Teaching Assistant

Overview of the role

Supporting the class teacher to enhance learning.

Occupation summary


This occupation is found in primary, secondary, special schools, alternative provision, and further education institutions such as sixth forms and colleges. Teaching Assistants work across all age ranges, supporting all learners.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to support the class teacher to enhance learners’ progress and development either in groups or individually. Teaching Assistants ensure that learners understand their work, know their learning objectives, and display positive learning behaviours in order to make progress. They deliver individual and small group teaching and apply a range of strategies to support learners of different abilities under the professional direction and supervision of a qualified teacher. Teaching Assistants may support learners with special educational needs and disabilities and learners with social, emotional, and mental health vulnerabilities.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation may interact with all learners. This includes but is not limited to high attaining, SEND, EAL, and disadvantaged learners. Teaching Assistants will also work in partnership with teachers and other professionals within the school and education system, as well as with learners’ parents or carers.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for delivering individual and small group teaching and adapting planning under the direction of a teacher; implementing safeguarding policies and safe practice; working effectively with other education professionals; promoting positive learning behaviours; and supporting the development of a safe and stimulating learning environment. They will work within a framework of national legislation regarding safeguarding, and within the policies and procedures of their individual education organisations.


Typical job titles include:

Assistant teacher Classroom assistant Learning support assistant Learning support worker Specialist curriculum support Support assistant Teaching assistant


  • Duty 1 Contribute to the overall ethos and aims of the organisation and promote diversity, inclusion, equality and acceptance of all learners in line with school policies, including by challenging stereotyped views, bullying or harassment.
  • Duty 2 Implement safeguarding polices and safe practice, including online safety, in line with legislation, policies, and procedures including maintaining confidentiality.
  • Duty 3 Work in partnership and liaise with other professionals (such as the teaching staff, SENDCo, or external advisors) and parents/carers to support all learners’ learning.
  • Duty 4 Reflect on their own practice and identify appropriate professional development opportunities with the support of colleagues.
  • Duty 5 Understand the specific needs of learners and use strategies to support all learners to achieve their learning goals.
  • Duty 6 Promote engagement and teach learning behaviours to support the development of independent learners.
  • Duty 7 Establish positive relationships with learners and promote positive behaviours, consistently applying the school’s behaviour policy.
  • Duty 8 Support the social, emotional, mental health, wellbeing and personal care of all learners in line with organisational policy and procedures.
  • Duty 9 Deliver individual and small group teaching within clearly defined/planned parameters in partnership with the teacher and other professionals.
  • Duty 10 Contribute to assessment and planning by supporting the monitoring, recording, and reporting of learner outcomes and participation as agreed with the teacher.
  • Duty 11 Support the development of a stimulating and safe learning environment by contributing to the selection and preparation of teaching resources that meet the diverse needs and interests of learners.
  • Duty 12 Support or lead enrichment activities for example visits, out of school activities and in school clubs.

Apprenticeship summary

ST0454, teaching assistant level 3

This is a summary of the key things that you – the apprentice and your employer need to know about your end-point assessment (EPA). You and your employer should read the EPA plan for the full details. It has information on assessment method requirements, roles and responsibilities, and re-sits and re-takes.

What is an end-point assessment and why it happens

An EPA is an assessment at the end of your apprenticeship. It will assess you against the knowledge, skills, and behaviours (KSBs) in the occupational standard. Your training will cover the KSBs. The EPA is your opportunity to show an independent assessor how well you can carry out the occupation you have been trained for.

Your employer will choose an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) to deliver the EPA. Your employer and training provider should tell you what to expect and how to prepare for your EPA.

The length of the training for this apprenticeship is typically 18 months. The EPA period is typically 3 months.

The overall grades available for this apprenticeship are:

  • fail
  • pass
  • merit
  • distinction


When you pass the EPA, you will be awarded your apprenticeship certificate.

EPA gateway

The EPA gateway is when the EPAO checks and confirms that you have met any requirements required before you start the EPA. You will only enter the gateway when your employer says you are ready.

The gateway requirements for your EPA are:

  • achieved English and mathematics qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules
  • for the professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence, you must submit a portfolio of evidence


Assessment methods



Observation with questions

You will be observed by an independent assessor completing your work. It will last at least 2 hours. They will ask you at least 4 questions.




Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

You will have a professional discussion with an independent assessor. It will last 90 minutes. They will ask you at least 10 questions. The questions will be about certain aspects of your occupation. You need to compile a portfolio of evidence before the EPA gateway. You can use it to help answer the questions.





The EPAO will confirm where and when each assessment method will take place.

Who to contact for help or more information

You should speak to your employer if you have a query that relates to your job.

You should speak to your training provider if you have any questions about your training or EPA before it starts.

You should receive detailed information and support from the EPAO before the EPA starts. You should speak to them if you have any questions about your EPA once it has started.

Reasonable adjustments

If you have a disability, a physical or mental health condition or other special considerations, you may be able to have a reasonable adjustment that takes this into account. You should speak to your employer, training provider and EPAO and ask them what support you can get. The EPAO will decide if an adjustment is appropriate.


18-22 months