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Becoming HLTA

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by Amyl222, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. Amyl222

    Amyl222 New commenter

    I’m new here so I’m hoping I’m posting in the correct place!
    I’ve been a TA since November 2019 as a 1-1 but also helping out with the whole classroom on a daily basis.
    I absolutely love my job and I am looking into applying for HLTA status.
    However, as I have only been a TA for 3 months I’m not sure if I have enough experience to apply for the course? I’ve been doing a lot of research and it does state that you have to already be a TA but it doesn’t mention anywhere how long you have had to be in the role for. Does anyone know?
  2. hubcap

    hubcap New commenter

    It used to be three years.
  3. marbles78

    marbles78 New commenter

    Great to hear that you are loving your job and are keen to develop yourself.

    I achieved my HLTA status last summer after 6 years working as a class TA. As a you rightly state, it is a 'status' and not a qualification, so is not something that can be taught or learned. You have to demonstrate and provide evidence of meeting the 33 HLTA standards. This includes working 1-1 with children, working with groups and teaching whole classes and in particular the assessor is looking for how you advanced learning. You need to have an 'area of expertise' where you must show that you've improved your own knowledge and used it to advance learning with children.

    You also need to be supported by your school, since the assessor will come into school for a morning or afternoon to review your evidence folder and have interviews with yourself, your class teacher and another senior school leader.

    Personally, I think it would be difficult to meet all the standards with only 3 months experience, particularly as you are employed as a 1-1 TA. Your opportunities for working with groups and whole classes will be more limited so again you would need school support to allow you time away from your 1-1 child to gain the necessary experience.

    One final point is that the proper HLTA assessment process with its 3 day preparation course and assessment is not cheap - my school paid for mine but as I recall it was over £1000. I would only have paid for it myself if I was totally sure that there were opportunities for me to progress to the HLTA pay grade and therefore recoup some of the investment. Many HLTAs, myself included, are only paid the HLTA pay rate when they cover lessons, rather than for their full working hours. It would take me years to cover the course costs!

    Do you have any other childcare qualifications? If you haven't, I'd maybe look into something like a CACHE Supporting Teaching & Learning qualification as a starting point. Then once you've gained more experience think about HLTA. Hope that helps and good luck!
    sunshineneeded likes this.
  4. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Great advice from @marbles78. Only thing I would add is that cost of HLTA preparation course and assessment has come down quite significantly - depending on where you are in the country, it averages at about £600 now.

    Marbles, it really makes me mad when HLTAs are only paid at HLTA rate when they're covering classes. That's like saying you're only using your skills when you're whole class teaching - what about when you're planning and delivering interventions to close gaps? Or splitting the class with the teacher so that teaching can be targeted to individual needs? Makes me really angry!! Luckily, it doesn't happen in our LA any more.

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