How to Become a SEN Teacher

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn: 

  • What a SEN teacher is
  • How to become a SEN teacher
  • What it takes to become a SEN teacher
  • What the latest SEN teacher jobs available at Spencer Clarke Group are

A Special Education Needs (SEN) teacher is a vital cog in the ever-moving wheels of education. They care for, guide and support children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). You will find a SEN teacher in most schools within the UK as they work alongside teachers in the classroom setting.

If you’re considering a career as a SEN Teacher, in our latest blog, we uncover what it takes to be successful in the role and typical routes to entry.

What is a SEN teacher?

A SEN teacher is a Special Education Needs teacher that works with pupils that have emotional and behavioural disorders, learning disabilities, or autism. The role of a SEN teacher includes working within the classroom to help children and young people with their academic work, as well as to learn social skills.

SEN teachers must also create individualised lesson plans for each student based on their abilities. These teachers play an important role in the education of many individuals with learning difficulties. The children they support may be in a mainstream school or a special education needs school. 

SEN teachers work alongside professionals to provide educational, emotional and developmental support to young people and their families. 

Still wondering what a SEN Teacher is? Find out more in our insightful blog. 

How to become a SEN teacher

In order to become a SEN teacher, you must meet specific criteria. You must first have relevant qualifications in teaching or tutoring with Early Childhood or SEND. Some schools may hire a SEN teacher from a non-teaching profession, as long as they’re already working with children with special needs. Other teachers can choose to take specific courses in the special education field.

Currently in the UK, attending a university course to obtain the qualifications needed to be a SEN Teacher is a popular route. However, completing an apprenticeship whilst working within a school or applying directly, are also an option.

At university, most teaching degrees include options for teaching children with special education needs, so you can find your path during your studies. If you have an undergraduate degree without qualified teacher status, you can then complete a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE). This is a common choice and can be done in university or through a training programme based in a school.

In terms of the entry requirements for these courses, you’ll need the following:

  • Four or five GCSEs with grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
  • GCSE science with grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for primary school teaching
  • Two to three A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • A degree in any subject for a postgraduate course


Another way to find your dream job as a SEN teacher is to volunteer at a local school. You will find it extremely helpful to get some experience working with children with special education needs and disabilities. This will also look good on your CV when you’re fully qualified and applying for roles.

Employers will look kindly at an applicant who has shown a desire to learn and help others in their free time.

What does it take to become a SEN teacher?

Now you know what a SEN teacher is and how you can work towards becoming one, it’s good to understand what it takes to be a SEN teacher. Here’s a list of some abilities and skills you’ll need in order to succeed:

  • Knowledge of teaching
  • The ability to design a bespoke curriculum for each pupil
  • Empathy, sensitivity, patience and understanding
  • An ability to create the best conditions for learning
  • You must be flexible and open to change

There is a lot more that a person needs to know and possess to become an effective SEN teacher, but the above points are absolutely essential to the role.

Is being a SEN teacher a good job?

Being a SEN teacher can be a very rewarding job for those who are passionate about working with students with special needs. It can also be a challenging job, as it requires a great deal of patience, flexibility, and creativity to meet the diverse learning needs of students with disabilities.

Benefits of being a SEN teacher include:

  • Making a difference - SEN teachers have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of their students by providing them with the support and resources they need to succeed.
  • Job security - There is a high demand for SEN teachers, so there is usually job security and opportunities for career advancement.
  • Professional growth -  SEN teachers have the opportunity to continue their professional development and acquire new skills through ongoing training and education.
  • Personal satisfaction - Many SEN teachers find the job to be very fulfilling as they get to witness their students' progress and successes.

However, it's important to note that being a SEN teacher can also be challenging, as it can be emotionally and physically demanding. SEN teachers may face unique challenges such as challenging behaviour, communication difficulties, and complex needs, which require a great deal of patience, empathy, and resilience.

Overall, being a SEN teacher can be a good job for those who are passionate about working with students with special needs and are committed to making a positive impact on their lives.

Latest SEN teacher jobs at Spencer Clarke Group

If you’re searching for your next SEN teacher job, why not take a look at all the vacancies currently available at schools across the UK? 

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Why not upload your CV or contact our SEN teacher specialist, Jamie Heath, to discover more about upcoming opportunities.

Meet Jamie Heath

Who is Spencer Clarke Group? 

Since 2017, we've been changing the face of recruitment. From our employees, to the way we do business, to the culture within our office, we're determined to make a difference and create a positive impact on everyone around us.

Recruitment to us isn't just about matching candidates and clients; we’re passionate about finding candidates the perfect job which has the ability to boost their salary and standard of living, better their work life balance and improve their mental health. 

Similarly, we understand the impact which an experienced and skilled employee can make to a business and we love seeing clients thrive through the hard work of candidates which we have placed with them. 

We operate in two sectors:

Private Sector

Public Sector 

In eleven specialisms:

Accountancy & Finance

Education & SEND

Construction, Trades & Labour

Healthcare, Social Care & Nursing


Corporate Functions & Business Support

HR & Workforce Development

IT & Digital

Property & Asset Management  

Planning, Development & Regeneration 

Highways, Infrastructure & Engineering

If you’re searching for a new role, why not visit our job page to take a look at the latest opportunities? Alternatively, upload your CV and one of our experienced consultants will contact you when a relevant opportunity becomes available. 

If you’re struggling to fill a role, why don’t you give us a call on 01772 954200 to see how we can help? One of our consultants will be happy to listen to the challenges which you are facing and advise on the best possible solution for you. 

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