What do teaching assistants do? Are you considering a career in this area? How do you become a qualified Teaching Assistant? Do you wish to gain an understanding of the complex principles and practices of teaching? Do you want a career helping future generations achieve their full potential?

Teaching assistants are vital in contributing to the development of children's education. Teaching assistants work alongside teachers in the classroom. They can provide integral 1-1 support, which is so important for children to succeed.

Perhaps you have long been drawn to the teaching profession but would prefer to work in a more 1-1 capacity with children rather than deal with large groups. Becoming a teaching assistant may well offer you the challenge and job satisfaction you desire.

The number of teaching assistants in the UK has grown dramatically. According to recent statistics, schools now allocate around 13% of their budgets to employing support staff. Therefore, this is certainly an area of employment within education that offers opportunities for people with the right skills and training.

What do teaching assistants do?

Teaching assistants play a key role in helping to educate students by working with them side by side.

Teachers face an ever-growing list of responsibilities and tasks. Therefore, they often have less time than they would like to focus on individual children. Teaching assistants often monitor the needs of individual children and consequentially pick up on any necessary areas of development. This assistance then helps teachers to focus on the whole class.

The role of the teaching assistant includes:

  • Working with the teacher to put in place learning strategies.
  • Helping set up the learning environment.
  • Assisting in the preparation of teaching materials.
  • Contributing to pupil progress reports and reviews.
  • Helping manage student behaviour.

The benefit of teaching assistants

Class sizes continue to grow, making the role and various skills of the teaching assistant even more important. Children can fall behind, particularly if they are less able to ask for help. Due to this, there is a need to have additional support available. Teaching assistants can ensure that those children who are starting to struggle receive the help they need.

TA's, as this career is often referred to, can also help facilitate constructive and positive relationships between pupils, teachers, parents and other members of the school staff. Teaching assistants play a valuable role in the learning environment and can help pupils develop their skills and knowledge. This help, in turn, leads to happy and productive children.

Teachers report that having teaching assistants in the classroom provides many benefits, including helping manage workload, having a positive impact on behaviour and helping reduce stress. Teachers also report that teaching assistants enable students to ask questions and feel more confident about their work.

Next steps

If you have a real interest in working with children and teaching, you will need to undertake a suitable qualification before you embark on your career - the official government and Ofsted-recognised qualifications are Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools, sometimes referred to as STL courses, for short. Oxbridge Home Learning understands the difference that great Teaching Assistants can make to the children they work with, from early years to higher level and we want to help you achieve your goal of becoming one!

Oxbridge offers a distance learning Teaching Assistant course that will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need for this career. The Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) qualification is also available, which will facilitate your career development if you're currently studying, or have studied, Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools Certificate Level 3 and are working in learning support in a school. The distance learning provisions allow you to continue with your other commitments at the same time as studying. Teaching Assistant courses can be beneficial in improving job prospects and gaining substantial knowledge about child development.

Do you want to be a qualified Teaching Assistant but not sure where to start? Enrol on our Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools Level 2 Course.