Education support is a brilliant sector to work in. There are a variety of rewarding and accessible roles, each with excellent benefits and development opportunities. The primary benefit of working in education support is that you will have a lifelong impact on children and young people in your community.
By supporting the safety, operation and management of school settings, these roles contribute to creating a learning environment of the highest possible standard. This in turn helps pupils to reach their full potential.
See below for more details about the following education support roles:
- Teaching Assistants
- Site Staff
- Business Support Admin
- School Business Managers
Teaching assistants are vital in ensuring that classrooms are run effectively on a day-to-day basis. They support teachers in preparing lesson materials and setting up and tidying classrooms. They also work closely with students, ensuring that they understand the lesson content and providing support to students with additional needs.
Teaching assistants will also watch, record, and report the progress that students make, and occasionally lead lessons with the support of the teacher. Teaching assistants make a huge difference in the lives of young people – they develop strong relationships with students and inspire them to learn.
There are many benefits of being a teaching assistant, these include:
- Teaching assistants get school holidays off – this is beneficial for those with children.
- There are great progression and development opportunities for teaching assistants – you can go on to do teacher training.
- Teaching assistants make a tangible difference in the lives and education of children and young people.
- Teaching assistants don’t necessarily need qualifications other than GCSEs; this makes it a very accessible role for those who want to work in education but don’t currently have any professional qualifications.
- CCC teaching assistants are eligible for the local government pension scheme.
Site staff are responsible for keeping school premises clean and hygienic. The main duties of school site staff include:
- Locking and unlocking the buildings, as required
- Dealing with pre-planned maintenance as well as day-to-day establishment requirements
- Undertaking minor repairs to fixtures and fittings
- Grounds maintenance
- Assisting with the organisation of school refurbishments
- Monitoring the premises for hazards and carrying repairs and reporting problems where necessary.
Fundamentally, site staff provide children and young people with a safe environment in which they can learn and grow. As such, site staff play a vital role in young people’s development.
Some of the benefits of working as site staff include:
- This role is physically active, as such it will keep you fit and healthy.
- Academic qualifications are often not required, this means you can make a difference in a child’s education/life even if you don’t have any academic or professional qualifications.
- There are many training and development opportunities for site staff – there are various professional qualifications role holders can undertake such as
- Level 2 Certificate in Property, Caretaking and Facilities Services
- Level 2 Certificate in Cleaning and Support Service Skills
- Level 3 Certificate in Property Caretaking and Facilities Supervision
- Level 3 Certificate in Principles of Facilities Management (for experienced site staff in charge of small teams)
This is an incredibly varied role – no two days are the same – and allows you to be part of a team.
Business Support Admin
School business support administrator is a varied role, and the responsibilities may vary depending on the school size and type of school setting. Typical responsibilities include:
- Greeting visitors and dealing with questions they might have
- Day-to-day administrative responsibilities such as answering the phone
- Duties relating to pupil attendance
- Managing emails, post and photocopying
- Utilising IT systems to write letters, emails, reports and newsletters
- Keeping paper and electronic records up to date, including financial records
- Procuring and monitoring school resources
- Attending, participating in and taking notes in meetings as required
This role has great benefits, including:
- Good holiday entitlement – while the exact amount of holiday will depend on the school, you will often work term time, plus roughly two extra weeks during the school holidays. This means you get most of the school holidays off.
- This role includes lots of face-to-face communication with a variety of stakeholders, including pupils, teachers and parents.
- This is a varied role – not two days are the same. You may be dealing with finance, personnel, catering services, or policy-writing.
- This role allows you to be in close contact with the senior leadership team of your school.
- There are great development opportunities for school business admin staff – there are a variety of professional training courses you can take, and sometimes there are opportunities to work across multiple offices.
School Business Managers
A school business manager is a member of staff who helps to ensure the smooth and successful running of a school. By dealing with the leadership, managerial and administrative complexities that confront their schools, school business managers are supporting their headteachers and making a direct contribution to improving the effectiveness of their schools.
School business managers are responsible for strategic and operational management of finances, human resources, facilities, sustainable development, and marketing and communications.
Fundamentally, school business managers take on some of the traditional responsibilities of the headteacher. This allows the headteacher more time to focus directly on teaching and learning, hence improving the efficiency and outcomes of the school.
Some benefits of being a school business manager include:
- Good holiday entitlement – while the exact amount of holiday will depend on the school, most contracts are term-time only, plus a specified number of days. You will have most of the school holidays off.
- This is a varied and high-profile role, in which you will engage directly with lots of important stakeholders.
- This role will allow you to make a difference in the lives of young people without working as a teacher – brilliant for those who care about the quality of education but don’t wish to work directly with students.
Read more about what it's like to work in Education Support
“I love being with the children and building relationships with them. Even though there is a routine, every day is different. I enjoy the opportunities to be creative. I have the freedom to set up play spaces and different learning areas and I enjoy thinking about the types of resources and experiences the children need to grow and develop. I also love the sense of teamwork with my class teacher. We get on well and have fun together.”
“I assist the class teacher to provide high quality play-based learning for the under 4's. This includes playing with children developing speech and language skills, encouraging them to embrace new experiences and activities, and providing a nurturing and caring environment in which they can flourish. Safeguarding is also high priority and I communicate with colleagues to share any concerns and agree responsibilities. I enjoy having meaningful real relationships with children so that we can jointly connect on a particular project or theme and explore it together. I also like working as part of a team and trusting that we're all working towards the same goals for the children.”
“I enjoy working with the children, helping them to grow and assisting them to learn. I particularly enjoy conducting interventions that enable pupils to progress in their learning, where they may not have been doing so well within the whole class. I enjoy the variety of the work and seeing pupils progress and become more confident in themselves.”
“I am a teaching assistant in early years supporting the teacher and children throughout the day. Planning for and delivering to groups of children. Setting up and tidying the classroom. Making assessments, recording and planning next steps for the children. Safeguarding and ensuring policies and procedures are implemented. Feeding back to the teacher. Liaising with parents and carers. Ensuring children’s hygiene and other needs are met. Preparing snack. Interacting with children to develop their understanding and language. Supporting inclusion for all children. Liaising with outside agencies. Managing behaviour. Preparing resources and activities.”