Classroom assistant

pupil support assistant pupil support worker learning support assistant additional support for learning auxiliary
Care

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would encourage children and young people with learning activities in the classroom. You’d work closely with teachers to ensure the pupils learn in a safe and caring environment.

You would help teachers with a range of tasks but you wouldn’t teach classes or lead lessons. You’d support children to become successful learners and confident individuals, both in and out of the classroom.

Depending on the school and the age of the pupils you would:

  • Get the classroom ready for lessons
  • Listen to children read, read to them or tell them stories
  • Help children who need extra support to complete tasks
  • Help to prepare learning resources or activities
  • Support teachers in managing class behaviour
  • Supervise group activities
  • Look after children who are upset or have had accidents
  • Clear away materials and equipment after lessons
  • Help with outings and sports events
  • Complete records
  • Do administrative tasks

You might also support children with particular needs, working with them individually or in small groups.

In some schools you could have a specialism, such as literacy, numeracy or additional support needs. If you are bilingual, you might do more work with children whose first language is not English.

At secondary level, you might concentrate on working with individuals and small groups. Depending on the subject, you might assist with practical work, for example in science.

Sometimes you might have to cope with challenging behaviour. Experience of working with children and knowledge of child development would be very useful. You’d need to be able to develop good relationships with the children and parents.

Working conditions

Hours

Full-time classroom assistants work up to 40 hours a week, during term time, with a typical day starting between 8.30am and 9.15am and finishing around 3.15pm to 4pm. You might also take part in other activities such as school outings, staff meetings and training, which could mean working extra hours. Many classroom assistants work part-time

Environment

You would work either in the classroom, or with individual children or small groups in a separate room nearby.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

People behind the job

Meet real people who’ve done this job – hear their stories and the path they took to get there.

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Working as part of a team
  • Caring for people
  • Helping people to learn
  • Being creative

Build your skills

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.

Qualifications

You may need qualifications at SCQF level 4/5 or above.

Experience working or volunteering with children is essential. Some vacancies ask for relevant education or childcare qualifications such as the National Certificate (NC) in Early Education & Childcare (SCQF Level 6) or Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Additional Support Needs (SCQF Level 7).

For entry to Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND) courses you usually require one to two Highers, a relevant Foundation Apprenticeship or NC.

Some classroom assistants start by volunteering in the classroom.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Care
  • Childcare and Development

A wide range of subjects will be of value for this role.

You will also need

To be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland.

Once you're in the job you may be required to gain additional qualifications such as the Professional Development Award (PDA) in Education Support Assistance (SCQF Level 6) or Learner Support (SCQF Level 7).

Helpful to have

Relevant work-based qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Social Services: Children & Young People (SCQF Level 7).

You usually need experience with children. This can be paid or voluntary or bringing up your own children.

A First Aid certificate and knowledge of Curriculum for Excellence would be useful.

Other relevant qualifications which are recognised throughout the UK include the NCFE Initial Training for Classroom Assistants, an NVQ Teaching Assistants Level 2 and 3 and an HNC in Childcare and Education.