Teaching Assistant Certificate - DOC by xag19014


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									Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistants
Like regular teaching assistants, special needs teaching assistants support special
educational needs (SEN) teachers and pupils in the classroom. SEN teaching
assistants work in a variety of settings, such as special schools, mainstream schools
with special units or in mainstream classes with individual pupils. Their work is to
help pupils attain their goals and work towards their individual education plans. Much
depends on the severity of the particular special needs of the pupil.

Duties can be varied, depending on the needs of the child, but may include:

   Assisting with pupils' physical needs, including assisting with appropriate therapy
    and/or physiotherapy sessions;
   Using specialist skills and training to assist pupils with auditory and/or visual
    impairments, or to work with autistic pupils;
   Assisting pupils with literacy and numeracy skills;
   Working to improve pupils' independent living skills;
   Attending outings.

There may be requirements in some schools for SEN teaching assistants to have
training and qualifications in specific areas, such as sign language for pupils with
auditory impairment.

Training is available for special needs teaching assistants:

   As a newly-appointed special needs teaching assistant in England you will do a
    short, nationally-approved induction training programme. Some local authorities
    also have a range of in-house training, some leading to qualifications.
   Special Needs Assistant Certificate (NCFE);
   Working with People who have Learning Difficulties (City and Guilds);
   NVQ Levels 2 and 3 for Teaching Assistants. (C&G, Cache, EdExcel, OCR) The
    Level 3 qualifications include optional units on working with pupils with various
    special educational needs.
   Teaching assistants can also access specialised training that is appropriate to the
    pupils they may be working with. This can include sign language, training in
    visual awareness and Braille. CACDP qualifications, including Deaf Awareness,
    British Sign Language, Deafblind Awareness and Deafblind Support Work,
    Makaton, or similar, sign-supported English. Royal National Institute of the Blind
    (RNIB) courses, including Partners in Learning, a modular BTEC course for
    teaching assistants working with pupils with sight problems. See Further
    Information for contact details for CACDP, the Makaton Vocabulary
    Development Project (MVDP) and RNIB.
   If you are experienced special needs teaching assistant, you may be able to study
    for a foundation degree. These are offered by a number of colleges and
    universities, and have various titles, such as: Teaching and Learning Support and
Education Studies for Teaching Assistants. After completing a foundation degree you
might be able to progress to a related honours degree which could provide a route for
qualifying as a primary school teacher.

To be accepted on a course you will usually need to be working in a school (on either
a paid or voluntary basis) for a set number of hours a week, and may need
qualifications such as GCSEs or the equivalent. You should check with colleges for
their entry requirements.

To work with hearing-impaired pupils you are likely to need a sign language
qualification such as the Council for Advancement of Communication with Deaf
People (CACDP) Level 1 Certificate in British Sign Language. Visit the CACDP
website in Further Information for details. In addition, a certain level of physical
fitness may be required for supporting pupils with physical needs (for example, to
help in physiotherapy sessions/help with moving the child).

Individual local education authorities (LEAs) and schools decide what qualifications
and experience they expect, so it is worth checking local job advertisements. It is
unlikely that you would find paid employment without relevant experience, and most
qualifications for teaching assistants are aimed at those who are in paid or voluntary
employment in a school. A useful way to start is to volunteer to help in a local school,
perhaps for a few hours a week at first. You will need to have a CRB (Criminal
Records Bureau) check before being accepted. It may also be useful if you have
general experience with children or young people with disabilities or learning

You should be able to get advice from your school on which qualification would be
the most appropriate.

Local education authorities, some colleges, and charities or disability organisations
provide in-service training relating to particular types of disability or learning
difficulty. Your employer will usually help you to arrange this training.

For information about foundation degrees see Foundation Degree Forward

To search for colleges and universities offering foundation degrees, HNDs and
degrees see Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)

Further information
NOTE: See also attached document on SEN teaching and special needs section
on the attached spreadsheet for SEN career development.

Council for the Advancement of Communication with Deaf People (CACDP)
Makaton Vocabulary Development Project
Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB)
Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTA)

If you would like to discuss your career options with a learning adviser at the
learndirect advice line, call 0800 100 900

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