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Do TA need any qualification?

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by picsgirl, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. picsgirl

    picsgirl New commenter

    It depends; in the past qualifications were not needed, just the right person for the job, this still happens occasionally depending on the headteacher and/or the LEA.
    In our LEA there tends to be 2 grades of TA's - 1 and 3. For the 1 the LEA asks for aminimum of a Level 1 qualification but prefer level 2 (which means they really want a level 2 but ideally 3) and for a 3 they ask for a minimum of a level 3 but prefer an level 4 qualification.
    In the school I worked last year the HT said she would not employ a Level 3 TA without a minimum of a level 3 qualification and at least 5 years experience.
    But all the qualifications in the world won't get you a job unless you are the right person for that particular job - many jobs go to people who have been volunteering at the school that has the vacancy.
     
  2. Underachiever

    Underachiever New commenter

    In my LEA you have to commit to doing NVQ 2 for LSA posts and NVQ3 for TA posts. This is muddied by graduates wanting experience for PGCEs and obviously doesn't apply to qualified teachers wishing to become TAs. I work in secondary and it's very rare now for staff to be taken on without qualifications for 2 reasons: Many more people now have NVQs (this wasn't the case when I started, 15 years ago) and schools are too strapped for cash to support TAs wanting to go to college. I don't know how common it is in primary.
     
  3. My headteacher does not look at qualifications at all. He is a firm believer in interviews
     
  4. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    I was told when I began training eighteen years ago that the classroom support staff role(there was no such job as 'Teaching Assistant' in our area until about 2003 and it only became a generally-accepted job title after 2004) was shortly to become professional-only and those without qualifications would no longer be employed - sadly, we are still waiting for this to happen! In fact, it seemed to change so that the accepted path was to to volunteer at a school and then do some kind of on-the-job training, thereby limiting experience to a single school rather than having placements at a number of different educational establishments with all the experience this brought with it.
    Unfortunately, although some heads do choose to employ only qualified TAs many more jump at the chance to take on someone who they feel they can both influence and underpay - many posts on this forum clearly demonstrate that, in a huge number of schools, TAs are not valued as professionals (possibly because those schools are tending to employ people who do not meet this standard.) The OP mentions that this parent has a degree of some kind - scarily, some heads do seem to believe that any degree must be a better qualification than a TA one actually relevant to working in school.
     
  5. Just to give another perspective, I was offered a TA post at my childrens school without any qualifications in education but I had been volunteering for several years. Since taking up my post two years ago, I have attended college and passed my level 1 and 2 TA qualifications, and am currently half-way through my level 3. I have paid for these courses out of my own pocket and also attended in my own time. The reason for studying and furthering my education is obviously to learn more to support the school, staff and children, but also to be taken more seriously, so I am not seen as "just a mum" who was lucky at an interview.
     

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