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Tips and Tricks - 18-01-2022 - - 4 comments
Teaching Assistant Levels: What Do They Mean and How Do They Differ?

For a teaching assistant to work within one of our partner schools they must hold at least a Level 2 Teaching Assistant qualification. Although many schools request a Level 3 and above. 

To help you make the right decision for you, we’ve put together a guide below which explains the key differences between each of the levels and what this means for you and your career moving forward.

Level 2 Teaching Assistant

A Level 2 qualification is great for those wanting to dip their top in the teaching assistant career pool. This level wil teach you the basics. Some of the things you’ll learn about during the course will include child welfare, child development and the way to communicate with both children and adults.

Once you’ve completed the course some of the tasks you may be responsible for are:

  • Providing feedback to teachers on students’ progress and areas of concern

  • Assisting with lesson planning

As mentioned above, while some settings will acept those with a Level 2 qualification many prefer those with a Level 3 as they are able to provide greater support to the class teacher.

Level 3 Teaching Assistant

A Level 3 teaching assistant qualification is the most popular qualification and is more in-depth than the Level 2. The good news is that you don’t need to complete a Level 2 in order to do a Level 3 so if you are sure that this is what you’d like to do, then we’d recommend starting here.

On completion of the qualification, you will be responsible for:

  • Getting the classroom ready before the lesson

  • Helping teachers plan activities

  • Listening to the children read or reading stories to them

As a Level 3 teaching assistant you may find yourself working alongside the teacher to support the class as a whole or you may work with school groups of children or even one:one. The type of support needed will be explained to you by your consultant or in the job description the TA role.

Higher Level Teaching Assistant

To become a HTLA you must be working full-time as a Level 3 TA. As a HTLA you’d be doing all the usual things a teaching assistant would do. However in addition to this these you may also be entrusted with the following tasks:

  • Teach classes for teachers who are off

  • Plan and teach your own lessons

To complete the HTLA training you typically need support of the school and the headteacher. 

If you are a qualified teaching assistant looking for work in a school near you or you are close to completing your training, then we would love to hear from you. We work with primary, secondary and SEN schools across the West Midlands and are confident that we can find you a role within a school which meets your needs.

Take a look at some of our latest teaching assistant roles here and don’t forget to hit the apply button if you see something that takes your fancy!


Gemma Hornby - 2022-06-12

Can you go from level 1 TA straight to level 3?

The Team at Smile Education - 2022-09-28

Hi Gemma, Yes, you can go straight from a Level 1 to a Level 3. Hope this helps!

Danielle Richmond - 2023-01-17

Hi I’ve got my certificate in Education and use to teaching in further Education. Im now looking at becoming a TA in primary school. What level am I best to start at. Could I go straight to level 3?

The Team at Smile Education - 2023-01-19

Hi Danielle, yes you can go straight to level 3 providing that you have your maths and English GCSEs.

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