Transitioning from TA to Teacher


Many Teaching Assistants now are supported by their school to develop their career into teaching. A Teaching Assistant's role allows them to naturally progress to become a teacher. TAs not only receive first-hand experience working alongside the teacher, they also gain knowledge and understanding of the curriculum and school processes, as well as learn how to plan an effective lesson.

TAs also have the passion for improving children’s lives and a wealth of knowledge of supporting children including those that have additional needs so becoming a teacher sometimes is the next logical step.

How can I transition from a TA to a teacher?

We recommend you speak to the Headteacher of your school to show that you have a desire to progress your career. They should add this to your Personal Development Plan (PDP) and help you gain further relevant experience. They may even arrange for you to take on more responsibility in the classroom and potentially cover lessons to help you gain more insight into teaching. You could also develop your TA role and become a Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA), as a result of this.

If your school feels you are capable of moving into a teaching post, they may support you with attending university part time so you can gain your teaching degree, alongside working as a TA or HLTA. Some schools, whilst you undertake your qualification, can employ you as an Unqualified Teacher and pay you following the Unqualified Teacher pay scale. If this happens you will have the same responsibilities as a teacher but would be paid at a lower wage until you obtain your Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). 

If you already hold a degree (2:2 or above) and have over 3 years work experience in any field, not just as a Teaching Assistant, you can apply for a place on a School Direct programme at a school near you. 

School Direct provides two routes, salaried and non-salaried and is aimed at high quality graduates. You can read more about the programme here. There is also the option of School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) which is a school based programme, similar to the School Direct (non-salaried option) and leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).  This SCITT programme is run by a network of schools and colleges. Schools that offer this programme often hold their own events and you can search for local ones on the Get Into Teaching Website

Additionally, for those interested in primary teaching, if you have a foundation degree and currently work or volunteer in a school, then your school can support you with the Primary Education Progression Route (PEPR). A number of universities provide this course including Canterbury Christ Church University and the programme lasts for 2 years. It involves attending university during term time for one day a week and after completing the course you will gain Qualified Teacher Status. 

If you are interested in teacher training via School Direct, read our blog to help you with your application. 

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