Grow Your Own Staff

Grow Your Own Staff

Grow Your Own Staff

The Skills and Know-How to Excel in SEND Education

Are you a senior leader in a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) school struggling to find and recruit staff with the specialized skills and knowledge needed to confidently teach your pupils?

Are you eager to establish a cohort of teachers equipped with the necessary expertise to work effectively in your school environment?

Do you wish to provide a career progression route for your existing staff members who exhibit the potential and talent required to become fully qualified teachers, thereby making a significant contribution to your SEND school?

Introducing Sunningdale School’s Innovative Teacher Training Programme

At Sunningdale School, we understand the challenges faced by SEND schools in recruiting qualified staff. After collaborating with senior leaders from other specialist schools, we realized that we were not alone in this predicament. Consequently, in partnership with other SEND schools and our accredited teacher training provider, Northumbria University, we have established our own primary teacher training program. This program is specifically designed for postgraduates who aspire to teach children with special educational needs.


Why Choose Our Teacher Training Programme?

School-Led Initial Teacher Training: Our program is a school-led initiative that offers postgraduates the opportunity to train as primary teachers through placements in our partner schools. Many of our trainees are graduate staff currently working within special needs schools, seeking a pathway to becoming fully qualified teachers.

Comprehensive Training Content: Our program covers all the requirements needed to successfully achieve the Teachers’ Standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Furthermore, it provides tailored training to prepare students for working with children with special needs.

Dual Qualifications: Upon successful completion of the program, students are awarded either a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (level 7) or a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (level 6), depending on the University Examination Board’s assessment. Both qualifications confer QTS.

Proven Success: Previous students who completed our programme have gained the knowledge and expertise to confidently enter the teaching profession. They have all qualified and secured teaching positions, often within their host schools.

Join Our Teacher Training Partnership

We are eager to expand our partnership and welcome other SEND schools to join our teacher training initiative. As a member of our partnership, you will collaborate with our ITT provider to create school environments that nurture and develop trainees into exceptional SEND teachers.

About Sunningdale School

Sunningdale School is a specialist institution catering to children with severe, profound, and multiple learning difficulties aged 2-11. We are proud to hold an Outstanding rating and have a clear vision for our students to “Be More,” encouraging each child to achieve more in ways that are meaningful to them and their families.

How Our Teacher Training Programmer Works

Trainees spend the majority of their training time in specialist schools, with one six-week placement in a mainstream primary school. They actively engage in KS1 and KS2 classes from Monday to Thursday and benefit from formal training on Fridays, either at Northumbria University or Sunningdale School’s SENhub Training Centre.

Throughout their training, our trainees become integral members of the teaching staff, participating in staff meetings, professional training, and mentoring sessions. They are assigned outstanding teachers as mentors to support their development and the creation of a portfolio of evidence demonstrating their ability to meet the Teachers’ Standards for QTS.

Requirements for Training with Us

Candidates interested in training with us should hold an Honours degree at a 2:1 or 2:2 level, along with GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English, math, and science. They should also possess a sincere passion for teaching children with special educational needs, empathy, motivation, and a commitment to creativity in addressing diverse needs.

Candidates are required to undergo an enhanced background check by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for safeguarding purposes.

Application and Interview Process

Prospective trainees apply through the Department of Education’s Find Teacher Training webpage. Upon application, we send their information to partner schools, which may then invite candidates for interviews. The interview process includes teaching observations, assessment tasks, and interviews conducted by Northumbria University, the host partner school, and Sunningdale lead mentor schools.

Student Fees and School Bursaries

The course fees of £9,250 are payable directly to Northumbria University. Moreover, schools working with us receive a bursary of £1000 and invaluable support from our Lead School Direct Mentor.

Join Our Information Events

To learn more about our teacher training program and explore the opportunities it offers, we regularly host Teacher Training Information events at Sunningdale School. These events introduce potential senior leaders to our teacher training team, provide insights into the programme, and provided information on the roles and responsibilities of partner schools.. Details of these events can be found on our SENhub website’s “What’s on Page.”

Invest in the future of your school, nurture talent, and ensure the best possible education for children with special needs. Join Sunningdale School’s Teacher Training Partnership today and help grow your own staff with the skills and know-how to excel in SEND education tomorrow.


Please contact Jane Shaw our SENhub manager to find out more. Jane’s email is



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