We all know and understand how important our children’s education is, and we admire the tireless efforts of the teachers in our schools. But how about the tremendous supporting role that teaching assistants play in this? These individuals provide valuable support and back up which enhances the learning experience for our pupils.

If you are currently working in a support role within a school and you are interested in undertaking a work based qualification, you’ll want to explore your options. The government provides funding for apprenticeships, but if this route is not for you, rest assured you can still obtain a nationally recognised, industry approved qualification with VTS. In fact there are some benefits to studying a ‘stand-alone’ qualification. For example -

  • There is no minimum timeframe to get qualified. Although there are certain guidelines, if you put the work in, you can progress significantly faster than those studying a similar course via an apprenticeship
  • You do not have to be employed for a certain number of hours per week…… in fact you don’t have to be employed at all, you can be a volunteer. As long as your duties in the setting match the qualification you want to study, you can enrol.
  • Your employer does not have to financially contribute to your study and therefore you will not be tied to them after you are qualified.
  • There is no maths and English to worry about

You will have a structured learning programme and an individual learning plan. Your VTS tutor will meet with you regularly to guide you through your learning and you will build a portfolio of evidence which will include work you have completed, professional discussion records and observations by your tutor. You will achieve your qualification when your portfolio contains all the evidence required by the awarding body (City & Guilds).

There are qualifications at levels 2 & 3 available for you:

Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools

Suitable for those new to the industry working mainly under the supervision of the class teacher.

Nine mandatory units plus a wide choice of optional units.

Duration: 9/12 months

Funding type available: Private Funding - £1500

Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools

Suitable as a natural progression from the level 2, or as a direct pathway for teaching assistants who have gained some industry experience and work independently with groups of pupils.

Eleven mandatory units plus a wide choice of optional units.

Duration: 12/15 months

Funding type available: Private Funding £ 2000 or 19+ advanced learner loan £2225