mumderland · 18/10/2019 13:27
I hope this is the right topic to post under.
Can anyone tell me what formal qualifications you need to become a teaching assistant?
How long does it take?
Do you have to pay for courses or is there a way of doing it for free?
It's a career I'd like to pursue but I don't know what to start. I have an admin background and do not want to go back to it!
LLMD · 18/10/2019 13:35
You don’t need any formal qualifications to be a TA, but it is a massively competitive field to try and get a job in. So I would advise getting some qualifications.
My partner started out as a TA, he volunteered in a school nearby for a few hours a week to gain some experience and he went to evening college to study for a level 3 in CACHE Supporting Teaching in schools.
But be prepared to apply for lots of TA jobs before getting one. It’s a popular job with parents as it’s term time only so it is ideal.
One of the negatives of it is that jobs often aren’t permanent and are based on a term by term basis as they only have the funding for your job if a child who is statements attends the school, and that child could of course leave at any time, so not a massive amount of job security.
Other than that my DP LOVED being a TA, is not currently still in schools but in a pastoral role and still loves it now! Must be nice to go to work every day and love being there
mumderland · 18/10/2019 13:59
I can imagine it's competitive! Do you have to pay for evening classes? I really have no clue.
I've got until my DD starts nursery to figure this out
LLMD · 18/10/2019 16:24
My DP paid for his course but I believe the college he went to we’re giving the course for free to anyone in receipt of benefits, so if you fall into that category it may be the same in your area.
Contact your local college and see what they offer. Or do you have a local organisation that helps people get into work? That’s where my DP originally seen the course then they just said as he’s not unemployed he would have to pay for it.
If you do have to pay, DP paid in instalments over a year so it was less of a strain.
PotteringAlong · 18/10/2019 16:26
Just for context, at my school every TA is a qualified teacher, so even with a TA qualification you are up against people with higher qualifications who want to step down.
mumderland · 18/10/2019 17:06
Ok I'll probably have to pay for it then as we don't receive benefits.
Thanks @PotteringAlong that's good to know, I will look in to teaching too. I would like to eventually get to that point but only once my kids are older
imip · 18/10/2019 17:10
I paid £700 for my level 2 qualifications and volunteered in a school for the 12 months I was studying. I was lucky enough to get a 16 hour a week job in that school. I volunteered at a school a teacher had moved to from dc school. I think that’s really helpful as someone can ‘vouch’ for you.
parrotonmyshoulder · 18/10/2019 17:57
My school takes a number of TA apprentices every year. Terrible pay and hard work but most of them who apply for a proper TA job when it comes up get taken on (if they’ve been good at it anyway).
Basketofkittens · 19/10/2019 09:32
I’m doing a primary education degree part time with the OU with a view to doing a PGCE next year. I’ve been volunteering at a school. I’m only just starting to get interviews for TA work as I hit the year mark of volunteering experience.
Binforky · 19/10/2019 09:37
I'm a ta and in my area you tend to need the equivalent of an nvq level 3. Luckily my place of work is letting me complete it while I work. Then again we have Special needs classroom assistants (me) and classroom assistants (who stand in for the teacher) as it's a special school so may be different.
littlecupcake · 19/10/2019 20:52
Have you considered doing a dyslexia qualification? Level 5 would give you a wealth of knowledge and would enable you to teach students with a multisensory approach which would benefit all learners, not just dyslexics. It would also enable you to understand how children learn and how to break tasks down into manageable steps, teach children to read effectively etc.
mumderland · 20/10/2019 07:28
@littlecupcake that sounds so interesting! I have thought of veering towards SEN but I didn't know you could specifically work with dyslexic children. Weirdly enough I said to my friend a few months ago I would love to teach children to read. I'll look in to it
capsule · 20/10/2019 07:39
There is no competition for TA jobs where I am. Last year I had an 18 year old boy on a gap year working as a TA in my class. He was lovely but had no idea about being a TA!
I also think the government has a policy if phasing out TAs. We now only have TAs in a class where there is a child with an EHCP.
Jonnylooongpoo · 20/10/2019 08:33
Minimum level 3 (CACHE, NVQ or equivalent) in our authority.
Most TAs have at least the foundation degree though as it's very competitive.
Mumdiva99 · 20/10/2019 08:42
I don't think the government have a policy of phasing out TAs it's just that school budgets are squeezed so tight that schools are struggling to afford additional TAs. There have been many redundancies in Primary schools over the last few years. However, there will always be a need for some - but it's definitely getting harder to get into.
Nomes09 · 20/10/2019 10:25
Most TAs are paid as TA2s regardless of whether they have TA3 qualification. Personally if you can, get TA3 - you may have to do TA2 qualification first but you will have more options as a TA3.
Check with your local college if they offer the NVQs, usually you have to out at least 10 hours in at a school. Many schools are happy for you to train at their school as they get free help. You can also apply for a 24plus loan to help you with the course, its a government loan so you don't usually have to pay it back until you're earning around £23,000 I think...
It is a highly competitive area but if it's something you want to do then go for it!!
MsJuniper · 20/10/2019 11:43
Several TAs I've met have started as meal time Assistants, so just a couple of hours a day.
I haven't taken a specific TA qualification but did a non-school-based Support Work in Schools qualification to show I had an understanding of schools and had experience working with kids in a non-school field. Now have a TA job and love it.
mumderland · 20/10/2019 12:42
@Nomes09 sorry if I'm being dim - what are ta2 and 3?
Clearly I need to learn the abbreviations
Nomes09 · 20/10/2019 13:28
They're the two most common levels of TA that work in schools, mainly primary. As a TA2 you would directly under the class teacher, doing the general tasks within the class, possibly working with small groups at a time when needed, displays, keeping classroom in order etc. TA3 does the same tasks but can work so many hours a week covering a teacher and delivering preplanned material to a class with a TA2 to help them. The pay isn't much different but the responsibilities can be. Hope this helps 🙂
If you go on the the TES website you'll be able to get much more information...
BrigitsBigKnickers · 23/10/2019 06:52
My Dd Is 21. She has good Alevels and some experience volunteering at a special school and has also spent the summer working with autistic children. She is going to uni next year and signed up with an education agency who interviewed her initially.
She was offered work as a 1-1 in a local primary school this week on an initial 2 week contract and after just 3 days has been offered a job until at least Christmas.
It surprised me as being in education myself I had never heard of schools employing TAs in this way but apparently lots of schools around here's the beginning to do this.
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