How to Get a Job as a Teaching Assistant

Being a Teaching Assistant (TA) can be very rewarding and you can read Rosy’s story to find out what it’s like. 

I was a TA a few years ago and it was thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying to be involved in such an important stage of the children’s lives. I learned a lot from my experience; I learned to be more organised, my patience increased, my communication skills improved and much more. It was inspiring to see the amount of hard work staff put in to ensure children have the best learning experiences possible.  

So, you’ve decided that you’d like to be a TA and you’re wondering what the next steps are. Should you do a course? What skills do you need?

Teaching Assistant roles are competitive; schools often receive a large number of applications so it is important you understand what will strengthen your chances of securing your dream TA job. 

If you are new to the profession, then volunteering is your answer. By volunteering first of all, you will learn whether it’s the role for you and if you like working in a school. Also you learn about the current school processes and gain an insight into the different school roles that contribute to a successful team. 

You may even get the opportunity to work alongside other teaching assistants where you will learn more about the job role and give you first-hand experience, great for mentioning in your application! 

Due to the volume of applications schools receive, it can come down to the amount of recent experience an applicant has had, so in some cases, the more experience the better. I appreciate this can be difficult with a full/part time job as of course everybody needs an income. But even dedicating a couple of hours a week volunteering will still provide you with relevant experience. 

Most schools welcome volunteers, so contact your local primary or secondary schools and request to help out. The more volunteering and varied experience then the better understanding you will have of a TA role. 

Many candidates have found that from volunteering in a school, they have been better prepared for the recruitment process and even been recommended for a particular position within the school. 

We often receive queries about Teaching Assistant qualifications in the field.  As schools are responsible for their own recruitment, they tend to have different requirements; some schools request you have TA qualifications, however, many schools only ask for experience. If you are unsure it’s always useful to talk to some schools for advice.

All year round there are TA adverts being uploaded on so if you have a TA qualification then great, but if you don’t, this may not be a problem providing you have a good amount of experience and can evidence this in your application. 

A strong application incorporates recent experience in ideally the area you wish to support i.e. Primary experience in Key Stage 1. Many schools provide a Person Specification in the advert which details what they are looking for in candidates. We recommend you use this document to structure your application and provide evidence of how you meet each point.  

If you need more advice on how you can improve your Teaching Assistant application then please get in contact with us on 03000 410203 or you can email us at

You can find more information regarding becoming a TA on our website here. You may also find the following articles helpful:

Tips for applicants applying for jobs

The Six Golden Rules of Job Applications

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