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The Untapped Potential of Retraining for a Career in SEN Education

Special Educational Needs (SEN) roles are often overshadowed by mainstream education positions. Yet, the impact that SEN professionals have on students cannot be understated. In this article we explore the profound benefits of retraining for a career in SEN education and why it’s a pathway worth considering.

June 04, 2024

The Essential Role of SEN Professionals

SEN professionals work closely with children and young adults who have a wide range of learning, physical, emotional, and behavioural difficulties. Their work is not just about teaching; it involves adapting conventional educational models to meet unique needs, collaborating with parents, therapists, and other professionals, and fostering an environment where every student feels valued and understood.

Why Consider a Career in SEN Education?

1. Perhaps the most compelling reason to enter into SEN education is the profound impact you can have on the lives of your students. Unlike mainstream education where progress is often measured in grades and test scores, the rewards in SEN education are seen through breakthroughs in communication, social skills, and personal milestones. It’s a career path rich with moments of joy and achievement that transcend traditional academic successes.

2. High Demand for Qualified Professionals

There is a consistent demand for skilled SEN professionals. With increasing awareness and diagnosis of learning difficulties and disabilities, educational institutions seek qualified individuals who can offer the specialised support these students require. This demand translates into job security and opportunities for advancement in the field.

3. Continuous Professional Growth

The field of SEN education is continually evolving, with new teaching strategies, technologies, and insights emerging regularly. Professionals in this field have endless opportunities for learning and growth, ensuring that their career never stagnates. For those who love to learn and grow alongside their students, SEN education offers an enriching path of continuous professional development.

4. Versatility in Roles and Environments

A career in SEN education doesn’t confine you to one role or setting. Professionals in this field can work in specialised schools, inclusive mainstream settings, early years settings, or even private practice. Furthermore, roles can vary from direct teaching to coordinating SEN services within schools, offering variety and the chance to find a niche that matches your skills and interests.

5. Fostering Inclusive Communities

By working in SEN education, you contribute to the broader goal of creating inclusive communities. You help society recognise and value diversity in learning and being, advocating for the rights and potentials of all individuals. This creates a ripple effect, encouraging inclusive practices beyond the classroom.

Retraining as a Pathway to SEN Teaching

Despite the critical importance of SEN roles, there is a notable shortage of qualified SEN teachers. This gap presents an opportunity for existing educators and individuals considering a teaching career to retrain as SEN professionals. Those who choose to do so not only enhance their skill set but also position themselves in a specialised field that is both in demand and immensely fulfilling.

How to Retrain for a Career in SEN Teaching

Retraining for a career in SEN education is more accessible than many might think. Here are several avenues through which individuals can pursue this path:

  1. University Courses: Many universities offer postgraduate qualifications in SEN education, such as PGCEs with a focus on SEN, which are ideal for those looking to transition into teaching roles.
  2. Government Initiatives: Various government-funded programmes support retraining in the education sector, including grants and scholarships for postgraduate studies in SEN.
  3. Online Learning Platforms: Websites like NASEN and Whole School SEND provide courses on inclusive education and specific SEN conditions. These can be great for building foundational knowledge or complementing formal qualifications.
  4. Professional Development: Look into SEN teaching assistant roles or volunteering in special schools. These positions offer hands-on experience and insights into the realities of SEN teaching.
  5. Specialist Training Providers: Institutions and organisations specialise in training for SEN roles. They provide comprehensive programmes encompassing both theoretical knowledge and practical experience.
  6. Networking: Connect with SEN professionals on platforms like LinkedIn. Their insights and advice can guide you through the transition and help you understand the nuances of the field.   


A career in SEN education is not only a pathway to a stable and in-demand profession but also a chance to make a meaningful difference in the lives of students. With the right training and resources, educators can unlock their potential to transform lives, fostering an inclusive environment where every student has the opportunity to succeed. In elevating the role and recognition of SEN professionals, we not only reinforce the value of inclusivity in education but also highlight the profound impact dedicated individuals can have on the development of students with special educational needs.

Considering a switch to SEN education? The time has never been better to explore this deeply rewarding field. Get in touch today on 0344 477 9293 to speak to one of our experienced consultants, or click the following link to upload your CV ▶  Secondary and Further Education positions | Edgware Associates