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Teaching assistant Classroom assistant, learning support assistant

Teaching assistants support teachers and help children develop.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £11,500 to £23,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 32 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

Each school sets its own entry requirements. You'll usually need:

  • experience of working with children
  • GCSEs (A* to C or grade 4) or equivalent, in English and maths

Qualifications in childcare or youth work could also be helpful.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

You'll need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • the ability to build good relationships with children, teachers and parents
  • organisational, planning and IT skills
  • the ability to manage children and cope with challenging behaviour
  • creativity to design materials and activities

3. What you'll do

Most jobs are in nursery, primary and special schools. You could also work in secondary or independent schools and academies.

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • getting the classroom ready for lessons and clearing away afterwards
  • listening to children read or reading to them
  • helping children who need extra support
  • helping teachers prepare materials that match development needs
  • supervising group activities, including outings and sports events
  • helping teachers manage class behaviour
  • looking after children who are upset or unwell 
  • leading classes with help from the teacher

4. Salary

Starter: £11,500 to £14,000

Experienced: £15,000 to £17,000

Highly Experienced: £17,000 to £23,000 (higher level teaching assistant)

Wages are set by local education authorities or by the school.

You may only get paid for the weeks you work during term time.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll work from around 8.30am to 3.15pm or 4.15pm.

You may also attend meetings and training outside these hours.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a senior assistant or apply for a Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) role.

You could also train as a teacher. Get into Teaching has more information.

Last updated: 17 February 2017