From TA to teacher
Empowering TAs across the world in a race to fill the teaching skills gap
All the signs are clear – we need to train more teachers. Recently Katy Gandon from Tes spoke to ITM’s editor, Andy Homden about a new international pathway into the profession.
The need for more teachers
It has been predicted that by 2030 the world will need 69 million teachers, a staggering figure that governments and education institutions are struggling to fill. One of the key routes to achieving this is to upskill staff that are already working in schools.
Scarcely less important for any good school is to have a team of great Teaching Assistants who do so much to support learning in so many schools and as many schools have found, great TAs can become really great teachers as well.
Making educational qualifications accessible
With this in mind, it is good to hear that Tes, the international teacher training provider has recently launched a new qualification to help Teaching Assistants upskill. Tes Communications Director, Katy Gandon thinks that providing support for TA development can open up a new pathway to teaching:
“The new Level 3 International Teaching Assistant Course is designed to qualify TAs to help schools across the world deliver the needs of an ever-increasing number of pupils.
“This new course is extremely accessible, as it is delivered through a combination of online and in-school delivery. It is available at three different levels depending on the needs of the school and region: an award, a certificate or a diploma, making it perfect for those taking their first steps to become a qualified TA, as well as for more experienced staff who want to advance their skills and develop their practice in all areas of specialist support.”
Important first steps to teaching?
Importantly, the course is designed to provide TAs with the kind of high-quality, structured training they need to become confident practitioners who can help raise student achievement and actively support class teachers. And again, according to Gordon, gaining a Teaching Assistant qualification is just one step in their career development.
“TAs can continue their journey and gain qualified teacher status (QTS) with the Tes International Straight to Teaching and International Assessment Only programmes or gain a Postgraduate Certification in Education with the Tes iPGCE programme if they already hold a degree.”
Graham Stuart MP, Chair of the Tes Global Advisory Board & Honorary COBIS Vice President thinks that the new course is an important developmet:
“We know that schools across the globe are struggling to recruit quality teaching staff. The pandemic over the last two years has only exacerbated the issue, as workforce movement between countries has been such a challenge. The tremendous growth of both local and international schools over the last few years means the need to train and upskill teaching staff is stronger than ever.
“International and local schools are looking for innovative and cost-effective ways of training staff and this new TA course from Tes really fits the bill”.
Ian Hunter, Director of Tes Institute agrees:
“The need to ‘grow your own’ teaching talent is now more important than ever for schools in all regions. Teaching Assistants need guidance and training just like teachers, so they can become better practitioners and support learning even more effectively in the classroom.”
The comprehensive pathway to teaching that the new TES courses now provide could be the most appealing aspect of the offer. For newcomers to education, the Award level qualification allows learners to take the first step to becoming a qualified teaching assistant while fitting learning around their work and lifestyle. Modules range from safeguarding to understanding schools and colleges as organisations with four units covered over six months.
The Certificate is a competence-based qualification, which enables learners to build and develop their skills and knowledge, while supporting pupils in the classroom. Modules include; supporting behaviour for learning, building subject knowledge in English and maths, and how to engage in personal/professional development. This course is designed for TAs who are already volunteering or working in a school and consist of 11 units over 12 months. Learners will undergo an End Point Assessment which includes an in-school observation.*
Finally, the Diploma qualification carries 32 UCAS points and covers all aspects of specialist support with modules including; assessment for learning, EAL/bilingual strategies, special needs support, personal development and reflective practice. This is also for TAs who are already volunteering or working in a school and covers 16 units over 18 months. Learners will undergo an End Point Assessment which includes an in-school observation.*
But as Gandon is at pains to point out, one of the ultimate goals is to turn qualified TAs into qualified teachers.
“For many learners, gaining a Teaching Assistant qualification is just one step in their career development. TAs can continue their journey and gain qualified teacher status (QTS) with the Tes International Straight to Teaching and International Assessment Only programmes or gain a Postgraduate Certification in Education with the Tes iPGCE programme.”
*The End Point Assessment (EPA) observation can be completed by a qualified teacher, assessor, or a higher level of senior management in either a mainstream or special school.
Katy Gandon is the Director of Communications at tes. She was talking to ITM editor, Andy Homden, after the announcement of the new courses for TAs in April 2022.
For more information please contact:
Katy Gandon, Director of Communications: email@example.com 0780 181 3334
Greg Tinker, External Comms Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org 07977 522453
DEVELOP YOUR SKILLS
The Tes Institute International Teaching Assistant Course is now available for registration from with the first course staring on 1st September 2022.
Each course length varies depending on the level chosen, and full details visit www.tes.com/international/for-schools/training/i-ta-course.
For more information about tes, see www.tes.com
All graphics with kind permission from TES