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Want to become a Teaching Assistant help

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by emma_dennon, May 12, 2020.

  1. emma_dennon

    emma_dennon New commenter

    Hi everyone

    Hope everyone is safe and well.

    I am just after a bit of help. I currently work in a mental health unit as a medical secretary, however I have been thinking of getting into working in a school in some capacity and rather than working in the office think I would really enjoy being a teaching assistant!

    I know the current situation is a nightmare at the moment in terms of a career change but hopefully things will be back to some form of normality in the next few months and schools will still require these positions to be filled.

    I have been online looking at the TA course but there are just so many it's a bit overwhelming/confusing and I have no idea which one to go for.

    Would anyone please be able to point me in the rfight direction of which courses are the most beneficial?

    thank you

    lau_bellagamba likes this.
  2. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Hi Emma,

    First of all - I don't know anything about a medical secretary's salary, but I imagine it is considerably higher than that of a TA. That's worth thinking about before you consider starting on your journey. There are various different admin/secretarial roles in schools - our admin staff are very much part of the team, so that's also a possibility.

    But if you're really keen on a change and would like to try a TA role - go for it. I was a TA for many years and have now been a HLTA for the past 10 years and wouldn't want to do anything else.

    I'm sure your English and Maths are at a good level, given your current role. The majority of schools do require TAs to hold a level 2 or 3 qualification - NVQ in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools, or similar. Your local college (when they re-open) will be able to advise you about the courses they offer. If full time study is not an option, there are many on-line courses available. I have no personal experience of these and know it's something of a minefield; some of the qualifications they offer are not worth the paper they're written on. But there are some good ones - I've heard good things about Stonebridge College - just make sure that the course they offer is CACHE accredited. If at all possible, don't go for on-line study.

    If you are able to, it would be a good idea to volunteer at a local school to get the feel of what the job involves. Send a letter to local schools - no more than one side of A4 - explaining what you want to do, being clear about how much time you can offer and any particular skills you have - art, music, a language, sport, great interest in books/reading. etc. This can also be useful as any course you do take will require you to find a placement in a school - if you are already volunteering, the school will probably be willing to be your placement school.

    Very best of luck - post again if you have specific questions.
  3. emma_dennon

    emma_dennon New commenter

    Thanks so much for the reply and all the info!

    You’re right, the salary definitely will be higher for what I’m doing now. However, I turn 40 this year and feel like I’m at a time in my life where I want to be doing something I really enjoy, rather than just earning more money if that makes sense!

    Sorry, I should have clarified, it's an online course I would be looking at rather than actually going to college. As you say there are so many it's hard to know which ones are any good. The last thing I want to do is spend £600 on a course that can't get me anywhere!

    I will check out Stonebridge College as you suggested!

    thanks again for the help!
  4. rolls

    rolls Occasional commenter

    I really would not suggest a course that does not involve classroom practice. It is like studying motor mechanics without having been near a car.
    You need to show you can work with children. Once we are allowed out I suggest you look at volunteering opportunities. If you cannot Get time off work to be in a school consider youth clubs, scout groups, after school clubs, Saturday schools .....

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