Your Teaching Assistant Training Resource

Congratulations on your decision to become a teaching assistant!

You are entering a field that is in high demand in the UK, so your chances of getting hired and becoming a teaching assistant are more than excellent!

Teaching assistant training gives you a wonderful, unique opportunity to connect with students and help them develop educationally and socially.

You can help with students of all ages and educational levels, from nursery all the way up to university, depending on your experience and training.

Class sizes are increasing year on year, so demand will continue to increase for teaching assistants. But more people are applying for these jobs than ever too. That’s where we come in. Teaching Assistant Training HQ provides you with the information you need in a concise way.

What Do Teaching Assistants Do?

Teaching assistant with interactive whiteboardA teaching assistant works alongside teachers to support the educational development of students. The exact nature of a teaching assistant’s job and duties will vary with the educational level and setting of the classes.

Teaching assistants may work one-on-one with students or in a group setting with a full class. They also help on school trips, or with special additional classes for out-of-hours teaching.

This means you might find it easier to get a job if you have a wide range of experiences in related settings. No matter what training you’ve done in the past, there’s always some transfer to being a teaching assistant.

For example, volunteering in a charity shop shows you’re willing to give up your time for a cause you believe in. Doing a jog in aid of a charity shows that as well, in addition to organising the donations and promoting it on social media, for instance.

Teaching Assistant Job Description

Most teaching assistants work in primary and secondary schools, but the exact details of the job will vary between employers.

Typically, however, the job entails:

  • Helping teachers set up rooms for classes
  • Helping children with their work in class
  • Assisting teachers in managing class behaviour
  • Handling and supervising group activities
  • Working one-on-one with special needs children and those struggling with work
  • Clearing away teaching materials after classes

For more information on the teaching assistant job description, click here.

Teaching Assistant Jobs

As previously mentioned, the demand for teaching assistants is extremely high. As long as you meet the qualifications and have the right experience and training, you have a great chance of getting a job.

With that, though, demand for teaching assistant training such as courses or work experience has also risen.

Class sizes are increasing year-on-year as the population increases, and so you can be comfortable in the knowledge that there’s always going to be a school out there that’s right for you.

However, the convenient hours of the job sometimes mean there’ll always be a little competition – it’s only easy if you work hard and prepare! The right training also gives an added boost.

Whether it’s directly through a school, Local Education Authority (LEA), or an employment agency, your chances of getting hired are excellent. You can find an up-to-date list of vacancies on our teaching assistant jobs page.

That’s not to say you’ll have an easy ride getting a job as a teaching assistant – your chances of getting hired are great if you carry out the right preparation and training. That’s where we can help!

Our main suggestion is to make sure your teaching assistant training centers around work experience and volunteering rather than a course in this or that. You’ll do a better job if you have relevant experience.

Teaching Assistant Entry Requirements

Teaching assistant with laptopLEAs decide what qualifications they want teaching assistants to have, but there is no national qualification or training requirement for the job.

Typically you will need to have passed mathematics and English at secondary school, as well as having experience working with children.

Some schools will ask you, however, for certain QCF courses, so looking at teaching assistant courses might be worthwhile as part of your teaching assistant training.

To find out more about entry requirements, click here. You can find a list of all LEAs in the UK here.

Teaching Assistant Training Courses

If you’re interested in relevant qualifications and training, there are a number of teaching assistant courses you can take to improve your employability and potentially your pay.

These courses can be quite expensive, but it’s worth remembering that they’re an investment and the money will come back to you as higher pay.

Relevant experience with children in an educational setting is always going to be far more important to schools than what qualifications you have.

Teaching assistant training courses usually involve a lot of work experience through placements. This is because on-the-job training is probably more useful than purely academic teaching assistant training.

To become a Higher Level Teaching Assistant, there is an additional layer of requirements to fulfill, and at this level drive, effectiveness, and an extensive range of experiences are absolute must-haves for the training process.

For the truly ambitious, there are a number of advanced qualifications that you can take at college or university to improve your skills and job knowledge even further. These types of training are even more expensive, but are beneficial if you can secure funding through your school, LEA, or a career development loan from a bank.

Making Yourself More Employable

There’s no teaching assistant ‘type’ although there are a few qualities you will need to make a good teaching assistant:

  • The ability to effectively work with children of all ages
  • A sense of humour and an understanding of how children think
  • Patience and a genuine sense of enjoyment from working with children
  • The skill to explain things in a simple way
  • Good at helping children work out their own answers, without ‘giving them the answer’
  • Excellent literacy and numeracy skills

If you can show these qualities in the CVs and cover letters you send out to schools then you will definitely improve the likelihood of being invited in for an interview.

Always remember in your job applications to write like you’re 100% confident in your abilities and training. You need every single sentence in your applications to give you a positive boost. Show that your teaching assistant training has involved lots of volunteer experience, for instance.

If you don’t feel confident that you have enough experience, training, or the right skills, you need to be proactive. There are a million and one things you can do today to improve your employability. Coming to this website is a fantastic start!

You could start a blog writing about your thoughts on education and teaching, or you could go out and volunteer to work with children. Doing anything that could be related to the job of being a teaching assistant will help you massively. Training absolutely doesn’t have to be formal!

There is also more information from Wikipedia and the Department for Education website.


Teaching Assistant Training