Teaching assistant

Alternative titles for this job include Classroom assistant, learning support assistant

Teaching assistants support teachers and help children with reading, writing and learning activities.

Average salary (a year)

£11,500 Starter

to

£23,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

32 to 40 term time

You could work

evenings occasionally

How to become a teaching assistant

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • applying directly

College

You can take a college qualification to get started, for example:

  • Level 2 or 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools
  • Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information

Apprenticeship

You can get into this role through:

  • a teaching assistant advanced apprenticeship
  • an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship in supporting teaching and learning in schools

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

Volunteering and experience

You could get experience by volunteering in a local school or community organisation. This can sometimes lead to paid work or a chance to get relevant qualifications.

Direct application

You can apply to your local education authority for jobs. Each school sets its own entry requirements, though you'll usually need GCSEs grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths.

You'll also need to show that you can work well with children, teachers and parents. A qualification in nursery work, childcare, playwork or youth work will give you an advantage.

More information

Career tips

Many teaching assistants specialise in extra areas of support, for example in languages, and physical or learning difficulties.

Further information

You can find more on working as a teaching assistant from Skills for Schools.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding for building good relationships with children
  • excellent verbal communication skills for motivating children to learn
  • active listening skills to understand the childrens' needs
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be flexible and open to change for working on different activities
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • the ability to teach pupils how to do something
  • the ability to create the best conditions for learning or teaching new things
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could be:

  • getting the classroom ready for lessons and clearing away afterwards
  • listening to children read or reading to them
  • helping children who need extra support
  • helping teachers prepare materials that match development needs
  • supervising group activities, including outings and sports events
  • helping teachers manage class behaviour
  • looking after children who are upset or unwell
  • leading classes with help from the teacher

Working environment

You could work at a school or at a special needs school.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a senior assistant or apply for a Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) role.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Teaching Assistant

  • Wage : £144.30 Weekly
  • Location: Nottingham NG8 1EA

Learning Support Assistant Apprentice Level 2

  • Wage : £124.80 Weekly
  • Location: Stoke-On-Trent ST3 3NW

Courses In England

Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools (QCF)

  • Provider: Academy Transformation Trust Further Education
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Sutton

Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools

  • Provider: CITY COLLEGE PLYMOUTH
  • Start date: 09 September 2019
  • Location: PLYMOUTH

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