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TA advice needed for a newcomer please

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by LaureRichis, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. At the moment there are no formal qualifications required for TAs but my Head has informed TAs at our school that relevant TA qualifications will shortly be a requirement.
    My advice would be to get a qualification whilst you are volunteering. TA jobs are becoming harder to obtain and schools receive many applicants for every post. At my school anyone without either a teacher qualification, a degree or an NVQ3 were not considered. There were so many applications the Head could afford to be picky.
    All schools are different and my school pays all TAs at level 3 and has two full time HLTAs paid at HLTA rate. Other schools employ TAs with a wider range of skills and qualifications.
    Most TAs at our school look for a local provider for NVQs and study in the evenings. You could speak to the TAs in your school and ask them if they have any idea of local providers of NVQ training.
    Good luck with your search for a job.
     
  2. Many thanks for the reply!

    Can NVQ training start at any time of the year? The reason why I ask is that the OU runs a course but that doesn't start until October and also I'm not sure if I could get funding. I'm 44!

    To be honest I'd love to study for an NVQ whilst working, how great that would be. Also, wouldn't mind putting in extra hours at home studying if that could fast track me to the qualification.

    Any help or advice would be great as its rather a minefield

    Dina
     
  3. Hello - I too wish I had started being a TA earlier, and I agree it is a bit of a minefield.
    Like you I started as a volunteer (about 3 years ago) and studied for level 2 NVQ. I had to be in placement for 16 hours a week and the course was free as I had no other NVQ's. I also took advantage and brushed up on Maths and English (gaining level 2) which was really useful.
    On qualifying there were no paid positions at my local primary school so I applied for and got a job in the next town (16 miles away). It was a temporary job covering for maternity leave. After the 6 months contract our local school advertised a part time position which I applied for and was lucky enough to be offered. Since then there have been a few staff changes and I now work full time in reception, and I am studying for level 3 STLS, the awarding body this time is NCFE and we are working on an e-portfolio (tho there seems to be quite a lot of actual paper flying around).
    I love my job although it is poorly paid and very demanding. It is heaps more rewarding than the office based jobs I used to do and I can draw on lots of skills I learned along the way.
    By the way, we started studying in Sept after school and the tutor then set up an afternoon class a couple of months ago. We can only work as fast as she goes (which has been a bit stop and start to be honest).
    Best of luck, I am convinced that volunteering seems to be the best way to get a foot in the door, incidentally I am slightly older than you. Hope I haven't waffled on too much, it's just that I'm all for encouraging the volunteers!







     
  4. Very helpful reply. Thanks!

    I currently work around 12 hours per week for the school (2 days a week) but that's likely to go up very shortly. You mentioned that your NVQ was free, how was it funded and who did you have to approach to get it all set up, etc?
     
  5. picsgirl

    picsgirl New commenter

    Training opportunities vary, depending in where you live.
    TA NVQ's in my area are no longer available (they are being phased out, to be replaced by QCF qualifications).
    The local college runs technical based qualifications during the academic year (Sept-July) but I know the one nearest to me filled it's spaces a year in advance.
    Have you looked at job adverts for your local area? This may give you indication of what is expected.
    Funding is hard to find.
    In my area there are companies that provide TA Apprenticeships funded by the Welsh Assembly (I did the level 2 last year when I had a 1 year temp TA job).
    But I couldn't go on to the Level 3 as I didn't meet the criteria;
    I had to be in TA paid employment for a minimum of 16 hours per week ( which I wasn't)
    or unemployed ( I had another non-TA 12hr per week job, if I had given that up I still wouldn't have qualified as I'd be making myself unemployed)
    or able to pay for myself. As the fee is over £2000 I couldn't take up that option.
    Have you asked your HT for advice? Ask the other TA's in your school.
    I think my option for Level 3 is to either do a correspondance course and hope schools will accept it or wait until Sept 2013 for a space to become available in the local college.
    Good luck.
     
  6. Hi
    I have been in a paid job for over 3 years now. I found voluntary work first at another local school, did my NVQ 2 whilst doing this and was very lucky half way through it to get a paid job at another school. I also never had to pay for my level 2 as never had 5 O levels or similar. Not sure if this is still being funded. I then did the level 3 and have since moved onto a foundation degree. I just feel that everyone around me has one or all of these so wanted to keep progressing also Head is keen to see you advancing professionally. When I went for my interview it did state that they required NVQ 2 or working, willing to do this. I feel you would stand a better chance if you are already doing this when going for interviews. I wish you every success and dont worry about age I am nearly 45 and proudly disply my uni student discount card at every opportunity lol. Just ring around your local colleges and see what is on offer or ask for any advice from then for online compaines. Good luck!
     
  7. I'm just completig the 1st year of a 4 year foundation degree with the Open University and receive funding for this. I enrolled on an NVQ course at my local college, but couldn't get funding for this, because I already have a degree. I contacted the OU who were really helpful, so I'd suggest you give them a call. I found the course easy to fit in around other commitments and the FD counts as 2/3 of a degree, if you want to move on to further study. I am 43 and I'm not the oldest on the course, so don't think of your age as a barrier; you have at least 20 years of working life ahead of you before retirement!
     
  8. I'm just completing the 1st year of a 4 year foundation degree with the Open University and receive funding for this. I enrolled on an NVQ course at my local college, but couldn't get funding for this, because I already have a degree. I contacted the OU who were really helpful, so I'd suggest you give them a call. I found the course easy to fit in around other commitments and the FD counts as 2/3 of a degree, if you want to move on to further study. I am 43 and I'm not the oldest on the course, so don't think of your age as a barrier; you have at least 20 years of working life ahead of you before retirement!
     

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