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Becoming a TA can anyone help with pointers, advice etc?

(22 Posts)
pastelmacaroons Thu 09-Feb-17 10:21:34

Have I posted in the right place?

I am thinking about looking into being a TA. I have a degree but no Maths GCSE, do I need to get this?
What are my steps, before DC I was a temp, have two dc and want a job in term time.
Can anyone help, are TA needed - in demand etc thanks

PurpleDaisies Thu 09-Feb-17 10:25:40

Most posts will require you to have a c in gcse maths (or sometimes an equivalent qualification). What's your degree in?

Unfortunately most TA jobs are very popular so it's not an in demand job. Have you got experience working with children? Maybe volunteering while you're getting your maths gcse could be a sensible way forward?

pastelmacaroons Thu 09-Feb-17 10:34:17

Degree in History 2:2.
Is being a TA route into teaching?

Its literally a brand new idea that only came to me yesterday so I am on the ground with the first few crumbs so far grin.
How does one go about volunteering, call up schools and ask? Would I need to get personal police check or would schools do it? I couldnt volunteer right now due to Dc still at home a few days a week. I want to get ready for when youngest starts school.

PurpleDaisies Thu 09-Feb-17 10:54:08

Some people work as a TA before teaching. Are you thinking primary or secondary?

Why are you thinking about teaching if you don't mind me asking? If it's just a job in term time you want it's a pretty stressful one.

Are your children in school yet? You could ask their teacher if they want parent helpers on trips or to listen to the children reading. They are normally very glad of that sort of help. The dbs check will vary across schools so I'd just ask them what they normally do.

pastelmacaroons Thu 09-Feb-17 11:10:50

One in school one will start in Sept. I cant really do admin and I desperately need a job. I have done extensive temping across various fields but not teaching.

I am not looking to be a teacher however - after being a TA - it would be good if I found I liked it - to go down that route. But at the moment I would just go for TA work. I cant do any volunteering yet with little one at home.

I want to know how hard it is to train to become TA, what level of admin work needed...what qualification etc I have seen level 3 reduced from De Monfort Uni for TA. £500 reduced to £320

pastelmacaroons Thu 09-Feb-17 11:12:10

Oh just realised you may mean teaching as encompassing TA as well.

This is what I am hoping to find out how stressful being a TA is it. I assume teacher - the main one will do class planning and working?

einalem1984 Thu 09-Feb-17 22:08:08

If I was you I would ring around some local schools and see if you can volunteer. Schools are usually glad of the extra help! Then you can see if you'd enjoy working in a school or not before you take the next step smile

WilburIsSomePig Sat 11-Feb-17 17:28:14

Definitely agree that volunteering in a school would be a good thing.

I was a nursery nurse before I became a TA, so had done Level 2 in childcare and Level 3 in Children and Young People's Workforce. I know from my own school that they definitely look to see if people have worked with children before to try to route out the people who just want a job to fit in with their DC's or if they genuinely want to work with children. Good luck!

Fourmantent Thu 16-Feb-17 21:05:25

I know TAs who have started out as lunchtime supervisors. From there you can progress to helping with school trips, reading etc, and then this can progress to TA work if for example one of the TAs is off sick or a vacancy arises. You may find it easier to start at secondary school. Try looking on school websites for vacancies. I've done junior and secondary and much prefer secondary. The maths may not be such a problem. The TAs usually work in bottom sets and so by listening and learning during the lesson, you will usually then be able to help the students (who either haven't listened or haven't understood).

rollonthesummer Thu 16-Feb-17 21:16:27

I don't think being a TA is particularly stressful-certainly not on a par with teaching anyway. You'd need maths and English GCSE in most cases and plenty of volunteering experience.

It's a very sought-after job amongst mums as it fits in with having your children at the school so there are usually hundreds of applicants-the better your qualifications/experience etc, the more you will stand out from the crowd.

MsAR Thu 16-Feb-17 21:20:47

Might not be a good bet longer term. Due to the cuts which are coming in, many schools will have to lose staff. We currently have a TA in each class but will not be replacing them as they leave. More and more work will fall on the class teacher

MsAR Thu 16-Feb-17 21:22:25

www.unison.org.uk/news/article/2017/01/how-much-funding-will-your-childrens-school-lose-find-out-here/

Thirtyrock39 Thu 16-Feb-17 21:24:39

Opposite also true in that some schools are expecting TAs to cover a lot of teacher absence
You often need a qualification now. Very popular job. Special schools use lots of supply teaching assistants this could be an option and often lunchtime supervision is a good way of working in a school and being known if a job comes up

Letseatgrandma Thu 16-Feb-17 21:27:59

Most of our TAs are going to be cut over the next 6 months.

With the horrific financial cuts we are facing, it wouldn't surprise me if things go back to how they 'used' to be-with one teacher per class and very little other support staff.

MsAR Thu 16-Feb-17 21:35:07

True. I guess I'm lucky to work somewhere that prioritises having a teacher in the class. I know schools will have to make massive savings but they'd be shooting themselves in the foot by getting TAs to take classes. It's not fair on anyone to do that.

FWIW, I think TAs are bloody brilliant. The ones I've worked with over the years have been amazing and and supported the children in so many ways. They're not paid enough for what they do. I know quite a few who could easily become teachers but they don't want the hassle that goes with the role.

OSETmum Thu 16-Feb-17 21:48:31

Yes you'll need a c in maths and a teaching assistant qualification.

You'll also need lots of experience in the classroom. Please do get some voluntary experience to see if you think it's something you can do. Also, please don't think you will walk into a job easily.

There is some admin work as part of the job but not in the office, more record keeping and assessment. What makes you think you can't do admin?

How much responsibility you have depends on the school and TBH not necessarily on your level of pay! For example, I have total responsibility for my intervention groups (8 different groups!) and I do cover the class in the absence of the teacher.

If you canted to go into teaching later on, you'd still need to do a PGCE.

fruitpastille Thu 16-Feb-17 22:24:05

The money is pretty rubbish.

Could you get a friend to look after your younger child for a couple of hours each week so that you could help out hearing readers etc in your older child's school? Then you can get a feel for what goes on.

The best tas are good at taking direction but also have their own initiative. Admin skills would not be that critical. You need to be good at building relationships with children and staff.

They are busy during the school day but not after school or weekends/holidays which teachers do.

DoraDunn Thu 16-Feb-17 23:45:32

Most TAs I know are qualified teachers who loved teaching but not the crap that goes with it and don't need the money so opt to be a TA instead. At my last school we had over 100 applicants for a TA post. And don't forget that the advertised salary is pro rata so most TAs are in fact earning around 9 or 10k pa rather than the 15k advertised. But I wouldn't say it's particularly stressful. Keep in mind though that in many areas the job includes lunchtime duties as schools, esp those in more affluent areas, are struggling to recruit lunchtime staff.

WilburIsSomePig Fri 17-Feb-17 10:46:25

I think it very much depends on where you work if it's a stressful job or not tbh. My last school was an easy one but now I work in a middle school with children with SEN and it can be very stressful. I've had children run away, swear and throw things at me (I work with two children with ODD) and plenty more things that are pretty stressful. I get paid shit money but I absolutely love my job. Don't go for a TA job if you think it'll be a walk in the park.

DoraDunn Fri 17-Feb-17 19:47:53

Wilbur, in my area your job would be advertised as an LSA. TA jobs are (usually) permanent positions whereas LSA jobs rely on funding associated with a specific child. But I know it varies from LA to LA. A general TA in a primary school is far less likely to be stressful.

eatyourveg Fri 17-Feb-17 20:43:38

you'll need a c in maths and a teaching assistant qualification
C in maths yes but not necessarily a TA qualification. Ds3 is on a gap year working as a TA. Straight out of sixth form he doesn't have any TA qualifications. He supports in a primary school (mainly ks2) and 3 afternoons a week works 1:1 with a pupil who has autism and on a managed move from a besd unit. He loves it - think having the experience of living with a db with severe autism helped.

funmummy48 Sat 18-Feb-17 13:53:33

Not all schools require a TA to have maths GCSE or a TA qualification. Ours doesn't and looking at the 23 TA vacancies advertised in our local area today, the majority don't request them. It would be worth looking at the jobs advertised in your local area first before embarking on any training courses. Volunteering is definitely a great way to start. Good luck!

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