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To ask if any of you are teaching assistants

(77 Posts)
Madratlady Sun 24-Feb-13 12:13:56

And whether you could tell me what sort of questions to expect at a job interview for a secondary school TA? It looks like it'll be working with the more 'challenging' kids.

I have no experience in this area so I'm really nervous!

Madratlady Sun 24-Feb-13 18:53:37

I never thought of being asked about inappropriate advances towards me. Good point.

And Madam thanks for suggesting I read up on those things.

Horrible I'm not sure what the point is in telling me you can't get an interview without an NVQ since I already have an interview. And I know several TAs who got jobs without previous experience.

And they wouldn't interview someone with no chance at all of being successful, they'd be wasting their own time if they did. They already asked my old manager for a reference as well.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 24-Feb-13 19:13:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thebody Sun 24-Feb-13 19:24:31

Op I am a qualified nurse too so maybe that does help you get an interview as nurses have to develop so many skills.

Bollocks to those who say you don't get a job with no specific TA qualification. I did. Love the job do now doing the level 3.

If they like you they like you. People skills are vital for this role.

TroublesomeEx Sun 24-Feb-13 19:31:30

I agree thebody. They want to know that you have the skills required and that you have demonstrated these. The TA NVQ is just one way of acquiring them if you haven't already gained them through other means.

As a nurse or a teacher, you'd be hugely overqualified for the role of a TA and wouldn't be required to retrain at a much lower level. It would be pointless.

Lovelygoldboots Sun 24-Feb-13 19:47:39

I was interviewed twice for my job as lunchtime supervisor, the successful applicant was a nurse but she didn't stay long. Another ta at school was a nurse. Good luck, I am starting nvq placement this week.

Hulababy Sun 24-Feb-13 19:50:04

Horrible - that is incorrect ime.

I work as a HLTA (was level 3 TA before promotion last year) in an infant school. I am also a qualified secondary school teacher, having worked as a teacher for 10y or so, as well as 3 years working in adult prison ed and as an advice and guidance worker. I applied for one job and was offered that job, and have worked here for 4 years now.

This is not unusual. At my school there are four other TAs who are also qualified teachers of varying experience.

This is also not uncommon as know of other qualified teachers working as TAs for various reasons. I am doing it as I wanted better home life work balance whilst DD was at primary school, and wanted out of secondary. I have considered returning to teaching but in primary but really enjoying what I do now, and fortunately I am in a position where the reduced income is okay.

Hulababy Sun 24-Feb-13 19:52:37

Oh - and I have no TA qualifications at all at any level. I didn;t need them for the TA job, nor the HLTA role. My teaching qualification and QTS was deemed more than enough, not surprisingly!!!

The key words for the TA interview - teaching and learning. How will you aid the teaching and learning in the classroom? Remember that you are a teaching assistant and not a teacher's assistant - a slight word change but a huge difference to what the role means. My TA role is actually called a learning support assistant, which makes it more clear tbh.

BitchyHen Sun 24-Feb-13 19:57:49

This is a really useful thread on TES covering TA interview questions and answers given. Good luck with your interview. I went from lunchtime supervisor in a secondary school, to volunteering as a TA while training, to working as a TA in a pupil referral unit. I love my job, it's hard work but the most rewarding thing I've ever done.

Jestrin Sun 24-Feb-13 19:59:11

I expect its been said but you do need to have a CACHE certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in School to be a TA nowadays. Good luck!

Jestrin Sun 24-Feb-13 20:00:39

The NVQ merged with the CACHE course hence the new name I quoted above.

MajaBiene Sun 24-Feb-13 20:01:09

Obviously you don't Jestrin, or the OP wouldn't have been offered an interview.

Hulababy Sun 24-Feb-13 20:03:23

Jestrin - it is not a qualification that is essential to the job though. A successful applicant just needs to have a relevant qualification at a relevant level for the role they are applying for, and often some experience - although again, depending on how an applicant interviews this is also not essential.

JambalayaCodfishPie Sun 24-Feb-13 20:11:53

I have no TA qualifications - have been doing the job just fine. In fact have turned down two poaching attempts from other schools. One in the five weeks since I returned from Mat Leave.

Our latest TA came from the Clarins Make-Up counter!! grin

Good Luck OP!!

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 24-Feb-13 20:25:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HeyToodles Sun 24-Feb-13 20:25:13

A question I was asked was how I would react if a pupil told me to fuck off.

I responded with tell them they are wrong for swearing and following the correct disclipline procedure but also find out what made them so upset they felt they had to swear in the first place.

I got the job! And also got told to fuck off a few times grin challenging kids also

HorribleMother Sun 24-Feb-13 20:30:22

Sheesh, I'm just saying that around HERE (that's right, HERE, not where you lot are, but HERE) it's seemingly impossible to get a TA job without the right bits of recent paper or recent previous experience as a TA. I'm very envy envy and a little shock that it's still possible to get TA jobs more easily elsewhere. Good luck to OP, I wish I had her opportunities.

coldcupoftea Sun 24-Feb-13 20:35:14

Another TA with no TA qualifications here! (just a totally irrelevant masters degree instead). I was very keen for the job and did a lot of research about the school and interview questions beforehand, and also acknowleged in the interview that while I didn't have much experience I was v willing to learn, and highlighted all my transferable skills.

The thread someone else mentioned in the TES Teaching Assistants forum is fantastic, it's a whole list of likely interview questions.

If you don't know the answer, the safest fallback is 'I would follow the school behaviour policy/child protection policy (or whatever policy is appropriate) or I would ask the class teacher/a more experienced TA'. Good luck!

coldcupoftea Sun 24-Feb-13 20:41:21

Oh, and if you haven't already, I would get on the phone to a local school and ask if you can come in for a day to volunteer and observe. Most would be fine with this.

Even the tiniest bit of experience would be useful, as I found a lot of questions were 'give me an example of a time when you have done this...' so even if you have no direct experience you could at least say that you observed a teacher using a particular method and whether it went well or not.

Hulababy Sun 24-Feb-13 20:45:32

Whereabouts are you Horrible?

HarrySnotter Sun 24-Feb-13 20:45:46

Can I pick a few brains? DSD is wanting to work with children and went to a college open day, they recommended that she do the Children and Young People's Workforce Level 3 Diploma and that it would mean she can work as a nursery nurse or a TA does anyone know if this is the case? Clearly not necessary everywhere but thought I'd ask as DSD did say that the woman was very vague. Oh and lots of luck at the interview OP. smile

HorribleMother Sun 24-Feb-13 20:52:11

Rural Norfolk.
Locally, I know someone who got an entry level TA job 6 yrs ago with no qualifications, but she got the job on understanding she would study for NVQ and after she had been a parent volunteer for months, and jobs were easier in every sector to get 6 yrs ago, anyway. And another lady who has been LSAing for donkey's years with no qualifications; but she has lots of experience behind her now. It's new applicants that have no chance. Jobs around here are all care work, though, you can easily get into that with no NVQs.

I'm just very envy of OP, is all.

Madratlady Sun 24-Feb-13 20:58:52

That thread is great thanks smile

Cold I'm not going to have time to arrange to observe a teacher before Wednesday unfortunately!

HarrySnotter it would be good for your DSD if she had some voluntary experience working with children, whether or not she does the course.

BetsyBoop Sun 24-Feb-13 21:33:56

Harrysnotter - have a look at the cache website. I think the CYPW is aimed at working in the EYFS, the STLS is the one for TA roles, but of course there is some overlap as school reception classes are EYFS.

HorribleMother- it is the same in the area where I live, loads of applicants for every posts. Schools can be very picky these days and if you don't tick the qualification boxes (or hold a suitable/equivalent/"better" one) and have recent experience then you won't stand a chance of an interview. However I know in a large city in the same county (unfortunately an hour+ away so no use to me) they are struggling to get any suitable applicants, so it really does vary.

OP - good luck for your interview - that TES questions post is great, it helped me get my current job smile

Jestrin Sun 24-Feb-13 21:49:52

MajaBiene Crikey! I'm just offering advice no need to be as abrupt. As a matter if fact I do have this qualification but thats neither here nor there.

hulababy I'm glad the OP has an interview but as was pointed out, so many people apply for TA positions that it pays to give yourself the best chance possible. Jobs in schools are like gold dust because they fit in with term times and school hours.

Jestrin Sun 24-Feb-13 21:52:08

I will also add that just like horriblemother where I live you have to have 'the right bits of paper'

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