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UK Skills Shortage Occupation 17 SEN Teacher

SEN teacher

This is the seventeenth in a series of blogs providing information on occupational roles that employers struggle to fill. In this article we take a look at the role of the SEN teacher.

In this series of blogs, we will be taking a look at skills shortages in the UK as published by, a leading international immigration consultancy firm. The occupations that we will cover in this series are listed as those where the skills shortage is such that employers struggle to fill the roles to such an extent that jobs on this list do not need to be advertised before they can be offered to a non-EEA (European Economic Area) immigrant.

There are regional differences in the skills and occupations where employers are experiencing shortages and throughout this series we will endeavour to provide information on where the greatest demand for the occupations and skills exist geographically.

What does a SEN teacher do?

A SEN (special educational needs) teacher helps those young people who need extra support to achieve their potential.

The children and young people that they support might have physical disabilities, learning difficulties, social or emotional difficulties or specific mental wellbeing needs.

SEN teachers teach small groups or individuals both in a classroom setting and outside of the classroom.

Like all teachers, they plan lessons and create resources and they mark the work of pupils. In addition to this, SEN teachers will work very closely with other school and college staff to make sure that the Single Equality Act is adhered to. They will also liaise with professionals, including specialist therapists and social workers and may be involved with annual reviews such as Looked After Child and with reviewing health and care plans.

How do you get a job as a SEN teacher?

All teachers in England and Wales need to have the following:

  • A 2:2 degree (second class honours)
  • GCSE grade 4 (C) or above in English and maths
  • A pass mark for the professional skills tests in literacy and numeracy
  • An average IELTS score of 6.0 if English isn’t your first language and you don’t have a GCSE grade 4 (C) in English
  • To undergo the criminal records check through the Disclosure and Barring Service
  • For secondary teaching, a degree of which at least 50% is in the subject that you want to teach.
  • For teaching 3 – 11 year olds, GCSE grade 4 (C) or above in science.
  • To teach pupils with hearing, visual or multisensory impairments you must have a specialist qualification – you can found out more about these and see the list of approved providers here.

Pay for SEN teachers

The average starting salary for a SEN teacher is £24,500.

See skills shortage occupation 18





About Lynette Daly

Lynette is the publishing editor of Moving On magazine. Moving On is devoted to helping young people make good choices for their future – education, qualifications and careers. Moving On really wants to motivate you! Our articles cover a range of topics to inspire and give ideas. Our magazines are delivered free to all schools, colleges and sixth forms in England and is also available online.

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