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looking into a TA job?

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by fazz123, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. i am new to tes having recently discovered it and have been lurking for a while having a read! im hoping i can get some advise please- I am considering a possible move into teaching but not decided as yet however i am fairly positive i would like to work in a school as a TA or LSA and only after that would i be in a position to decide about teacher training. if i like the role of TA/LSA then i would stay (but the money is ****!)
    so my question is - would i be able to get a job as TA without previous exp? i am a law graduate and have very good GCSEs and A levels and have worked mostly in recruitment since graduating. but no exp in schools
    i have a baby now so thats my main reason for wanting a part time role which alot of TA roles seem to be. also what is the difference between LSA and TA - where i live there are lots of LSA jobs but i note that there is no forum dedicated to them??

    also how much knowledge of the current curriculum are you expected to have a new TA?

    thanks in advance if you reply!
     
  2. i am new to tes having recently discovered it and have been lurking for a while having a read! im hoping i can get some advise please- I am considering a possible move into teaching but not decided as yet however i am fairly positive i would like to work in a school as a TA or LSA and only after that would i be in a position to decide about teacher training. if i like the role of TA/LSA then i would stay (but the money is ****!)
    so my question is - would i be able to get a job as TA without previous exp? i am a law graduate and have very good GCSEs and A levels and have worked mostly in recruitment since graduating. but no exp in schools
    i have a baby now so thats my main reason for wanting a part time role which alot of TA roles seem to be. also what is the difference between LSA and TA - where i live there are lots of LSA jobs but i note that there is no forum dedicated to them??

    also how much knowledge of the current curriculum are you expected to have a new TA?

    thanks in advance if you reply!
     
  3. oops that should read - how much knowledge should you have as a new TA!
     
  4. About 3-4 years ago you would
     
  5. Oops - This forum hates Google Chrome.
    As I was saying....
    About 3-4 years ago you would probably have been able to get a position, but it's a lot harder now. For every position there are so many applicants and it seems that everyone is now qualified with NVQ's or in the process of doing them.
    Good luck and just apply anyway, the worst they can do is not reply. :)
     
  6. Hi
    Have you thought about volunteering at a local school to get experience? That's what I have been doing. Good luck!
     
  7. You can definitely get a job without an NVQ-I got a full time TA post without one and I also know of other TA's who have too. However I have seen some job adverts which say you must have an NVQ3. I guess it varies, experience is important but so is your passion for working with children!
     
  8. Hi,

    I was in your position a year ago, and could not even get an interview, yet I had experience working as a childminder and some qualifications relaitng to chidlcare, but no experience in schools (apart from being a Mum!).
    So I decided to volunteer from January to July in a local school (4 afternoons a week) and by the end of June I got an interview, and a job!
    been busy in the meantime going to evening classes to get NVQ2, to ensure I got relevant/ current knowledge of classroom practice etc...
    I suggest you start with volunteering a few hours a week, get CRB check that way, and you'll have some reference to lean on when you apply for a proper/ paid position.
    Good luck!
     
  9. It depends on the local authority. Birmingham prefer candidates to have level 3. Best to volunteer in the type of school (infants/juniors/secondary) and (year 3/4/5/6/7/8 etc) before making a decision to study and what you want to study Level 2 NVQ Certificate or Level 3 Diploma or even a Foundation Degree in Education. Do you want to work in mainstream or Special Educational Needs
     
  10. Hi i voluntered in my local school for 2 yrs while gaining valuable working experience and going to college for my lvl 2,3 NVQ. Volunteering is a good way of getting your foot in the door so to speak also showing your willingness and abilities. Another good reason for volunteering it gives you the chance to see if this role does suit you and that it really is what you want to do.
     
  11. Hiya Fazz,
    I was in a similar position to you last year, I had my degree but had no qualifications and little experience. I managed to get TA work through an agency, then one of the schools decided to take me on full time and now I'm applying for my PGCE. So I think you'll be fine, just contact some of your local teaching agencies...they don't pay too well though!! Hope it all works out for you :)
     
  12. Hi, I have been a TA for many year and when I first started the job was called a LSA, currently in Wiltshire we are TAs but who knows what we will be called next!
    As far as your qualifications, if you have good GCSEs, A levels and a degree you don't really need to have NVQs as you already show your intelligence. I have never done any NVQs and have asked the same questions myself about NVQs to my line manager who said because as I have higher level qualifications I don't need them. I would not receive LEA funding to do them and why do a qualification at a lower level than you are already at?,
    It is good idea to have some experience of working with children or young people, but volunteer work is just as useful as paid employment. Brownies, Guides, helping out at a play group those kind of things that let you see children at their best or worst!
    You will pick up the curriculim knowledge as you go along, it depends on what you do as a TA. It is quite a varied job, some TAs work only with specific children some with small groups and some with whole classes but always under the guidance of the teacher - so don't worry!
    Hope this is some help,[​IMG]
     
  13. The NVQ qualifications and Foundation Degree (which I'm currently doing) are not just about proving your intelligence. Far more importantly you study, through theory and practical, how best to enable all pupils to access learning. I was in a similar position three years ago. I had helped in primary as a parent, and when offered redundancy from my previous job, decided to go for it. I got a temporary admin job in a secondary school and on advice from an agency signed up for the foundation degree. Last November I started as a full time TA and I believe that without the qualification I would still be in admin. The school could see that aswell as volunteering (this is vital if you have no other experience) I had shown I was serious enough about this career path to spend money and time on training, which effectively it is. I have a lot to learn as experience is important too but please don't discount studying as you learn so much that is relevant to the job. GOOD LUCK!
     
  14. fazz

    I have been a TA for nearly 5 years now in Nottingham. I decided to change jobs and had a so-so degree, some A levels and an ok number of GCSE's.

    I went to a supply agency, and accepted that they couldn't employ me as a teacher (obviously), but would work as a TA, nursery nurse, cover supervisor and all the other support type jobs they could send my way.

    The pay was **** and not always regular, but the experience (referral unit one day (trying to get kids to 'calm down'), primary the next day (reading the same book 15 times), was really useful.

    Eventually a long term supply assignment turned into the job I have been doing for the over 4 years.

    The supply route may not suit you if you have a small baby unless you have really flexible childcare. As long as your basic GCSE's are quite a wide base, and your A levels are not too obscure you sound better qualified than a lot of TA's I work with. Personally a piece of paper that says you are a Level 3 is only as good as the person who holds it. Enthusiasm and a willingness to get in there and make a difference are more important to me, but then I have never been involved in recruiting TA's at my school.

    What will be more important than any qualification and will help you to decide whether or not to be a TA, a teacher or get out of education altogether will be whether or not you can get some sort of relationship / rapport with kids and if you can take what they dish out. Unfortunately as a TA you will probably end up working with some of the most challenging kids.

    Best of luck.
     
  15. thank you all for your messages.. i have applied for one position that I have seen at a local school so will see what happens with that. I am going to contact some of our local schools (we have some very good schools where i live-primary and secondary) and offer to come in on a voluntary basis or athe very least of i can come in and observe. This will strengthen any future job applications im hoping!
    im actually going off the idea of becoming a teacher and think maybe a TA role might be better - my cousin is a TA and has 3 kids and she loves the fact when she comes home she doesnt have to do any work! i guess its about finding what works for you and your family.
    i think i should get hold of some SATS maths papers and practise though coz my maths really isnt very good!
     
  16. my line manager who said because as I have higher level qualifications I don't need them. I would not receive LEA funding to do them and why do a qualification at a lower level than you are already at?,
    Though I DO understand the logic in your thinking .......I also think that NVQs are valuable training to the vocation you are in ( or aimimg for). For instance you may be a law graduate/ textiles degree/equine managment degree etc. but what actual relavance is that to the position you are in as a TA/LSA, unless involved with the teaching of those particular subjects.
    Health and Safety, How to Support Literacy, How to Support Numeracy, Child Protection, ITC as Support , Special Needs, Posative Relationships in the Work Place, between pupils ,Behavior Managment etc....all these are important factors to being a good TA/LSA and need to be practiced as well as preached. NVQ SHOW you are an understanding practioner!!
     
  17. NQT1986

    NQT1986 Occasional commenter

    In my school, we have LSAs, but ten years ago they were called TAs!
     
  18. I started as a TA (or LSA in new language) in September. I applied to several schools in the primary age range.
    Previously I had done one years voluntary work, running the gardening after school club for my daughters infants school.
    One thing that a teacher friend had said to me was really important if you are trying to get a TA role without any NVQs, was to visit the school. Once you have sent your application off, phone the school and ask if you could come and have a look around. Every one of the schools I applied to let me do it. Remember, you are interviewing the school too!
    It gave me a chance to speak to a member of staff (often the Headteacher, or Asst Head) about the school, ask about whether my background would be suitable and show myself off, without having had an interview!
    Out of the 6 schools I applied to, 4 invited me to interview, and I was offered jobs by 3.
    I have a science degree, and other than the gardening club and my own children, I have no experience with children. However, I had a lot to offer the schools - gardening knowledge, science, great maths skills, I do lots of arts and crafts at home, good cook, I can use a computer confidently etc etc - and it was these things that I dropped into conversation as I visited schools.
    Unless you stand out from the crowd, the school have nothing to go on except for the qualifications on the application form, and this is where the NVQs and experience as a TA speak volumes. If you don't have them, get yourself noticed in other ways!
     
  19. In my borough (of London) you do need to demonstrate experience of working with children / young people, but this can be voluntary.
    I don't know many TAs with NVQs, either. The borough usually offers induction training (although for how much longer is anyone's guess) . I know more about secondary TAs and they are almost always educated to degree level, have some experience with young people and loads are very often considering doing a PGCE.

    Look at job ads for TAs in your area and see what they are asking for. Good luck!
     

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