What do teaching assistants do?

What do classrooms assistants do?

What do teaching assistants do?

Behind every good teacher is a great teaching assistant!

Teaching assistants (TAs) are there to support any learning happening in the classroom. Most of the time, a TA will be active in their support for pupils during lesson time, but they will also be asked to undertake additional duties such as preparing a classroom – and therefore free up a teacher’s time. Teaching assistants may be also be employed to work with children with special educational needs (SEN) or with those with other specific needs.

We thought it would be good to take a moment to focus on the role of a teaching assistant, including responsibilities, salary and working hours you should expect in this role.


Working one-to-one and with small groups

TAs are often assigned to work with individual pupils or with small groups – and these students might have additional needs including SEN. These TAs build a good rapport with and gain a deeper understanding of the pupils’ needs and how they learn. It’s important to view each child as an individual, and therefore take time to learn what makes them tick. TAs are often required to source their own learning materials and visual aids, and prepare tasks for pupils to complete. Working closely with the class teacher, a TA will report on progress and attainment and will be expected to liaise with parents and carers.

Preparing the classroom for lessons

Ensuring a classroom is safe and welcoming, and the best environment for learning. Preparation can include a variety of activities, such as including printing worksheets, organising arts and crafts, preparing computers or even rearranging the furniture! As a TA, you would be responsible for helping to organise lesson essentials. Of course, ensuring the room is clean, tidy and risk-free is paramount and something that a TA needs to be aware of at all times.

Creating displays

TAs can also be responsible for creating displays of pupils’ work. This is a great opportunity to get creative, brighten up the classroom and celebrate your pupils’ achievements! Children love to see their work proudly displayed and gives fantastic encouragement and motivation.

Supporting learning outside the classroom

A TA’s assistance is likely to be needed wherever learning takes place. It may mean providing updates at parents’ evenings, and could also include taking part in extra-curricular clubs, school plays and assemblies. If you have a particular interest in a sport or crafts your help with clubs will be welcomed and it will give you a chance to use your interests and talents to help children to broaden their own horizons.

Helping with school trips can be fun. It’ll get you out and about, and your role – along with the other adults present – will be to make sure children are safe and accounted for at all times.

Working Hours

TAs are typically required to work during the school day, in term time, Monday to Friday. You may be required to work early mornings or perhaps after school if you’re supporting additional activities.


Salaries for full time, permanent TAs range from around £15,000, with additional responsibility (level 2 and 3) TAs expecting to earn up to £21,000. Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTA) can earn between £21,000 and £25,000, receiving a higher salary for taking on additional responsibilities in planning lessons, covering absent teachers and working with further SEN responsibilities.

If you were to find a temporary TA role through Pertemps Education, pay rates may be slightly higher. Temporary work obviously means hours are not always guaranteed or ongoing, but it can be a great way to maximise earning potential, and work out what your next career step might be.


Entry level TAs require basic literacy and numeracy skills and experience of working with children is really beneficial. A degree or specific qualification is not always essential, but it can be advantageous as it shows a competent level of skills and a dedication to your career within education. Any qualifications in childcare will also be useful.


  • Creative ability
  • Patience
  • Organisational skills
  • A professional attitude to work
  • Reading, writing, numeracy and communication skill
  • Excellent team working skills
  • A flexible approach to work
  • A positive approach to working with children and the ability to motivate, inspire and build rapport

You’ll also need to undergo a criminal record check through the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Additional languages, first aid, and British Sign Language can also be valuable for this role.

If you are looking for a Teaching Assistant role, our education team can help!

Why not take a look at our current TA and education vacancies?

Alternatively, you can get in touch with one of our specialist recruitment consultants: education@pertempseducation.co.uk or 0203 897 1563.

And we're here to help.

We love meeting new people! If you’re looking for work in primary or secondary schools, mainstream or SEND, we’re happy to help.