How easy is it to become a TA

(19 Posts)
ohnoppp Sun 10-Jan-16 22:07:25

Fed up with current job. Have a degree

Blue14 Sun 10-Jan-16 22:10:35

Its worth applying, and maybe enrolling with an agency.

However tens of thousands of qualified and experienced teachers have walked out of teaching in the last couple of years, and many are looking for TA work.

Some local schools only take qualified teachers now, although some take prospective teachers too.

ohnoppp Sun 10-Jan-16 22:12:12

So no need to do a course ?

StrumpersPlunkett Sun 10-Jan-16 22:12:41

think it is worth volunteering in a school for a bit to see if it is what you want to do.

I am currently doing a Cache level 3 TA course having been a parent helper/volunteer for 8 years. I want to get a job but in a specific area so am volunteering until I get one.

StrumpersPlunkett Sun 10-Jan-16 22:13:32

Appparently absolutely no need to do a course, I am doing this one as I am the sort of person who feels the need to have the back up of the knowledge a course can give.

ohnoppp Sun 10-Jan-16 22:15:57

Right will try and volunteer in local school. I work 4 days a week so will only be able to do one day a week but will be a taste of the work

frikadela01 Sun 10-Jan-16 22:16:29

If where I live is anything to go by be prepared for a ridiculous amount of competition. Last job that came up my friend was telling me over 100 people applied for it.... Its the perfect job for someone with school age children to fit around the kids.

ohnoppp Sun 10-Jan-16 22:18:41

Wow a suppose a good way in is to volunteer

StrumpersPlunkett Sun 10-Jan-16 22:18:43

they will probably bite your hand off, my local school has such tight funding many classes don't have ta cover at all so the fact that I do 2 full days is appreciated

Shesinfashion Sun 10-Jan-16 22:18:54

I started off as a lunchtime assistant and have gradually increased my hours to full time covering staff absences in the classroom. Am also working towards a level 3 teaching assistant diploma.

ohnoppp Sun 10-Jan-16 22:54:46

Sounds good. Is it right you are only paid term time

Ditsy4 Sun 10-Jan-16 23:46:56

Yes, it is and a lot of schools pay Level 1.
Ideally you need to do a Level 3 in childcare and Education. Cache is well recognised. Ask your Local Authority what qualifications are preferred. One day a week voluntary is a good idea to see if you like it (can hack it.)
If you look on your local council website you will get an idea of the pay but remember it is pro rata and not many jobs are full time 37 hrs.

mrz Mon 11-Jan-16 06:43:11

It seems to depend very much where you live. In some areas heads are happy to employ unqualified parents who have helped out in the school and pay the lowest rate.

My school wouldn't consider anyone without a level 3 or above qualification. We've had teachers apply for TA vacancies but none have been successful in interviews.

Heirhelp Mon 11-Jan-16 06:49:25

The same as most school staff, including teachers you are only paid for term time. Pay for a TA is typically very low. Do you want to work in primary or secondary? It is vital that you try volunteering for shadowing so you know if your idea of being a TA matches the reality.

OrangeSquashTallGlass Mon 11-Jan-16 06:58:48

I really feel for our TAs at the moment. Gone are the days where they are actually in the classroom with the support of the teacher. Ours are currently all in a booster room all day teaching sometimes not very effectively groups of low attaining children. We never see them and the pressure they're put under for the pay they get is crazy!

I definitely second the fact that you need to get in and volunteer before you make up your mind.

Cressandra Mon 11-Jan-16 10:26:46

Volunteering is absolutely the way in at our school. Preferably a good chunk of time each week as Strumpers says. Lunchtime supervisor is another. Many of our TAs are one to one (or one to two) with individual children who need more support, it's not just "whole class" TAs. I know a couple of people who've done loads of volunteering (ie several days a week), learned on the job and got glowing feedback from their class teachers, showed commitment to doing a qualification and then secured a TA post before they've finished the course. I suppose it is, as mrz puts it, "employing unqualified parents who have helped out at the school" but it's worlds away from showing up to do reading for an hour a week, and then expecting to get a job on a plate.

The role is very different to that of a parent helper, but by volunteering you get to see skilled TAs in action and dip your toe in the water. And by volunteering a lot, I think you'd get some more opportunities to develop TA skills.

They are woefully paid for such a skilled, hectic job. But do volunteer, it's lovely.

steppemum Mon 11-Jan-16 10:34:57

We have a lot of applicants for each job, including teachers.
We wouldn't usually employ someone without a qualification, or, loads and loads of good experience with references. (just because we have an over supply)

Our TAs are often asked to go above and beyond, which, as their pay is pretty low, is quite a big ask.
eg, school trip returns at 5 pm. TA expected to go, no pay past 3:20.

There is one person who has recently started as a 1:1. She is a parent, been around the school a long time, so well known. She has worked in other capacities at the school, and has no training. (and no degree etc, but a bucket load of common sense, which goes a long way)

mrz Mon 11-Jan-16 18:56:42

Our support staff work in the classroom with the teacher.

Ferguson Mon 11-Jan-16 19:19:39

I started as a parent-helper nearly thirty years ago. Any special skills are also very useful - sport, arts and crafts, music, drama, other languages - anything that gives you the 'edge' over other candidates.

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