The basis of the QQI level 5 course is to educate learners with the fundamental knowledge, skills and competence to work effectively in a special needs setting. On completion of the course learners will ultimately understand the role and responsibilities of a special needs assistant.

To ensure that learners have reached the required standards of knowledge and skills for this specialist role they are required to attend classes, complete mandatory work placement and to study independently which will include ongoing assessments.

A minimum of 20 hours placement is compulsory so that the learner gains the relevant experience. Placement can be across multiple settings such as in a pre-school, primary, post-primary or special school where children with special educational needs are educated. This part of the course enables all learners to gain invaluable experience and to ultimately give them confidence for when they start employment.

Assessment for the level 5 course for every student consists of 3 assignments:

• Written reports on specialised topics
• An essay on a child with a special need
• Learner record is a personal reflective account of work experience

While alot of students will continue with their studies to the level 6 course to gain a greater knowledge the level 5 is the industry standard and on successful completion of the course graduates are welcome to work with a range of ages in a mainstream school or a dedicated special needs school.

Special Needs Assisting is without doubt a rewarding career and the question to ask yourself is do you love working with children and have a genuine desire to work with children with special needs? If so call Megan for course information on 01 8920024.