Where can a career as a Teaching Assistant take you?


A teaching assistant role could be ideal for those seeking a career change, but it could also represent the first step in a long career in primary or secondary education.

From working closely with children and helping them to achieve their full potential, to supporting teaching staff in the classroom, it’s a role that can be highly rewarding.

But if you make the switch to the classroom, where could a teaching assistant role take you next?

Understanding the role of teaching assistants

Teaching assistants provide help with reading, writing and learning activities and there are roles for them in primary schools, as well as in secondary education and SEN education.

Alongside helping children with their learning, the role often also involves helping to prepare classrooms, setting up displays or assisting with elements of lesson planning.

If you enjoy the classroom setting or fancy new challenges, then you could train to be a higher level teaching assistant, or the role can open the door to life as a qualified teacher.

Higher level teaching assistants

Becoming a higher level teaching assistant provides a higher pay grade for similar work as that of a teaching assistant, albeit with more responsibility attached.

Higher level teaching assistants can step in to teach classes when teachers are absent and can help to mark or plan work – these elements are not technically part of a regular teaching assistant’s role, although many end up doing some work of this nature.

The added responsibility that comes with this step up provides further insight into life in the classroom and may help you decide if you’d like to become a qualified teacher in future.

You’ll still have the ability to influence learning outcomes for students and really make a difference, but you’ll be able to develop your skills further too.

Looking further ahead

If you end up with extensive classroom experience as a higher level teaching assistant, you may ultimately be able to take the assessment only route towards qualified teacher status.

In order to do this, you’ll need to show that you meet the relevant teachers’ standards and will have to demonstrate your experience via a considerable portfolio.

Alternatively, the experience from your time as a teaching assistant in primary or secondary education will serve you well should you want to gain qualified teacher status via another route, such as via a school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) programme or post graduate scheme.

Are you interested in moving your teaching assistant career forward?

Tradewind Recruitment is an education recruitment specialist and with 12 offices across the UK, we have tons of fantastic temporary / supply, long-term and permanent jobs in primary, secondary and SEN schools.

You can view all of our teaching assistant vacancies. Alternatively, submit your CV below and your local education recruitment consultant will get in touch with you shortly.