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).
Brackley is a market town in South Northamptonshire, England, on the borders with Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. 19 miles (31 km) from Oxford and 22 miles (35 km) from Northampton. Historically a market town based on the wool and lace trade, it was built on the intersecting trade routes between London, Birmingham and the Midlands and Cambridge and Oxford. Brackley is close to Silverstone and home to the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team. Brackley is close to the A43 road, which now bypasses the town, linking it to Towcester and Northampton to the north-east and the M40 motorway to the west. The A422 links it to Banbury and Buckingham. There are no railways stations in Brackley - the nearest stations are at Kings Sutton, about 6 miles (10 km) west of the town and Banbury, around eight miles away. A bus service links Brackley town centre to Banbury station. Brackley had two railway stations of its own that were closed in the 1960s.