Learning support assistants (LSAs) work with teachers in the classroom, helping pupils progress with their learning. They include teaching assistants (TAs) and higher level teaching assistants (HLTAs).
Who can I work for?
Most learning support assistants are employed at primary schools. There are also opportunities at secondary schools and specialist schools all over the UK.
Where and when can I work?
Like teachers, LSAs are required to work normal school hours during term time, and hours will vary depending on the institution. Some learning support assistants will also be required to work extra hours to support after-school activities and class trips.
What can I earn?
The salary of a learning support assistant varies depending on locations, qualification and experience. The average salary is just over £15,000 a year, with wages generally ranging from £12,000 to 20,000 a year.
What are the benefits?
LSAs benefit from very sociable hours and excellent holidays. They are also vital in helping shape the education of children in their care.
Are there chances of promotion?
There are opportunities to develop within the role. TAs can work towards becoming an HLTA. It is also an excellent way to gain classroom experience if you are considering becoming a teacher.
What will I be responsible for?
Responsibilities will vary but the core role of an LSA is support the teacher in the classroom and an individual or a group of pupils.
Day-to-day tasks include: planning, delivering and evaluating teaching and learning activities, preparing the classroom for lessons,
helping pupils individually and in groups who need extra support to complete tasks, observing pupil performance and reporting on observations to the teacher, supervising art and craft activities and displaying work.
Do I need any experience?
At present there aren’t any compulsory qualification requirements to apply for an LSA role. However, increased competition for TA places in schools has meant that many employers can select candidates with a range of skills and qualifications. Any past experience of working with children would be beneficial. Basic numeracy and English skills will be essential
What attributes are needed?
LSAs need to be excellent communicators, and be able to build positive relationships with pupils, staff and parents. As well as being able to manage groups of pupils, LSAs need to be well organised, enjoy working with children and also be able to deal with challenging behaviour.