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Starting Out in the Education Sector

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Starting Out in the Education Sector

How to become a Teaching Assistant

Published: 06/05/2017

Want to become a teaching assistant, but don’t know where to begin?

At Future Education, we help new and established teaching assistants at every stage of their careers to find the right roles in and around London. Primary, secondary and SEN schools are crying out for new TAs, and with opportunities all over the capital, there has never been a better time to get involved in education and become a teaching assistant.

Maximise your chances of landing your first teaching assistant role with help from the top tips in this guide.

Know the role

Before you start looking around and applying for jobs, it’s important to understand what a teaching assistant actually does.

Whilst the role and responsibilities can change from school to school, in essence, a TA is there to provide support to the teacher in the classroom, whilst ensuring that all the students get the help, support and guidance needed to achieve their academic potential.

The role might include:

  • Supporting groups of children during lesson times
  • Providing one to one support to children, in and out of class
  • Supervising children in classes, at lunch, during breaks and on school trips/events
  • Providing additional support to children with SEN
  • Supporting teachers with admin and lesson planning

With 4 levels of teaching assistant, there are plenty of opportunities to build a career in the field. Alternatively, many teaching assistants go on to become teachers themselves, using the TA role as an opportunity to build experience.

The right qualifications

Although you don’t need a teaching assistant qualification to start work in entry level positions, it will be beneficial. Many schools will only look at CVs from qualified teaching assistants, and gaining a dedicated qualification will boost your chances of finding the role you want.

There are a wealth of different courses, Awards and Certificate programmes available to teaching assistants. Choose QCF (Qualification and Credit Framework) accredited courses and it may be possible to combine them into a full NVQ.

The Level 3 QCF Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning or a Level 3 QCF & SEN Teaching Assistant qualifications are good starting points. They require no previous experience and provide a range of skills and an accredited qualification that is recognised by schools.

Gain experience – volunteer and supply roles

As with any job, schools look for TAs with experience.

If you’re short on relevant experience, it may pay to do some voluntary work in a local school. A single day volunteering in a school will also give you a good idea about the realities of life as a TA.

An alternative is to sign up with a reputable agency, like Future Education – for some short-term supply work. This will help you to gain valuable experience in the sector, and make you a more attractive candidate for schools looking to recruit for permanent roles.

You may even find the school you’re working at as a supply teacher offers you a permanent position.

Sort out your CV

Having a good CV is essential if you are going to get a foot in the door.

To maximise your chances, ensure that your CV is properly tailored for the TA role. In addition to relevant experience and qualifications, you will also want to include any transferrable skills that could make you right for the role.

This might include volunteering, charity work, care work, or events work – anything that showcases your people skills and helps to demonstrate you have the right personality and passion for helping people

Find your perfect teaching assistant role with Future Education

At Future Education, we’re here to help you find your first teaching assistant role in London. Whether you’re looking to start your career or want a new challenge, we have supply, part time and full time opportunities in primary, secondary and SEN schools across the region.

From providing advice on training, development and CVs, to matching you with the right opportunities, we’re here to help.

For further information, call our team today on 020 8256 0910 or email your CV to Alternatively, check out our latest available roles at


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