The term “Teaching Assistant” or TA, covers a varying range of roles and responsibilities, and what you’ll be doing as a Teaching Assistant depends on your level of experience, TA status, and the school you work at. At the core of the role, Teaching Assistants provide essential support to teachers in EYFS and school settings.
Teaching Assistants can work with individual pupils, groups of children, or the entire class – supporting pupils across a range of abilities, such as pupils who require extra support or have disabilities. Generally Teaching Assistants will receive direction from both the class teacher and the special educational needs and disability co-ordinator (SENDCO).
There are Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 and Higher-level Teaching Assistants, which come with different responsibilities, training and expectations. There are also specialisms within training to become a Teaching Assistant, such as learning SEND provision.
Generally, Teaching Assistants will be expected to fulfil one or all of the following responsibilities:
Being a Teaching Assistant is rewarding, it is also hard work. You’ll get to know students well and be instrumental in their progress, but you’ll also be teaching pupils who exhibit challenging behaviour and you may be required to change your day’s structure or provide cover at a moment’s notice. To be a great Teaching Assistant you’ll have to be creative, patient, and have great communication skills and a positive outlook.
Whilst there are not any nationally-specified requirements or qualifications to become a Teaching Assistant, there are numerous TA qualifications and courses that you can take to make yourself more attractive to a school. Some schools will also require you to take a test to prove you have basic skills in numeracy and literacy.
Our Engage consultants are looking for creative candidates from a variety of other careers to fill our Teaching Assistant vacancies, and they know exactly what our partner schools are looking for. Becoming a Teaching Assistant is a great route to starting your new career in an educational setting, so get in touch and find out what roles we have that suit you.
To find out more about being a Teaching Assistant, you can review the Professional Standards for Teaching Assistants here.