How to become a teaching assistant
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
You could 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
- T Level in Education and Childcare
You may need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level
You could do the Teaching Assistant Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship to become a teaching assistant.
You'll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You could get experience by volunteering in a local school or community organisation.
Volunteering can sometimes lead to paid work or a chance to get a qualification.
You can apply directly for jobs through schools, local authorities and academy trusts. 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.
Many teaching assistants specialise in the kind of extra help they give, for example:
- special needs support
Many teaching assistants have term time only contracts.
You can find more on working as a teaching assistant from Skills for Schools.
You can also search for jobs using the Teaching Vacancies service.