Learning Support Assistants provide support to both pupils and teachers - in primary, secondary and special schools and in further education. Over the past few years, Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) have taken on an increasingly important role in our schools and colleges.
We employ learning support assistants in a variety of roles within the service - the majority within the primary sector. Learning support assistants are also employed in each of the special schools, secondary schools, the College of Further Education and the SEN support services. We also maintain a supply register for learning support assistants.
What do Learning Support Assistants do?
- Learning support assistants work closely with teachers and other staff involved in education. Level 1 LSAs have a general support role; whilst Level 2 LSAs have specific responsibilities which may include preparing and delivering learning programmes and providing support to individual pupils, or small or large groups. Duties vary widely but can include:
- helping to plan lessons and prepare resources
- helping with pupils' learning and development, e.g. assisting those who are struggling, listening to pupils read, helping with number work etc
- supervising pupils in the playground, dining hall, cloakrooms and in class
- keeping records of each pupil's progress
- helping children prepare for PE
- assisting with their health and hygiene
- comforting and supporting children who are unhappy or upset.
- LSAs work with pupils of all abilities, including those with special needs. Pupils with physical disabilities may need help with mobility or in accessing materials, for example. Pupils with behavioural difficulties require particular support to help them achieve their full potential. LSAs may also help pupils whose first language is not English.
What it takes
- You need to be a responsible and organised person. Some experience working with children, perhaps through volunteering in a school, or helping at clubs for young people is important. LSAs need to:
- have a good standard of literacy, numeracy and ICT skills
- build up positive relationships with pupils
- develop good relationships with the people they work with
- understand how children develop, think and learn
- be able to manage groups of children.
Training and qualifications
- In order to become an LSA you must have experience of working with children and young people and have a GCSE Grade A to C or equivalent functional skills Level 2 in English and Maths.
- We offer the opportunity for training through a Local Career Development Framework.
- All LSAs must undertake a Learning Support Assistant CACHE Level 3 Induction programme. They can then opt to study a two-part Foundation Degree (Professional Studies in Primary Education) and may eventually qualify for entry onto a graduate Initial Teacher Training Programme if they fulfil the entry requirements and places are available on the scheme.