I am only a parent and not a teacher but what about teaching music in a college (e.g. A level). My daughter considered a music degree and said that she would only want to teach in a college where children were largely enthusiastic about the subject and of a higher level. Either that or an independent school.
I'm not a teacher, but I did work in an MLD special school for four years. I don't think that teachers in a special school have an easy ride, but it is different. Prehaps you need to think what type of special school you want to work in. A school for the Deaf is a completely different enviroment to an EBD school and a MLD school or SLD school or a hospital school is different again.
There is certainly pressure from management and politics in a typical special school. There are lessons observations and twatish initatives in special schools unfortunately.
You are right that the curriculum of many special schools is more focussed on the skills of independent living than getting the EBac. Sometimes it is better to have lower aspirations that are achievable than to have completely unrealistic targets. Ie. learning to use the toilet may be quite a challenge for a profoundly autistic child.
You would get less marking, but far more report writing and setting up IEPs in a special school. Certainly its not less work being in a special school than mainstream.
Starlight its not that I don't have aspirations for children with SN. Jesus my own son has low functioning autism and goes to SS. I am sick of pushing kids through GCSEs when the teaching staff care more about the results than the kids and their parents, sick of marking (which the kids ignore) just so I don't get a bollocking from management. I want to teach, to inspire, to see joy in children's faces, to help and care for children like my son.
I don't have direct experience, but know a few people who have worked in special schools. Think experience varies massively from school to school, dependently largely on the ethos of the head. Can mean lower pay/ poorer conditions than mainstream, or can mean a lot more freedom to teach smaller groups in a properly differentiated way. What's your sons school like, and does it actually have a vacancy going?
Ok utterly sick of fft, levels, hideous marking workload, kids who rely on teachers to get them to fft grades, pressure from management re observations, how to teach etc. Been doing this 20 years, never have lunchtime as a music teacher, the sheer physicality of lugging instruments around etc etc is killing me.
DS has lf autism, I know SN pretty well. Please if you work in a SS tell me what it's like? Would it make sense for me to move, I just can't deal with the sheer paperwork anymore, its gone beserk.