Teaching Assistant Courses
Blackford Centre for Teaching Assistants
Teaching Assistant Diploma
Want to be a Teaching Assistant?
Study our Teaching Assistant's Diploma course
Do you want to make a difference?
Do you want to work with some of the most enquiring minds around?
Are you ready for the challenge of being a teaching assistant?
Then read on…
There has never been a better time to become a teaching assistant.
If you have decided that this is the career for you, you've made an excellent choice. There’s a big demand for teaching assistants. But don’t just take our word for it.
- More teaching assistants are being employed than ever before – latest figures put the number at around 150,000.
- The UK government sees teaching assistants as vital in its drive to improve pupils’ education. That is why it has developed a clear career structure for them. This is designed to attract more people into the profession and give them the specialised training they need.
- You can even go on to train as a teacher, with specialist courses designed exactly for teaching assistants.
The easiest way to achieve this is to gain a valuable and recognised qualification, the Diploma in Teaching Assistant, from the Blackford Centre.
You can study the course online at home, and there's a printed edition that comes to your door. There's no pressure – and we give you lots of support.
As a teaching assistant you’ll be working in a profession where your skills, dedication and knowledge will be recognised. A profession where you’ll be truly valued. A profession where you know that you really are making a difference each and every day through your job.
You too can join this ever-expanding army of support staff dedicated to improving the educational experience of each and every child. Register for our Teaching Assistant’s Diploma and you couldn't ask for a better introductory training package to get you to where you want to be.
Is becoming a teaching assistant right for me?
If you’re looking at this web page, the chances are you're already considering a career as a teaching assistant.
But before you make any final decisions, it’s time to ask yourself some tough questions. We don’t want you to register on our course unless you’re really sure it's the right choice for you. Otherwise you’ll just be wasting a lot of your time, effort and money.
So ask yourself:
If you can answer 'Yes' to all these questions, well done. You’ll make a great teaching assistant.
If you’ve answered no to any, perhaps it’s time for a little self-reflection. Would you be willing to change things about yourself in order to get the job you want? If not, it may be worthwhile reconsidering things. You might need to consider a different job.
You can make a difference
Firstly the good news – there are no formal qualifications needed to become a teaching assistant. As long as you can show you are reasonably competent in maths and English – O-Levels or GCSEs for example – you can become a teaching assistant.
Secondly the bad news – there are no formal qualifications needed to become a teaching assistant. Why is this bad news? Well it means there are lots of people who could become teaching assistants.
So if you’re serious about entering a classroom, you need to give yourself an edge. You need to prove to this school that you’re serious about wanting to take up the challenges ahead. You need to show that you’re looking for a career as a teaching assistant, not just any old job to fill up your time. You need to provide them with real evidence of your commitment to your new chosen career.
And what better way to do that than with a real qualification? A qualification which demonstrates not only your determination to succeed, but also how equipped you are to make a real difference to the education of pupils in their school.
Student Success Story
"Doing this Teaching Assistant course has been the best thing I have ever done. I have been a cover supervisor for many years and now I have qualified as a Teaching Assistant my position has changed to Teaching Assistant Supervisor, which has given me more experience, a better position and salary. I have learnt so much since doing the course. Thank you."
So you’ve decided to become a teaching assistant. And you know that by studying a course, you’ll have a massive advantage when it comes to that first interview. But which course do you choose? This can be a really difficult decision but it’s a crucial one. So don’t rush it.
Here are a few helpful pointers to bear in mind. Think about the course’s content, quality, the support you get and, of course, the cost.
Here at the Blackford Centre we’re confident our Teaching Assistant’s Diploma wins on all four counts.
Well, let us explain.
Some courses are so full of theory it’s easy to lose your way. Let’s face it, the world of education is full of words that can mean very little to someone not involved in schools. National Curriculum… Key Stages… Attainment Levels. If you don’t really know what these mean, how can you understand what the course is trying to teach you?
That’s why our course goes right back to basics, taking you slowly and carefully through each step. It gives you the building blocks of knowledge to help you get to grips with all the issues in education. And that’s exactly what you need to do as a teaching assistant.
Some courses assume – or need – you to already have experience in the classroom. Well you may have, but it’s far more likely that you don’t. After all, if you had experience, why would you need to do a course in the first place?
We make no assumptions. Our course is ideal for those people who want to take their first steps on the career ladder of being a teaching assistant. And you don’t have to have even looked inside a classroom to register for our course.
Of course, when the time is right for you to look for your first teaching assistant position, we thoroughly recommend you get some real classroom experience. But don’t worry, as in our course you’ll find out how to do that as well.
Student Success Story
"I have now been offered a TA post! This was only the third TA post I was interviewed for, and within minutes of the interview starting I knew instantly that I would like to work with the people and at that particular school.
Changing from my previous career in the NHS, and then retraining as a TA and finding a post, was for me quite a mixed, and at times, difficult process. It took about 18 months, but I feel I have finally done it.
I hope this can serve as encouragement to other people that, although changing careers is not an easy process, it can be done."
What the course teaches you
So what will you learn on our Teaching Assistant's Diploma? Simple, everything you need to know to forge a new career as a teaching assistant.
In our 12 module course you’ll discover all about:
- The classroom – find out how teachers teach, how pupils learn, and what you can do to support them both.
- Literacy, numeracy and ICT – find out what they are and how you can play a vital role in helping children meet government targets in these subjects.
- Resources - learn all about how these help children learn in the classroom and how important they will be to any new teaching assistant.
- Pastoral care – discover why as a teaching assistant you can play a vital role in ensuring the welfare and happiness of the pupils you see every day.
But that’s not all. Unlike other courses, our course puts the job of teaching assistant in perspective. You’ll find out all about how the education system in the UK works from the very top, to the very bottom.
After all, what’s the use of knowing all about literacy if you don’t know the difference between a community school and a foundation school? There’s nothing worse than being shown up by a lack of knowledge at an interview. By studying our course, that will not happen.
We also have a module that focuses solely on what happens in schools. Schools are extremely dynamic and complicated organisations. They have a catalogue of policies and procedures designed to make them run smoothly. Do you know what these are? Well you will after studying this module.
You see, that’s what makes our course so different from the others. We've fine-tuned it to make it the most relevant, information-packed training package that we can.
Our Teaching Assistant’s Diploma not only helps you prepare for – and get a job – as a teaching assistant, it also gives you help and lots of great ideas beyond, courtesy of the course manual.
The manual is packed with vital information to help you develop and grow in your new career. There is plenty of advice about further training, about how you could specialise, and the options available. There are also great links to websites where you’ll be able to browse through hundreds of resource materials when you need to help prepare a lesson.
The course manual is truly an invaluable addition to the equipment of any teaching assistant.
Student Success Story
"I am just writing to thank you for your support and guidance during the course. I have secured a full time position in my son's school commencing September."
When it comes to distance learning, it’s not the fancy brochures that count. Neither is it the amount of courses an organisation offers. After all, you’re only considering one course! And think about it, if there really are that many students, how can you be sure you’ll get the individual attention you need and deserve during your studies?
When we develop our courses, we don’t just buy them ‘off the shelf’. It’s not much use to us – or you – if our course were created for people who want to become teaching assistants in America. That’s why our course concentrates solely on the UK.
Neither do we simply offer someone else’s courses. We're dedicated to providing the very best in distance learning. We pride ourselves on ensuring that our courses are the courses our students deserve. That’s why we develop our own – from start to finish.
You see it’s very different here at the Blackford Centre. Here we personally research, design and commission each individual course. That way we can ensure that not only are they individually tailored to meet the needs of our students, but that they give our students exactly the knowledge they need to secure the career they want.
Take our Teaching Assistant’s Diploma, for example. It has been specially created not by a team of anonymous writers who can turn their hand to writing about anything you ask, but by real educational professionals. All contributors come from an educational background and they're all uniquely qualified to pass on their expert knowledge to you.
Qualified teachers, teaching assistants and teaching assistant trainers, created the modules on our course. We go straight to the experts because they know their stuff, and after you have completed the course, you’ll know it too.
It can be daunting starting a distance learning course, especially if the last studying you did was at school. But we know that, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.
You’ll be assigned a personal tutor. For our Teaching Assistant’s Diploma, we have recruited an expert team to provide you with guidance and support throughout your studies.
They will be responsible for marking each of your Tutor Marked Assignments and are ideally qualified to give you high-quality expert feedback on your work. And each of our modules has regular self-assessment exercises. That way you can check that you understand the material you have just studied.
Unlike some courses, your tutor will always be there for you. You can contact them by email or post at any time for advice, guidance, feedback or just to discuss anything you might be wondering about. And you can always telephone an advisor at the Blackford Centre. We love hearing from students.
Remember the great thing about our distance learning course is that you are the most important part of it.
It’s you who decides how long you take to study the course. We have no timetables, no deadlines, no cut-off point. It could take you six months. It could take you 18 months. It’s totally up to you. You're in control and you make the decisions. We’re simply here to help when you need us.
And, of course, the beauty of studying at your own pace with our distance learning course is that you can do it all in your own home. No worrying about attending college, or logging on to a website at a particular time. You set the schedule, you do the work. What could be easier?
"Definitely do the course as it will help you when doing it practically at a school."
What’s the cost?
Like anything in life, you get what you pay for and nowhere is this truer than in distance learning courses. There are some teaching assistant courses out there that may be cheaper than ours. But take a moment to ask yourself why?
We set our fees to ensure as many people as possible can follow their dream and arm themselves with the best possible array of knowledge and skills to help them get where they want to be.
And after all, you are making an investment in your future. How can you put a value on that?
What kind of people do the course?
Our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds, which is not surprising when you consider that education is such an important issue in contemporary life. With newspaper headlines continually screaming about the “crisis” in our schools, it’s no wonder some people are inspired to get up and do something about it.
Among our students are:
Whatever your situation, our course is right for you. Whether you want to become a teaching assistant as your first job, as a career change or as a way of becoming a fully-trained teacher, our course will set you on the right path.
Read our Diary of a Teaching Assistant
Follow the highs and lows of a teaching assistant's life, as our teaching assistant reports each week on her experiences in the field. You'll get insights into her day, and learn from her successes and failures. The Diary is available exclusively to our learners.
New Audio CD! Listen to the course in the car or on your iPod
The course now includes a CD and online mp3 version of the course which you can download. This means you can listen to the course wherever you are - while commuting or on holiday.
When you have completed your Teaching Assistant’s Diploma you’ll be awarded the Teaching Assistant’s Diploma – a real qualification which will show your knowledge and commitment when it comes to becoming a teaching assistant.
Employers will realise the seriousness of your intentions when they see how thoroughly you have studied and prepared for your new role.
And one other thing… we’ll help you find a job
Along with all you need to know about the job of teaching assistant, we’ve packed our diploma with advice about how to apply for jobs, how to prepare for interviews and how to secure the job you want.
It's hard to know whether the course will suit you. And you probably have lots of unanswered questions. If you call us on 0800 781 1715 in the UK, we'll try to answer your queries.
But we also offer a guarantee: if you don't like the course (for any reason), just email us to cancel at any time within 60 days of receiving your pack, and we'll refund your course fees.
Why do we give this refund? Because we don't like to part on bad terms (life's too short). And we'd prefer you to say nice things about us.
But, you ask, does anyone actually claim a refund? Absolutely! Around five per cent of our students ask for their money back each month. And we're happy to pay them, because we know that the best course in the world won't suit every single person.
Student Success Story
"I am now taking small groups of children for intervention groups in both numeracy and literacy."
It's time to get started
Having read this far, you've got what it takes - motivation. Now all you have to do is get started. Fill out the registration form now, because this is where the adventure and rewards begin.
You've waited long enough - why wait any longer? Go ahead and do something for yourself, to make your dreams a reality. It's easy to start:
- Click here to go to the registration page. You can sign up online, and you'll receive your course within days.
- When you get the course, read the first module. It has an easy-to-follow format. Then just plunge in: do the first assignment. Then send it to your tutor for assessment. Your tutor will return it to you with friendly advice and comments.
- Do the same for the other modules, until you reach the end of the course. By then, you'll be on your way to becoming a teaching assistant. And you'll be having a great time.
P.S. Still a little unsure? Click here if you have any doubts.
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