There are lots of different types of teaching assistant courses out there for people who are interested in working with children and in a qualified position. If you’re interested in working with children with special needs, you will need to take a more specific type of course. Rather than simply training as a teaching assistant, you will need to look at SEN courses. But what exactly does this mean, and how do you know whether this is the right area for you to be looking at?
‘SEN’ stands for ‘Special Education Needs’, and means that you will be able to help and support children with these requirements through their education, giving them the specialist assistance which they need in order to thrive.
There is a growing number of children being assessed as having special needs. In order to identify many of these children, a specialist will need to observe their behaviour – there is no simple test, and often no physical signs. It is probably unlikely that there are many more children coming through nursery schools with these conditions than there were previously, it is simply that awareness has risen.
Why take SEN Courses?
There are plenty of reasons people choose to work with children, or more specifically with disabled children. You might be interested in the field because you have a sibling or one of your own children has SEN, or you may have worked with adults with special needs in the past.
A career working with children is always rewarding, none more than working with the children who need extra help.
Your SEN course with Distance Education Academy consists of 20 modules, explaining everything from what special education needs are and how to tell if a child may have SEN, to government policy and codes of practise, as well as home support and how you can find a job within the industry. It’s a comprehensive course and once you have completed it you will receive a Level 3 Special Education Needs Award from NCFE – one of the UK’s largest accreditation awarding bodies.
What the job will involve
Careers in SENs can be quite diverse. You could be working with and teaching children who have mild to moderate learning difficulties, specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia and dyscalculia, emotional or behavioural problems such as Asperger’s syndrome or ADHD. You may also be working with children with physical disabilities, hearing or visual impairment. You can guarantee that no two children and no two days will be the same.
Having taken a SEN course, you will can go straight into the classroom as a teaching assistant in a special education needs school or in any school at all as a specialist assistant in this area. Typically you will be able to earn between £16,000 – £25,000 in most of the UK, and £20,000 to £29,000 in London. Alternatively, you could use this experience to support your application to a foundation degree in education. You would then be able to become a fully qualified SEN teacher, gaining QT status. From here you maybe be able to become the school’s special education needs co-ordinator, or the head of department. In specialist schools you might be promoted to head teacher or deputy head teacher.
For more information, or to sign up to our Special Educational Needs SEN Teaching Assistant course, please contact us.