What’s the job all about?
As a classroom assistant, you support the teacher with their everyday work. You work as part of a team, planning learning activities and providing a stimulating environment both indoors and outdoors.
A typical day could see you helping with reading and number sessions, arts and crafts, play activities, and caring for children who are upset or who have had an accident. If you love children, you’ll love this job.
What are the opportunities for you?
Most schools employ full-time classroom assistants. There are opportunities for you to work within a nursery school helping children from 3–5, an infant school with children from 3–7 or in a primary school for children aged from 3 right through to 11–years–old. A big benefit is that you’ll only work during school terms, so if you’re a parent/carer you can have a job that fits around school holidays.
Many schools also welcome volunteers to come in to provide extra one-to-one help, for instance with reading and number work. This can be a great way to gain experience.
What qualifications will you need?
You can become a classroom assistant without any recognised qualifications other than your GSCEs, especially if you can offer plenty of real-life experience looking after children as a parent/carer or as a volunteer.
However, once you start you’ll probably undergo induction training and be encouraged to study up to Level 2. You may also study to Level 3 if you want to progress and become a higher level teaching assistant, which comes with more responsibility and a higher salary.
For more information on becoming a classroom assistant please contact your Local Education Authority.