Teaching Assistant

What is a Teaching Assistant?

Teaching Assistants (TA) work closely with teachers in the classroom and duties can vary from school to school; responsibilities can cover helping individual or small groups of pupils to provide administrative and classroom support. Some TAs specialise in special educational needs, literacy, or numeracy.

What does a Teaching Assistant do?

The role can be varied and depends on the school, though the underlying tasks usually remain the same. TAs will undertake tasks which allow the teacher to focus on teaching so tasks might be: 

  • setting up the classroom for lessons
  • providing extra support to children struggling with a particular activity
  • tidying up the classroom at the end of the class
  • doing the displays of children’s work
  • assisting with school trips and sports events
  • in secondary schools, TAs usually work with pupils who have learning difficulties and disabilities.

What qualifications do I need to become a Teaching Assistant?

Kent County Council has not set mandatory qualifications for TA roles within Kent schools; it is dependent on the school whether they require applicants to have qualifications. You will need to read the job description and any of the vacancy supporting documentation. 

TAs need to have good reading, writing, and numeracy skills and it will be useful to have some experience of working with children. You will also need good communication and organisational skills. 

If you are considering a course, here is a diagram taken from the Teaching Assistant Focus website to assist you.  

Guidance for the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) for support staff in schools.

How do I become a Teaching Assistant?

If you do not have any experience working with children then you can start volunteering at a school. That way you can see whether the job is for you and if you enjoy working in a school environment. 

If you have the opportunity, then speak to other TAs and find out what they did to get a job.

Other useful Information

Read more about being a Teaching Assistant on the National Careers Service website.

Search for Teaching Assistant Vacancies.