SEN Teaching Assistant

In this guide we will look through the role of a special educational needs teaching assistant. We will identify the special educational needs teaching assistant job description and helping to examine key areas involved in becoming a special educational needs teaching assistant.

Special educational needs teaching assistants are a vital asset in the classroom. The special educational needs teaching assistant will support the learning activities of the children in their care, assisting the teacher with the classroom work. The special educational needs teaching assistant will ensure that every child fully enjoys the learning experience and is able to work in a safe environment. The special educational needs teaching assistant will interact with all of the children in the classroom setting and encourage the pupils to be engaged at all times.

The role of the special educational needs teaching assistant would be ideal for anyone who likes working with children, who wants to make a positive impact on a child’s life, and wants children to succeed in the learning environment. The special educational needs teaching assistant would work with the teacher and the parents to ensure that the children are learning at every stage. Your excellent literacy and numeracy skills will be put to good use, as well as your creative ideas to spark imagination.

Job Responsibilities

  • Organising the classroom before each lesson
  • Aiding the reading and learning of children
  • Helping to prepare learning materials
  • Assisting children to be more confident
  • Ensuring that children understand instructions
  • Planning child’s care strategies
  • Providing support for children’s communication
  • Supporting children during activities and outings
  • Attending to children’s physical and emotional needs
  • Maintaining records
  • Tidying up after each lessons, clearing the space for the next day

 

The Work as a Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistant

The primary function of a special educational needs teaching assistant is to ensure that the children in your care are able to learn within the classroom environment. By supporting the teacher, the children would be able to grasp all of the concepts that are being taught and excel in their development as pupils. The special educational needs teaching assistant will support the teacher with the management of the classroom ensuring that behaviour standards are being met and no child is being left behind.

The work will be carried out mainly in the classroom and there may be some opportunities to travel outside of the classroom for example during school outings. The work can be very rewarding especially when you see children achieving their required results and progressing in their studies.

 

Career Progression

The position of the special educational needs teaching assistant is vital to the running and management of the classroom and the level of experience will be recognised by the school. A special educational needs teaching assistant can progress to become a higher special educational needs teaching assistant who will have more responsibilities than a normal special educational needs teaching assistant. The next level up is becoming a senior special educational needs teaching assistant with even more responsibilities and more remuneration as well. As the special educational needs teaching assistant will be working closely with a teacher, the experience gain from this position could provide the opportunity to go back to university to take teaching qualifications and progress into a teaching career; if that is something you want to do.

 

Working Hours

Special educational needs teaching assistants who work full-time will work up to 40 hours per week during term times. The school day can start as early as 8.30am and finish as late as 4.30pm, however most schools start at 9am and finish at 3.30pm.

There may be times when the special educational needs teaching assistant is expected to work outside of these hours for example taking part in school outings, staff meetings, and staff training. The majority of special educational needs teaching assistant’s work part time and some are required to help out over the lunch break.

Salary

The salary of a full-time special educational needs teaching assistant will range from between £12,000 and £17,000 a year. This is dependent on the Local Education Authority (LEA) and the school responsibilities. The salary of higher special educational needs teaching assistant will start at £16,000 and the salary of a senior special educational needs teaching assistant could reach £22,000.

Unfortunately there is no national pay scale so the wages will be set by the LEA and will vary around the country. TA’s who work part time would be paid on a pro rata basis meaning that they would receive a proportion of the full-time salary.

 

Skills

  • Experience of working with young people
  • Excellent literacy and numeracy skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to work well as part of a team
  • Willingness to be sensitive
  • Understanding of the relevant child based legislation
  • Knowledge of national stage curriculum
  • Awareness of child development and learning procedures
  • Capable of providing patience
  • Able to be firm when required
  • Ability to help with personal care issues

 

Previous Work Experience

Previous work experience working with young people would strengthen any application, so working in nurseries or being an au pair would provide relevant experience to the application of a special educational needs teaching assistant.

Final Thoughts

The SEN Teaching Assistant role is a very interesting role, as we hope you have seen from the above. If you would like more information, or want to ask a question, just leave a comment below: