School effectiveness

Learning support staff

Learning support staff work with teachers in the classroom helping pupils progress with their learning.

No mandatory qualifications are required for some levels of teaching assistant positions.

However, experience and professional attributes are always important.

All school support staff can access a range of CPD and training courses which can be found at Ealing CPD online.

Teaching assistants

Teaching assistants work alongside teachers in the classroom, helping pupils with their learning on an individual or group basis.

Some specialise in areas such as literacy, numeracy, special educational needs, music, English as an additional language and the creative arts.

Ealing runs a comprehensive programme of CPD for teaching assistants.

It enables schools to offer career progression routes to TAs.

All school support staff can access a range of CPD and training courses at Ealing CPD online.

The HLTA status programme is available to support staff who have had two years experience of supporting learning in the classroom.

To gain HLTA status support staff must meet 33 occupational standards.

Higher level teaching assistants (HLTAs)

HLTAs are experienced teaching assistants who plan and deliver learning activities under the direction of a teacher and assess, record and report on pupils’ progress.

They may also manage other classroom-based staff or may supervise a class in a teacher's absence.

Ealing recognises that school support staff make a vital contribution to pupils’ learning and achievement.

With targeted training aimed at reinforcing and improving their skills, senior support staff working in the classroom can make an even more valuable contribution to improving standards in schools.

Ealing run a programme of CPD for HLTAs: Ealing CPD online.

All HLTAs are invited to attend a termly network meeting held at Ealing Education Centre. It aims to provide HLTAs with up-to-date information relevant to their role. The HLTA network meeting dates and information are sent direct to all HLTAs.

Senior TAs may undertake the duties of a HLTA but unless they have the status cannot be referred to as a HLTA.

Nursery nurses

Nursery nurses must have a level 3 qualification in child care or early years and education (previously known as NNEB).

Nursery nurses work in co-operation with a teacher, looking after the social and educational development of children.

They work in the foundation stage with pupils in mainstream schools up to the age of 6.

Their work involves planning and supervising activities and keeping parents up-to-date with their child's progress.

Experienced nursery nurses may like to apply to become a HLTA and gain the status of working at a higher level.

Further information, including guidance and application form, can be found at Ealing CPD online.

Cover supervisors

Cover supervisors are suitably-trained school staff who supervise pupils when teaching staff are absent.

The role may vary depending on whether the role is undertaken in a primary, secondary or special school.

Cover supervisors look after a whole class of children and conduct pre-planned lessons for teachers that are absent, providing guidance, advice and classroom management.

No mandatory qualifications are required to become a cover supervisor, however experience and professional attributes are considered.

All cover supervisors can access a range of CPD and training at Ealing CPD online.

Effective deployment of teaching assistants - a good practice guide

This effective deployment of teaching assistants - a good practice guide (word) has been developed in order to provide school leaders, teachers and teaching assistants, with a useful starting point to consider the best use of TAs in relation to the pupils and teachers they support, their role, its effectiveness and their impact on pupil learning.

Headteachers, senior leaders, teachers and TAs can use these resources as a guide to:

  • Recruitment
  • Clarification of TA role
  • Identifying the best way to lead and manage TAs strategically and on a daily basis
  • Deployment
  • Training and support

Although the document has been developed in the first instance for use in primary schools, with some adaptation it can be also be used in both special and high school settings.

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Last updated: 13 Mar 2017