Support Staff is a term that refers to a wide range of staff working in schools.
• Learning Support Staff who work within the classroom setting to provide support to teachers and pupils. This includes Teaching Assistants and Higher Level Teaching Assistants
• Bursars and Office Managers
• Administrative Staff who oversee processes and services supporting the whole school
• Welfare/pupil support who are responsible for the welfare of the students outside of the classroom, for example during breaks and after school
• Specialist and technical staff support specialist areas of teaching and learning
• Site staff who ensure that the school premises are clean, safe and secure
There are no mandatory qualifications for support staff nationally but you may find that requirements vary between local authorities and also between schools. Any qualifications required will be detailed in the job description relating to the role.
Although Kent County Council has not set mandatory qualifications for support staff within Kent schools we do endorse the Skills for Life programme which provides nationally recognised qualifications in Literacy and Numeracy
If you are considering working in a school it may be useful to be aware of the responsibilities of support staff and to be aware of how your skills and knowledge relate to national occupational standards. The TDA details the general skills required in each support staff role. It would also be advantageous to complete some voluntary work within a school to gain a direct understanding of support staff roles and responsibilities.
In Kent Teaching Assistants are offered training and professional development opportunities for a very modest cost - for more information call on 01622 203800.