School for students with special needs internship

Special Needs Teacher Assistant Internship Program

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What is a school for children with special needs?

A school for children with special needs, often referred to as a special education school or a special needs school, is an educational institution that specifically accommodates students who have disabilities or exceptional learning needs. These schools are designed to provide specialised support and tailored instructions to meet the unique requirements of students with various disabilities. The goal is to ensure that every child, regardless of their abilities or challenges, has access to quality education and the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Special needs schools can serve students with a wide range of disabilities, including:

  1. Intellectual Disabilities: Students with intellectual disabilities may have limitations in cognitive functioning and adaptive behaviour.
  2. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): These schools may specialise in providing education and support for students with autism, including those with varying levels of communication and social interaction challenges.
  3. Sensory Impairments: This includes schools for students who are blind or visually impaired, as well as those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  4. Physical Disabilities: These schools are equipped to accommodate students with mobility challenges or other physical disabilities.
  5. Emotional and Behavioural Disorders: Schools for students with emotional and behavioural challenges provide specialised strategies and support for managing emotions and behaviour.
  6. Learning Disabilities: This includes schools for students with dyslexia, dyscalculia, ADHD, and other specific learning differences.
  7. Communication Disorders: Some schools cater to students with speech and language disorders, providing specialised therapies and interventions.
  8. Medical or Health-related Needs: These schools may serve students with chronic health conditions, severe allergies, or other medical needs that require specialised care.

Special needs schools vary widely in terms of their resources, staff expertise, and available services. They may offer a range of specialised therapies, adaptive technologies, and individualised education plans to ensure that each student’s unique needs are met. Additionally, these schools often have highly trained staff, including special education teachers, therapists, and support personnel, who work collaboratively to provide comprehensive support for students.

Why complete an internship at a school for students with special needs?

An internship program at an Australian school for children with special needs offers a unique and deeply rewarding experience. These schools are dedicated to providing tailored education and support for students with a wide range of abilities. The classrooms are designed to be inclusive and equipped with specialised resources, such as adaptive technology and sensory materials, to cater to diverse learning needs.

Interns that participate in this program play a crucial role in the individualised education plans of students. They work closely with experienced special education teachers to provide one-on-one assistance and small group instruction. This may include assisting with activities that focus on communication skills, sensory integration, behavioural support, and academic development.

The atmosphere in these schools is characterised by patience, empathy, and a strong sense of community. Interns have the opportunity to support the remarkable progress and achievements of the students they connect with, providing a sense of fulfillment and purpose. They also collaborate with therapists, counsellors, and support staff, gaining an understanding of the comprehensive support system in place.

The internship program provides the intern with essential skills in special education, including various teaching techniques, behaviour management strategies, and the ability to create inclusive learning environments. It also offers a deeper appreciation for the resilience and potential of children with special needs.

Overall, participating in an internship program at an Australian school for children with special needs is an enriching experience that offers invaluable insights into the field of special education and a positive impact on the lives of these exceptional students.

What can I learn from completing an internship at a school for special needs students in Australia?

Completing an internship at a school for children with special needs in Australia can provide you with a range of valuable knowledge and experiences specific to the Australian environment. Here are some of the key things you can learn:

  1. Australian Education System: You’ll gain a deep understanding of the Australian education system, including curriculum frameworks, assessment practices, and educational policies specific to special needs education.
  2. Legislation and Policies: You’ll become familiar with Australian legislation, such as the Disability Discrimination Act and the Disability Standards for Education, which protect the rights of students with disabilities in educational settings.
  3. Cultural Competence in an Australian Context: You’ll develop cultural sensitivity and competence in working with students from diverse cultural backgrounds, including culturally and linguistically diverse populations.
  4. Support for Indigenous Students: Depending on the location of the school, you may gain insight into culturally appropriate ways to support Indigenous students with special needs and engage with their communities.
  5. Integration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspectives: You may learn about the incorporation of Indigenous perspectives and content into the curriculum, which is a significant aspect of Australian education.
  6. Australian Sign Language: If working with students who are deaf or hard of hearing, you may have the opportunity to learn or enhance your proficiency in Australian Sign Language.
  7. Navigating NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme): You may learn about the NDIS, a significant Australian government initiative that provides funding and support to individuals with disabilities. Understanding how to navigate this system is crucial for supporting students and their families.
  8. Collaboration with Allied Health Professionals: You may have the chance to work closely with allied health professionals, such as speech therapists, occupational therapists, and psychologists, who play a vital role in supporting students with special needs.
  9. Inclusive Education Practices: You’ll observe and participate in inclusive education practices, as Australia places a strong emphasis on integrating students with special needs into mainstream classrooms whenever possible.
  10. Understanding the Needs of Students with Autism: Australia has a significant focus on autism education and support. You may gain specialised knowledge and strategies for working effectively with students on the autism spectrum.
  11. Community Engagement and Partnerships: You’ll learn about the importance of engaging with local communities and forming partnerships with organisations that can provide additional support and resources for students with special needs.

Overall, completing an internship at a school for children with special needs in Australia offers a rich and varied learning experience that equips you with specialised knowledge and skills relevant to supporting students in the Australian educational context.
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Our school for special needs internship program

Internships Down Under proudly offers a specialised internship program tailored for those passionate about making a meaningful impact in the lives of children with special needs. Our program provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the dynamic field of special education within the Australian context. Through hands-on experience and expert mentorship, you’ll gain insights into the diverse needs of students, inclusive education practices, and the workings of the Australian education system. Join the program where you’ll play a supportive role in advancing children with special needs to reach their full potential.


  • Aged 18-35.
  • Sufficient English level to listen, speak and understand instructions and training.
  • Visa that permits work and/or training without any hourly restrictions.
  • All participants must complete a working with children check. This is an essential legal requirement for anyone who works or volunteers in child-related work. It involves a National Police Check (criminal history record check) and a review of reportable workplace misconduct. Results can take up to 4 weeks to be received.
  • Enjoy being around children, high level of patience, empathy, being able to follow instructions, and work as part of a team.

Start dates and duration

School TermTerm Dates
Term 1 2024 NSWTuesday 30 January 2024 - Friday 12 April 2024
Term 2 2024 NSWMonday 29 April 2024 - Friday 5 July 2024
Term 3 2024 NSWMonday 22 July 2024 - Friday 27 September 2024
Term 4 2024 NSWMonday 14 October 2024 - Friday 20 December 2024

The internship program operates during school terms dates only.
Minimum duration for an internship at a school is 4 consecutive weeks completed within a single term.
Maximum duration is 22 consecutive weeks. This may be completed over multiple terms with a minimum of 4 consecutive weeks completed within a single term.


Special needs teaching assistant internships available in Sydney.
Intern at a special school in Melbourne.
Special education placements in Brisbane / Gold Coast.
Disability teaching support internships available in Adelaide.
Intern as a special needs teacher assistant in Perth.

About the schools

Internships Down Under places students at city based special needs schools across Australia. The schools we place intern with all provide unwavering commitment to offering exceptional education and support for children with diverse learning needs. With state-of-the-art facilities, highly qualified educators, and a nurturing environment, these schools offer a dynamic and inclusive learning experience. Students have the privilege of contributing to the growth and development of these remarkable young individuals (often between 5-15 years old), making a lasting impact in their educational journey.

We also provide Teacher Support Internships at Australian Public Schools, as well as Social Work internships.


We have two accommodation options for the special needs school based internships that we provide;
Homestay (AHN)
Student Accommodation (Cozzy)


All participants must hold comprehensive insurance which covers them throughout the duration of the internship.
Internships Down Under provides and recommends the following insurance cover.

Next steps…

Click the apply now button below to complete the enquiry form. We will then respond to you via email with further information.

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