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).
Pontefract is a historic market town in the Wakefield District of West Yorkshire, England, near the A1 (or Great North Road) and the M62 motorway. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is one of the five towns in the metropolitan borough of the City of Wakefield and had a population of 30,881 at the 2011 Census. Pontefract's motto is Post mortem patris pro filio, Latin for "After the death of the father, support the son", a reference to the English Civil War Royalist sympathies. Pontefract lies in close proximity to the A1 and the M62. Bus transport is provided by Arriva Yorkshire, the main hub in the town for this being Pontefract bus station. The town has direct rail connections with Leeds, Wakefield, Goole, Castleford, York and Sheffield from the town's three railway stations; Pontefract Monkhill, Pontefract Tanshelf and Pontefract Baghill. The closest airports are Leeds Bradford and Doncaster Sheffield.