Teaching Assistants

Preparing .. Helping .. Supervising … an impressive array of support versatility for the classroom or nursery means your teachers remain focused and the children learn more!

Teaching assistants, and higher level teaching assistants, are making an increasing and increasingly valued contribution to the school workforce.

Teaching assistants support children with their learning activities in the classroom. They work closely with teachers to make sure pupils enjoy learning in a safe and caring setting.
If you like working with children and want to play a part in their education and wellbeing, this career could be ideal for you. You’ll need to the ability to work closely with parents and teachers. You’ll also need good literacy and numeracy skills, as well as creative ideas for activities.
To do this job, you will usually need some experience of working with children. Qualifications in early years work will also be helpful. You may be able to start as a trainee through an Apprenticeship scheme.


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Work activities

As a teaching assistant you would support teachers and help children with their educational and social development, both in and out of the classroom. Your exact job will depend on the school and the age of the children, whether it’s Early Years, KS1 or KS2
Your job may include:

  • getting the classroom ready for lessons
  • listening to children read, reading to them or telling them stories
  • helping children who need extra support to complete tasks
  • helping teachers to plan learning activities and complete records
  • supporting teachers in managing class behaviour
  • supervising group activities
  • looking after children who are upset or have had accidents
  • clearing away materials and equipment after lessons
  • helping with outings and sports events
  • taking part in training
  • carrying out administrative tasks

You would also support children with particular needs, working with them individually or in small groups.

In some schools you could have a specialism, such as literacy, numeracy or special educational needs (SEN). If you are bilingual, you might do more work with children whose first language is not English.
Skills, interests and qualities

As a teaching assistant you will need:

  • experience of working with children
  • the ability to build good relationships with children, teachers, parents and carers
  • a basic understanding of how children develop and learn
  • flexibility and creativity
  • the ability to work as part of a team
  • good reading, writing and numeracy skills
  • patience and a sense of humour
  • the ability to manage groups of children and cope with challenging behaviour


In some jobs it can be useful if you have IT skills or are fluent in local community languages.

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Previous qualifications in nursery work, childcare, play work or youth work can be useful for finding work. If you have enough experience of working with children or can show employers that you have the right personality and potential, they may take you on and train you on the job. Volunteering to help in a local school for a few hours a week is a good way to start.
The following qualifications are also available for those not yet employed in the role, and for those just new to the job, whether paid or volunteering:

  • Level 2 Award in Support Work in Schools
  • Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools

Most paid jobs will require you to have qualifications in literacy and numeracy at GCSE or equivalent.

You may be able to become a teaching assistant through an Apprenticeship scheme. The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers.
Apprenticeships.  You can find more information on careers and qualifications for school support staff on the Department for Education and Skills for Schools websites.

Disclosure and Barring Service

Before you can begin working with the children, Salford Supply Desk will carry out enhanced background checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). See the DBS website for more details.

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Department for Education


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Skills for Schools


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Department for Education – Support Staff


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You could work as a teaching assistant in nursery, infant or junior schools, special schools, secondary schools or independent schools. There is usually a lot of competition for jobs.
With experience you may be able to progress to senior assistant or be assessed for Higher Level Teaching Assistant status.
You could also go on to train as a teacher with the right entry requirements. To find out about careers in teaching, check the teacher profiles on this website or see the National College for Teaching and Leadership’s Get into Teaching information.
National College for Teaching and Leadership – Get into Teaching

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How To Sign Up

Microsoft Word File Application to register as a supply teacher or assistant
(Download DOC file)

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