What’s more important, teaching qualifications or experience?
If you are looking to get a teaching assistant job in today’s competitive marketplace, then it pays to have both. Many teaching assistants come from professional backgrounds where qualifications are non-existent, usually from nursery positions or voluntary roles. They build up their experience for many years in the role itself after ‘falling’ into it. It’s a common scenario: a parent gives up work to raise their child and when they get to school-age there’s a choice, back to work or a part-time job. Often starting out as a voluntary teaching assistant and over time they take on a more responsibilities and before they know it they’ve become a full-time teaching assistant. But there always comes a time when extra qualifications become essential, especially if you want to further your career or to specialise in a certain field, like SEN. If you are already in a TA role then your local authority is likely to offer you the opportunity of additional qualifications to develop you in order to help fulfil the school’s needs.
Most awards in supporting teachers and learning in schools will come accredited with QCF (qualifications and credit framework). Which allows you to build up credits through various courses which can eventually lead to a diploma or NVQ – earning you more opportunities and importantly, more pay too.
Get a head start
Even if you aren’t looking to head into SEN or a specialist area of teaching then getting qualifications is the next best thing to years of experience in a TA role. Choose a course that combines study with workplace learning arrangements so that when you qualify your skills are directly relevant to your new employer and working practice. Once in a TA position schools themselves will often help with your career progression. Initially TAs will start at level one, but can quickly progress through to level two, three and eventually to level four, which is a HLTA.
If you want to develop your teaching in the field of SEN or if you are a learner wanting to enter teaching in SEN then you often need specialist qualifications. Choosing qualifications that will equip you with knowledge and practical experience can help further your career (or job application) with courses such as:
Level 2 Award in Support Work in Schools
Level 2 Award in Mentoring
Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools
Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching & Learning in Schools.
Furthering your career
Don’t stop at being a TA – build up your qualifications to establish an education that can take you all the way to qualifying for a foundation degree. Just one step away from completing a degree and becoming a qualified teacher. But first, it’s all about developing your experience and that means establishing plenty of on the job training supported by teaching assistant courses. With experience and the right qualifications you can progress to senior or to Higher Level Teaching Assistant status. There is enormous scope for furthering your career as a teaching assistant and it can be a fulfilling career path to take. When you decide to add qualifications to your CV too, you’ll start seeing big advances in your career options.
Special training discount for Axcis readers
If you’re interested in signing up for a course with Censeo, tell them you heard about them through Axcis and they will give you a 5% discount on the cost of the course. Every penny saved helps!