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Help/Advice re: Teaching Assistant Qualifications... online/college? Level 2/Level 3? My mind is spinning with the options and I would REALLY appreciate advice!

(15 Posts)
Pinot Fri 28-Sep-12 14:14:02

My situ: I've got my foot in the door as a dinner supervisor and had an interview this week for a TA job. No luck, but feedback was it was a great interview, BUT without experience and qualifications, I'm always going to be down the list.

So! Project TA is launched.

I'm volunteering at the school now (exact amount tbc on Monday at a meeting with the Deputy Head). But I'd really like to do a course. Ideally a higher level (I'm a smart cookie and hugely motivated to work hard) and ideally online (as I've missed starting date for this year and anyway, online would be quicker and easier to fit in).

Has anyone else done this? Any advice? Yays or Nays?

PLEASE help if you can suggest anything?

CrapBag Fri 28-Sep-12 22:55:24

I did this.

You will need to start at NVQ level 2 then move on to level 3. There is a higher level TA award after which doesn't actually mean anything other than to say you have it.

If you are a smart cookie, you may find it very easy. I am not stupid and I completed both NVQs in 9 months, with holidays. I found it very easy and I also found I was treated as if I was not as intelligent as I am by a particular woman at the school I volunteered at. The NVQs are piss easy but you have to have them to get a job as a TA.

Niceweather Sat 29-Sep-12 08:41:31

I don't think you needed any qualifications to be a TA. Volunteering and being a lunchtime supervisor is a good way in.

Niceweather Sat 29-Sep-12 08:44:24

Where can you do the NVQ course? Can you do it from home?

mankyscotslass Sat 29-Sep-12 08:49:53

I'm also a midday assistant, and I am doing a Ta NVQ Level 2 course.

I have a course tutor who comes out to see me at school, and keeps me on track with course work - I don't have to go to college at all.

Luckily I was given funding for the course.

I have to do 16 hours a week in school to complete the training as well, and provide documented evidence of what I have done as well as complete the knowledge based units.

EBDTeacher Sat 29-Sep-12 16:40:29

What about this OU course?

It's quite expensive but there seem to be quite a lot of flexible ways to pay.

CrapBag Sat 29-Sep-12 19:38:32

I don't know about that EBdTeacher. When I went to the school I volunteered at and asked them, they said you had to have the teaching assistance qualifications which is the NVQs and you can't really get a job with just level 2 so you have to do 2 then 3 after, whilst volunteering in a school as most of it is classroom based.

nameuschangeus Sat 29-Sep-12 19:43:55

If you have a local branch of the WEA (workers educational association or some such) they do a brilliant 10 week course which you can study at level 2 or 3 calked 'Helping on schools'. You have to volunteer in a school for one morning and do the course for one day a week. It is blooming brilliant. Of the 10 on our course, 6 are now TA's and two have five further training and are now primary teachers. Oh, and the best part - it's free!!!grin

nameuschangeus Sat 29-Sep-12 19:44:58

Forgot to say once you've done the first course you can then take a further course about working with SEN children.

kid Sat 29-Sep-12 21:36:52

I did the NVQ3 and also the HLTA both from home but I already work in a school. With the HLTA, I did have to attend a course once a week for 8 weeks and then I had to do the assignments in my own time.

If you can get on to the course, you will do it in your own time. You might meet with a tutor once a week/every other week for an hour or so but the work will mainly be done in your own free time.

Volunteering in the school is an excellent way in as they can see how you work and it is also good for the experience. Once you have completed the course, you will be in a good position to get a paid job in the school or even in another school if a vacancy came up there.

Pinot Sat 29-Sep-12 22:56:27

Thank you all, I'm not ignoring you I promise. I'm taking it all in, googling like crazy and trying not to fuss and fret.

Pinot Sat 29-Sep-12 22:58:04

And am I right that NVQs don't even exist anymore?! It's all QCF this and QCF that confused

I've had soooooo long out of employment (FT Mum for 13yrs) that my brain literally hurts at all this

Hulababy Sat 29-Sep-12 23:00:36

Niceweather - depends what level TA you want to be as to the qualifications side. Level 1 can just start from simply volunteering and getting in that way.
It doesn't have to the exact specific qualification though - can be an equivalent. or higher equivalent.

MyCatHasStaff Sat 29-Sep-12 23:06:34

Here afaik, this is the current info.

CrapBag Sun 30-Sep-12 07:55:48

My cousin was doing NVQs this year, not as a TA but something else. AFAIK they are still around but then I wouldn't know anyone else who was doing any.

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