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HLTA/Ta career advice please!!

(8 Posts)
Brissylass40 Tue 18-Sep-18 11:39:22

Hi all I have a degree in psychology and have worked as a support worker/assistant with children for many many years especially those with sen.
I'm on extended maternity leave with my twins and during this time I want to gain a qualification so when I go back to work I can really get into a good career.....
My question is what do I study? I have thought about training to be a TA and eventually HLTA or am I better getting an early years practitioner diploma....
What would give me the best career prospects? I'm especially interested in sen and child development and working hands on helping kids!
Help!! Thanks grin

OP’s posts: |
PinguDance Tue 18-Sep-18 21:27:12

I don’t think you actually need training to become a TA if you have relevant experience - apply for stuff and see if you get offers. I don’t have any official TA training and neither do most of those I work with. In my area Hlta jobs are few and far between and tbh it seems to be a very variable role - sometimes it’s basically being a poorly paid cover teacher and sometimes it’s quite cushy. At my school the Hlta - ish position is filled by someone with relevant experience but no ‘official’ TA qualifications despite the fact we have two qualified hltas. Standard TA jobs are very poorly paid and seeing as a hlta course is no guarantee of a job I would only do it if the school paid for me. TA progression is virtually non existent in my school- even if your considered very good. So in short I’d just apply for ta jobs straight away if you’re interested.

PinguDance Tue 18-Sep-18 21:28:46

And in terms of career prospects I’d work on the assumption there won’t be any and being able to use the experience to move into a different role is what you’re aiming for.

Trialsmum Tue 18-Sep-18 21:37:38

Exactly what Pingu said unfortunately. I have a degree in education with SEN and it has taken me 8 years to get my HLTA job. I can safely say I won’t be relinquishing it any time soon either. HLTA jobs often go to teachers who want less stress and they’re few an far between as well sorry. Basically schools have no money so they want the best people but want to pay them as little as they can get away with!

Holidayshopping Wed 19-Sep-18 04:06:53

I want to gain a qualification so when I go back to work I can really get into a good career.....

Define ‘really good’?

I wouldn’t say either the LSA or HLTA role was a really good career. The holidays may be good, but not the pay. There is no career progression either.

LSA wage is very low. HLTAs are paid marginally more but have a lot more shit to put up with-it’s more like a cover supervisor, but still nothing like a teacher in terms of wages. You don’t actual need any specific training to be a TA-the last three we hired had none at all-they’d just helped in classes and we knew they were reliable. I didn’t think they ran the HLTA courses any more either-I think a head can make anyone an HLTA if they want to-if they think they can cover a class in the teacher’s absence and is cheaper than a supply (we are currently on a supply ban as we have no money). Put HLTA is lovely but freely admits the money is awful and she has to run breakfast club on top as well as and working in Tescos in the evenings to make ends meet.

With a degree in psychology and an interest in SEN, I’d personally train to be an EP, but you’ll need a masters/doctorate which will be expensive and take years; this may not be feasible with small twins-there is a massive shortage locally though and it’s well paid.

Personally, I’d stay out of schools if you want a ‘good’ anything!

ThisIsNotARealAvo Wed 19-Sep-18 04:49:14

If you have a degree do you not want to train as a teacher? There are more kinds of SEN roles than ever so you could specialise than that.

Brissylass40 Wed 19-Sep-18 13:28:01

Thank you all so much for your replies this is really helpful.... so not much of a Career as a TA or HLTA then! Speaking to others it does sound like there is less and less funding for TAs so probably not a good choice.
I would love to be a EP or SEN teacher but I'm just not sure I could manage it with my little ones and no family around to help (hubby works long days too)
Are there any other related careers that require more experience and less intense training? I've seen roles for Family Support Workers and Learning Mentors are they any different in terms of prospects etc??

Thank you all!!

OP’s posts: |
Holidayshopping Wed 19-Sep-18 13:41:02

The FSWs I work with are generally ex-social workers tbh. Learning Mentors are similar to TAs just out of the classroom and general and usually dealing with behaviour issues-their pay isn’t much more.

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