Library - | Smart Teachers
Thinking about working in SEND?

Changing your career to work with children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is more possible than you think, especially if you already have some experience of working with children or young people. Read on to find out what it takes to work in a support role in SEND and whether it’s the career for you.

Roles available

There are many different roles available when working in SEND, because of the vast spectrum of needs that children with mental, physical, learning and behavioural difficulties have. Roles such as behaviour support worker, youth engagement mentor, autism support worker and personal care assistant – some will be providing one-to-one support while others will be supporting small groups. Whatever role you may be interested in, if you are enthusiastic and compassionate with a drive to provide equal learning opportunities for all children and young people, then this is the career for you.

Qualifications and experience

To work in a SEND support role, you don’t always need a formal teaching support qualification but having experience working in a school or equivalent setting, or experience of working with children and young people, is highly desirable. For example, many SEND roles would be suitable for you if you have previously worked in social/care/support work, children’s residential homes, sports coaching, care homes or mental health support work. We have staff from a variety of different backgrounds, so if you want to discuss your individual experience and skills, please give us a call. And of course, for all staff registered with us, you will be required to go through our compliance and background checks.

Transferable skills

It’s ok if you don’t have a background working in education, there are plenty of skills from other jobs that can be applied to working in education. These transferable skills can put you in good stead when working in SEND. For example, having exceptional communication skills are required as many children struggle with conventional teaching and communication styles and will often need a different approach. Emotional resilience is also key when working with children with social, emotional and mental health needs.


Completing training or CPD can help you develop your existing and new skills and make you feel more confident working in education. At Smart Teachers, we have a range of free courses, many of which are SEND specific, so you can grow your knowledge and confidence to progress in your career.

Make your move into education

If you are ready to make you move into SEND education and start a new career, search our SEND job vacancies and register with us today, we’d love to help you.

back to all libraries

Got a question
for us?

We’re available 7:00am - 6:00pm, Monday to Friday during term time. If you need us urgently outside these times, our on-call phone line is available 24/7

contact us