Working as a teaching assistant is one of the most rewarding albeit challenging roles available. If you’re interested in supporting children in schools, you’ll need to gain relevant experience. Earning qualifications is one of the best ways to grow your skill set and demonstrate that you are right for the job.
Interested in becoming a teaching assistant? In this article, you’ll discover which qualifications you need to fulfil your goal. Plus, discover how you can obtain each qualification on a schedule that suits you.
Which qualifications do I need?
There are no universal minimum requirements to become a teaching assistant in the UK; each institution will set their own requirements.
Some schools will allow you to apply without any qualifications, but these jobs will be the most competitive. Regardless of which school you apply to, having nationally recognised teaching assistant qualifications on your CV will help you to stand out in a competitive market.
Teaching Assistant Qualifications
There are various teaching assistant courses and qualifications that will help you towards becoming a teaching assistant. These include:
- Level 2 Award in Support Work in Schools (RQF)
- Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools (RQF)
- Level 3 Award in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools (RQF)
- Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools (RQF)
- Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools (RQF)
- Level 4 Certificate in Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) (RQF)
Do I need to be in the classroom to obtain the qualifications?
Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications can be obtained prior to starting your role as a teaching assistant. However, you will need to either be working or on a practical placement in a school environment to enrol on all but one qualification. This can be paid or voluntary work.
The Level 2 Award in Support Work in Schools can be completed without any experience in a school environment. It is the most basic qualification and will cover the most fundamental aspects of supporting children in a school.
Level 3 Award in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools can also be completed without a school placement. it is more advanced than the level 2 and takes longer to complete but earns you a higher-level qualification with greater recognition by potential employers.
Course areas include:
- Child and young person development
- Communication and professional relationships
- Safeguarding the welfare of children and young people
- Equality and diversity and schools as organisations
- Schools as organisations
You are required to have a paid or voluntary placement in a school to enrol for the following qualifications:
The Level 4 Certificate in Higher Level Teaching Assistant requires you to already have experience in the teaching support role. This qualification is useful for developing your skills and opening up doors to more advanced roles.
Course areas include:
- Understand the higher-level teaching assistant role
- Child development and welfare
- Awareness of special education needs
- Promoting positive behaviour in children and young people
- Providing support for individual learners and small groups
- Developing skills to promote positive working relationships
- Curriculum planning, delivery and assessment.
Can I complete my qualifications online?
CTC offers online courses to be completed at your leisure. Simply enrol on any of the courses listed in this article and you’ll gain access to the 24/7 student portal where you can access course content and upload assessments. You’ll have 12 months to complete a course and can spread content out to suit your schedule.
To find out more about our teaching assistant qualifications, visit our learning support course page. For more information about CTC or our courses, please get in touch.