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Help me choose a distance learning course...and hello!

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by zez, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. Woodyhill so is this a course with work placement or all home learning? - any info would be gratefully received [​IMG]
  2. I thought I would give this information on this thread as well as my own as I think it is also very relevant to this thread.
    I too am in the same position - trying to find a TA course to gain qualifications. I had been looking at distance learning providers and came up with some differences for the Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools Level 3 so I emailed NCFE to find out why there was a difference between the HLC study time of 300hrs and the eDL and DLC 180 hrs study time.

    I received a very interesting reply......
    "These are courses that are not national qualifications but have been developed by other training centers and are independently accredited by NCFE..... They have been accredited with NCFE’s Investing in Quality (IIQ) Licence which is designed to give formal recognition to an organisation’s bespoke programmes that fall outside the Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF). The licence is based on a number of Quality Statements which provide a quality assurance framework for the development, delivery and evaluation of their programmes. We’ve mapped the Quality Statements to a range of standards: ISO 9001, Investors in People, EFQM, The Common Inspection Framework, The Matrix Standard; and Recognising and Recording Progression and Achievement (RARPA).
    In summary, NCFE hasn’t accredited their course as a ‘qualification’ but through their IIQ Licence we do give formal recognition to their training/courses which result in the ‘award’ of a certificate of achievement."

    So I thought I would be gaining a QUALIFICATION via these distance learning providers - while in fact I wouldn't.

    I have since gone onto the 6 awarding body's websites (Ascentis, CACHE, City &Guilds, Edexcel, NCFE and OCF) to search for Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools - Level 2 course and used their postcode search to find the qualification provider/colleges/centres which are registered with this course. None of the distance learning providers come up.

    I have just emailed 2 local colleges who did come up on the list of Ascentis, CACHE and City&Guilds course. I am waiting on information from them.
    I hope this helps someone - and if anyone has any more information which could help me then great :)

  3. If you (or anyone) really wants to do a distance learning course - go with the OU - it is a recognised level 4 qualification.
    I did it and have not looked back! :)
  4. I completed the OU course mentioned above a few years ago before they combined it into one course. I would recommend the course, but alas I have never been paid to the level I am qualified at. I find they always fob you off with the not enough experience excuse. I've been doing paid TA work for 8 years and had to beg to be paid at level 2. I am now an LA doing very similar work to a HLTA but with one child eg, planning, making resources, timetable etc. but have been told LA's rarely get paid over a level 1 ! Sorry about the rant
  5. I have ruled out the OU course due to the cost - I think that I would rather go down the Level 2 Certificate onto the level 3 and then onto HTLA qualifications if I feel the need. Thank you for your input though :)
  6. I am two weeks away from completing my level .2 and want to progress on to level 3. I paid 300 for my course and found out the level 3 is 1,250!
  7. HLTA is not a qualification - it is a Status.
  8. picsgirl

    picsgirl New commenter

    Would you qualify for a Part Time Tuition Fee Loan - it only has to be paid back if you earn over £21,000.
    I don't know any TA earning over £21,000
  9. TAWren - yes sorry I knew this - what I meant was gain the status of a HTLA after getting level 3 certificate and then diploma - or would I need to get level 4 before I can gain HTLA status? - or is it an experience thing?
  10. I don't think I would qualify - I am married, 36 years old, already have a degree and have a reasonable joint income - this normally rules me out of anything.
  11. Hi I just wanted to update this info as I hate it when someone leaves a thread hanging - anyway to cut a long story short(er). I contacted NCFE again and distance learning centre to tell them what NCFE had been saying about their course and NCFE have now 'about turned' and changed their story. They say that IT IS a valid QUALFICATION and it is THE SAME as you get in a college setting as long as the course has a 501/******** code to it, it is recognised by Ofqual and is on the QCF.

    Hope this helps :)
  12. Hi, was wondering if you could give me some advice about the teaching assistant centre.I am thinking of doing the assistant level 3 course with them but wondered how good you found it and if the qualification has helped you? It sounds as if you found a job. I am already working but want to do a valid qualification. How was the course? how many hours ish did you put it? how was the feedback? any advice would be greatly received. thanks
  13. I have just finished the E111 OU course......Fabulous.
    I am a graduate, long long long time out of uni, but found the course both stimulating and challenging. The support from the OU is excellent, with email contact with a dedicated tutor and regular local tutorials and at the end (providing I get the necessary marks on the end of module essay!) will get Level 4 accredited qualification.

    Yes it is expensive - the cost has rocketed this year with the increase in uni tuition fees - but I would definitely say it is worth it. I spread the cost as the OU offers low interest finance and allowed me to pay monthly.
    You say your head has offered you a position, do you think they would be interested to look into part funding you?

    Do you think your head would support you to get a year or so experience under your belt before you start studying. If they have taken you on without a qualification would they look at more on the job training?
  14. Hi,

    Just wondered how you were getting on as I am just trying to decide whether to sign up with them. I have looked at Stonebridge, HLC and distance learning centre as well as going to a college to do a part time course but they make you do Level 2 first and then go onto Level 3 when you have finished that and got a job. Any advice would be welcomed.

  15. Hi all,

    I'm also wondering if there has been any further progress on this thread ?

    I'm currently volunteering as a reading assistant at my childrens' school and am considering the 'Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools' Level 3 qualifications. I haven't spoken to the school about progressing to Teaching Assistant status as I'm still in the early days of research and want to find out more before I do so.

    I need a distance learning provider to fit around family life but want to ensure I end up with an industry recognised qualification. My research has lead me to Ofqual's register and having subsequently searched for CACHE courses it appears that http://www.teachingassistantcentre.com/ are providing these CACHE courses. The information 'seems' genuine and includes the Qualification No. 500/9963/2 for the Level 3 Award to prove its existence on the QCF. I was wondering if anyone has any experience of this provider and if the qualification has helped them ?

    Any advice would be welcome

    Many thanks
  16. picsgirl

    picsgirl New commenter

    Check with your LEA as some don't accept an Award - most require a Certificate or Diploma.
  17. I have been round the houses too like most of you but have found that the Level 3 course offered by Stonebridge does seem to be a genuine one and I have had this confirmed by Stonebridge and NCFE.
    It is number 501/0403/2 on the Ofqual register and is a Level 3 certificate.
    If anyone has done this one maybe they could back up the fact it is genuine?! as this is the one I think I will go for.

  18. In my experience, the qualification is less important that getting experience in a school and being part of a team. When a job comes up, it is almost always someone who is known to the school, i.e. someone who is volunteering and has proved themselves with staff and pupils. The normal TA qualification which I think takes less than a year with 1 day in college and 1 day in school seems to be the most popular. The HTLA status comes when you have worked in school for a period of time and the school puts you forward for it. It does not always mean you will get paid as a HTLA though. At my school only 2 people get the extra pay, out of 8 or so support staff. It is not much extra either.
    Also, some schools will pay people with degrees to work whilst training for support assistants qualification. It does seem like a waste of your degree though. Very poor pay.
  19. hi, im looking at doin Supporting teaching and learning in schools level 3 but am a little unsure who to enrol with, i came across this site and read ur comment. As you said you studied with both stonebridge and teaching assistant centre, both are in my options to study with , i was just wondering you opinions on them both as i have read a few bad reviews on them both although alot of good ones too? thanks :)
  20. hi
    This is my first post and I did exactly the same course with Stonebridge College.I was already working as a cover supervisor in the school but I wasn't happy.I had always volunteered in education while my children were attending primary school.
    This counted as experience working with pupils and as a result of that, along with my teaching assistant level 3 certificate, I now work in the comprehensive (which i really enjoy) school with 11-18 year olds but at present I am the only TA .We need more!

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