Do you possess transferable skills to become a SEN Teaching Assistant, kick starting your career in the education sector?

The role of a SEN Teaching Assistant (TAs) and Learning Support Assistant (LSA) is expanding to cater for the diverse needs of students. Specifically, supporting children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) requires a unique set of skills. Interestingly, many professionals from various backgrounds and industries possess transferrable skills that can be harnessed to excel in this rewarding and impactful SEN Teaching Assistant role.

Here are five transferable skills which people often forget they have.

Effective Communication:

One of the most crucial skills in working with SEN children as a SEN teaching assistant is effective communication. Professionals from diverse industries often bring refined communication skills, whether they come from sales, customer service, or marketing backgrounds. The ability to convey information clearly and adapt communication styles is paramount in supporting the unique needs of each SEN child. Patience and Empathy: Individuals with experience in healthcare, counselling, or social work may possess a heightened sense of patience and empathy. These qualities are invaluable when working with SEN children who may require additional time and understanding to navigate their educational journey. The ability to empathise and connect on a personal level fosters a positive and supportive learning environment.


Industries such as IT, engineering, or project management often nurture strong problem-solving skills. In a classroom setting, particularly with SEN children, unexpected challenges may arise. Professionals’ adept at identifying issues, analysing situations, and implementing effective solutions can seamlessly adapt these skills to create an inclusive and adaptive learning environment.

Organisational Abilities:

Administrative roles, event planning, or project coordination develop strong organisational abilities. These skills are highly transferable to the role of a TA or LSA, where multitasking and maintaining an organized learning space are essential. An organised teaching assistant can ensure that resources, schedules, and individualised education plans are effectively managed and implemented.

Flexibility and Adaptability:

Industries with fast-paced environments, such as hospitality or journalism, often cultivate flexibility and adaptability. These attributes are crucial when working with SEN children, as each child may have unique needs and learning styles. Professionals accustomed to adapting quickly to changing circumstances can contribute significantly to the dynamic nature of supporting diverse learners.

Team Collaboration:

Any professional with experience in team-based projects or collaborative environments brings valuable teamwork skills to the table. In a classroom setting, collaboration among educators, parents, and specialists is key to providing holistic support for SEN children. Professionals from various industries can leverage their collaborative experiences to enhance the overall educational experience for these students.


The role of a TA/LSA working with SEN children is both challenging and immensely rewarding. Professionals from diverse industries can find a fulfilling second career by recognising and leveraging their transferrable skills. By fostering effective communication, patience, problem-solving, organisational abilities, flexibility, and a collaborative mindset, individuals can contribute significantly to creating an inclusive and supportive educational environment for SEN children. Embracing these transferrable skills not only benefits the students but also enriches the entire educational community.

Common questions about becoming a SEN TA

Transitioning from another industry to Special Educational Needs (SEN)  can be incredibly rewarding which comes with some questions.

“Do I have enough experience? Will I be good enough?” These concerns are natural, but there are ways to help ease the transition and we can help you recognise your strengths.

Supply teaching is as a great option, offering a “try before you buy” approach. It allows TA’s to gain experience in a variety of SEN schools without the commitment of a permanent position. Whether you can work 1 day or 5 days per week, 4myschools can help.

Here are some top tips to help with the transition:

Being able to adapt your approach is crucial. It’s essential to adjust plans to suit the learning styles and abilities of SEN students. Being flexible ensures that each student’s needs are met.

Things may not always go as planned, and that’s okay. Being able to change plans quickly and think on your feet will really help.

Work closely with multidisciplinary teams to coordinate interventions and address the holistic needs of students effectively. Working together will be beneficial to the student, ensuring all of their needs are met.

In SEN settings, you may have to look a little closer to see the wins! Celebrate every success, no matter how small, and keep them in mind as reminders of progress and achievement.

Look for courses and training opportunities to enhance your knowledge and confidence in working with SEN students. Try shadowing someone with more experience and speak to others about their experiences.

Working in a SEN setting is extremely rewarding. By adapting your approach, being flexible, and understanding the unique needs of students, you can create an inclusive learning environment where every student can thrive.

If you need us, we are here and ready to support our candidates and schools please get in touch so we can help.