How to become a teaching assistant
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
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
- 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 can get into this role through a teaching assistant advanced apprenticeship.
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. This can sometimes lead to paid work or a chance to get relevant qualifications.
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 languages, behavioural, pastoral or special needs support.
You can find more on working as a teaching assistant from Skills for Schools.
You can also search for jobs through the Teaching Vacancies service.