Are you interested in working in schools? Do you have a passion for helping students reach their potential? Sounds like a career in education would be ideal for you! But how do you become a Teaching Assistant with no experience?
Read on to find out!
What does a Teaching Assistant do?
There are currently 32,113 schools in the UK. Of these, 20,925 are primary schools and 4,168 are secondary schools. There are 2,381 independent schools, 1,256 special schools and 351 pupil referral units. But despite these numbers, there is still a shortage of educational facilities to keep up with our growing population. With class sizes increasing, teachers are struggling to find time to dedicate enough one-on-one support to students. This is why the role of a Teaching Assistant is vital to the successful running of the classroom.
It’s important that pupils are guided and encouraged to reach their full potential. That’s where your skills as a Teaching Assistant (TA) comes in.
A Teaching Assistant’s day-to-day duties may include:
- Encouraging young pupils while they read
- Supporting small groups of students in lessons
- Helping pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN) or English as a second language
- Supervising during school trips or sports days
- Preparing activities and learning materials for the day ahead
- Putting up displays and keeping the classroom tidy
- Helping the Teacher with admin tasks such as marking students work
As the classroom Teaching Assistant, you’ll have the opportunity to get involved at every stage of a lesson and make a noticeable difference throughout the day.
Seeing the children and young people you support develop their skills and abilities over time makes careers in education uniquely worthwhile!
Learn more about the role of a Teaching Assistant here
What qualifications do I need to become a Teaching Assistant?
Currently in the UK, the only requirement to becoming a Teaching Assistant are GCSEs (or equivalent) of grade C or above in Mathematics and English.
This often means that there’s competition for TA jobs, so making sure that you have the right certifications on your CV is essential.
When hiring a new TA, schools prefer recent experience of looking after children of a school age and any recent certifications to prove your experience in areas such as ADHD awareness, Autism awareness and Special Educational Needs (SEN).
How do I become a Teaching Assistant with no experience?
There are a few ways to gain the necessary experience to begin you journey to become a TA, here are a few ideas to help you get started:
- Having your own kids counts! If you’re already a parent, or you help a relative or friend by babysitting their kids, you can pop that down on your application as experience! No kids of your own? Score some major friend points by asking to help look after your friend’s children for a few months
- Volunteering at your local school during summer holiday activities, school outings or after school activities – If you have kids, ask if you can help during certain school events. With growing classroom numbers, teachers are grateful for any help they can get, and you’ll be able to build on that relationship when it’s time to apply for the TA role
- Helping with local community activities and sports facilities such as sports teams and dance schools – head over to your community hall to see what activities are available during the week and weekends and contact the various tutors to offer your help with the larger groups
- Assisting the local library with reading groups will help you gain many of the skills needed to be a Teaching Assistant
- Teaching or coaching – are you skilled in areas such as music, sports, language or maths? You could tutor some pupils to gain experience whilst earning a few extra pounds while you’re at it!
Find out what else makes a good Teaching Assistant
- Completing a work placement as part of a Teaching Assistant course – enrolling yourself on a course really shows schools you are committed to your career and you have the relevant experience needed to begin a successful career in the classroom
What does the Teaching Assistant course cover?
Our comprehensive Teaching Assistant course covers the essential skills needed to begin your career in the education sector, including:
- TQUK Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in School
- ABC Award Level 3 in Autism Awareness for Educators
- ABC Award Level 3 in ADHD Awareness
There’s also the option to upgrade your learning and earning potential with the additional qualification gained through our Professional Teaching Support course option:
- ABC Award Level 3 Special Educational Needs (SEN)
Upon graduating, you’ll feel confident looking for Teaching Assistant roles in a range of schools, knowing that you have the skills and knowledge needed to make a real difference to the lives of the pupils, the Teacher and become a real asset to the school.
Learn more about your journey to becoming a Teaching Assistant…