Teaching assistants support children with their learning activities in the classroom. They work closely with teachers to make sure pupils enjoy learning in a safe and caring setting.
The Skills Required
As a teaching assistant you will need:
- experience of working with children
- the ability to build good relationships with children, teachers, parents and carers
- a basic understanding of how children develop and learn
- flexibility and creativity
- the ability to work as part of a team
- good reading, writing and numeracy skills
- patience and a sense of humour
- the ability to manage groups of children and cope with challenging behaviour
Individual schools set their own entry requirements and decide which qualifications and experience they want.
Previous qualifications in nursery work, childcare, playwork or youth work can be useful for finding work. If you have enough experience of working with children or can show employers that you have the right personality and potential, they may take you on and train you on the job. Volunteering to help in a local school for a few hours a week is a good way to start.
The following qualifications are also available for those not yet employed in the role, and for those just new to the job, whether paid or volunteering:
- Level 2 Award in Support Work in Schools
- Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools
Most paid jobs will require you to have qualifications in literacy and numeracy at GCSE or equivalent.
Before you can begin working with the children, the school will carry out enhanced background checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
Barnsley is a large market and college town in South Yorkshire, England, between Leeds and Sheffield in the Dearne Valley. Historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the town is surrounded by several smaller towns and villages, which together form the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley, of which Barnsley is the administrative centre. At the 2011 Census, Barnsley had a population of 91,297. Barnsley's former industries include linen, coal mining, glassmaking and textiles. These declined in the 20th century, but Barnsley's culture is rooted in its industrial heritage and it has a tradition of brass bands, originally created as social clubs by its mining communities. It is also home of the Barnsley chop. The town is on the M1 motorway and Barnsley Interchange railway station on the Hallam and Penistone Lines. Barnsley F.C. football club has competed in the second tier of English football for most of its history, but won the FA Cup in 1912 and competed in the Premier League during the 1997–98 season. The main transport hub is Barnsley Interchange, a combined rail and bus station that was opened on Sunday 20 May 2007, and was the first project in the remaking Barnsley scheme to be completed. Stagecoach Yorkshire run most bus services within Barnsley, operating to and from Barnsley Interchange. Stagecoach acquired the company from Yorkshire Traction in 2005. Train services are provided by Northern. Northbound there is a half-hourly express service to Leeds which takes around 35 minutes augmented by a slower service via Castleford which takes around 50 minutes. There is an hourly service to Huddersfield via the Penistone Line. Southbound there are four trains per hour to Meadowhall Interchange and Sheffield, two of which are local stopping services and two of which are express. One service per hour continues to Chesterfield and Nottingham. Evenings and Sundays there is a less frequent service.