How do I become a SEND Tutor?
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) tutors play a crucial role in supporting young people with diverse learning needs. As a SEND tutor, you have the opportunity to make a profound impact on the lives of young people, helping them overcome educational challenges and achieve their full potential. If you're passionate about working in this field, here are the essential steps and qualifications needed to embark on a rewarding career as a SEND tutor.
Understand the Role
Before pursuing a career as a SEND tutor, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of the role. SEND tutors work with young people who have various learning disabilities, such as autism, dyslexia, or ADHD. They provide personalised support, adapting teaching methods to meet the unique needs of each student. Compassion, patience, and adaptability are key traits for success in this role. We recommend that you do some research into the roles and responsibilities of a SEND tutor to find out if the role is right for you.
See our blog: Is a career in SEND right for you?
While there are no strict educational requirements to become a SEND tutor, having a strong educational background can be advantageous. Most SEND tutors have at least a bachelor's degree in education or a related field. Some may also have specialised training or certifications in special education.
For example, at Targeted Provision we ask for the following:
- 2 years of teaching experience
- A teaching qualification (in some areas we can only accept QTS).
- 2x references, including your most recent employer and covering 3 years of your work history.
- An Enhanced DBS
- A Level 2 Safeguarding Certificate
- A Prevent Duty Certificate
Gain Relevant Experience:
Experience is invaluable in the field of SEND tutoring. Consider volunteering or working as a teaching assistant in special education classrooms to gain firsthand experience. This will help you understand the specific challenges and strategies required to support young people with SEND effectively.
Specialised Training and Certifications:
Though not mandatory, obtaining specialised training and certifications can enhance your qualifications as a SEND tutor. Organisations like the British Dyslexia Association and the National Autistic Society offer training programs and certifications for specific learning disabilities. These credentials can demonstrate your expertise to potential employers. Additionally, at Targeted Provision, we go the extra mile by offering our tutors unrestricted access to the Tes CPD suite, providing ongoing opportunities for further development.
Develop Strong Interpersonal Skills
SEND tutors need excellent communication and interpersonal skills. You'll be working closely with young people, their families/guardians, and other professionals, such as speech therapists and occupational therapists. Cultivating robust relationships and mastering effective communication are pivotal for successful collaboration and positive learning outcomes. A deep understanding of emotional intelligence also plays a vital role in achieving success in this field.
Research Job Opportunities
Explore job opportunities with educational institutions, schools or tutoring organisations that specialise in SEND support. Keep an eye on job listings and networking events to connect with potential employers. Consider joining online communities and forums dedicated to special education to stay informed about job openings.
Take a look at our live opportunities.
Prepare a Strong Application
When applying for SEND tutoring positions, create a compelling application that highlights your qualifications, relevant experience, and passion for working with young people with SEND. Tailor your CV to showcase your commitment to the field.
If you're invited for an interview, be prepared to discuss your approach to SEND tutoring, your experiences, and your ability to work collaboratively with other professionals. Highlight your understanding of individualised education plans (IEPs) and your willingness to adapt teaching strategies to meet young people’s unique needs.
Continuous Professional Development
Once you've secured a position as a SEND tutor, the learning doesn't stop. Stay updated with the latest research and strategies in special education through workshops, conferences, and professional development opportunities. Continuously refine your skills to provide the best possible support to your young people and take advantage of any further training opportunities your workplace may offer you.
Becoming a SEND tutor is a fulfilling and impactful career choice. By following these steps and acquiring the necessary qualifications and experience, you can embark on a rewarding journey to support young people with special educational needs to thrive academically and personally. Your dedication and commitment will make a meaningful difference in the lives of the young people you support.
Find out more about being a SEND tutor from the people who know best: Hear from our tutors
Looking to develop a career in SEND? Kickstart with our free online CV builder tailor-made for Core Subject Teachers, SEND Tutors, EAL Teachers/Tutors, and educators exploring career changes.