The Teaching Assistant (TA) role is popular among those looking to start their career within education and individuals who are passionate about influencing the lives of children. The role has experienced interest over the years, with recent National Statistics stating that in England, the amount of full-time Teaching Assistants has increased by 6,000 since 2019. In fact, around 30% of professionals in the education sector are Teaching Assistants.


Working as a Teaching Assistant is exciting as no two days are the same. Working with children and watching them thrive is also extremely rewarding and can make a genuine difference to a pupil’s life. If you work through an agency like Affinity Workforce, you will also be able to work on a flexible schedule, making it ideal for those with children of their own.


To boost your odds of landing a TA position, it’s crucial to navigate your job search effectively and consider advancing your qualifications. This article offers advice and insights to equip you for the job application journey and a fulfilling career in education.

Education, training and qualifications


Considering a path as a Teaching Assistant involves understanding the necessary academic study and training required.


While there isn’t a universal qualification for Teaching Assistants, numerous qualifications listed on Gov.uk are widely acknowledged by schools as evidence of suitable training, indicating a high level of understanding and application of the material.


These Teaching Assistant Level 3 courses offer online completion options and may include voluntary work placements at local schools to gain hands-on experience with children. Many courses have no entry requirements, allowing individuals to pursue a Teaching Assistant career without prior qualifications, although some schools may require GCSE English and Maths at grade C/4 or above for TA positions.

Here are three accredited Teaching Assistant courses that can help you secure work as a Teaching Assistant and unlock exciting opportunities within the education sector:



Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools


This qualification is accredited by the NCFE CACHE (Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education). The course will equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively assist students in primary, secondary, or SEN schools with their learning.


The course is assessed by your tutor or assessor using a range of methods. This could include direct observation in the workplace, a portfolio of evidence and written assignments.


While it is advantageous if you are already working or volunteering before starting the course, the college will be able to help you find a relevant work placement. In total there are 11 units with 210 guided learning hours and 50 hours of work-related placement. Upon the completion of your course, you will be a qualified Teaching Assistant.


Click here to learn more about this qualification.

Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education


This qualification is a great option for individuals considering a career working with young children. The course offers you the knowledge and practical skills needed for working within the education sector. Successful completion of the Diploma allows you to progress onto University degrees and Higher Education based on UCAS points achieved. Applicants must have 4 GCSEs (Grade 4/5) including English Language and maths.


The course will comprise of classroom-based lectures, presentations, workshops, discussions and practical work experience placements. You will attend placement for two days per week which will support the studies you do at college.


To learn more about the course, read the guidance from Gov.uk.



T Level in Education and Early Years


T Levels are new 2-year courses which are taken after GCSEs and are broadly equivalent in size to 3 A Levels. The course offers students both knowledge-based learning at a school or college as well as on-the-job experience through a placement of at least 315 hours or approximately 45 days.


The qualification will provide students with the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to progress into skilled employment or higher-level technical training in the education sector. There are no specific prior skills/knowledge a student must have for this qualification.


Click here to learn more about the qualification and what you are expected to learn while completing your T Level.


Instead of acquiring college qualifications, you are also able to start working as a Teaching Assistant by enrolling in an apprenticeship or by participating in volunteering at schools. Click here to learn more about the different ways to get into a TA role.

Required attributes and personality traits


While achieving qualifications for Teaching Assistant roles is important, there are certain personality traits and attributes that you will need. Take some time to think about why you want to become a TA and how your personality attributes can help you excel in the role. Here are some qualities commonly seen in successful Teaching Assistants:


  • Patience: TAs need to remain patient and composed, especially when working with students who may require extra support or have behavioural challenges. 
  • Empathy: Understanding and empathising with students’ emotions and perspectives can help TAs build positive relationships and provide effective support. 
  • Creativity: TAs often need to think creatively to engage students and create stimulating learning environments, particularly when resources are limited. 
  • Enthusiasm: A positive and enthusiastic attitude can inspire students and create a supportive and motivating learning environment. 
  • Resilience: TAs may encounter setbacks or challenging situations, and resilience is essential for maintaining a positive outlook and continuing to support students effectively. 

Write your CV


After securing your TA qualifications, you need to make sure your CV is up to scratch. You will need to prepare your CV and make sure it is up to date before you start applying for jobs. When building your CV, you should include:


  • Contact information: Provide your full name, professional email address, phone number, and optionally, your LinkedIn profile URL.


  • Education: List your educational background, including any relevant degrees. Highlight relevant coursework or specialisations related to education, child development, or teaching. 


  • Work experience: Detail your experience working as a TA or in related roles. Include the name of the school, your job title, and the dates of employment. Describe your responsibilities, emphasising tasks such as assisting teachers in lesson planning, providing one-on-one support to students, managing classroom behaviour, and facilitating educational activities. 


  • Certifications and training: List any relevant certifications or training courses you have completed, such as Safeguarding Training, First Aid Certification, or specific TA qualifications (e.g., CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Supporting Teaching and Learning). 


  • Volunteering experience: If applicable, include any volunteer work or extracurricular activities involving children or education. This could include mentoring programs, youth groups, or community service initiatives. 


Remember to keep your CV clear, concise, and well-organised, using bullet points and subheadings to make it easy for recruiters to read. Proofread your CV carefully to ensure accuracy and consistency, and consider seeking feedback from mentors, colleagues, or career advisors. 


Start your job search


Before starting your search, conducting a comprehensive self-assessment is key. TAs should reflect on their skills, qualifications, and preferences to determine the type of role that aligns best with their career goals. Whether they prefer working with specific age groups, have expertise in particular subjects, or thrive in certain school environments, clarifying these preferences will guide their job search strategy.


Once you have a clear understanding of your preferences, there are several different avenues you can explore to find job opportunities:


  • Online job boards: job boards are a popular starting point, offering a vast array of TA positions across different educational settings. Websites such as Indeed, Education Jobs, didteach, and Reed frequently feature TA vacancies, allowing candidates to filter their search based on criteria such as location, school type, and contract type. 


  • Networking: Networking can play a crucial role in the job search process for TAs. Leveraging professional connections, both online and offline, can uncover hidden job opportunities and provide valuable insights into the local job market. TAs can tap into their network of colleagues, mentors, and former classmates, as well as participate in education-related events, seminars, and workshops to expand their connections and stay informed about potential openings. 


  • School websites: Many schools post job vacancies directly on their websites, making it easy for candidates to discover openings in their desired area. 


  • Working with an agency: TAs can benefit from working with an education recruitment agency like Affinity Workforce. As an education recruitment agency, we have access to a wide range of job opportunities across various schools and educational settings including primary, secondary and SEN. We can help TAs find roles that match their skills, preferences, and career goals. Additionally, we provide support throughout the job search process, including resume writing assistance, interview preparation, and ongoing career guidance. We can also facilitate the application process for TAs, making it easier and more efficient to apply for multiple roles. Best of all, you can work around your own schedule as our roles are flexible. This can be perfect for you if you have other responsibilities to attend to throughout the week like caring for your child or a family member.




After curating your CV and applying for TA vacancies, you will receive an invitation for an interview if your qualifications and experience are suitable for the role. Click here to learn more about how to prepare for your TA interview and common questions that may come up.


Once you’ve been through the application process and interview, the hard work doesn’t stop. You must make a good impression on the school. Remember to stay positive even if things don’t go to plan and remember that it will take a little time to settle in.


Although working as a TA can be tough sometimes, you have the opportunity to positively impact the lives of students by supporting them in their educational journey and development. Working as a TA also offers opportunities to grow and gain several skills including communication, teamwork, problem-solving and leadership.


If you are looking for a role as a Teaching Assistant, get in touch with our team today or apply for one of our TA roles by clicking below.


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