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Elevating Teaching Assistants: Empowering Professional Growth through a Level 3 Qualification

by | Jan 11, 2024

As educational institutions strive to provide quality support for their students, the role of teaching assistants has become increasingly vital. Recognising the significance of their contributions, we are thrilled to announce an exciting opportunity for a teaching assistant course, this is to enhance their skills and professional development. In partnership with United Learning, we are offering a Level 3 TA apprenticeship qualification designed by our esteemed expert, Abigail Hawkins. This blog post aims to shed light on the transformative potential of this program and how it can uplift teaching assistants to new heights.

Unleashing a Teaching Assistants Full Potential:

At the core of this program lies the desire to unlock the full potential of teaching assistants. Led by Abigail Hawkins, an accomplished professional in the field, this Level 3 TA apprenticeship is not a wishy-washy course but a tangible award that holds significant value. By enrolling in this program, teaching assistants will be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to bring out their best.

A Cost-Effective Path to Growth:

We understand that investing in professional development can sometimes pose financial challenges for schools and trusts. However, with this apprenticeship program, there is a solution. Fully funded by the apprenticeship levy, this qualifying teaching assistant course offers a cost-effective avenue to promote teaching assistants to the next level. Even if your institution falls below the threshold to contribute to the levy, we have alternative options available to ensure you can still benefit from this program.

Balancing Work and Study of Teaching Assistants:

We value the importance of maintaining a healthy work-study balance. With this apprenticeship, teaching assistants will dedicate 20% of their working time to off-the-job activities. During this allocated time, they will be able to complete coursework and assigned tasks, empowering them to deepen their understanding and enhance their skills. This structured approach ensures a comprehensive learning experience while accommodating their existing responsibilities.

The Journey: 52 Academic Teaching Weeks of Growth:

The teaching assistant apprenticeship program spans approximately 15 months for full-time employees. Throughout this transformative journey, participants will receive guidance from Abigail Hawkins and access to a wealth of resources designed to support their professional growth. From tackling challenges to building confidence, this program equips teaching assistants to excel in their demanding and often underappreciated role.

How to Apply:

We have two cohorts per year Autumn (starting around the end of October) and Spring (starting March/April). To take advantage of this remarkable opportunity, interested teaching assistants can conveniently submit their applications through the United Learning website. Don’t miss the chance to empower your teaching assistants and propel their capabilities to exceptional levels.  We can also recruit the teaching assistants for you within this programme, saving you even more time and money!


Teaching assistants play an invaluable role in the education system, and investing in their professional growth yields tremendous benefits. Through our partnership with United Learning, we are proud to offer a Level 3 qualification tailored to upskill teaching assistants. This apprenticeship program, led by Abigail Hawkins, provides the platform for teaching assistants to enhance their capabilities, gain confidence, and make an even greater impact on the lives of the students they support. By enrolling in this program, you are investing in the future of your institution and empowering your teaching assistants to excel.

Join us in this journey of growth and transformation. Enroll your teaching assistants today and witness the remarkable outcomes that come from nurturing talent and embracing lifelong learning.


The Transformative Journey: From Film Studies to the Classroom – An Apprentices Story

Embarking on a New Path

Caroline James embarked on a significant career shift in 2022, stepping into the realm of education without prior school-based work experience. A mere eighteen months later, she stands on the cusp of completing her Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship, confident in her newfound vocation.

A Creative Foundation

Initially, Caroline’s post-graduation years were filled with freelance ventures as a video editor and marketer in the arts sector. Her journey took her through various roles, from supporting community cinemas to engaging with film festivals and a youth theatre. It was at the youth theatre where Caroline experienced a pivotal realisation. Leadership opportunities in workshops kindled her passion for teaching, steering her away from the solitude of remote, office-bound work. She gravitated towards the vibrant, interpersonal nature of educational roles.

Choosing the Apprenticeship Route

Opting for an apprenticeship was a deliberate choice for Caroline. It offered a concrete pathway to gauge her fit within the teaching profession. This hands-on approach allowed her to hone her skills and gain confidence, enriching her understanding of the educational landscape.

A Memorable Apprenticeship Highlight

A standout moment of Caroline’s apprenticeship involved implementing sensory storytelling with Year 1 students. This innovative approach not only captivated the students’ imaginations but also had a profound impact on a nonverbal, autistic pupil. The joy and positive feedback from this experience underscored the value of her educational contributions.

Championing Inclusive Education

A central aspect of Caroline’s training emphasised support for pupils with special educational needs (SEN), advocating for inclusivity within the classroom. This focus on creating welcoming, accommodating educational environments resonated deeply with her.

Future Aspirations

With her sights set on becoming a primary school teacher, Caroline’s apprenticeship served as a springboard, equipping her with essential skills and the confidence to pursue further qualifications. Her acceptance into a PGCE course at UCL marks the next step in her journey toward teaching excellence.

Reflecting on Personal and Professional Growth

Caroline’s apprenticeship transcended professional development, offering insights into her personal growth. The comprehensive learning experience solidified her commitment to the educational field, advocating the apprenticeship path to aspiring teaching assistants and newcomers to teaching.

See the full story on the United Learning blogs

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