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Are You Interested in Supporting Children?

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Job description

The challenging and varied role of a Teaching Assistant is ideal for anyone hoping to make a positive impact on the lives of children and young adults.

As a Teaching Assistant, you'll offer practical help and emotional support to children experiencing short or long-term difficulties. The focus of your role is to provide support to students, empowering them to address various challenges, reducing problems and risks and helping to make sure that children are safe. You might help children with a range of social and personal issues or specialise in a particular area such as Autism, Global development delay or Downs Syndrome.

Job titles vary and you may also be known as a:

  • Learning Support Assistant
  • Classroom Support
  • TA
  • HLTA
  • Support worker
  • Learning Mentor
  • Behaviour Support
  • SEN Support

Responsibilities

Your role will vary depending on the needs of the child you're helping, but you may also have a specialist area, depending on your school's focus.

The challenges faced by your students could relate to:

  • Challenging behaviour
  • Social interaction
  • Bullying
  • Education and learning
  • Language/Communication barriers
  • Mental health issues
  • Physical disabilities
  • Learning difficulties.

As a Teaching Assistant, you'll typically need to:

  • Follow instructions from Teachers in order to support effectively in the class room
  • Adhere to professional practice standards and legislation, including confidentiality, safeguarding, equality, diversity and inclusion policies
  • Ensure you're up-to-date on your knowledge of local service provision for appropriate signposting and referrals
  • Support students on 1:1, adapting your approach on a case by case basis in order to engage students effectively
  • Help children with learning and development
  • Coach, mentor and motivate children to understand the benefits of relevant activities
  • Maintain accurate and up-to-date administration and caseload records, including reports of all interactions

Pay & Working Hours

Casual, sessional or relief teaching assistants are typically paid between £9.50 and £11.50 per hour. Income figures are intended as a guide only. Full-time Teaching Assistants usually work 35 hours per week. There are also part-time, casual and job share options available.

Qualifications

Although entry routes into Teaching Assistant roles are varied, you'll usually need a combination of relevant experience and qualifications. Typically, employers seek a minimum of a A-C GCSE's (or equivalent) in Maths & English or a level 2 in one of the following:

  • Childcare
  • Community work
  • Education
  • Health & social care
  • Youth work

Employers will also usually expect experience and knowledge of safeguarding practices and procedures. We offer a free course in safeguarding awareness to support your application

Skills

You'll need to show:

  • Good communication and listening skills
  • The ability to build and maintain rapport with children
  • Calmness under pressure and when dealing with challenging or confrontational behaviour
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • A good understanding of the challenges faced by the children you help
  • Organisation and problem-solving skills
  • Resilience and the ability to cope with emotionally-draining and traumatic situations
  • Commitment to making a positive difference to the lives of the students
  • A positive, non-judgemental, empathetic and sensitive approach

Work Experience

You'll need relevant work experience with children, young people and their families to work as a Teaching Assistant. You may also have experience from working in one of the following

  • Children's homes
  • Family community centres
  • Mental health services
  • Nurseries and schools
  • Youth projects.
  • Personal experience

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