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What are the minimum qualifications for a teaching assistant

(39 Posts)
Lazydaisy Thu 25-Oct-12 20:57:11

Hi, Can anyone tell me if a school (state primary) is allowed to use unqualified assistants to teach children or is there a basic requirement that anyone teaching in a school must have?

Many Thanks

beamme Thu 25-Oct-12 21:01:56

Certificate (Level 2) in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools.

beamme Thu 25-Oct-12 21:03:25

But you need to volunteer in the school to achieve it.

SandStorm Thu 25-Oct-12 21:04:38

Depends where you are. I was a TA until last year and have no childcare/TA qualifications at all. The TA who replaced me has none either.

halloweeneyqueeney Thu 25-Oct-12 21:04:45

one local school here does take TAs who don't have any but will work towards them. Its in a deprived area.

mrz Thu 25-Oct-12 21:10:55

We wouldn't consider anyone under level 3 and must have GCSE in maths, English and Science

juniper904 Thu 25-Oct-12 21:55:27

Most of our TAs come from an agency. They are normally actors out of work. They have no experience with children, no interest in children and don't even bother to say goodbye when they get acting roles.

So, as far as I know, there is no minimum qualification. If there is, my school is breeching it.

kid Thu 25-Oct-12 22:00:08

Most jobs advertising for a teaching assistant ask for NVQ level 2 in teaching assistant or working with children. They are loads of different versions of courses available, and a lot, if not all of the jobs I've seen require this.

Are you looking to become a teaching assistant or are you asking because of something you have seen happening in a school?

Lazydaisy Thu 25-Oct-12 22:02:16

Thanks all, does anyone know if there is any legal minimum requirement or is it up to the school to decide. I've been told that my children's school is using staff that have absolutely no qualifications which I'm not happy about at all!!

Thanks again

halloweeneyqueeney Thu 25-Oct-12 22:03:52

it cant be a legal requirement if the ones having trouble recruiting (due to area) are advertising saying that qualifications are not essential

most do advertise that qualifications are essential but they are the ones with tonnes of applicants so they can

halloweeneyqueeney Thu 25-Oct-12 22:05:23

I think any school with a choice of applicants would go for qualifications, but if they are begging for staff a bit then its better to have someone than be an adult down and have noone

what's important, IMO, is not whether they START with qualifications, but whether they are working towards them

JackieLanaTurn Thu 25-Oct-12 22:05:53

I had no qualifications and I've been a TA for 3 years now. Am just working on my NVQ Level 3. Am approaching the end of it. Didn't feel like the best qualification in the world to me. Having said that, some of the best TAs in our school are women with no education related qualifications. They are, however, all highly motivated and highly qualified in other areas. The benefit of living in a 'nice' area I suppose.

I'd be more interested in the training and support offered to TAs by the school, because without ongoing investment, a one of qualification doesn't mean much imo.

JackieLanaTurn Thu 25-Oct-12 22:06:24

I say no quals, I mean TA related, of course.

halloweeneyqueeney Thu 25-Oct-12 22:08:43

what Jackie said

I work in health care, there are lots of shite HCAs with NVQs and good ones without them, and I don't see a difference in practice when someone who didn't have an NVQ gets one, it doesn't seem to improve them at all... but what it does show is commitment to the career rather than it just being a temporary job, and it also shows that the setting itself supports them

JackieLanaTurn Thu 25-Oct-12 22:12:59

Hear Hear Halloweeney. The pay is cruddy in both our professions, so I think you have to want to do it and care enough to do it or you're not gonna stay around for long. If you can get people who believe in what they do and believe they can make a difference with their, often part time, always low-paid role, you're onto a winner.

If you want the workforce all highly qualified, you'll have to up the money you pay them and that is not going to happen with this government or any other.

Lazydaisy Thu 25-Oct-12 22:13:34

Thanks for all your input; it's very informative. Is an unqualified assistant allowed lead lessons or should they be there as back up for the teacher? Want to get my facts straight before challenging the school!

kid Thu 25-Oct-12 22:14:25

I started as a TA without any specific qualifications for that role. Well I'd done GNVQ Health and Social care so I guess that would cover some of it but not much.
Whilst doing the job, I have completed NVQ3, HLTA and several over training courses over the years. I agree that the school should allow staff to complete training or to gain qualifications while they work there.

Flojo1979 Thu 25-Oct-12 22:14:40

I'm a TA, trained to level 3 but off my own back. School requires no formal qualifications at all. Not even basic gcses.

mrz Thu 25-Oct-12 22:15:56

A TA should not be leading lessons although they are allowed to supervise (with no teaching) in certain circumstances.

JudeFawley Thu 25-Oct-12 22:15:58

My friend is a HLTA and has no qualifications.

Flojo1979 Thu 25-Oct-12 22:16:06

TA is allowed to lead. No qualifications required. Most TAs were I work don't have qualifications but they are excellent TAs.

SandStorm Thu 25-Oct-12 22:19:15

A level 3 TA can be left in charge of a class but shouldn't be teaching as such. And it shouldn't be a regular thing.

kid Thu 25-Oct-12 22:20:18

Part of doing the HLTA requires that you have level 2 literacy and numeracy (and science if you are born after a certain year) which is equivalent to A-C GCSE.

mrz Thu 25-Oct-12 22:21:54

*"The Education Act 2002 (Section 133) deals with the requirement to be qualified and sets out in regulations that specified work (i.e. teaching) may not be carried out by a person in a school unless s/he is a qualified teacher or satisfies specified
requirements."*

"S/he must be subject to the direction and supervision of a 'school teacher'.
('Supervision' does not mean that the teacher must work alongside the teaching
assistant or HLTA etc., but that s/he is able to ensure that the member of
support staff is effectively teaching the class.)
This allows persons without Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) to carry out “specified work”. Specified work includes the delivery of learning to a class whilst the teacher is undertaking PPA time, however, the support staff must meet the above criteria.
Support staff must not be the main 'teacher' for an infant group and where support staff are undertaking the more demanding aspects of "specified work", particularly where they are working with whole classes. It is strongly recommended that the Headteacher has regard to the higher-level teaching assistant (HLTA) standards in determining whether those staff have the necessary level of skills and expertise. If a school was to use support staff instead of teachers to lead its infant groups, either as a permanent arrangement or for the majority of the school week on a regular basis, it would be in default of the statutory limit on infant class size."

kid Thu 25-Oct-12 22:32:30

Who told you they have no qualifications? Not sure that a school would be or should be sharing that information with parents. Of course you have the right to ensure your children are getting a good education, it might be worth speaking the class teacher before taking it further.

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