My SEND Career: SEND Teaching Assistant


SEND teaching assistants (TAs) and Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) help to support pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. SEND TAs will either work at a mainstream school, special school, or a pupil referral unit (PRU).

As a SEND TA you will work with individual pupils or groups who require extra support due to their special educational needs or disabilities, which could be:

  • Sensory impairments
  • Physical disabilities
  • Speech and language difficulties
  • Learning difficulties (such as dyslexia)
  • Autism
  • Social, emotional, and/or mental health needs

What does a SEND Teaching Assistant do?

The role of a SEND TA can vary greatly, depending on the setting and the needs of your pupils. However, as a SEND TA you will generally:

  • Prepare learning materials under the supervision of the teacher
  • Adapt support account to your pupils’ needs
  • Look after your pupils’ physical, social, and emotional welfare
  • Create a stimulating environment
  • Give information on pupil progress to teachers
  • Keep records and attend review meetings

How do I become a SEND Teaching Assistant?

If you are already a Teaching Assistant, your school can provide access to specific training, such as British Sign Language courses, or courses from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

With experience, you may progress to become a Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA).

If you are not already a Teaching Assistant, you can undertake a salaried Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship, pay to take a Teaching Assistant course to get a recognised qualification, or you can get in touch with Engage to see if we have any vacancies for TAs with no prior experience or to find out more about training.

SEND Careers with Engage

You can check out the rest of the My SEND Career series for more information on the specific routes available to people wanting to work with children with special education needs or disabilities, or visit the SEND page for more information.

If you would like a new role teaching in a SEND setting on a permanent, long-term, or short-term basis, full or part-time, our expert SEND team will be able to find the perfect role for you at one of our fantastic partner schools. You can register with the SEND team here.


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