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Qualifications required for teaching assistants

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by olwenkirkham, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. Is it OK for me to post a query on this website? I am an not yet a teaching assistant, but a volunteer, in my 3rd year of volunteering in a primary school in Scotland. My husband and I are trying to move to Bristol, but so far have been unable to sell our house. I feel I can't apply for a teaching assistant training course in Scotland, in case our house sells. Also the qualifications required in England are different to Scotland.
    One possibility is to enrol for an NCFE Diploma, offered by UK Distance Learning College. Does anyone know whether a distance learned qualification would be acceptable to employers, or is it better to wait, continue with experience as a volunteer, and apply for teaining in England later?
    Also, I understood that NVQs were the standard qualification required in England. Is the NCFE one recognized? And are Foundation Degreesnow beginningto supplant NVQs?
     
  2. hubcap

    hubcap New commenter

    NVQs are still the qualifications for teaching assistants. The foundation degree is the one you do after your level 3, although some level 2 do go straight onto it. Sorry I cant help with the NCFE as Ive never heard of it in Lancashire. You could still apply for level 1 ta with your volunteer work though. Good luck!
     
  3. Hello I have just started Level 3 Cache course at college Supporting Teaching and Learning in schools. 1 year course and recognised.
     
  4. Thanks, hubcap and lottee2.
    Bristol City College does both CACHE and NCFE qualifications, which I think they describe as underpinning knowledge for NVQs. I think I'll wait till I get there and aplly for one of those. What I was wondering is whether anyone has experience of, or knows anything about, UK Distance Learning College, and whether an NCFE qualification offered by them would be accepted by head teachers, or whether it's better to attend a taught course.
    Best wishes,
    Olwen.
     
  5. This is not really a reply, more extending the question. I'm a Parent Governor at my son&daughter's primary and I'm also training to be a TA (CACHE Level 3 last year, now started first year of Foundation Degree with OU). I have this idea in my head that possibly by 2012, all TAs will be required to have a qualification - either a TA or possibly O level equivalents. No qualifications = bye bye, no job. Something to do with a "workforce remodelling" agreement. I mentioned this to my Head and his eyebrows raised in panic - he was not aware of this and felt (hoped?) that if I was right, it could only apply to new TAs and not to those already in post. I said I'd find out. Can anyone point me in a helpful direction please? Thanks in anticipation.
     
  6. hubcap

    hubcap New commenter

    This is an initiative by Ed Balls, ALL support staff should be level 3 or working towards it. When its going to happen I dont know. Surely schools wont be able to afford to pay everyone at level 3! Maybe thats that idea- less staff but higher qualified? I cant see him letting off staff that are already in schools, our staff have been on courses for numeracy and literacy this year at adult level 2. You never know whats round the corner!
    Then again if the tories get in we may all be out of a job!!!
    No use worrying- you are doing a foundation degree- thats level 4 and 5!
     
  7. I'm not concerned for myself (except for the fact that I haven't yet got a job), more for (with my Governor's hat on) what might happen to the majority of hard-working, competent and highly valued TAs in my school who don't have the required level of qualification. Anyway, my tutor from last year has pointed me at the DCSF website and letters from Ed Balls which say that all learning support staff will be required to have or be working towards a Level 3 qualification. Doesn't say by when, what Level 3 qualifications are or what will happen if these aren't achieved. I'm aware that people in posts have some protections, but as a Governor I have to be concerned that no qualkification = no job. I've emailed a number of questions to DCSF and will keep this forum posted with responses. Don't hold your breaths.
     
  8. As an employed TA (full time Level 3) with a foundation degree which allows me work as a HLTA for PPA cover, I object to unqualified people working alongside me calling themselves TA's. After working hard for my qualifications I feel that when schools employ unqualified people it belittles the hard work I have put in. It also encourages the split in the staffroom between teachers and TA's. The headteacher at my school is currently working hard to ensure the whole staff of the school are thought of as a team and equal, from the teachers to the cleaners, dinner ladies and TA's. When unqualified people are employed in the classroom, teachers who have little respect for TA's in the classroom anyhow are very unlikely to alter their opinion.

    Today the teacher I work with informed me that after all I have done in the classroom I am no better thought of than a parent helper! How small minded is she! I know that I do a great job in the classroom and when I cover her PPA I cope very well without any support! (During her teaching time I am there to support her class of 16 pupils). If I chose to complete a PGCE for 1 year I would be a qualified teacher so as I'm nearly there and carry her most of the time I can't understand her opposition towards me :(
     
  9. hubcap

    hubcap New commenter

    She was obviously having a bad day!! Some teachers like to remind you whose in charge! I totally agree that tas should have a qualification. Espeically these days when a lot of heads are leaving them with classes and small groups. However, the pay should also reflect their qualification, as in other jobs.
     
  10. I'm glad this question was asked as i would like to hopefully get a job as a TA come september and i have an English degree, do i have to do any qualifications in order to get a chance as i have tons of volunteer experience? if i have to do a specific qualification what would you suggest?
     
  11. hubcap

    hubcap New commenter

    I think you would get one with your English degree. Our school employed someone because they had a dance and drama degree and another friend was employed because she had a degree in media studies. I think if it is relevant and can be used in school you're onto a winner. Good Luck!
     
  12. Here here. I too have worked extremely hard to gain my qualification and become a L5 TA. As a result I have worked as SENCo for three years as well as covering PPA and being TA manager.
    However, there are some TAs who can't seem to be bothered to train but want the glory and the PAY! Some are fab and come and ask me for training, to which I always provide either in hose or the more standard NVQ as equivilents.
    Some of our TAs have begun as parent helpers/LAs. Where does this show the hard working ones that they are valued and respected.
    As TA manager I have put a stop to the employment of staff with NO qualifications.



     
  13. terri1972

    terri1972 New commenter

    Further to the original question about NCFE.
    I gained my level 2 qualification with NCFE and it was recognised by Birmingham schools.
    My level 3 is a CACHE qualification. I found that there was a lot more work required by the NCFE. Don't know if this helps at all.
    As to the qualification of TA's to level 3, as far as I'm concerned it is a money making scheme by the government. Although I am qualified to Level 3, the council I work for does not pay anyone for level 3 unless they are covering teacher absence.

     
  14. Well said, SENCoJ!

    I think a far more relevant question would be 'What qualities do you need to become a TA'. I have worked with 'qualified' TAs who didn't even really like children very much...
    It's one thing to be able to 'talk the talk', but much more important to be able to 'walk the walk'[​IMG]
     
  15. I too am a primary SENCo with 17 TAs in my team. I set very little store by NVQs- one of the worst TAs I ever worked with had NVQ 2 and 3 but had the most appalling levels of basic literacy and numeracy and spoke to the children in a dreadful manner.
    When appointing TAs I look for good basic qualifications- maths and english ar GCSE A-C AT LEAST. Preferably A levels. My team includes several graduates but most important after good literacy and numeracy I look for people with a real interest in pupils' learning and who can get on with other people. I avoid like the plague people who want to 'play teacher'- TAs can contribute so much to individual pupils- theirs is a unique contribution to a child's education not some kind of pale imitation of a class teacher. I rely so much on their insights into individual children. We provide lots of CPD in school and TAs have the opportunity to do courses that come up in the LA. I would much rather have an inexperienced TA with the right qualities who is willing to learn on the job.
     
  16. Hi, I got my 1:1 TA job with some experience of working with children, but no experience of working with special needs. As a result, I am struggling and finding it really hard, and have asked to go on a course. However, the class teacher thinks experience is better and I can see his point, however, I would feel more confident with some sort of qualification behind me in order to get better control of my group. If you've done lots of volunteering that'll give you a better idea of any areas you might need to work on, but you don't necessarily need to have a qualification to get a TA job in my experience.
     
  17. Hopefully I am jumping the gun, but your post seems to say that you are of the opinion that parent helpers don't deserve to be employed in schools! I was a parent helper before gaining employment at my son's school and I happen to think (and so does the Head) that I am more than capable of undertaking the role. I am in my third year of a Molecular Science degree (of which I am doing extremely well) and have 9 GCSE's (5 of which are A's) and 2 A Levels. I completely agree that uneducated TA's are a hinderance rather than an asset but please don't put all parent helpers into the 'mum brigade' category. If I have misunderstood your post, I apologise but I felt that this needed to be pointed out.
     
  18. By uneducated - I mean TA's without basic literacy and numeracy skills. So called 'unqualified' TA's that I work with may not have degrees but they are creative, fun, supportive, caring, consistent, reliable adults that children gain a real affinity with. No qualifications cover these qualities!
     
  19. <table cellspacing="0" id="courseListTable"><tr class="even"><td>Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning (NCFE) Level 2 </td><td>2</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford
    Dover
    Folkestone</td></tr><tr class="odd"><td>Children's Care, Learning and Development NVQ 3 </td><td>3</td><td class="rightCol">Folkestone</td></tr><tr class="even"><td>Children's Care, Learning and Development - NVQ 4 (CACHE)</td><td>4</td><td class="rightCol">Folkestone</td></tr><tr class="odd"><td>Computers don't bite - Adult Literacy</td><td>E-2</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford
    Dover
    Folkestone</td></tr><tr class="even"><td>Conflict Management (City & Guilds) </td><td>2</td><td class="rightCol">Folkestone</td></tr><tr class="odd"><td>Construction - Higher National Certificate </td><td>4</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford</td></tr><tr class="even"><td>Diploma in First Line Management (CMI) - Level 3</td><td>3</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford</td></tr><tr class="odd"><td>Diploma in Management (CMI) - Level 5</td><td>5</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford</td></tr><tr class="even"><td>Diploma in Support Work in Schools (OCR)</td><td>3</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford</td></tr></table><table cellspacing="0" id="courseListTable"><tr class="even"><td>Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning (NCFE) Level 2 </td><td>2</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford
    Dover
    Folkestone</td></tr><tr class="odd"><td>Children's Care, Learning and Development NVQ 3 </td><td>3</td><td class="rightCol">Folkestone</td></tr><tr class="even"><td>Children's Care, Learning and Development - NVQ 4 (CACHE)</td><td>4</td><td class="rightCol">Folkestone</td></tr><tr class="odd"><td>Computers don't bite - Adult Literacy</td><td>E-2</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford
    Dover
    Folkestone</td></tr><tr class="even"><td>Conflict Management (City & Guilds) </td><td>2</td><td class="rightCol">Folkestone</td></tr><tr class="odd"><td>Construction - Higher National Certificate </td><td>4</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford</td></tr><tr class="even"><td>Diploma in First Line Management (CMI) - Level 3</td><td>3</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford</td></tr><tr class="odd"><td>Diploma in Management (CMI) - Level 5</td><td>5</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford</td></tr><tr class="even"><td>Diploma in Support Work in Schools (OCR)</td><td>3</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford</td></tr></table><table cellspacing="0" id="courseListTable"><tr class="even"><td>Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning (NCFE) Level 2 </td><td>2</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford
    Dover
    Folkestone</td></tr><tr class="odd"><td>Children's Care, Learning and Development NVQ 3 </td><td>3</td><td class="rightCol">Folkestone</td></tr><tr class="even"><td>Children's Care, Learning and Development - NVQ 4 (CACHE)</td><td>4</td><td class="rightCol">Folkestone</td></tr><tr class="odd"><td>Computers don't bite - Adult Literacy</td><td>E-2</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford
    Dover
    Folkestone</td></tr><tr class="even"><td>Conflict Management (City & Guilds) </td><td>2</td><td class="rightCol">Folkestone</td></tr><tr class="odd"><td>Construction - Higher National Certificate </td><td>4</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford</td></tr><tr class="even"><td>Diploma in First Line Management (CMI) - Level 3</td><td>3</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford</td></tr><tr class="odd"><td>Diploma in Management (CMI) - Level 5</td><td>5</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford</td></tr><tr class="even"><td>Diploma in Support Work in Schools (OCR)</td><td>3</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford</td></tr></table><table cellspacing="0" id="courseListTable"><tr class="even"><td>Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning (NCFE) Level 2 </td><td>2</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford
    Dover
    Folkestone</td></tr><tr class="odd"><td>Children's Care, Learning and Development NVQ 3 </td><td>3</td><td class="rightCol">Folkestone</td></tr><tr class="even"><td>Children's Care, Learning and Development - NVQ 4 (CACHE)</td><td>4</td><td class="rightCol">Folkestone</td></tr><tr class="odd"><td>Computers don't bite - Adult Literacy</td><td>E-2</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford
    Dover
    Folkestone</td></tr><tr class="even"><td>Conflict Management (City & Guilds) </td><td>2</td><td class="rightCol">Folkestone</td></tr><tr class="odd"><td>Construction - Higher National Certificate </td><td>4</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford</td></tr><tr class="even"><td>Diploma in First Line Management (CMI) - Level 3</td><td>3</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford</td></tr><tr class="odd"><td>Diploma in Management (CMI) - Level 5</td><td>5</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford</td></tr><tr class="even"><td>Diploma in Support Work in Schools (OCR)</td><td>3</td><td class="rightCol">Ashford</td></tr></table>
    Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning (NCFE) Level 2
    My local college no longer runs NVQ's in teaching assistant instead they offer the above course .
    I would say the NCFE level 3 would be ok . From what I can work out and I may be wrong but experience is key . I am thinking of doing the same course as you in Jan. The schools which I have spoken to all want something different.
    I have also done some openings courses with the OU. At present I am ding understanding the Autism Spectrum which I would advice great course.

     
  20. oops sorry about all the extra info
     

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