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Diplomas, certificates, awards, NVQ, home learning distance learning, OU...............Very confused about courses - PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by wanttobeTA, May 14, 2012.

  1. Hi - I will give you a quick background on myself first;
    • I graduated with a Sports Science degree over 15 years ago now. I have worked in the fitness industry working as an instructor and then up to a General Manager of a private health club.
    • I have had 2 children (age 4 and 7) and have been volunteering at the local nursery 1 morning a week and reception 1 morning a week since Sept 2011. I have had very good feedback from the school.
    • I have applied for 4 different TA jobs throughout the last year and have had 1 interview but not secured any jobs yet.
    • I am thinking about taking a course to improve my chances in the interview process - some of the applications have a requirement of 'NVQ level 3 or equivalent' - I assumed that as I have a degree I would have the 'equivalent'. I am now starting to doubt that.
    • Since opening the 'can of worms' that is 'TA qualifications' I have become more AND MORE confused and have started to drive myself nuts!!! I now understand there is no NVQ anymore and that it is changed to 'Certificate in Supporting teaching and learning in schools'. But what I don't understand is what course I should do and who with (home learning/open University/go to college/distance learning but with volunteering hours???)
    • I want a qualification that will give me a 'leg up' and I am assuming that I would be better off doing a level 3 course as what is the point of doing a level 2 (as I don't want to pay for level 2 and then have to do level 3?) and what is the difference between a certificate, award and diploma?
    • I don't want to waste my money on a course that either isn't recognised or that is too 'weak' - please help me I really want to help myself and I didn't imagine it would be quite sooooo complicated!!
    Thanks for your time
     
  2. Hi - I will give you a quick background on myself first;
    • I graduated with a Sports Science degree over 15 years ago now. I have worked in the fitness industry working as an instructor and then up to a General Manager of a private health club.
    • I have had 2 children (age 4 and 7) and have been volunteering at the local nursery 1 morning a week and reception 1 morning a week since Sept 2011. I have had very good feedback from the school.
    • I have applied for 4 different TA jobs throughout the last year and have had 1 interview but not secured any jobs yet.
    • I am thinking about taking a course to improve my chances in the interview process - some of the applications have a requirement of 'NVQ level 3 or equivalent' - I assumed that as I have a degree I would have the 'equivalent'. I am now starting to doubt that.
    • Since opening the 'can of worms' that is 'TA qualifications' I have become more AND MORE confused and have started to drive myself nuts!!! I now understand there is no NVQ anymore and that it is changed to 'Certificate in Supporting teaching and learning in schools'. But what I don't understand is what course I should do and who with (home learning/open University/go to college/distance learning but with volunteering hours???)
    • I want a qualification that will give me a 'leg up' and I am assuming that I would be better off doing a level 3 course as what is the point of doing a level 2 (as I don't want to pay for level 2 and then have to do level 3?) and what is the difference between a certificate, award and diploma?
    • I don't want to waste my money on a course that either isn't recognised or that is too 'weak' - please help me I really want to help myself and I didn't imagine it would be quite sooooo complicated!!
    Thanks for your time
     
  3. Hello,
    I was in the same boat this time in January 2011, I had a degree in English however this did not seem to be an equivalent despite being higher then a level 3.
    I completed a diploma level 3 in Supporting Teaching & Learning, this then lead me to becoming a qualified teaching assistant at level 3. I was emplyed full time in a position but most courses ask for 2 days a week volunteering.
    I completed the course at my local college but there are many online courses which seem very good. I have just completed a course with NCC home learning on Autism and they were fantastic, they do a teaching assistant course, this is the link http://www.ncchomelearning.co.uk/teachingassistantdiplomapaperformat-product-588.html
    However, I would recommend having a look on your local college website to see whether they have a course.
    I hope that this helps.
    Let me know how you get on and if you need anymore help with anything, this includes assignments etc if you get on the course.

     
  4. Hi As long as the course appears on the NQF then it should be recognised by any school and you should be able to see the equvilenant scoring there too.
    I personally have completed a HND in Hotel and Catering Management but since volunteering in schools I have competed, all by distance learning, a BTEC level 2 teaching assistant certificate, a CACHE Level 3 Supporting teaching and learning, Early years level 3 and I am now working towards a Level 4 Early Years. I think most schools now ask for a teaching assistant qualification on top of other qualifications and experience.
    Hope this helps a little.
     
  5. Hi - Yes all this information is helping piece together the bigger picture!
    So you say 'completed all by distance learning' - which company have you gained these qualifications with? and have the courses you have taken required you to complete hours in a school setting?
    You have completed the CACHE level 3 Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools - was this an award, certificate (NVQ3 equiv) or diploma? And could you do this course without doing the BTEC level 2 before it?

    thanks for your time :)
     
  6.  
  7. the DfE site has a list of recognised TA quals under the QCF - http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/careers/traininganddevelopment/staff/b00202859/qualifications
    There was a better page on the old TDA site that actually links to the quals by different awarding orgs which you can still access in the archive - http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20120203163341/http://www.tda.gov.uk/Home/support-staff/developing-progressing/qualifications-credit-framework.aspx
    I've just completed the L3 certificate through Study House. I found distance learning fine (but then I have done a lot of distance learning before and I am quite self disciplined and used to doing independent research) but from another forum I'm on, I know some people who maybe haven't studied for a while struggled a bit as you get very little in the way of support and guidance, which you would get more of from a local college course.

    Hope that helps?
     
  8. Thanks for the info - I have seen the QCF framework before on another thread and it has helped me understand more about the levels etc
    BUT what I don't understand is - whenever you search for TA qualifications, or TA training it always brings you to the QCF titled 'Qualifications for School Support Staff' - (which are the level 2 support work award, level 2 cert in Supporting teaching and learning in schools... up to the level 3 Diploma in Specialist support for teaching and learning in schoools.) Where do the Teaching Assistant courses sit on this framework? for example Distance Learning Centre do a 'Teaching assistant Course - Level 2 Award' - this is not listed on the QCF for support staff, but in the information provided for the course it says that it is equivalent to NVQ2 - shed any light?
     
  9. The supporting teaching and learning is the teaching assistant course, it is just named differently and you take on the modules for whether you want to be based in secondary or primary.
    The school I work in has 5 TA's which did the above course.
    I have completed home learning courses and like you say they are very good because it means you can speed it up or slow it down to fit around other commitments.
    Have you asked the SENCO at your supporting school for which course they accept when employing TA's?
    Hope that this helps.
    A
     
  10. "Where do the Teaching Assistant courses sit on this framework? for
    example Distance Learning Centre do a 'Teaching assistant Course - Level
    2 Award' - this is not listed on the QCF for support staff, but in the
    information provided for the course it says that it is equivalent to
    NVQ2 - shed any light?"
    There are plenty of other courses available, but the most commonly recognised/accepted ones are the ones in the link I posted (and their former NVQ equivalents of course) This is because the module syllabus is "owned" by the relevant standards body - TDA (as was, presumably now the new Teaching Agency have taken over this role), CWDC etc) and related directly to the National Occupational Standards for the various roles.
    The "equivalent to NVQ2" bit just indicates the "level" of the qualification, they could equally say equvalent to a GCSE or O Level.
    It is worth checking with your LA which qualifications they accept - I know my own LA look for either NVQ or the new QCF cert/diploma and don't accept any study-only (no workplace evidence) courses.
     
  11. Thanks mcramd and betsy boop - your information is great. I am slowly swimming through the treacle!
    I am currently in talks with the head of the primary school which will be my work placement as to which course I should do. I wanted to be able to go into the meeting knowing what is out there and what I wanted to do, before they had their input. I am also talking to a Uni teacher friend who is looking at what her TA is studying at the minute. What has surprised me the most is the lack of knowledge from teachers/staff that I have asked about qualifications. Most don't even know that NVQ's are no longer available to take.
    As it is ultimately it is me who is driving this idea for the qualification (they are more than happy to support me and could also be an opportunity for a job in Sept since talking to them about the qualification) I wanted to be the one in the know.
    I will also email the LA to see what they say.
    So as it stands I think I am going to do the Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools Certificate - Level 3 via NCFE, with Distance Learning Centre - with a 50 hr placement in a Primary School. I don't have to do the level 2 before it and it will be the equivalent to the old NVQ 3/A level. This will qualify me as a Teaching Assistant - IS ALL OF THE ABOVE INFORMATION CORRECT????
    thanks again for your help it has been great :)
     
  12. Hi - I have emailed the LA, but still waiting for a reply. I have PM about 5 different people on this forum with regards to their personal experience of their course, but nobody has answered me back. I have spoken to the school, TA's, teacher friends, search endlessly through forums and review sites for advice.
    So I am currently trying to decide between - 'Home Learning Centre', 'Distance Learning Centre' and 'edistance learning'.
    They all do the Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools certificate level 3 with NCFE and 50 hr work placement - the last 2 the course seems identical, while the home learning one seems a little bit different.
    Does anybody have any experience of these courses? Are you currently doing it? Have you employed someone who has done it?
    Please let me know - any advice help would be great - what I have received so far has really helped - it's just this last bit. And once I do start a course I will be happy to help others with feedback

    x
     
  13. I would talk to the TAs at the nursery at reception you help out at as a Nursery i.e Day Nursery TA qualification is different to a school based TA qualification. Some colleges do allow you to miss completing a level 2 before completing a level 3 again discuss your options with the TA in the nursery and reception you help out as they will know more and it depends whether you want to work in a nursery, early years, foundation, primary or secondary education. I would also ask if you can volunteer at other schools before making a final decsion as to what type of TA you want to be.
    I did a NVQ level 2 then it change for level 3 to a Diploma. Have done first year of a foundation degree but have found that as I don't want to go in to teaching it isn't relevant and have had difficulty getting a full time position.
     
  14. Hi, I currently have NNEB (National Nursery Examination Board) Diploma, NVQ3 SEN (Special Educational Needs) and STAc (Specialist Teaching Assistant certificate) - amongst other specialist certificates - all apparently no longer accepted. Can you tell me what is the new equivalent qualification to the HLTA (Higher Level Teaching Assistant) is?
    What does UCAS mean?
    Thank you for your assistance. [​IMG]
     
  15. HI,
    I am a full time TA myself and have been for over fourteen years. I also work in the evenings at a local college, training TA's. I would recommend that you do a Cache course and start a level 2, probably do Supporting teaching and learning in schools. This course is linked to the national occupational standards for teaching assistants. It requires you to attend college and have a placement in school. There is quite a lot of work. The course leads on to the CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Supporting teaching and learning in schools of the Level 3 Specialist Diploma in Supporting teaching and learning in schools, the different being, the diploma has extra optional units to cover. There is lots of work to do as I think it is equivalent to three A levels.
    The fact that you have a degree doesn't count unless it is an early child hood degree and then some of this may be A.P.L.D depending on the college.
    I work in Nottinghamshire and to get a job as a TA you need a Level 3 qualification.
    At the college I work for we don't allow may people to go straight on to the level 3 course as the practical element is vital and without the experience you would not be able to fulfill the tasks required to cover the award. I say to my students that yo do the level 3 you must be doing all the things a TA does for example if the school will not allow you to work with groups of children outside the classroom, work with IEP children, deliver intervention programs they you won't have the experience to cover the criteria, especially the diploma.
    Hope this helps, any thing else please contact me.
    Carol Adams
     




  16. Hi


    <font size="2">A year ago I was
    in the same position as you; trying to negotiate through the minefield of TA
    Courses. In short if you want to be a TA go for a QCF L3 Diploma Supporting
    Teaching and Learning in School &ndash; City and Guilds or similar official. This
    link gives you all the details: </font>http://www.cityandguilds.com/documents/ind_education_training/5329-L23ACD-QHB-STLS-v1.1.pdf


    It&rsquo;s equivalent to the old TA NVQ3 and there
    was talk that some Units can be used towards an HLTA (if this is the route you
    wish to go down). I looked around
    everywhere and could not find it done as a Distance Learning course (I haven&rsquo;t
    checked all the other posts &ndash; so someone may have found it). Funding is tricky especially if you have a
    degree, but then I don&rsquo;t know your personal circumstances. Cost for course is &pound;1700 and sometimes you
    can find a college or Local Council School Training body who sub &pound;1200 and you
    pay &pound;500 (or some nice schools pay!)


    I did the course from May 11 &ndash; to May 12 (everything
    has just gone to be Internally Assessed as I type). The course consist of 15 Units with some of
    the Units covered at College over 2hr sessions during 3 lots of 5-week periods,
    e.g. a total 30hrs at college.


    This is the book I bought to point me in the
    right direction when I wasn&rsquo;t at College: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Supporting-Teaching-Learning-Candidate-Handbook/dp/0435032046/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1338311895&sr=1-1


    It was good on some Units and not so good on
    others &ndash; buy it and you&rsquo;ll get a good feel for the course. I think the course is mainly for Primary or Secondary TAs.


    I had an Assessor who visited school half a
    dozen times or so to do Observations; this
    was great as it ticked quite a few boxes which meant I didn&rsquo;t have to write
    about the stuff! I did write an awful
    lot &ndash; more than I had to as some of it was really interesting; other Units were
    like wading through treacle! Didn&rsquo;t see
    my family as much as I would have liked during this year! Hope this helps&hellip;.
     
  17. Thanks for all of the information everyone it is really helping - I have since spoken to someone in the local college where they do the Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools Level 2 and 3 Certificate. It is a City and Guilds course (Qualification number 5329/21 and Qualification Accreditation number 501/1136/X).
    She said that really I would need to be in employement rather than Voluntary to go straight into the level 3 and needed to be in a school for at least 6 months before doing the course (which I have been). I have to enroll and then they will contact me for an interview where this will be discussed. If I did do the level 2 and gain 30 credits is as simple as 'toping up' 2 credits to get 32 credits for the level 3? How long will this take and what cost?
    Is the City & Guilds as good as CACHE?
    I have spoken to the TA's in Reception and Nursery - but most of them either have the old NVQ or are not trained as they came in as a parent helper years and years ago. Most of them didn't even know that the NVQs have been replaced by the QCF.
    Thanks again for the help everyone
     
  18. Thanks for all of this information - it's great
    So did you go straight onto Level 3 Diploma? if so how where you allowed? and again would I be able to do Level 2 certificate and then 'top up' to a level 3 certificate or diploma?
    The Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools Certificate Level 2 City and Guilds is 33 weeks - 3hrs a week at college and then 60 hr work placement per year. It is &pound;585 - 10 mandatory and 1 optional units (don't know why it isn't 9 mandatory and 2 optional like I have seen elsewhere?). Does this sound about right?
     
  19. All the courses, whether they be Awards, Certificates or Diplomas seem geared to the training needs of the secondary education sector - with the emphasis on effectively providing support for the pedagogical learning process, supporting children's development and managing children's behaviour.
    Does anybody know of any courses tailored to the the requirements of the FE sector - with the emphasis more on providing effective support for the androgogical learning process, developing independent learning skills and managing adult behaviour?
    [​IMG]
    Spike
     
  20. picsgirl

    picsgirl New commenter

    Hi,

    Yes City & Guilds is as good as Cache.

    No you can't 'top up' the 30 credits level 2 qualification to make it level 3.

    The credits indicate if it is an Award, Certificate or Diploma - not the level of learning.

    You have to start each course from the beginning.

    I did my Level 2 last year as part of an apprenticeship - the course provider wouldn't allow me to go on to Level 3 as my job was temporary- they insisted I had to have permanent paid work - chance would be a fine thing without a Level 3 qualification.
     

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