FAQ: How do I become a teaching assistant?

If you want to become a Teaching Assistant (TA) / Classroom Assistant (CA)* / Learning Support Assistant (LSA) you should look for jobs advertised locally. It’s the employers (schools themselves or local authorities) who recruit to specific posts and decide what skills, qualifications and experience to look for.
*CA is a term mainly used in Scotland

I. Where to Find Vacancies
Posts are usually advertised in the local press or on your local authority’s website. Sometimes they are advertised in your local job centre or job bulletins are sent out to schools. For contact details at your local council, follow the link below (by alphabetical listing) www.dfes.gov.uk/localauthorities/index.cfm?action=authority
You should also try the following websites for TA / CA / LSA jobs: 
Local Government Jobs http://www.lgjobs.com/
E Teach http://www.eteach.com/ 
 Gumtree http://www.gumtree.com/ (London) 
ITN Mark Education http://www.markeducation.co.uk/ 

II. Volunteer Jobs
To volunteer your time to support children and young adults in a variety of settings please see
Time Bank http://www.timebank.org.uk/ 

III. What do Local Authorities or Schools look for?
You don’t need to have a qualification to be a teaching assistant (TA) in a government funded school when you are applying at entry level. However increased competition for TA places in schools has meant that many employers can select candidates with a range of skills and qualifications. It is advisable for TAs to gain a qualification not only to do their job better but it is becoming standard to have an appropriate qualification for their level.
Local Authority Grade
Typical requirements
(CRB check needed at all levels)
TA 1
Entry level, no qualifications needed but some experience may be required and enthusiasm around supporting learning. An adequate level of numeracy and literacy is needed together with a willingness to attend the TA induction course.
TA 2
This post usually requires an NVQ Level 2 or equivalent. Some employers may accept certificates and diplomas in TA or related courses with experience and a willingness to gain a full NVQ.
TA 3
This post usually requires an NVQ Level 3 or equivalent. Some employers may accept certificates and diplomas in TA or related courses with experience and a willingness to gain a full NVQ.
HLTA
This post usually requires adequate experience, an NVQ Level 3 or equivalent together with HLTA status including a literacy & numeracy qualification at Level2.
Many local authorities advertise for TAs who possess full NVQs at Level 2, Level 3 and/ or have HLTA status. This shows a level of competency based on the National Occupational Standards (NOS) and indicates that the TA at this level is able to deal with certain tasks and responsibilities. It also determines pay in many cases.
If you do not work as a TA yet it is almost impossible to gain an NVQ without having a job as a TA since NVQs are employment based qualifications. Anything that is not an NVQ for TAs tends to be at a slightly lower level as the time
training in a classroom is minimal and not all of the NOS are met in some cases. These include qualifications with ‘certificate’, ‘award’ and ‘diploma’ in the title*. However these qualifications / courses can help you towards a full NVQ as many use key parts of the NOS. A number of local authorities do recognise these certificates when recruiting TAs but some only favour candidates with a full relevant NVQ. Always check with your local authority what they look for when employing TAs at each level as it varies around the country. Not all certificates are recognised by employers and some may not be recognised by the government’s quality assurance body; the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA). Always Check!
*These include TA specific courses leading to; an Award, Apprenticeship, Diploma, Certificate, Personal Development Award (Scotland) and CATS points in further and higher education.
For lots more on teaching assistants see www.skills4schools.org.uk/page.asp?id=63

IV. Qualifications and Training
There are no national qualifications requirements for TA posts, but you might also want to contact your local council to find about more about any local requirements they may have.
The qualifications available for teaching assistants fall into two categories, work-based and work related.
A. WORK-BASED
The work-based qualifications or vocational qualifications are the NVQs (or SVQs in Scotland). From early 2008 the NVQ / SVQ for TAs at Level 2 and 3 will be called
Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools. These are also available at Level 2 and Level 3.
There are also apprenticeships for teaching assistants that use the National Occupation Standards (NOS) like the NVQ / SVQ route.
National Occupational Standards are agreed statements of competence, which describe the work outcomes required for an individual to achieve the standard expected of them in work. For information on the NVQs for teaching assistants and the National Occupational Standards please see the Skills4Schools Website www.skills4schools.org.uk/page.asp?id=63
Other work-based qualifications include the new Support Work in Schools Qualification (SWiS) which offers a recognised award or certificate for those who don’t want to take on the full NVQ straight away. SWiS is ideal for support staff with more than one role, new and inexperienced staff but TAs should ideally aim for the NVQ in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools.
For more on SWiS see; www.tda.gov.uk/support/qualificationsandtraining/swis/swisguidance
Work based qualifications (NVQ, SWiS and apprenticeship) usually require you to be employed in a school first as they are competency based and you are assessed at your place of work. However some training providers may be able to arrange work placements to enable you to complete a level 2 NVQ.
The Apprenticeship option is open for anyone living in England that is not in full-time education. Get on-the-job training, study for a nationally recognised qualification such as an NVQ and earn money while you learn. If you are aiming to work in a school or with young people consider the Early Years Care and Education Apprenticeship this can be found under the Health, Care and Public Services section. To find out more about an Apprenticeship scheme and register online for a free pack go to www.apprenticeships.org.uk
B. WORK-RELATED
Work-related qualifications such as the Certificate/ Diplomas and the Foundation degree do not require you to be in a job and are usually offered by a training provider such as a college or University. Entry requirements for these courses will vary between providers. However some providers may require you to be employed in a school to be able to register for a Foundation degree http://www.foundationdegree.org.uk/

All of the information above I found on http://www.skills4schools.org.uk/page.asp?id=63.
 Good luck:)
Agi

14 komentarzy:

  1. Fajnie Agnieszko, na pewno przyda się niektórym:)

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  2. Kochana jesteś. Mam nadzieję, że się przyda- na jesień przylatuje do Londynu :) Od kilku lat marzyłam o studiach nauczycielskich... :)

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  3. and what if I have already gained the QTS? As far as teaching assistant is concerned, what level it corresponds to? do you know?

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    1. But where? Always check with your local authority what they look for when employing TAs at each level as it varies around the country. Not all certificates are recognised by employers and some may not be recognised by the government’s quality assurance body.

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  4. Wow, Aga - świetny post, dziękujemy!:)

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  5. such a perfect blog honey =)
    =D
    xoxo

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  6. Agnes, if you know what I can do, what job I can apply for with the QTS, please let me know:)

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    1. What kind of QTS? NOt all certificates are recognised by employers and some may not be recognised by the government’s quality assurance body.

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    2. yesterday I got the confirmation of qualified teacher status, and therefore I am eligible to teach in maintained and non-maintained schools. And I was wondering if this document can help me in getting the TA post.

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    3. With QTS you can apply for any teaching assistant job. It certainly helps having it as you will take priority when it comes to invitations to interviews. Not as easy with teaching jobs though as the system is so much different to what it is where I come from... I got a TA job but didn't get any teaching jobs :( and the pay scale is enormously different for teachers :(

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    4. Thank you for your reply Monika. At firts, TA job is Ok, I think it is a good way of getting to know the English education system, maybe with time, some teaching job will come to me:)

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  9. Witam,
    Przeczytalam post z zaciekawieniem bo chcialabym pracowac jako teaching assistant, ale pytanie jak? skoro nie mam zadnych kwalifikacji pedagogicznych, nigdy nie pracowalam jako nauczyciel i jak zdobyc takie kwalifikacje?? Próbowalam szukac kursow na teaching assistant, ale nie ma nic takiego:( ehh....

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