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TA advice

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by tbbucher1990, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. Hi everyone,

    My name's Tom and I'm a final-year university student who has just got on to the TeachFirst Primary programme to start in September 2013. In the year I will have between graduating and starting as a Primary teacher, I think I want to work as a TA, in order to develop my skills working with primary-age children before the programme starts. So, I wanted to ask a few questions, and it seems like this is the best place to get advice from people with a lot of knowledge of TA jobs.
    1) To secure a paid TA job, would additional qualifications be required? (I have an English Language degree, probably at 2:1 level (by the time I'd start the job), a TESOL TEFL qualification, and overall nearly a year's teaching experience in various TEFL roles)
    2) Would jobs be available for under a year (say, 6-month contracts), or do they tend to be all at least year-long contracts?
    3) What's the proportion of part-time to full-time positions normally available?
    4) Would positions be available now for September 2012?
    5) And finally, are there any books you would particularly recommend to prepare for going into TA work?

    Any help would be massively appreciated.

    Tom :)
  2. Underachiever

    Underachiever New commenter

    To answer your question in order:
    No, you probably won't need any further qualifications, although you may be asked to 'work towards' an NVQ 2 Teaching Assistant.
    Yes jobs may well be available for under a year on fixed term contracts, depending on the individual school's needs.
    It depends what you mean by full time. TAs aren't paid for school holidays, but our pay is portioned out equally over 12 months. I don't know where you live, but it seems to me that more and more jobs are part time these days. Where I work no TA jobs are 37 hours, some are 32 1/2, some 25 and any amount below that.
    No, there almost certainly won't be any jobs advertised now for 2012. Schools won't have budgets set yet and won't know about SEN numbers etc often until the last minute.
    I can't help with reading I'm afraid. Maybe someone else can.
    Good luck

  3. cupofteacher

    cupofteacher New commenter

    Hiya, my advice to you would be to join an agency ASAP to get TA experience. As most TA posts will be supporting students with Special Educational Needs, it would be beneficial to have practical experience of these needs, and would also help with your teaching career. I did this whilst at uni and used Ranstad Education, although I think there are others. I would let them know of my availability whilst at uni, and if they needed a TA if I could I would do it!

    If you want a short term position this may also be a good option for you.

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