So, you want to work as a Teaching Assistant

Let’s find out what you need to do to work as a Teaching Assistant!

This is a fantastic role within the education sector, working with children of all ages and abilities. As a Teaching Assistant, you’ll be available in the classroom to support pupils through their educational, emotional, and social development. This can happen individually, in larger groups or part of the class. In the main, Teaching Assistants work with children from the age of 6 to 18.

In Secondary schools or Further Education, you will be part of the Learning Support team and may work in the classroom in a similar way or with students in the department; supporting young people that need help to access the curriculum and their learning or with Special Educational Needs.

If you are interested in working with babies and younger children in the Early Years setting in a school, these roles will be advertised as an Early Years TA or an Early Years Practitioner. The qualifications required to train in this area are different as children of these ages follow a different curriculum.


What do Teaching Assistants do?

On a basic level, Teaching Assistants in Primary Schools are there to help Teachers on the day-to-day activities in the classroom – preparing for lessons, making resources and any other support Teachers require.

You will also be required to support students as with their learning and development, sometimes on a more individual basis and/or working with children who have special educational needs. This is an extremely important role for children and young adults as they develop in school and your support is essential.


What experience and qualifications do I need to work as a Teaching Assistant?

Different schools will have different requirements for Teaching Assistants, but they will generally require:

  • A recognised Teaching Assistant Level 3 qualification (such as Level 3 Award in Supporting Teaching and Learning)
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and Mathematics
  • Fluent level of spoken and written English
  • Good communication skills and confidence
  • Experience of working with children outside of your qualification is ideal
  • Must hold an enhanced background (DBS) check.

Although having plenty of work experience is not a requirement, this will often put you above the competition. Additional qualifications in related areas, such as childcare, nursery, play or youth work and Paediatric first aid is always good!

Different Routes to become a Teaching Assistant

There are a few routes to become qualified as a TA which can also introduce you to the sector and provide the knowledge and skills you need to work with children or young people:

  • Level 3 Supporting Teaching and Learning Apprenticeship – work in paid employment full time and learn simultaneously with one day a week of study
  • Level 2 Teaching Assistant 12-week course – these courses offer a volunteer placement so you can gain a portfolio of hours to back up your theory learning
  • Level 3 Supporting Teaching and Learning – half a day a week study in college (in person or online virtual) supported by 120 hours of voluntary work experience. This is a great option to work in your usual paid employment while you gain the qualification.

For more information about our apprenticeship option to train as a Teaching Assistant visit our new web app pages.

Thinking about becoming a teacher? This role can be an excellent stepping stone! You will get insight and experience into the role of a teacher, but without the responsibility of being one.


How much do Teaching Assistants get paid?

Teaching Assistants pay varies depending on the position, but generally in the UK the pay will start at £18,000 for a full time permanent TA. Experienced Higher Level TAs can potentially earn up to £25,000.

At System People, we offer an hourly rate from £10.65 for a Teaching Assistant to £15.10 for HLTA.


Where next?

Are you interested in working at a Teaching Assistant? Contact us today to find out more!

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