Teaching Assistants

Teaching Assistants / HLTA

Education in Wales: Our national mission (2017) states that that in order for Wales to achieve ‘equity and excellent for all we “... require a high-quality education workforce that is vibrant, engaged and committed to continuous learning for all.”

Whilst we have 26,000 teachers in Wales, we also have 23,700 Teaching Assistants (TAs) which is almost half the workforce in our schools - 8,000 TAs work in the Central South Consortium region. TAs are a valued and integral part of the school workforce and have an important role to play in developing a high-quality education profession.

In Our national mission the Welsh Government state their commitment to continuing to enable TAs to improve their skills and help them to commit to professional learning by facilitating clearer learning pathways including to achieving the status of higher level teaching assistant (HLTA). This is the Teaching Assistant Learning Pathway (TALP).

These colleagues need support to lead learning effectively in what are hugely diverse and often challenging roles requiring considerable skills and expertise. TAs are often required to take a lead in specific aspects of a school’s improvement plan and more experienced TAs often lead teams of colleagues.

Professional learning that improves the skills of TAs as leaders of learning and leaders of staff teams is therefore increasingly important.

The Professional Assisting Teaching Standards have been designed to support TAs to be the best they can be, reflecting practice that is consistent with the realisation of the educational reforms. The standards have been available since September 2019 for use by all teaching assistants (TAs) and higher level teaching assistants (HLTAs) to reflect on their practice and identify their own professional learning.

The world’s highest-performing education systems have vibrant, engaged educators and support staff who are committed to continuous learning.

All professional learning opportunities in Central South Consortium are designed to support schools to develop as learning organisations across the seven dimensions of the framework and/or to support practitioners in the professional standards for teaching and leadership (PSTL). Through the professional learning passport, practitioners can record their professional learning activities.

Information and Guidance

Professional Standards for teachers leaders teaching assistants and higher level teaching assistants

Information on gaining the HLTA status

Aspiring HLTA information presentation

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Resources

Interactive Professional Standards for Assisting Teaching

Teaching Assistant Learning Pathway (TALP) Professional Learning Document

e-Learning/Events

CSC Google Classroom

Training from CSC

Register for the Induction Programme for New Teaching Assistants. Full details here.

Aspiring HLTA Development Programme

This is a new national programme co-ordinated by regional consortia, utilising a range of delivery partners, in collaboration with Local Authorities.

Audience

This Aspiring HLTA Development Programme is to support the most experienced Teaching Assistants who wish to further develop their skills and identify their readiness for HLTA Assessment.

Purpose

It is a 5 day programme (equivalent) delivered over 2 – 3 terms and examines the new professional standards in depth. The programme explores the crucial role of Teaching Assistants in supporting the pupils and schools in achieving the objectives of the National Mission, Schools as Learning Organisations and developing the New Curriculum.

Upon successful completion of this programme Teaching Assistants are in a very strong position to identify their readiness for HLTA assessment.

Delivery method

Due to current restrictions, it is not possible to offer a face-to-face programme.

Dates for applications for the next round of the programme will be released soon.

Delivery of the programme will be a combination of self-directed study, online support and webinars. The webinars will be designed to address core aspects of the programme and to deal with questions. Each webinar will last no longer than two hours and will take place during the school day. If necessary, schools will need to release candidates from their responsibilities for these times, just as they would if a candidate were attending a face-to-face course.

This development programme will consist of 4 modules:

Module 1 Professional Learning, National Context and Collaboration

Module 2 Influencing Learning, Refining Teaching and Collaboration

Module 3 Advancing Learning and Collaboration

Module 4 Leadership, Innovation and Collaboration

Candidates will be asked to complete short pieces of writing about a range of activities that they are involved in, including lessons with an individual pupil, a small group and a whole class. Other activities might include such things as educational visits, meetings and other everyday school situations.

These pieces of writing, Professional Learning Reflections (PLRs) are recorded throughout the programme and are submitted after the final session to support the HLTA assessment.

Watch this video of the online information session

Application

Access to the programme is through a national application process and will be delivered by the regional consortia and their partners including Local Authorities.In order to be eligible for the Aspiring HLTA programme applicants must:

In order to apply to take part in the programme the individual should

  1. Discuss their suitability with their headteacher or line manager as appropriate
  2. Submit a completed application form by the notified closing date using the application link.

Apply online here - closing date 12th November 2021.

Should you wish to discuss any aspect of the above please contact your regional co-ordinator as detailed below.

CSC: Cheryl Roberts Cheryl.Roberts@cscjes.org.uk

EAS: Rachel Cowell rachel.cowell@sewaleseas.org.uk

PARTNERIAETH: Heulwen Lloyd heulwen.lloyd@partneriaeth.org.uk

GwE: Wendy Williams WendyWilliams@gwegogledd.cymru

Further Reading and Research

The role of teaching assistants: Supporting learner well-being in response to COVID-19

Literacy

Numeracy - How children think about Maths

Mindfulness

For further support and guidance please contact:

Project Support Officer:

Matthew Robbins: matthew.robbins@cscjes.org.uk

Area Lead(s):

Cheryl Roberts: cheryl.roberts@cscjes.org.uk

Mandy Esseen: mandy.esseen@cscjes.org.uk


Other areas of professional learning

Equity and Wellbeing / Curriculum / Pedagogy / Welsh Language Development / Induction / Governors / Leadership / Educational Visits / Lead Creative Schools Scheme / NQT Induction / Initial Teacher Education