Teaching assistants (TA's) work in schools alongside qualified teachers to provide support.
The type of support needed in individual schools can vary greatly. Currently teaching assistants provide the following types of support to teachers in Luton schools:
- children with learning difficulties e.g. dyslexia, autism
- children with behavioural difficulties e.g. emotional/relationship concerns/ statemented pupils
- general classroom support e.g. preparing materials, organising resources
- specific subject support e.g. numeracy/literacy.
Teaching assistants working hours vary too, currently some are employed for 6 hours per week and others for anything up to 30, depending on the needs of the school.
An increasing number of teaching assistants attend specialist courses to develop greater expertise in their role. Achievement in these courses can help people obtain entry to initial teacher training and several ex teaching assistants are now qualified teachers working in Luton schools. (See download below)
If you feel you would like to work as a teaching assistant there are a number of things you can do:
- contact your local schools to offer your services on a voluntary basis - this will put you in good position to apply for any posts that may become available.
- apply for teaching assistant posts that you will see advertised in the Luton Herald and Post. You do not need any special qualifications but a real interest in, and experience of working with children will help your application.
- apply to a local college (e.g. Dunstable or Barnfield) to study for a basic childcare qualification or study at home via the Open University or National Extension College.
The Leagrave Centre, Strangers Way, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU4 9ND