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Working as a Teaching Assistant

Updated: Feb 13

Female SEN Teaching Assistant

Introduction to Working as a Teaching Assistant

If you have a passion for education and you want to help students learn, becoming a Teaching Assistant (TA) can be an exciting way to make a living. TAs are responsible for helping students, organising classroom activities and assisting in other ways so that teachers can focus on their primary duties. Having some knowledge of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Additional Learning Needs (ALN) can be useful in a Teaching Assistant role, as you will be supervising and supporting pupils both with and without special needs, ensuring their safety and ability to access learning activities. Teaching Assistant jobs are found in:

  • academies

  • colleges and sixth forms

  • independent schools

  • nurseries

  • primary schools

  • secondary schools

  • special schools.

If this sounds like the kind of job you'd enjoy doing, then keep reading!

No experience necessary

You don’t need to come from an educational background or require specific training to work as a Teaching Assistant. It will be beneficial to have some relatable experience before taking on a Teaching Assistant role. Experience may include working in:

  • childcare and nurseries

  • home care and care homes

  • educational settings

  • tutoring

  • youth work

  • caring for relatives.

Whilst working as a Teaching Assistant does not require specific qualifications, you will need to draw upon your own personality, passion, knowledge, and experience.

Within your role you'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding for building good relationships with children

  • excellent verbal communication skills for motivating children to learn

  • active listening skills to understand the children’s needs

  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations

  • to enjoy working with other people

  • the ability to teach pupils how to do something.

If there is one thing that all TAs have in common, it's that they love working with people!

Working hours

The hours that you work may vary, depending on the school. Most Teaching Assistants work during school hours (normally 9 am – 3 pm), and only during term time. This provides great flexibility and an abundance of holidays. Working with an agency allows further flexibility with staff working anything from 2-5 days per week.

Children running in a playground


Your salary as a Teaching Assistant will vary depending on location and experience.

The salary banding for Teaching Assistants works out to around £18,000 - £25,000.

Working with an education agency, like Inspiring Teaching, will pay you based on a daily rate (currently £85-95 per day).

Teaching Assistants have further flexibility as many positions are term time-only contracts. This will allow you more free time and holidays than you’ll find in other careers and can pursue part-time work and side jobs during your off-time, as well as build up your qualifications.

If you find yourself on a full-time contract, then you’ll enjoy paid leave during the school holidays and a higher annual salary rate.

Do you want to become a teacher? This job might be right for you!

If you're looking to gain experience in the education field, working as a Teaching Assistant is a great way to do so. In addition to getting paid and having flexible hours, they also get access to valuable resources, including courses and classroom experience. Similarly, you can further specialise in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Additional Learning Needs (ALN) as a career choice.

Look out for our next blog post where we’ll go into more detail about the benefits of working as a Teaching Assistant through a specialist Education Agency.

Inspiring Teaching is a specialist recruitment agency for the education sector with experts in SEN schools and SEN placements in mainstream schools. If you are interested in finding your first role in an SEN environment, or you have experience and are looking for a new challenge, we can help. Find out more and register your details now at:

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