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Qualifications required for teaching assistants

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

  1. Some of the best TAs I know have GCSEs and nothing more, and I know others who have NVQs at the right level but can't understand the basic concepts teachers are explaining or even, a lot of the time, relate to the kids in any way. It's not all about the qualifications.
    Also, it depends on what you class as "unqualified" - I have a degree in Education Studies from Cambridge (I did the option which included professional studies in education and also some classroom practice), yet I am being informed by my local Eduaction and Library Board that I am "unqualified" to be a Primary TA.
  2. You know the more I hear about the different situations that people are in, the more I think that the term 'anything goes' is appropriate. It seems as though it depends on whoever is in charge and the established pecking orders.
    I work as a GTA with SEN at level 2. have an education degree and a Cache level 3, I'm studying a MA in Philosophy part-time and I did the majority of a teacher training degree 13 years ago (did all the school practice and the head of the school I was in had been planning to keep me on when I qualified). I have volunteered in various schools across the years and still I get treated like an idiot by some teachers. I was even with a class one day and there was a parent helper with us, and the teacher (who had led the class for a small walk) decided she needed to go back to class ahead of the children, she then gave her whistle to the parent helper and asked her to bring the class back indoors! Can you imagine how that felt.
    As for developing my career, I asked my head about becoming a HLTA and she told me I would have to get a post as an ATA first (does anyone know if this is true?). I'm also finding myself in competition with other TAs who aren't as qualified as me, two of which were put in charge of classes of 30 to cover the absent teachers yet I wasn't asked (what gives?) it is demoralising at best. I feel like I'm a wasted resource, yet I'm always very diligent and have a great relationship with the kids.
    Oh and by the way, I've tried to get onto the GTP for the last 3 consecutive years and failed because the 'competition is so strong', I'm not sure what it is the others have but the competition is fierce.
  3. Hi all,
    I'm also a L3 TA and have an English (hons) degree. I've been working at my school 4 well over a year now but still dont feel 100% confident. Some of the teachers constantly 'lurk' about when im trying to support my group and that makes me feel quite nervous. Im not given enough time to spend with the group as im sent off for odd jobs and some of the older TAs think they're the best thing that happened to the school even though i know i do the job just as well as them if not better.
    Dont get me wrong, some of the teachers are wonderful and do gve me feedback that im doing well. However, i feel really uncomfortable when they talk about other TAs not being good enough etc. If they do this to them surely they must talk about me also. ( im not perfect and i made alot of photocopying etc errors when i first started[​IMG].
    A lot of the other TAs wonder what im doing there and shud go for teaching. I dont want the stress of planning etc (mother of 2 and pregnant 3rd time)! but still want to work with children where i can make a difference.
    But here's my dilemma; although I hold a degree and it is highly useful I still feel i could do with a proper TA qualification as i want to stay a TA for a while and want to do the job really efficiently. I asked my DH if could go for the CACHE L3 qualifcation but he thought I ddnt need to and sort of shrugged me off. Im thnkng now whether i shud do a FD with the OU, surely anything that boosts my skills and expertise in the job is a bonus, or whether i shud just stick to what i have and get on with the job and learning as I go along.
    Sorry for the extremely long post but teh last bits been playing on my mind 4 a while now. Any advice would be useful - Thanks
  4. Thanks for the heads up on the GTP situation, poppinsmary.
    I worked in a support role in a primary school for 5 years, and although my Head and the teaching staff were wonderful to work with, I found the lack of career development opportunities totally demoralising. Despite having 4 A levels, a BSc Hons in Psychology and over ten years of paid and voluntary classroom experience, I was paid less than the TAs with an NVQ. My job was also more demanding and I had more responsibility than the TAs, as I regularly had to plan, assess and write reports.
    I loved the job, the staff and the pupils, however, which is why I stayed so long, but eventually the frustration got the better of me, and I now work overseas. I was considering coming back to look for a place on the GTP, but after reading your experiences, I think I'll stay put for the time being!!!
  5. champansara

    champansara New commenter

    I work in a secodary school with over 40 TAs, no official HLTAs, despite myself and 1 other having gained the status (without doing ATA, whatever that is). None of us have done the NVQs as the school considers them worthless, but we all have a minimum of grade A-C maths and english GCSE.

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