Job Title SEN Learning Assistant
Reports to Senior Learning Facilitator
Oaks Rise is a neurodivergent-led part time learning provision based in mid-Sussex. We provide bespoke, neuro-affirming, small-group education programmes for autistic children and young people who do not have a learning disability but who are out of school or struggling to attend. Many of our learners have had negative school experiences and come to us with high levels of anxiety and potentially some degree of demand avoidance. We follow a child-led learning approach and if a learner expresses that an activity causes them anxiety, we offer alternatives. Although our curriculum is project-based our learning facilitators embed key National Curriculum Outcomes in Maths, English and Science into learning where possible. We currently run two sessions, Monday - Wednesday: 9.30am - 12.30pm and 1.15pm - 4.15pm. We aim to expand this to four days per week soon. Further information about Oaks Rise can be found on our website: Oaks Rise.
1. Job Purpose
The overall purpose of the position is to:
Assist our Learning Facilitators to prepare lesson materials.
Work with learners to make sure they understand.
Watch, record and report the progress that learners make.
Look after any children who are upset or unwell.
Set up and tidy up the classrooms.
You will be supported by a senior member of the learning team, and you will be following the planned session structure.
Working hours are 9.00am to 4.45pm Monday to Wednesday with a 45 minute lunch break.
2.1 Understanding of Needs
• Develop strong, professional relationships with the children and young people who have complex needs and have often experienced significant difficulties in previous education settings.
Follow the guidance in each person's individual plan/risk assessment, support them to manage their anxiety, sensory needs and behaviour in a neuro-affirming and positive way and to keep them and others safe.
Utilise a range of strategies in supporting the range of additional needs we work with.
Support children and young people to follow learning activities set out by the Head of Learning and the Senior Learning Facilitator
Watch, record and report the progress learners make in line with guidance from the Senior Learning Facilitator and Head of Learning.
Support learners during break times, engaging in outdoor and indoor games that are responsive to the children’s social communication needs and preferences.
Set up the room at the start of the morning and the afternoon sessions, tidy up at the end of each day and between the two sessions.
Provide feedback to learners on their achievements, progress.
Communicate frequently and effectively with colleagues about the needs of the
children and young people and any problems that arise.
Regularly review strategies and practice as these needs change.
2.4 Additional Duties
The duties and responsibilities may vary from time to time without changing the general purpose of the role. The candidate is therefore requested to maintain a flexible and helpful approach and undertake other duties as requested to assist the Head of Learning and Senior Learning Facilitator.
3. Approaches to achieve success
Develop a trusting, safe relationship with learners, act as a mentor and advocate for them as appropriate.
Develop a good working relationship and work collaboratively with staff, Directors, families, and other professionals as appropriate.
Develop and maintain a good understanding of learners’ needs and appropriate strategies to assist them, drawing on their own knowledge and skills, and consulting Learning Facilitators and the Head of Learning where needed.
4. Salary and benefits
- Competitive salary
- Pension scheme
- Term time working only
- Wellbeing policy and wellbeing budget available
- Comprehensive induction including extensive, high quality training
- Frequent CPD from a range of highly skilled experts in their field
- An amazing opportunity to help shape a provision that actually works for
neurodivergent pupils. One that delivers a quality education and recognises and
nurtures the strengths and talents of our amazing young people.
- Enormous personal satisfaction.
5. Person specification
It is essential that you:
Have extensive lived experience – possibly direct personal experience - of autism
and / or ADHD and have worked or lived with autistic or ADHD children and young
Share our commitment to providing a genuinely neuro-affirming environment for
our learners and recognise that the environment and not the child needs to change
in order for neurodivergent learners to thrive
Share our commitment to the protection, safeguarding and wellbeing of children
and young people
Have experience of supporting individuals with complex additional needs
Are able to build strong professional relationships with neurodivergent children and
young people and your colleagues
Practise a non-judgemental approach to working with neurodivergent children and
families; recognising that many of them would have experienced school trauma
Have the enthusiasm to engage children and young people in child-led learning
Have a good standard of literacy, numeracy and science to be able to support
Are flexible and creative when faced with demand avoidance, and always have a
plan b, c or d!
Are able to use your own initiative to meet children/young people's varying and
Are able to react calmly to challenging situations and behaviour (recognising that
all behaviour is communication) and demonstrate the resilience needed to support children with high levels of anxiety. (Noting that Oaks Rise is not able to accept learners who express their anxieties physically).
Are eligible to work in the UK.
It is desirable that you:
Have experience of supporting children or young people in a small group
Have a full UK driving licence and are confident to drive (note, there is no
expectation to transport learners)
Already have an enhanced DBS with child barred list and are registered on the DBS
Have attended certified child safeguarding courses.
Please note, we are currently based in Hassocks, West Sussex but will be moving to new, long-term premises in mid-Sussex soon.
Join us and be a part of our journey to create an educational haven that truly understands, nurtures, and empowers neurodivergent learners. Together, we can rewrite the narrative and provide a transformative educational experience where every child can thrive.
The salary range is full time equivalent of between £21,000 to £23,000 depending on experience. This will be pro rated so at 3 days a week would be £12,600 to £13,800 and at 4 days a week would be £16,800 to £18,400.
Please complete the application form attached (or email in for the application form) at email@example.com
22 Field Close, Burgess Hill, RH15 8PP, United Kingdom
Oaks Rise CIC