What is a classroom assistant?

Classroom assistants provide support for teachers whilst they perform their daily tasks in the classroom. They help teachers with classroom tasks and management and their goal is to enable teachers to focus solely on educating students. They also help children with their educational and social development, both in and out of the classroom.

How to become a classroom assistant?

Although you don’t need a degree to become a classroom assistant, having one can be an advantage as this shows a competent level of skills.

You can get into this job through apprenticeship, college course, and volunteering.

For apprenticeship, you’ll usually need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship.

For volunteering, you could get experience in a local school or community organisation. This can sometimes lead to a paid work or chance to get relevant qualifications.

For a college course, you can take a college qualification to get started, for example;

  • Level 2 or 3 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools
  • Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education
  • T level in Education and Childcare

Classroom assistant duties

Classroom assistant duties are diverse and depend on the employer and specialty, but some responsibilities are common to most:

  • Listening to children read out loud
  • Teaching children techniques which will help them to improve their reading
  • Reading out loud to children
  • Helping children who have learning difficulties to complete tasks
  • Taking notes for children who have difficulty keeping up with the pace of the class
  • Helping children make displays and putting these displays up around the classroom
  • Taking charge of group activities and making sure all students are involved
  • Taking charge of children who have problems or have had an accident

How to find a classroom assistant job

These jobs are advertised online, in local newspapers and at your local jobcentre. To find all the classroom assistant jobs near you, you need to:

  • Search for classroom assistant jobs on popular job websites such as; Indeed, Total Jobs and CV Library
  • Use the DWP’s Find A Job Service
  • Check local newspapers and local Facebook groups, especially groups dedicated to local jobs

Classroom assistant skills

To be an effective classroom assistant, you’ll need certain skills and competencies. The following are often cited in job vacancies:

  • Willingness to keep up to date with educational policy and training related to your role
  • Positive approach to working with children and the ability to motivate, inspire and build rapport
  • Sensitivity and understanding for building good relationships with children
  • Flexible and open to change for working on different activities
  • Ability to create the best conditions for learning or teaching new things
  • Good organisational skills

Classroom Assistant Job Titles

When you search for classroom assistant jobs online, be aware that the jobs might be advertised using a different job title. Popular job titles for classroom assistant jobs include;

  • Teacher’s Aide
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Education Assistant
  • Team Teacher

What does a classroom assistant do?

The job of a classroom assistant varies depending on the job role and the company you’re working for. Check the duties and responsibilities of classroom assistant job advertisements to find jobs that best suit your skills and experience. 

The day-to-day tasks of a classroom assistant include;

  • help teachers prepare lesson materials and equipment
  • get the classroom ready for lessons and clear away afterwards
  • work with groups and individual pupils to make sure they understand their work and stay focussed
  • watch, record and report pupils’ progress to teachers
  • supervise group activities, including outings and sports events
  • provide a safe and healthy environment and follow safeguarding procedures
  • help teachers manage class behaviour
  • look after children who are upset or unwell
  • lead classes with help from the teacher