Qualifications For SEN Teachers

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn: 

  • What the role of a SEN teacher is
  • The mandatory qualifications to become a SEN teacher
  • Potential career paths for SEN teachers
  • What the latest SEN teacher jobs available at Spencer Clarke Group are

Special Education Needs (SEN) teachers play a very important role within a school building. They’re an essential part of the educational and social well-being of a child who has behavioural issues and learning disabilities. 

But what qualifications do you need to be a SEN teacher? Find out everything you need to know about becoming a SEN teacher in our latest blog. 

What is the role of a SEN teacher?

A SEN teacher works alongside mainstream classroom teachers to assist, support and guide students with special education needs and disabilities (SEND). This can include children and young people with emotional and behavioural disorders, learning disabilities, and autism. A SEN teacher helps individuals with SEND with their academic work and social skills.

SEN teachers must also create individual learning plans for each pupil based on their abilities, and create a comfortable environment for them to flourish. A SEN teacher will work alongside other professionals to provide emotional and developmental support to students and families, as well as supporting their education.

There are many other components to the role of a SEN Teacher!

Mandatory qualifications for SEN teachers

There are a number of ways in which you can become a SEN teacher. You can go through university to earn a teaching degree that involves working with SEND children. You can also volunteer at a local school or complete an apprenticeship. Working teachers are able to apply for roles as SEN teachers, so long as they can display experience of working with children with learning disabilities.

At university, most teaching degrees include options for teaching children with special education needs. The most common route into teaching is if you have an undergraduate degree without qualified teacher status, you can then complete a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE).

In order to gain entry to a university teaching course, 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

If you lack the required qualifications and experience to work as a SEN teacher, you can volunteer alongside your studies in order to gain vital experience. 

Once you’re fully qualified, employers tend to look kindly at an applicant who has shown a desire to learn and help others in their free time. Plus, the school you’ve spent time volunteering at may even have an opening that you could apply for.

Think about it as potentially setting up a future role for yourself by volunteering during your studies.

A SEN teacher career path

Working towards becoming a SEN teacher is just the beginning of an exciting career path which you could take. Becoming a SEN teacher opens up plenty of opportunities for you to progress in your career further down the road. 

For example, a step up from SEN teacher would be to become a Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator (SENCO) within a school. In this role, you’d manage the special education needs strategy within the school you work at, rather than solely within your classroom.

As a SENCO you can change the scope of education for all SEN pupils who come through your doors. From there, you can actually progress further and move into management roles like the head of a department, Key Stage Coordinator, Deputy Head, or even Headteacher.

You can even use your specialist skills to become a special needs assessment officer at a local council, helping to develop SEN departments at schools in the area. From there, you can even pursue a career in teacher training and tutoring, impacting hundreds and possibly thousands of students over the course of many years.

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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