Have a BA already, how to qualify as SEN teaching assistant (UK)?

(8 Posts)
shockthemonkey Wed 07-Aug-19 17:28:09

My SIL, 46, got her BA in languages and business studies back in 1990s.
She has worked for the past 30 yrs in the property business.

She now wants to become a teaching assistant for SEN or handicapped kids (a long-held dream she is finally ready to realise) - what is the best route for her?

Does she need another degree? She would like to eventually progress to full teacher status.

Thanks if anyone can advise!

OP’s posts: |
Decorhate Wed 07-Aug-19 17:50:41

As a starting point she might want to consider getting a job as an LSA at a secondary school for a year. No particular qualifications needed and generally supervised by the SENCO. Great experience and a good way of ensuring that career is for her.

Tableclothing Wed 07-Aug-19 17:55:46

Has she got any relevant experience? If so, I'd advise her to look at something like School Direct and just go straight into teaching while getting paid for it.

But yeah, no qualifications in particular are needed, believe it or not. If she gets a job in a special school she will be expected to provide intimate care.

'Handicapped' is not widely-used anymore, btw.

reefedsail Wed 07-Aug-19 17:57:40

She doesn’t need another degree to be a TA, but she would need to do a PGCE to become a teacher.

There is a supply agency called AXCIS that places people in SEN posts. She could probably get some cover work with them to get some experience. She would then be in a position to apply for jobs- they are generally on local council websites.

shockthemonkey Wed 07-Aug-19 18:30:26

How incredibly helpful, thank you all very much!

I have read this out to my SIL who is very happy to have these leads.

Sorry about lexical slip-up! She has taken note.

Thanks again flowers

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Aragog Wed 07-Aug-19 18:38:21

For more information about teaching and how to get into it: getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/?gclsrc=aw.ds&&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIyr6CtaXx4wIVh63tCh3MUQnmEAAYASAAEgK8zfD_BwE

She would need a PGCE to teach, with QTS (qualified teacher status) - is she thinking of secondary or primary?

There are various routes into teaching if you already have a degree. The site above should explain them. Some are FT in a university, others involve working in school and doing it alongside that.

Re being a teaching assistant, or LSA - the main thing she will need to get is experience. The more relevant experience she can get, the more likely she will be successful in getting a job. Unfortunately most of the work experience would probably need be voluntary and unpaid however. LSA/TA jobs are not very well paid even when working full time, so she will also need to take that into account.

lorisparkle Wed 07-Aug-19 21:53:38

Could she do some volunteer work in a special school to get some idea of what the job is like. Some of our TAs have no qualifications whilst some have teaching qualifications. Some special schools offer the opportunity to train to be a teacher at the school whilst other TAs get the experience then go and do a PGCE elsewhere. I adore my job and the variation between the different classes at my school is huge. Ranging from students with profound and multiple learning difficulties needing tube feeding, oxygen, medication and full care to students with less severe difficulties. In addition some students have exceptionally challenging behaviour requiring a very individualised and highly staffed environment. TAs and teachers are expected to work any where across the school from 2 years 9month olds to 19 year olds so every year is very different!

In my experience most special schools are more than happy to have volunteers!


shockthemonkey Thu 08-Aug-19 08:54:26

More golden nuggets there thank you very much. Based on the advice above combined with her particular circumstances she’s planning to reduce her hours at her current job so she can volunteer a day per week.

I should have said her experience so far is informal. She has for many years been a hyper-involved godmother to a SEN child and this has brought her into contact with other SEN kids. She has always felt a deep connection and shows a real knack with all sorts of children. More importantly being with these kids and interacting with them seems to bring her great joy and fulfillment.

Thanks everyone once again for pointing her in the right direction.

OP’s posts: |

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