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Level 2 or 3?

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by emloulei, Jul 26, 2018.

  1. emloulei

    emloulei New commenter

    Hi I’m just after a bit of advice. I’m looking to do a course online as it’s easier for me as my son is autistic so childcare can be tricky. It’s supporting teaching and learning in schools ncfe cache but I’m not sure whether I should do level 2 or 3.
    I have volunteered in a school for over a year now and I love it but would this count as enough experience to go straight on to level 3?
  2. LeftTheBuilding

    LeftTheBuilding Occasional commenter

    I skipped level 2 and went straight to the level 3 Diploma. Did it in an academic year, while on placement (unpaid) at my daughter's school for 2½ days per week. For many qualifications, it's compulsory to be working in a school, so that you can be observed and so that you can reflect on your practice.

    I took out an advanced learner loan (not available for level 2), which I'll never have to repay 'cos my annual salary will never exceed the threshold (TA pay ain't great). Details here https://www.gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan.

    If you do an online course, make sure the qualification is recognised by Ofqual, https://register.ofqual.gov.uk.

    Very best of luck x
    emloulei and sunshineneeded like this.
  3. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    I think you will probably be able to do Level 3. Is there any way you could do the course at a local college, rather than on-line? Schools are often wary of on-line courses, even if they are recognised by Ofqual - and many of them are not. Often, in the smallest of small print, it will say something like 'this course will give you the underlying skills and knowledge for level 3 but will not give you the qualification'. Be very careful. You would probably only need to be in college for one day a week, then time at a school placement - hopefully the school where you volunteer would allow you to do your placement there. You would have a college tutor and probably a mentor in school, which is such a great support. If this is not possible for you, then do check the on-line courses very carefully before you part with any money. It might be worth giving your local education authority a call to see if they would recognise the course you are considering doing.
    Best of luck, whatever you decide - do use this forum to ask any questions and we'll do our best to help.
    emloulei and Trekkie like this.
  4. annie2020

    annie2020 New commenter

    I agree with previous posters that you should go for the level 3. It's split into 3 qualifications: award (no school placement needed), certificate & diploma (both need a school placement but with varying hours a week). Like Bumptious I did the L3 diploma with a government loan and I also don't expect to ever hit the payback threshold. This diploma is the equivalent to a full Level 3 NVQ which a lot of school still ask for (even though NVQs can't be taken anymore).

    I did the CACHE diploma which is recognised by Ofqual. My local colleges didn't offer the course so I did it through an accredited online institute. A lot of online work but I did have a tutor I could contact anytime, plus my classroom teacher was my mentor. In addition the tutor came out to observe me. I can PM you the details if interested. My diploma does not mention the institute I did the course through but is directly issued by CACHE.
    emloulei and Bumptious like this.
  5. emloulei

    emloulei New commenter

    Thank you all for replying - I was thinking I’d be ok on level 3 as I have learned a lot from volunteering as a TA

    Sunshine needed I am a bit wary as seen a few online that didn’t seem very legitimate. The college by me does the course but it’s quite late in the evening. The 1 online I’ve seen is through Oxbridge home learning and says ncfe cache ‘job ready’ and At the end of this course, you will be a fully qualified Teaching Assistant.

    So it does seem above board but I will check with LEA and yes my school have asked me to go back and said I can do my placement there

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