When accepting a job and working as a teaching assistant from level 1 to 5 you have a contract to work in a nursery, primary or secondary school. It’s a noble and ethical job role assisting a teacher in class, helping out with play activities and contributing to class lesson planning.
Jobs roles in different industries are not equal with skills, knowledge and even qualifications required to function at an entry level job is not enough, where another role you’re work experience is suitable for another industry.
A job role where a person is hired as a school or nursery teacher assistant receives a salary and has a contract of employment counts as work experience as a teaching assistant. Applying for another job role in a professional capacity or other industry usually won’t count as relevant work experience.
Job relevant work experience
Working as a teaching assistant does count as related work experience for another classroom support role, although not as a qualified teacher. A teacher assistant at primary, secondary or nursery school in UK is a recognised national job role, giving a person employed paid work experience.
A teaching assistant (TA) is a school classroom support position for pupils teaching & learning between 3-18 years old. TAs are qualified with their own job description, duties, skills and experience for the role they work in. Is being a teaching assistant considered teaching experience? No. A teacher has a separate qualification, standards, training, responsibilities and skills than what a school teaching assistant role entails. You can’t count the work experience as a TA towards a role as a qualified teacher.
School teachers that are qualified are responsible for the entire learning & progress of each school student on they’re class register, and teaching content delivered for each lesson.
For primary school 5-12 year old learning a teaching assistant is in the class with working alongside a qualified teacher. They work as a team, the class teacher teaches delivering the lesson, and the teacher assistant supports students if they have questions, guidance with problem solving & behaviour management of students.
A teacher has much more responsibilities in school than a teaching assistant in relation to progress of pupils, lesson planning and behaviour management. They’ve spent 3-5 years qualifying and being assessed where a TA could achieve a level 3 qualification in under a year, thus making the roles not comparable as work related experience.
Qualifying as a teacher QTS only route
Time spent working as a highly qualified level 5 teaching assistant with years of experience covering PPA and taking small groups for lessons could counts as relevant work teaching experience qualifying as a teacher by QTS only route in England.
School learning support role
When a UK primary or secondary school advertises a job for an experienced learning support assistant (LSA) they ask for prospective new employees to have direct or highly relevant work experience for the job. Teaching assistants have similar skills, qualifications, and experience as a LSA working & supporting children in the classroom.
You as an experienced teacher assistant at level 3 for example have work experience that counts towards assisting a child in lessons & class work. Skills & knowledge of problem solving, support, reassurance and patience as a school classroom TA would count as highly relevant experience working as school learning support assistant.
Is TA considered employment?
In the UK any role that is paid, contract of employment and specific hours by a person working as a teaching assistant (TA) is definitely considered employment by the government.
TAs roles are available in England, Wales, N Ireland & Scotland at schools from Monday to Fridays where by class assistants have a job description & responsibilities towards the school, class teacher and pupils. Employed as a school TA you could have a permanent full time contract, part time hours or choose one of the many temporary job roles, although cons of being a teacher assistant in schools is insecure and low paid work.
Teaching assistant level and responsibility
School classroom support assistant qualifications & grades are from level 1-5 where you as a person start with no experience and work your way up to level 5 with an advanced qualification and years of experience.
An experienced TA at level 3-4 would have:
- Recognised TA qualification for the role and level of responsibility
- Experience working with children, teachers and school staff in an educational setting
- Valuable work experience as a HLTA with highly transferable skills to other job roles
- Track record of employment in a job role
Working with children in education
School classroom assistants work with children on a daily basis in primary classes and delivering booster lessons to small groups of students to reinforce learning.
Skills they use, as well as knowledge of the UK primary national curriculum helps them work efficiently alone with school pupils and with the class teacher. Working with children as a class TA full or part time counts greatly towards showing work experience with pupils when applying for a teacher training place at university.
Is being a TA professional experience? No. teacher assistants are qualified for the job role according to the specific responsibilities & job description, although they work directly with professional teachers in the classroom.