Can a teaching assistant become a teacher?

07/10/2022 | All

There are endless great things about being a teaching assistant – from helping your students to reach their potential to supporting them through everyday life. It is an incredibly rewarding role to have and is a great career for anyone wanting to work in an educational environment to inspire students. However, it is natural to want to progress your career in education and it is likely that a career in teaching may be the next step!

So, can a teaching assistant become a teacher?

The simple answer is – yes! Whether you have been a teaching assistant for years and just fancy a change, or feel there is nowhere further to progress in your role, becoming a Teacher is the next logical stop in your career path. Making the leap from a TA to a teacher will allow you to develop as a professional and enable you to start an exciting new chapter in your life!

Aside from the obvious qualifications achieved from becoming a teacher, you will be given a platform to guide young minds and shape the future of education. In this blog we will discuss all you need to know about transitioning from a TA to a teacher!

How will things change?

Probably the main change you will feel transitioning from a TA to a teacher is the level of responsibility that you have. Although as a TA you will have had great responsibility over students, becoming a teacher really steps it up a level. 

As a TA, you will have been used to supporting teachers with their lessons and working with students on a 1:1 and small group basis to support their specific needs. As a teacher, you will be responsible for planning, preparing and teaching lessons based around national curriculum guidelines. Although you will still be there to nurture and develop young minds, your focus shifts on the classroom as a whole when you step into your role as a teacher.

Unlike a teaching assistant, UK teachers will be responsible for the following:

  • Educating your students
  • Tracking their progress 
  • Working cohesively with the school’s leadership team to help influence change
  • Form closer relationships with parents and carers
  • At times, working closely with support workers to implement appropriate safeguarding measures 

Why make the leap?

There are so many reasons why people make the leap from a teaching assistant to a teacher. From the greater responsibility it offers to the financial rewards, there’s a whole host of benefits to becoming a teacher! We have highlighted some of the main reasons:

Boosting your salary

Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) in England and Wales can enjoy a starting salary of between £25,714 to £32,157 per annum depending on location. These figures are significantly larger than the average salary of a Teaching Assistant, where starting salaries tend to be at around £17,000 per annum after completing TA training. 

You’ll change lives

Becoming a teacher means that you are responsible for how your students learn and engage with their studies. There is nothing better than the satisfaction of seeing students flourish in their learning environment! Those special moments you spend with your students will help to shape their future and navigate the most crucial years. There is no doubt that a step into teaching is rewarding on a personal level. 

You’ll never stop learning!

Becoming a teacher devotes you to a lifetime of learning! With each lesson that you prepare for your class, you will be researching and discovering all sorts of new information, skills and techniques. When you start to teach, you will find yourself digging into topics you love and have the chance to build on your knowledge every day! 

It also goes without saying that no two days in a teaching role will ever be the same! This means there are plenty of opportunities to develop your skills and learn from your students.

How to begin the transition from teaching assistant to teacher

Embarking on and settling into your career as a teacher is likely to be as daunting as it is exciting. It is useful to have a clear picture of what your next steps will be in achieving your goal of transitioning from TA to teacher.

As a teaching assistant, you will already have the classroom experience, essential skills and child care training required to teach. It is now time to get the right qualification under your belt to become a teacher. Although you will have the invaluable skills ready to teach a classroom, you will need to study further qualifications to upgrade your position in the classroom. 

To become a qualified teacher, you will be required to undertake Initial Teacher Education or Training (ITET) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). 

Got a degree?

If you have a degree, the most popular way of becoming a teacher is to apply for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). To be eligible for study, you will need at least a 2:2 degree and to have obtained a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. This post-graduate programme will qualify you in 1 year and contains a mixture of university teaching and school placements.

If you haven’t got a degree …

If you don’t have a degree, you can apply for an undergraduate ITET programme at university with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The most popular way of doing this is by studying a Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree with QTS. This qualification is ideal for prospective primary school teachers and takes 3 years to complete. 

If you have a specific subject in mind that you would like to teach, you can take a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) education degree with QTS. Each programme typically takes 3-4 years to complete and are popular with secondary school teachers.

Take steps towards your new career with i-teachers

Here at i-teachers, we are an education recruitment consultancy focusing on providing long term and permanent jobs in Primary, Secondary and SEN schools across the UK. 

So, how can i-teachers help you to find a teaching job?:

  • Our friendly and experienced education consultants are dedicated to perfectly matching our candidates to schools suited to their skills set and personal goals. 
  • We work with NQTs and experienced teachers across the UK, as well as graduates looking for teaching assistant roles prior to teacher training. 
  • For our job seekers we provide an approachable, responsible and easy to work with team of professionals, all driving towards finding the perfect role and ideal solution for the future. 

What makes us unique:

  • Caring and experienced team of education consultants (check out our 5* TrustPilot reviews to see for yourself!). 
  • We won’t rest until we have found you the perfect role in the ideal school.
  • We are education experts, and offer industry leading, specialist advice. 
  • We work nationally, so we are ideal if you want to relocate. 
  • Our consultants are with you every step of the way, helping you to make the best decisions for your career before, during and after your placement. 

Get in touch with one of our dedicated consultants to find out more on how to find teaching jobs, or have a look through some of our current vacancies!