Learning support assistant

education support assistant additional support needs (ASN) assistant special educational needs (SEN) classroom assistant support worker
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 help children and young people who need special support to make the most of education by working with them in the classroom.

You’d assist teachers to create the best environment and suitable lessons for the pupils.

They may find it difficult to learn because of a disability or health issue, family circumstances that have disrupted their education, or social, emotional and behavioural factors.

Depending on the age of the children and their individual needs, you would:

  • Help with schoolwork under the supervision of the teacher
  • Prepare learning materials
  • Help children understand instructions
  • Carry out a child's care plan
  • Encourage children to communicate
  • Give information and help to teachers
  • Support children during social activities and outings
  • Help children during therapy sessions
  • Look after children's physical needs
  • Keep records

You’d need to be patient and sensitive. You’d comfort the children when they are upset and encourage them to be confident and independent. But sometimes it would be necessary to be firm.

You could work in a special school that supports children with severe or complex disabilities, or with an individual pupil or small group of pupils in a mainstream class.

Working conditions

Hours

You might work school hours, Monday to Friday, during term-time. However, many assistants work part-time. You may sometimes go to training and meetings outside school hours. Some special schools are residential. If you work in this type of school, you may have to work a mixture of shifts covering seven days a week.

Environment

You would work in a school.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

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
  • Being tactful
  • Helping people to learn
  • Communicating ideas through writing
  • Being creative
  • Working with numbers

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

Keep track of your skills in your account and find the jobs, opportunities and courses that suit you.

Click here to view / add your skills

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

There are no set qualifications. Schools and local authorities have different requirements. 

Most employers look for a good general education and experience working with young people who have additional support needs.

The following qualifications would be useful: 

  • Skills for Work: Early Education and Childcare (SCQF Level 4/5)
  • National Certificate (NC) in Education Support Assistance (SCQF Level 6)
  • HNC/HND in Additional Support Needs: Supporting the Individual (SCQF Level 7/8)

To enter an Additional Support Needs HNC/HND (SCQF Level 7/8) usually requires National 5 qualifications and two Highers.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths  

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

Helpful to have

You are likely to need some voluntary experience to find paid work.

Experience and qualifications in volunteering such as SQA Volunteering Skills Award (SCQF level 3-5) may be helpful as will a First Aid certificate.