The key role of a teaching assistant is to help raise educational standards in the classroom, by providing support for the pupils, the teacher and the school.
Who can I work for?
Teaching assistants are found in primary and secondary schools, in both the public and private sectors.
Where and when can I work?
Most teaching assistants work in accordance with the school timetable, starting just before 9am and finishing at approximately 3.30pm.
What can I earn?
A large proportion of teaching assistant positions are temporary, and the daily rate of pay is approximately £50-£60. Full time staff can earn between £11-£15k per annum.
What are the benefits?
Teaching assistants enjoy all the rewards gained from working with children but they avoid the large volumes of paperwork that teachers are responsible for. There is also an opportunity for overtime, in breakfast and after school clubs.
Are there chances of promotion?
Promotions for teaching assistants are limited but career progression into other areas is possible with further study, such as a special needs teaching assistant or a qualified teacher.
What will I be responsible for?
It is the job of a teaching assistant to help maintain a calm classroom environment, allowing all pupils to learn and create with freedom. They assist by preparing for lessons, coordinating activities, supervising projects and supporting pupils on a one-to-one basis.
What qualifications do I need?
Currently there are no mandatory qualification requirements to apply for an entry level teaching assistant position. However, competition is high so a nationally recognised course will be advantageous.
Do I need any experience?
Previous, relevant experience including nursery nursing, play work and youth work may help. Some people work as volunteers in schools while taking a course to increase their employability.
What attributes are needed?
An understanding of English and maths is important in order to support classroom literacy and numeracy. An enthusiastic approach is also useful, to inspire children with a friendly and caring nature.