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).
Fitzwilliam is a small village on the edge of West Yorkshire, England, in the City of Wakefield district. The village falls within the Hemsworth ward of Wakefield City Council. It was built as a pit village. It has a railway station on the Wakefield Line, providing it with connections to Leeds, Wakefield, Doncaster and Sheffield. The railway station closed in 1967, reopened in 1982 and the line was electrified in 1989. The village provided housing for miners at the colliery originally named "Fitzwilliam Main”. The name was taken from the family name of the colliery's proprietor. In 1905, a bitter industrial dispute led to all the miners being expelled from their homes, which were owned by the Fitzwilliam family; this became known as the "Kinsley eviction". The mine later changed its name to Hemsworth Colliery which closed in 1969. Kinsley Drift Mine was opened on the site of the old Hemsworth Colliery in 1977. In the long-running Miners' Strike of 1984 to 1985, which most Nottinghamshire miners refused to join, a riot took place in Fitzwilliam on 9 July 1984, and nine people ("The Fitzwilliam Nine") were convicted of public order offences as a result. Kinsley and nearby Nostell Pit were closed in 1986 and 1987 respectively. South Kirkby Colliery closed in 1988.