Job description of a Teaching assistant role.
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There is no set route to becoming a Teaching Assistant, although a good standard of education will be helpful and may be asked for. This will include GCSEs in English and Maths usually.
Experience will count for a lot in securing a role, so a good way to get into being a Teaching Assistant will be to volunteer with local youth groups. You will also undertake a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check which is a requirement of all schools when employing staff, so be prepared to expect this.
The responsibilities of a Teaching Assistant will vary, but will usually include assisting children whose first language isn’t English or who are having difficulties learning. They may also assist in classroom activities, and will work with the teacher to support them in this. In this role you will adapt quickly to classroom situations to identify who needs help and where you would be best placed to assist.
A Teaching Assistant may also need to provide one on one help to children with disabilities, and prepare the classroom for the lesson ahead. This may involve weighing out materials, photocopying, setting out art materials or rearranging the furniture. In this role you will also keep the classroom tidy and create displays from the children’s work.
Related: Teaching Assistant Cover Letter
The working hours of a Teaching Assistant are usually school term time only, Monday to Friday, and this will be aligned with the employing school’s opening dates.
Skills and Training Development
There are many vocational courses available so that Teaching Assistants can further their knowledge and these are available under the QCF: qualifications and credit framework. This will help to gain a diploma or NVQ which can mean a pay rise as well as learning new skills. There are a number of qualifications available, including the Level 3 Diploma in specialist support for teaching and learning in schools.
There are four levels of teaching assistant grades, so there is plenty of scope to improve and continue learning. The highest of the four grades is the Higher Level Teaching Assistant, and at this level you may be expected to plan and prepare learning for groups of pupils and be involved with developing specialist materials.
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The pay scale of a Teaching Assistant varies but usually starts at £12,500 per year rising to £15,500 with more experience. This can be based on term time only working, but may also be worked out on the basis of full time working with paid leave.