Has anyone done the HLTA (Higher Level Teaching Assistant) qualification?

(41 Posts)
Collision Mon 31-May-10 17:25:23

Am thinking of doing this and might need some ongoing support!

Where else would I find that support than Mumsnet?!!


OP’s posts: |
Collision Mon 31-May-10 17:55:17


OP’s posts: |
nymphadora Mon 31-May-10 18:05:40

I have. 3 years ago. If you have done NVQ you'll be fine with the cross referencing stuff but they need more proof than my NVQ did( I did nvq after & couldn't believe the difference!)

strawberrycake Mon 31-May-10 19:49:57

A heads up-not all boroughs fund HTLAs, check there are jobs near you first by contacting the LEAs. This may become even worse with the coming reduction of funding in schools. Some LEAs will pay for your training, some LEAs won't have hte jobs available even if you find a course yourself.

Collision Mon 31-May-10 21:00:15

Thanks for that.

Havent done the NVQ but the teacher I work with in school as an LSA has recommended I do the HLTA and will be my mentor.

Headteacher is supportive too and I think there is funding for it as well.

OP’s posts: |
stupidgreatgrinonmyface Tue 01-Jun-10 01:44:59

I have just completed mine and am awaiting the letter with the result. My borough funded it. You will need a lot of support from school.

Suggest you have a look here ,

here and here for some up to date info. The handbook is very good for ideas on what you can use as evidence.

You will need the opportunity to teach a whole class on your own (ie: without the teacher/ headteacher present) on at least three separate occasions by the time of your assessment.

Assuming I am successful ( keeping fingers, knees and eyes crossed), I would be more than happy to share info with you, if you would like.

nymphadora Tue 01-Jun-10 09:28:21

There is also a pre-hlta course here( actually longer than the hlta one hmm) people on my course had done that.

I hadn't done nvq before it( have just done level 4) and it was stricter than my nvq.


wakarimasen Tue 01-Jun-10 18:54:23

Do HLTAs actually teach classes on a regular basis? Teachers train fo 4/5 years to do that...

mrz Tue 01-Jun-10 19:18:28

HLTA's are only supposed to "teach" under the supervision of the class teacher. They are often very skilled and experienced and support the teacher.
What is happening in some (mainly in secondary schools) is HLTAs and cover supervisors are replacing teachers as a cheaper option.

wakarimasen Tue 01-Jun-10 20:01:46

Wow thats terrible. I am surprised parents are not up in arms about this....we don't have them here in Scotland so I was quite unaware of this.

mnistooaddictive Tue 01-Jun-10 20:13:17

Please also be aware that the NUT the largest teaching union in the UK does not support the use of HLTA as substitute as we believe every class deserves a qualified teacher. They are often left in charge when they should not be. As long as a teacher prepares the work it is OK. I wish you well and hope it goes well fopr you but personally would not be able to support you as it goes against my principles. There are many others like me. I know you have a mentor already agreed but other people need to check this carefully.
I can't stress enough that this is a bad time to do this course. We are going to have horrendous cuts in education over the next few years and TA's are going to be made redundant as well as teachers. Will there be a role for a HLTA in a couple of years - personally I am not convinced.

kissingfrogs Tue 01-Jun-10 22:45:25

On the other hand we may find a lot of use made of HLTAs to compensate for those cuts - why pay for cover/supply teachers when you can use your HTLA?
I'm contemplating pgce teacher training or HTLA training. Advice I've recently had is go the HTLA route as, considering the way things are going, there will be far more employment opportunities for this role compared to teaching posts (esp NQTs).

sayithowitis Tue 01-Jun-10 23:18:36

In many schools in this area, HLTAs are used as cover for PPA time, since many schools just do not have the acher or endless supply teachers to cover it. One of the requirements of HLTA is that you are able to plan, prepare and deliver a lesson without the teacher present. Of course planning should be done with the teacher, but you are required to show that you are capable of it.

As I understand it, teachers do not train for 4-5 years to be a teacher. They do their degree and then follow up with a PGCE which is a year long. They do get support from their school when they are employed as a NQT.

I am sure most of us would rather a teacher was on hand at all times, but unfortunately it is not always possible and discussions with colleagues, both teachers and TA's, strongly indicated that in many instances, an HLTA who is familiar with the classes and children concerned, actually can be more productive than a supply teacher who is a stranger and therefore more subject to the children 'playing up' as it were.

mrz Wed 02-Jun-10 08:07:42

kissingfrogs HLTA is a status whereas a PGCE is a qualification

sayithowitis it takes 4 years of degree level study to become a teacher if someone chooses the PGCE route they do a 3 year degree course followed by a year PGCE, they can alternatively choose a 4 year BA in education with QTS or a 4 year BEd with QTS.

mrz Wed 02-Jun-10 08:08:26

Oh and HLTA is recognised as level 4 and a PGCE level 6 or 7

Goblinchild Wed 02-Jun-10 08:24:28

4 Years to become a teacher, then a year on probation as an NQT before you are considered to have fully qualified. So around 5 years is correct.

kissingfrogs Thu 03-Jun-10 00:21:12

sayithowitis: competely agree, you hit the nail on the head, especially your last paragraph.
mrz: I have qualifications coming out of my ears - being of advanced age - so I know the difference thankyou (the bold font riled me!). I'm tempted by the pgce but, as one who has seen a lot of children with specific needs struggling in mainstream with insufficient support in class, I feel the need for good TAs is paramount. Good TAs can contribute greatly and they should have the opportunity for professional development and recognition of their skills - at present NVQs e.g TA/CCLD and HLTA offer that. I think maybe the issue here is one of training. Personally, I think TA training needs an overhaul. I would like to see TA training improved by being more comprehensive and available beyond L4.

sayithowitis Thu 03-Jun-10 01:20:21

mrz, I am fully aware of how long it takes to get a degree. My point was that the time taken to get a degree, unless specifically a degree in education with QTS, is not actually training for the job. For many, if not most teachers, the training lasts for the one year training they get as part of the PGCE, followed up with NQT training and support once they are actually working. I do not for one minute believe that HLTA is in any way equal to a good teacher, but certainly from what I see in school, a good HLTA is certainly no worse than a lot of the poor teachers we see doing supply work.

mrz Thu 03-Jun-10 08:16:37

kissingfrogs I'm pleased you are aware of the difference and I assume the implications of HLTA merely being a status in the employment market.

I'm sure you will also be well aware of the government report compiled by Reform into ways to manage cuts to education. The main suggestion being

The best way to absorb cuts but protect education is to boost pupil to teacher ratios and sack assistants.

Also the "evidence" from Ofsted & IOE

"The Institute of Education and Ofsted have found that teaching assistants have a negligible effect on educational outcomes, and may in some cases even harm a child's education if they are used as a substitute for proper teaching time."


"Some assistants no doubt help in the classroom, but the evidence suggests they offer poor value for money. Over time, schools should seek to remove them from the classroom, saving £1.7bn a year at current rates and putting the spotlight back on quality."

As a classroom teacher I am very aware of the value of an experienced TA but unfortunately those who hold the purse strings do not share my opinion (or yours).

MilaMae Thu 03-Jun-10 18:00:52

I am an experienced ex primary teacher and literacy co-ordinator. This job really interests me,do you know if I'd need to do the course mentioned in the op regardless of my teaching qualifications and experience?


mrz Thu 03-Jun-10 18:07:14

MilaMae if you want to gain HLTA status you must complete the course whatever your qualification

you can find out more at the TSA site


basically you need to demonstrate you meet 33 standards to gain the status.

maizieD Thu 03-Jun-10 21:44:32


If you have QTS there should be no need for you to get HLTA status. The 33 standards HLTA have to meet are taken from the QTS standards, so you've already met them!

kissingfrogs Thu 03-Jun-10 22:32:04

mrz: I bow to your superiority. You are a veritable fountain of knowledge. No, I had not read those reports. As a near-extinct TA, I will find an alternative employment which allows me to serve humanity better - flipping burgers maybe.

mrz Fri 04-Jun-10 09:51:22

kissingfrogs I'm sure you will be very good at it with your qualifications.

maizieD I'm not sure if it is a local thing but an ex colleague with many years experience as a classroom teacher still had to prove she met the 33 standards and complete the course.

maizieD Fri 04-Jun-10 23:11:51

Probably a local thing, mrz, but theoretically absolutely incorrect! Why on earth should someone with QTS, who has probably actually produced far more evidence for each standard than any aspirant to HLTA status has, have to go through the process all over again?

As we are, I believe, both working in the same LA I shall check this out with my local union rep!

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