Many special needs jobs will see SEN teachers having to work with children of all abilities and with a range of difficulties, so they must embrace an inclusive approach to the learning leadership. As well as genetic conditions, such as autism or Down's syndrome, teachers will also be working with children who struggle to cope in mainstream schools or face being excluded from their regular school. Working in an EBD school could be an option open to people in order to help pupils get through important years of their education within a structured environment. There is also the opportunity to work in a pupil referral unit (PRU) with smaller groups of students to try to help them reintegrate back in to the mainstream school system.
If a job working in a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) is something that appeals to you, it is important that you have the right personality to be able to complete a range of the education jobs that are available in this area of learning. A PRU falls under the category of schools that have been established in order to provide an education for children that can no longer attend normal school. They are places that many people often see as schools that teach badly behaved children, but in fact, they are establishments that welcome pupils with a wide range of issues. As a special needs teacher working in a PRU, you will deal with children that have medical problems or teenagers who have fallen pregnant and can no longer attend school. PRU's will also provide education for students who are waiting for a school place or are at risk of being excluded from school.
Pupil Referral Units can offer a direct programme of education or work with external partners to provide a broader range of learning. PRU's can often work closely with Further Education Colleges, external education providers, employers who offer work-based training and voluntary organisations. What is taught in PRU's can differ slightly to the mainstream school system as the full national curriculum does not have to be studied by the students. However, special needs teachers will be able to offer a level of education that broadly follows the curriculum by teaching English, Maths, Science, Personal, Social and Health Education, ICT and offer careers guidance. The majority of PRU's offer an education with the assistance of outreach support to pupils either within schools, or by allowing a pupil to stay on the register of their own school whilst they also attending a PRU.
As an SEN teacher, you will find the work both challenging and rewarding as the role is likely to vary on a day to day basis. There will be a number of responsibilities that an SEN teacher will have, which could include organising and setting up lessons and preparing lesson materials. Teachers will also be responsible for the assessment and evaluation of how a pupils learning is progressing. This is a vital part of the teacher's role as they will be expected to provide feedback to fellow teachers, parents, carers and other healthcare professionals that are working with the pupil. Working in special needs education will involve a great deal of liaison with a range of people, who all have the best interest of the child in mind.