Teaching Assistant Levels: What Do They REALLY Mean?

Teaching assistants are in high demand throughout the United Kingdom as schools attempt to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on students. Teaching assistants provide one-on-one support that teachers cannot normally provide, as well as assistance with a wide range of activities, such as small group instruction, lesson planning, classroom organisation, and SEND support. There has never been a better time to start working as a teaching assistant, but where do you start? Below is a detailed guide to everything teaching assistant, from qualifications to specialisation opportunities, to help you get started on the right foot.

How to Start Your Career as a Teaching Assistant

Before you jump straight into a qualification, consider gaining some work experience to make sure this is the role for you. Many schools welcome volunteers, as do nurseries and youth centres. Reach out to some local schools and ask if you can help out; it’s easier than you think!

There are also a few boxes to check before you can start your teaching assistant career. Most schools expect their staff to hold at least two GCSEs in English and Maths. If you’ve yet to achieve these qualifications, there are options for you to study online from home rather than having to return to school or college.

How to Become a Level 2 Teaching Assistant

Our Teaching Assistant Level 2 online course is for those who want to understand the fundamentals of the field but are unsure if they want to become a teaching assistant based on their work experience alone. If you don’t have any teaching experience, we recommend starting here before moving on to level 3.

It also necessitates less work experience than the Teaching Assistant Level 3 programme, but will result in a lower salary if you choose not to advance to Level 3. Earnings for a Level 2 TA range between £18000 and £20000 per year. Many TAs only work during the academic year, so their pay is determined on a pro-rata basis. More experienced TAs should expect similar salary averages.

As a Level 2 Teaching Assistant, you’d be expected to support teachers with the everyday set-up of the classroom, support children with individual learning needs, and work one-on-one or in small groups. Once you’ve gained some experience, you may also be asked to supervise a class if the teacher is absent briefly (if you’re looking to provide ongoing support, our Level 4 Higher Level Teaching Assistant course may be better suited).

How to Become a Level 3 Teaching Assistant

Level 3 Teaching Assistants usually earn between £12,000 and £21,000 a year and take on greater responsibility than their Level 2 counterparts. Our Level 3 Teaching Assistant online course provides you with the knowledge required to be benchmarked as a Level 3 Teaching Assistant within a school. You can also study completely online, from the comfort of your home, or alongside your current working situation.

How to Become an HLTA

At the top of the teaching assistant hierarchy is the Higher Level Teaching Assistant. To earn the title, you need to have studied the Higher Level Teaching Assistant Level 4 qualification. We offer the course completely online, with personal tutor support, so that our students are able to study alongside their teaching assistant responsibilities.

From one-to-ones, small groups, and SEND support, HLTAs are crucial to the school environment, and this is reflected in their earning potential. HLTAs can expect to earn between £19,000 and £24,000.

How to Specialise Your Role

Teaching Assistants can make themselves more employable by specialising in different areas. By learning how to better support students of all abilities and needs, you’ll set yourself apart as a valuable asset. By taking on extra qualifications, you can boost your earning potential as well. Some popular specialisation courses include:

What You Need to Know

Becoming a teaching assistant is a valuable career choice that will give you the opportunity to make a difference. However, there are some key considerations you need to make before choosing this path:

If you’re considering becoming a teaching assistant, our expert support team would be pleased to chat and provide you with more information about our courses. Contact us and our support team will get back to you shortly! If you’d like to browse our education courses, have a look here

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