with severe / profound and multiple learning difficulties. Class sizes can be as small as 3/4 pupils and there is a high ratio of SEN Teaching Assistant support. Many of these schools have pupils with complex needs and the variety can be wide. At the most extreme there may be pupils with degenerative illnesses or those who are completely nonverbal. Going into these schools can be distressing. We have had situations where experienced teachers convinced they could cope have ended up leaving school before the day is completed. Students may need help with toiletting and feeding. Although there are other professionals around, e.g. a nurse, physiotherapist etc., the special needs teacher has to be involved in all aspects. Each child will be learning to an IEP (Individual Education Plan). Learning to press a trigger to indicate a colour or learning to write and identify their name can be immense triumphs for these pupils. As a teacher pointed out ... they don't need pity, they need to be educated and given as much opportunity as they can.
Working in SLD/PMLD requires creativity and patience (frustration can often lead to behavioural issues). It is useful to learn systems like Makaton signing or PECS too. We have often found that teachers of Art, Drama and Music are particularly good at devising means to challenge special needs students. There are also specific teaching methods - e.g. TEACCH for autistic students - that are immensely valuable.
Axcis recruits and places SEN teachers, SEN TAs, SEN Support Staff and SEN leaders. We recruit teachers to work with special and mainstream schools on an hourly and daily rate and for both short and longer term placements across the UK. We work closely with SENCOs in the mainstream and with clients at special schools to ensure a high level of support for pupils with all kinds of SEND - ASD including Aspergers, SLD, PMLD, MLD, complex needs and related SEBD.