SEN teachers have a rewarding career, but finding the vacancies to get into this area of education can prove difficult as it is a popular profession. Every year, the teaching sector receives thousands of new job applications from people right across the EU, which has meant being able to find a job opportunity has become even harder to land. Teachers who gained qualifications within the EU can quite easily gain QTS in the UK, but there are many areas of SEN that are looking for people to in them. If anyone gained their qualifications outside the EU, they are advised to contact UK NARIC, a national agency that is responsible for providing information and advice on the qualification's people have gained from all over the world.
Anyone wishing to work in a Pupil Referral Unit, whether they are a teacher or member of the support staff, will need to have the right character to be able to cope with the wide range of responsibilities required to fill this type of role. Many people will see PRU's as a place where very badly behaved children and teenagers are taught, as they cannot attend their own school. However, many of the pupils being taught in establishments like this are there for a number of different reasons. Some of these can range from students having acute medical problems to pregnant teenagers who can no longer be taught in mainstream schools. SEN teachers that are based in PRU's will also help pupils that are waiting for a school place to become free in order for them to continue with their education.
A pupil referral unit will provide education to students directly or through arrangements that are made with further education colleges and other external partners. Work-based training programmes can also be offered through local employers voluntary organisations, where students can develop new skills. SEN teachers working in a PRU do not necessarily have to teach the full national curriculum, but instead they will provide a balanced level of education that will broadly follow the main curriculum, covering subjects such as English, Maths, Science, Personal, Social and Health Education, ICT and careers guidance to the pupils. The work of PRUs will also see them having very close links with schools so they can offer support to children most at risk of facing exclusion from school or other vulnerable students.
Although working in an SEN school will be challenging, it will also be a career that will be very rewarding and varied. There are a lot of responsibilities that come with being an SEN professional and these are likely to change on a daily basis. Tasks that will have to be covered will include setting up lessons, making sure that all the correct equipment is available and preparing materials to be able to teach whichever subject you are tasked to do. An SEN position will also involve working closely with the parents and healthcare professionals that are involved in the lives of the students. SEN teachers must help with the assessment and evaluation of the learning needs of their pupils to ensure that they are receiving the best possible education.