Teachers and teacher’s unions are warning of a crisis facing the education sector especially with regards to students with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND pupils). The National Education Union (NEU) has warned that especially in infant classes the needs of SEND pupils cannot be met and according to their survey of 900 school staff there isn’t sufficient support available to offer high-quality teaching. The government has invested a lot of funding over the last years to better support students with SEN and schools have access to this funding. However, one major problem is recruiting staff specialised in working with these students as there is a shortage and it appears this won’t change in the near future.

But this isn’t the only area where well-trained and specialised teachers are needed urgently. Official government figures released last month showed that 47,000 more teachers will be needed in the next six years to keep in line with the average secondary pupil-teacher ratio (15.1 pupils per teacher). A rise in students in secondary schools is forecast over the next few years and the challenge will be even greater in specialist subjects, like modern foreign languages (MFL). There simply aren’t enough graduates to cover the numbers of specialist teachers needed to teach such subjects.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Earlier this month, the education secretary announced a strategy to drive recruitment and boost retention of teachers to continue to attract the brightest and best graduates.”

Specialist teacher graduates

At SCCD training the focus is on exactly these issues: preparing new teachers for the challenges ahead by offering courses to specialise in many areas of the curriculum or to learn more about how to support SEND pupils in the classroom.

The NCFE Level 3, Certificate in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools, for example, is aimed at any individual seeking to enter the teaching profession as a support practitioner in the classroom. This training is suitable for all roles in schools especially for working with learners with special needs and disabilities. A work placement arranged by SCCD training will give you all the necessary experience and prepare you well for this role so you’d be in high demand after successfully completing this course.

If you’re more interested in enhancing your skill set in your chosen subject area then the Level 5 Specialist Diplomas certify yourself as a specialist to current and potential employers. You could specialise in teaching numeracy, literacy or teaching disabled learners.

There are many training options available and as the demand is set to rise in the future, it’s best to start now with getting into teaching.

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