Teaching Assistants (TAs) support any learning activities that occur in schools. Most of the time, a TA will support pupils throughout the classroom, as well as undertake additional duties that can free up a teacher’s time, such as preparing a classroom.
On occasion, a teaching assistant may be required to work with children with special educational needs (SEN) or with those with other specific needs. We take an in-depth look at 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
Teaching Assistants are often assigned to work with individual pupils or with small groups. This is usually to help those with additional needs including SEN. Working in this way you will build up a good rapport with the pupils to gain a deeper understanding of their needs and how they learn. It is important to view each child as an individual, and therefore take time to learn what makes them tick. You will often be required to source your own learning materials such as visual aids, and prepare tasks for pupils to complete. Working closely with the Class Teacher, you will report on progress and attainment and will be expected to liaise with parents and carers.
- Preparing the classroom for lessons
It is essential the classroom is a safe and welcoming environment to create an optimal teaching and learning environment. Preparing the classroom for lessons can include a variety of activities, which may include printing worksheets, organising arts and crafts, preparing computers or even rearranging the furniture! As a TA, you would be responsible for helping to organise the essential items ready for the lessons. Of course, ensuring the room is clean, tidy and free of harm 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, predominantly around the classroom. This is a great opportunity for you to get creative and brighten up the classroom and celebrate the achievements of your pupils! For a child to see their work proudly displayed can be fantastic encouragement and motivation!
- Helping on school outings or at school events
As a TA, your assistance will likely be required outside of the classroom as well as within. This can include extra-curricular clubs, school plays and assemblies, and school trips. If you have a particular interest in a sport or crafts your help with clubs will be welcomed and will give you a chance to use your interests and talents to help children gain an interest in a new hobby. Helping with school trips means that you must make sure children are safe and accounted for at all times; working alongside other adults on the trip. You may also be required to attend parents evenings to help the Class Teacher provide updates on progress and attainment to parents and carers.
You would typically be 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.
Salary (Guide only):
Starting salaries for full time, permanent level 1 TAs are around £15,000, with additional responsibility (level 2 and 3) TAs expecting to earn between £15,000 and £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 TA role through a recruitment agency, pay rates may be slightly higher, however work is not always guaranteed or permanent, but is a great way to maximise earnings.
Entry level TAs require basic literacy and numeracy skills and experience of working with children. 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 can also be beneficial.
- Creative ability
- 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 take the weight off your shoulders. Why not take a look at our current TA and education vacancies here. Alternatively, please do not hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01245 208 750.