If so can you explain the normal transition from teacher to teacher of special needs children? I can see that there's an advanced diploma but am I right in thinking that you do this once you're in the job, rather than have to do it before you become a special needs teacher? Also would you need to be a SENCO before applying to be a special needs teacher?
I'm not a teacher but I have been an Adult Careers Consultant Everything you need to know is probably here: http://www.prospects.ac.uk/cms/ShowPage/Homepage/Explore_types_of_jobs/Types_ofJob/p!eipaL? state=showocc&pageno=1&idno=45
Look at tabs for info on training and entry requirements.
FYI you can also speak to a careers adviser one ot one by calling confidential 'Careers Advice Service' (formerly learndirect) on 0800 100 900. They used to be pretty helpful and can send you out info for free. Or by email see this link: http://careersadvice.direct.gov.uk/contactus/
The certificate takes a year, costs about £500 in our borough and needs about 10 hours work a week. As you have to teach a child individually and write it up / be assessed on it, it helps if you are already teaching dyslexic children, but you could tutor. The Diploma takes 2 years, and qualifies you to do assessment and testing.
A SENCO is quite often but not always the Head of Special Needs, altho they don't tend to call it that now. Learning Development, Learning Support or Inclusion maybe.
Sorry should be £1500! very expensive. You don't need this to teach - just a teaching qualification but you would prob need experience and knowledge to get a job. Most people get into it in their school. Can you get voluntary experience?
It depends on the career path. Many sencos go into the job directly from being a classroom teacher. Some TAs directly teach small groups or 1:1 sen children. Other teachers have special training (ie, Bangor University dyslexia training).
In most LEAs, there are plenty of courses on offer through INSET.
There is sen teaching in mainstream schools, and also specialist teaching of children with additional needs in resourced provision ('special schools') - can't advise how staff got those jobs although friends I know working in this sector had no extra specialist training, just a willingness learn and the sensitivity to work with these extra special children.
Thanks all, I missed the replies until now! I taught for just my NQT year over 5 years ago so I'm pretty rusty, thinking I could do a return to teaching course, some voluntary work and then perhaps go for a job? Good to hear I don't need a particular exra qualification. I'd like to teach children with autistic spectrum disorders, probably KS2 or 3, as I have worked quite a bit with teenagers with ASDs in the past few years.