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I'm interested in becoming a Teaching Assistant. What do I need to do?

(6 Posts)
Jojay Tue 16-Jun-09 22:13:00

I've seen that no formal qualifications are necessary, but there are a number of distance learning courses available, like this

Are they worth the paper they're written on?

Any experience of them?

LIZS Wed 17-Jun-09 10:00:12

I'd be sceptical as it doesn't require any practical experience. There are charities and LEA's providing free or subsidised short non-accredited and OCN accredited courses(such as this as an introduction to the TA role, including a regular classroom placement, but you would probably still need to work towards an NVQ level 3 longer term.

JLo2 Wed 17-Jun-09 10:31:06

You do not need any formal qualifications (although most schools look for people with O'Level/CSE/GCSE in English and Maths as a minimum). The best advice I can give (and I am responsible for interviewing and employing TA's at my school) is to use your time to get lots of voluntary experience in the type of school you want to work in. Not only will you get clearer idea of what the job involves, but will also show a serious committment to any potential employer. This will give you far more insight than any course can.

Be warned, certainly in this area at the moment, there are an awful lot of applications for each job. If you can make your application stand out by showing a good understanding of the role you'll be higher up the list smile

JLo2 Wed 17-Jun-09 10:33:28

P.S. None of my TAs have NVQ qualifications although we do offer them the opportunities to do it and they are all brilliant grin

Jojay Wed 17-Jun-09 20:33:55

Thanks for that info. Voluntary work is going to be tough at the moment as I have a 7 month old. Maybe I'll have to leave it a few years.

Thanks again smile

frAKKINPannikin Thu 18-Jun-09 09:32:58

You can do distance learning quals - CACHE offer one but it still requires practical experience. What they offer there is an NCFE qual which used to be okay but when the quals were re-mapped accreditation was removed.

Check anything you do very thoroughly with the awarding body and the QCA otherwise it's not worth the paper it's written on.

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