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Debunked! Myths About the Role of Teaching Assistants

24th May 22

The education industry is made up of various professionals, all of which are geared towards achieving the same aim: developing and encouraging children and young adults to achieve their academic and personal goals. The role of Teaching Assistants is one that often falls under the radar when it comes to important positions within the education industry, but it’s time that perceptions change. 

There are plenty of myths around the role of Teaching Assistants, and we are here to dispel them! Keep reading to separate the fact from fiction. 

Myth: The Work of Teaching Assistants’ is Too Easy 

There is a common misconception that once you obtain Teacher Assistant qualifications, you are in for an easy ride. While you won’t carry the stresses of a Teacher, you will still be challenged in this position. 

Primarily, your role is to support pupils in various phases of development, including: 

  • Educational 
  • Social 
  • Emotional 

You will do this through a variety of tasks, which will also include supporting the Teacher by carrying out duties that allows them to teach their class.  

When you study a qualification for Teaching Assistant roles, you will swiftly learn that there are various elements involved in your day-to-day. With the overriding purpose being to support the development of pupils, you will face the challenge of interacting with pupils of varying degrees of ability and different personalities. It is certainly not an easy ride! 

Debunked! Myths About the Role of Teaching Assistants

Myth: Teaching Assistants are Glorified PAs for Teachers 

The job title often leads people to mistake Teaching Assistants for Personal Assistants! Indeed, a large portion of the role is to support the Teacher so that they can teach lessons with ease, but the job is much more than that! 

In fact, Teaching Assistant requirements consist of: 

  • Encourage pupils to engage during lessons and keep them on track during activities 
  • Support the emotional and social development of pupils 
  • Promote positive behaviour 
  • Help the Teacher in managing challenging behaviour in the classroom 
  • Administer first aid when necessary 
  • Assist in after-school clubs and other extracurricular activities  

Myth: There Are Hardly Any Teaching Assistant Jobs Around 

In 2019, rumours were rumbling that the government would revise the number of Teaching Assistants being hired after a leaked report suggested that there were too many being employed across the UK.  

This left some questioning whether they should even bother taking Teaching Assistant courses. However, after the widespread criticism of this suggestion, TAs remain an important role within the educational structure. 

In fact, according to government figures, there were 271,370 Teaching Assistants employed in schools in 2020, which is 6,000 more than the 2019 figures. Schools are always looking for new TAs, so don’t put off your Teacher Assistant training. 

Teaching Assistant Myths Debunked

Myth: You Need a Full Set of GCSEs to Become a Teaching Assistant 

Many careers require individuals to have a set of GCSEs at a specific grade. However, when it comes to Teaching Assistant qualifications, you only require a basic level of literacy and numeracy skills. So, if you have a GCSE in Maths or English at grade 4/C or above, you will be able to pursue a career as a TA. 

You won’t need a degree, but it is favourable to study a Level 3 Teaching Assistant course. With learndirect, you can learn the skills, knowledge, and techniques you need to become a Teaching Assistant. Not only will you gain a qualification, but you can also complete sections of it from the comfort of your own home! This is because we are the UK’s leading online learning provider. 

The Teacher Assistant course you should consider studying is our NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Supporting Teaching and Learning (RQF). It is a regulated qualification that is designed to propel you towards a role as a Teaching Assistant. 

Course Breakdown 

To gain Teacher Assistant qualifications, you will need to make your way through a series of online modules – 16 in total – which will cover a range of topics, including: 

  • How to develop positive relationships with children  
  • Relevant legislation and guidelines  
  • Policies and procedures for safeguarding children and young people  

As well as the online modules, you will also have to complete some practical training to achieve your qualification for Teaching Assistant roles. You will need to either arrange a work placement or already be working within an appropriate educational setting, such as a school or college. 

The criteria for the practical element of our Teaching Assistant courses consist of: 

  • Completing between 50 hours (minimum) to 200 hours of your placement of work experience 
  • Completing up to 100 hours if the Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning has already been successfully completed  

Our Teaching Assistant requirements state that the placement can be paid or voluntary, you just need to provide the necessary evidence to demonstrate that you have developed skills and understanding of the role.  

Teaching Assistant Online Courses


To complete this Teacher Assistant training, you will be assessed in the following ways: 

  • Question paper – You will need to complete a series of question papers, each one based on the modules covered during your Teacher Assistant course. You should allow yourself at least 1 to 2 hours of study to complete each paper 
  • Direct Observation – During your placement, you will undergo direct observation, with your assessor supporting you 

As soon as you successfully complete these assessments, you will be eligible to apply for a Teaching Assistant role. 

Myth: There’s No Career Progression 

This is 100% not the case! Working as a Teaching Assistant can be a stepping stone towards other roles, such as a Higher Level Teaching Assistant, which enables you to have more responsibility. To help you progress on to this stage, you could study one of the following courses: 

Enrol on Our Teacher Assistant Course Today! 

So, now that the myths have been dispelled, are you ready to study your Teaching Assistant qualifications? You can sign up to our Level 3 Teaching Assistant course now by calling one of our Course Specialists on 01202 006 464. Alternatively, reach us online or click below to discover our courses. 

Online Teaching Assistant Courses learndirect

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