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How to become an SEN Teacher

SEN Teacher
avg. starting salary

What do they do?   Want to change a child’s life? You should become an SEN Teacher… Special Educational Needs (SEN) Teachers work with children and young people who need extra support and guidance, to teach in a way that helps them reach their full potential. They provide general schooling to students who struggle with a range of emotional, physical, and mental difficulties, including anything from dyslexia and autism, to sensory impairments and problems with speech. An SEN Teacher could also work with students who are talented or gifted. They’re based in both mainstream and special needs schools and colleges, and could teach individuals on their own or in small groups. Typical duties for an SEN Teacher could include:
  • Teaching national curriculum subjects
  • Researching and creating lesson plans
  • Developing appropriate learning activities
  • Aiding teaching with specialised learning equipment
  • Assessing students’ progress and providing feedback
  • Encouraging and guiding development
  • Communicating with parents and specialist authorities

A love for teaching is just one of the key qualities you’ll need to become an SEN Teacher. You’ll also need to be resilient and committed, with an ability to deal with potentially challenging behaviour. If you can stay calm and under control in any kind of situation, SEN teaching could be for you. Because the students you’re working may have different learning styles and abilities, you’ll also need to be creative and inventive when it comes to your teaching methods – with an ability to come up with a variety of interactive techniques. Other key skills for an SEN teacher include:
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Observation skills
  • Energy and positivity
  • Organisation skills
  • Patience
  • Empathy


Junior SEN Teacher

Up to £22,000

SEN Teacher

Up to £32,000

SEN Coordinator

Up to £45,000

"I’ve pretty much known I wanted to teach from childhood. I mean, if you can teach your family how to play Monopoly at ten years old, what can’t you do? Anyway, after my first position teaching in a primary school, I became more aware of those who couldn’t learn as easily as the rest of the class. And I noticed that paying more attention to these children helped their learning drastically. So I decided to do more and studied to be an SEN Teacher. Apart from being extremely rewarding, it’s also a great way for me to broaden my teaching techniques. The more challenging it is, the more I can make my creativity work harder. Success is all about and adapting your approach for each child."

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