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Special education needs (SEN) teachers are employed by state-funded schools, special education schools or privately to care for and nurture the educational requirements of children and young adults with learning difficulties, physical or mental disabilities, sensory impairments, emotional problems and other conditions which demand further attention than that offered in traditional schools.
They may work within one particular area of special needs education, such as with autistic children, blind or deaf people, or people with physical disabilities. Others will work with groups or individuals presenting a wide range of special needs.
Teachers will plan and develop learning activities centred on the National Curriculum which cater for a child or young adult’s particular needs. For example, they might teach braille to blind people or sign language to the deaf before adopting these methods to communicate the Curriculum. They may use a selection of special learning equipment such as computers or specially-adapted aids.
Like most teaching roles, SEN teachers will need to prepare relevant material and plan classes or sessions, mark and assess any work and give appropriate feedback to students and parents or guardians. They will also organise and attend field trips and social events.
Depending on the area in which they work, they will liaise with parents or guardians and medical and educational specialists to asses a student’s particular need in order to give them the best possible attention.
SEN teachers working with children and young adults with more severe educational and medical requirements may, in certain cases, be responsible for monitoring and administering medicines.