Classroom support refers to roles such as Teaching Assistants, Early Years Assistants and Practitioners and Cover Supervisors.
Teaching Assistants/Learning Support Assistants
Teaching Assistants or Learning Support Assistants as they are also known, work directly alongside teachers in the classroom. Teaching Assistants focus on support to pupils with their learning on an individual or group basis. Some Teaching Assistants specialist in areas such as literacy, numeracy and/or special educational needs.
Teaching Assistants need to have the ability to build good working relationships with both adults and children, be organised, enjoy working with and have an interest in children, have good literacy and numeracy skills and have the ability to manage groups of pupils and deal with challenging behaviour as it arises.
Dependent upon the level of the Teaching Assistant post, there may be minimum qualifications and experience requirements, Where they apply, they will be stipulated within the role profile for the post.
From a Teaching Assistant role, you could develop further into a Higher Level Teaching Assistant, consider teacher training or move across into pastoral or specialist support roles.
Higher Level Teaching Assistants
To become a Higher Level Teaching Assistant, you will have to have HLTA status. To achieve this status, you will need to be working as a Teaching Assistant and have the support of your school to undergo assessment against the national HLTA standards. Where schools are seeking to appoint an HLTA through advert, only those with HLTA status should apply for such a role. HLTAs can be required to deliver lessons in the absence of teachers.
Once working as a HLTA, you could develop further through accessing teaching training, or move across into pastoral or specialist support roles.
Early Years Assistants and Practitioners
Early Years Assistants and Practitioners work in co-operation with a teacher, or nursery manager to look after the social, physical and educational development of nursery age children. Their work involves planning and delivering activities and keeping parents up to date with their child’s progress.
Early Years Assistants and Practitioners need to have a rapport with younger children, be patient and adaptable, have good communication skills and have an awareness of relevant health and safety issues.
Qualifications and experience requirements will vary according to whether the role is at assistant or practitioner level and whether it is based in a classroom or nursery environment.
The career opportunities for early years staff are vast from progressing into other classroom support roles, moving into pastoral or specialist roles, to progressing in either nursery management or teacher training.
Cover Supervisors are support staff who supervise pupils when teaching staff are absent. Unlike HLTAs who can be required to deliver lessons in the absence of a teacher, Cover Supervisors supervise and monitor a class whilst they undertake work that has already been set.
Cover Supervisors need to have good communication skills, be highly flexible and must enjoy working with young people.
From a Cover Supervisor role, you may move across into other classroom support roles or consider undertaking teacher training. Larger secondary schools may also employ cover managers to manage the deployment of the cover supervisors employed in the school.
You may wish to view current Support vacancies