What is it like to be a teaching assistant

7th October 2021

Teaching Assistant Courses Explained

What’s the difference between Level 1, 2 and 3 Teaching Assistant courses?

We receive many enquiries asking which Teaching Assistant course is best and fully understand how confusing it is to decide which course to enrol on.

To help you, let’s run through all the available options with you, including details of each of the teaching assistant courses.

For government-regulated courses like ours, the government offers a choice of Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 qualifications.

 

Level 1 courses

Level 1 courses are entry-level qualifications that are ideal for anyone new and wishing to work in a school or doesn’t yet have any experience. Level 1 courses are shorter courses with fewer topics in the syllabus and easier assignments. As such, Level 1 courses are the easiest way to get an accredited qualification and start your career as a Teaching Assistant. Level 1 courses don’t require a school placement and you complete all Level 1 courses by written essay style assessments.

 

Level 2 courses

Level 2 courses are the intermediate qualifications that are equivalent to GCSE level. The Level 2 Teaching Assistant courses are offered as either a non-work-placement course for those who don’t yet work in a school or a work-placement course for those working or volunteering in a school. The non-work-placement course is called the Level 2 Award course that consists of 6 learning units that you complete by essay-style assignments.

The work-placement Level 2 Certificate course has the same 6-units of the Award course plus an additional 5-units (11-units in total) that you complete in the school by demonstrating practical tasks and activities while working in the classroom.

The Level 2 courses are easier than Level 3 courses and you don’t need to complete the Level 1 course before starting at Level 2.

 

Level 3 courses

The Level 3 Teaching Assistant courses are the highest level you can achieve before moving up to becoming a Higher Level Teaching Assistant. Level 3 is the equivalent to A-level and is a higher level compared to Level 1 and Level 2.

The Level 3 courses are available as a non-work-placement Award course, a work-placement Certificate course and a work-placement Diploma course.

The Level 3 Award course is a 4-unit course that consists of 6 learning units that you complete by essay-style assignments.

The work-placement Level 3 Certificate course is called the Certificate course and has the same 4-units of the Level 3 Award course plus an additional 7-units (11-units in total)  that you complete in the school by demonstrating practical tasks and activities while working in the classroom.

The work-placement Level 3 Diploma course has the same 11-units of the Level 3 Certificate course plus an additional 5-units (16-units in total) that you complete in the school by demonstrating practical tasks and activities while working in the classroom. The Diploma course covers working as a regular teaching assistant and also qualifies you to work with children who have special needs (SEN).

As with the Level 2 course, you do not need to complete the Level 1 or Level 2 course before starting directly at Level 3.

Teaching assistant qualifications

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