Reply To: Mainstream versus special school

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    There are lots of pros and cons so I think it may be useful to experience SEN settings voluntarily. Firstly the major difference I have found in mainstream settings is that there is a strong management structure which is more likely to provide continuity for your career. In an SEN setting things can change very drastically and rapidly and the turnover of staff is often higher. So you need to research this before starting with an SEN setting. Also thry vary massively in the area they specialise in so the experience will be very different from one SEN place to the next. I felt very comfortable in one setting but then found others far harder to fit in to the culture. While it can be frustrating in a mainstream school it is also often better resourced. My days in an SEN school were significantly longer and planning was far more complex as well as assessment and data collection so I think it’s bigger tiem commitment but the rewards and the fun can make this worthwhile of you are OK with giving your absolute all to the job.