To become a special educational needs (SEN) teacher in a mainstream school, qualified teacher status (QTS) is required in England and Wales or the teaching qualification (TQ) in Scotland. While most independent schools also require QTS status, this is not always essential.
QTS status is generally achieved by completing one of the following qualifications:
In Scotland, the TQ is usually achieved by completion of the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE).
There is a special educational needs element to all initial teacher training (ITT) courses. Qualified teachers can also undertake additional training to teach pupils with special educational needs.
Entry is not possible with an HND only. In England and Wales, candidates who have successfully completed two years of higher education - someone with an HND would qualify - may opt to take a shortened two-year degree with QTS. You can apply for this route via Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) .
Specific qualifications are required to teach pupils with hearing, visual or multi-sensory impairments. To find out which universities offer qualifications in these specialised areas, as well as further details on entry requirements and routes to becoming a qualified teacher, see teacher training.
An enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is required for anyone working with children/young adults in the UK. Without a DBS check, an individual is not allowed to work with children unsupervised. An application for a DBS check needs to be completed before beginning a course that leads to QTS. In the first instance, this will be through the training body. This check will be repeated by any subsequent employer once training is complete. For more information, see the Disclosure and Barring Service . For criminal record checks in Scotland and Northern Ireland see Disclosure Scotland and Access Northern Ireland (AccessNI) .
Candidates need to show evidence of the following:
Mature entry into SEN teaching is common as teachers generally have several years' experience before entering the profession. However, some schools do recruit newly qualified teachers.
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