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How You Can Become a Higher Level Teaching Assistant

How You Can Become a Higher Level Teaching Assistant

Date posted : 01 August 2022

Teaching assistants are finding themselves in increasing demand in England’s classrooms. As the profile of the job rises, more and more teaching assistants are viewing their work as a longer-term calling that they want to progress within.

Not all educational support staff are aware of the opportunities they have to take on more responsibilities and earn more. For most TAs, the next rung on the ladder will be a job as a Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA).

What does a Higher Level Teaching Assistant do?

Technically speaking, a Higher Level Teaching Assistant is a TA who has been certified as meeting the official HLTA Standards – a set of expectations and expected capabilities for TAs working at this grade.  

An HLTA performs much the same functions as any other teaching assistant – working alongside a class teacher to help learners progress. The difference lies in the increased degree of responsibility HLTAs are given. 

People with HLTA status are allowed to cover planned absences and teach classes individually. They are expected to understand the curriculum at a more strategic level than a regular TA, including its objectives and how it contributes to key learning outcomes of the age and ability ranges of their pupils.

They will be expected to have a more advanced understanding of pertinent frameworks like the SEND code of practice. Higher Level Teaching Assistants will also be given more of a role in assessing learners and evaluating their progress.

An HLTA will also have a particular area of specialisation and expertise in supporting teaching and learning. This could be in SEND, literacy or numeracy skills, or any other area that you feel best suits your skillset.


How You Can Become a Higher Level Teaching Assistant

How to become a Higher Level Teaching Assistant

An HLTA needs to have been working as a Teaching Assistant for a period of time. They will also need to have gained the support of their headteacher.

You are not explicitly required to have any particular qualifications other than passing grades in GCSE-level English and Maths. However, taking a formal qualification to prepare you for HLTA status will hugely increase your chances of success. You could ask your headteacher if they will fund your enrolment.

Our sister company, Best Practice Network, offers a complete HLTA training programme, covering preparation and assessment.

Upon successful completion of the programme, you will officially have HLTA status. This will mean you’ll be able to apply for jobs as an HLTA.

How much do Higher Level Teaching Assistants earn?

HLTAs are given a higher pay package than regular teaching assistants.

Salaries will range from around £20,000 per annum for a new HLTA, while more experienced HLTAs can command up to £30,000.

The average Higher Level Teaching Assistant earns an annual salary of around £23,000.

Higher Level Teaching Assistants play a vital role in the classroom, helping all pupils get the most out of their education. If you’d like to move forward in your career as a TA. then check out your options for HLTA preparation training courses today.

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