Teaching Assistant Job Description

What’s it like working as a teaching assistant? In this guide will look through a teaching assistant job description and help to identify areas that make up the role of a TA.

Teaching assistants (TA or Classroom Assistants as they are sometimes referred to) are a vital asset in the classroom for primary, secondary and SEN schools. The Teaching Assistant will help to support the learning activities of children in the classroom in addition to assisting the teacher with the classroom work. The Teaching Assistant will ensure that every child fully enjoys the learning experience and is able to work in a safe environment. The 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 Teaching Assistant would be ideal for those individuals who like 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 Teaching Assistant would work with the teacher and the parents to ensure that the children are learning at every stage in the classroom. As a potential applicant for a Teaching Assistant’s, your excellent literacy and numeracy skills will be put to good use, as well as your creative ideas to spark imagination.

A great Teaching Assistant can create a long and lasting impression on a child’s life. Let’s take a look at the typicalteaching assistant job description.


Job Responsibilities for Teaching Assistants

Let’s take a look at some key job responsibilities for a Teaching Assistant:

  • Organising the classroom before each day/lesson
  • Aiding the reading and learning of children
  • Overseeing educational activities such as games, sports and arts projects
  • Assisting with further support for children who have special educational needs
  • Assisting children with English as a second language
  • Helping out to display children’s work around the classroom
  • Providing support during school outings
  • Tidying up after each lessons, clearing the space for the next day

As you can see the job responsibilities for a teaching assistant in the classroom can be very diverse, each school will have their own individual requirements for a teaching assistant.


The Work as a Teaching Assistant

The primary function of a 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 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 or child sports day. The work of a Teaching Assistant can be very rewarding especially when you see children achieving their required results and progressing in their studies.


Career Progression

The position of the Teaching Assistant is vital to the running and management of the classroom and the level of experience will be recognised by the school. A Teaching Assistant can progress to become a Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) who will have more responsibilities than a typical Teaching Assistant. The exact duties will vary depending on the school and local borough requirments. The next level up is becoming a Senior Higher Level Teaching Assistant with even more responsibilities and more remuneration as well.

As the 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.   In fact many Teaching Assistant, go on to progress into a teaching capacity.


Working Hours

Teaching assistants can work either full-time or part-time. Those TA’s 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 and academies start at 9:00am and finish at 3:30pm(ish).

There may be times when the 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 TA’s work part time and some are required to help out over the lunch break.



The salary of a full-time Teaching Assistant will range from between £13,000 and £18,000 a year. This is dependent on the Local Education Authority (LEA) and the school responsibilities. The salary of a Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) can go up to £21,000 and the salary of a senior HLTA could reach £25,000.

Unfortunately, there is no national pay scale so the salaries for Teaching Assistant will be set by the Local Education Authority (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 for TA’s

Let’s take a look at which skills would be suitable to become a Teaching Assistant:

  • Experience of working with children and young people
  • Excellent literacy and numeracy skills
  • Understanding the relevant learning approaches
  • Ability to use Information and Communications Technology
  • Ability to use other classroom based technology
  • Willingness to obtain a relevant training and qualifications
  • Understanding of the relevant child based legislation
  • Knowledge of national stage curriculum
  • Awareness of child development and learning procedures
  • Capable of relating well to children and adults
  • Able to work as part of a team within the classroom environment
  • Know how to fulfil policies and procedures relating to child protection, health and safety, confidentiality, data protection and equal opportunities


Previous Work Experience

Previous work experience for Teaching Assistants is not essential, however most applicants should have some evidence of working with young people, as this will help to strengthen an application.

Experience of looking after your own children, work placements or experiences, volunteering in a local schools, child-minding and even experience as an  au pair could all greatly help the application of a teaching assistant.


Have a Question?

If you have any questions about becoming a teaching assistant, the teaching assistant job description or want to say anything, just leave us a message in the comments below and we’ll get back to you.

We hope you enjoyed this teaching assistant guide and wish you the best of luck in applying for teaching jobs.