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Teaching Assistants

There are many opportunities to work as a teaching assistant (TA) in Surrey schools. The national school workforce modernisation agenda has led to significant growth in the number of TAs and other support staff employed in schools. Jobs are often advertised in the local press, and in school newsletters and on this website  TAs work both to support the teaching and learning of pupils and to support teachers in delivering high-quality and professional education.

TA roles are created to suit the particular needs of a school and, therefore, they differ slightly between schools. For example, a TA whose role it is to support pupils with severe learning difficulties and physical impairment may undertake a range of welfare duties. A TA working in a secondary school design and technology department may have specific skills in, for example, woodwork or textiles. TAs working in mainstream primary schools are likely to develop skills that support the teaching of literacy and numeracy.

Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) roles will carry a greater level of responsibility than other TAs. The role may include working with whole classes and undertaking what is known as 'specified work'. The teacher retains overall responsibility for the class and the HLTA works under the direction and supervision of the teacher.

Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTA) - Assessment

The national standards for HLTAs are a detailed range of competencies describing the knowledge, skills and understanding required from TAs who work at a higher level. TAs can be assessed against these standards in order to gain HLTA status. Schools must now pay for staff to access HLTA programmes which lead to HLTA status.

Babcock 4S is a TDA-approved provider for nationally-specified TA training which prepares candidates for HLTA assessment. Please visit for further information.  Some TAs use their experience in the role as a stepping stone to teacher training through the Graduate Teacher Training programme (GTP) or other routes. 

For a list of support staff qualification training providers in Surrey, email to request a fact sheet.  

Schools advertise their own vacancies in the local press, school newsletters, on the Surrey County Council website -  - and on this website-