There are many roles supporting education in schools and colleges, with training providers and in universities.

You could choose to support teachers and tutors with their teaching and children and young people with their learning in lessons. Or you could work outside the classroom, doing admin or other jobs to help the school, college or university run smoothly.

You will need good A levels or equivalent qualifications and experience of working in education, with children and young adults or have skills in clerical, bookkeeping and admin work.

Example jobs

Librarian or library assistant
Running the library, organising learning resources and supervising students in the resource centre and study areas.

Laboratory and other types of technician
For science, art, IT, photography and various workshop areas, setting up materials and resources required for learning, looking after any machinery and equipment in your area.

Teaching assistant
Working in the classroom under the supervision of the teacher or lecturer, supporting learning in groups or on a one-to-one basis with learners who have special or additional needs.

Pastoral assistant or coordinator
Supporting heads of year or faculty, dealing with students’ problems where possible, carrying out paperwork and day-to-day administration duties.

Secretary/PA to head teacher, principal or director
Working for the person who runs the organisation, dealing with correspondence, writing reports and producing other documents, keeping a diary, making appointments and ensuring nothing is forgotten.

Things you need to know

Typical working conditions

  • You will be working in a hectic, often noisy but very rewarding environment.
  • You will work during term-time and occasionally during part of the holidays, depending on your contract.
  • Support workers can sometimes earn extra money when the buildings are used for other activities during holidays, depending on your contract.

Qualifications needed

The qualifications you will need depend on the level and type of job. Specific qualifications are often not required, but you will need to have good GCSE and A level (or equivalent) grades and you will need good literacy and numeracy skills.

Experience of working with children can be important. Volunteering to help in a local school for a few hours a week is a good way to start.

Career path

An education support role could be a stepping stone into teaching, as you will learn what is required to become a classroom teacher.

You could be motivated to do further qualifications, leading to work in areas such as counselling, special educational needs (SEN) or teaching English for speakers of other languages (ESOL).

With industry-related qualifications in a subject such as catering, graphics, carpentry or bricklaying, you may be able to do some teaching. You would be paid as a ‘trainer’ while studying to obtain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for teaching in schools or FE qualifications for teaching adults in colleges.

Useful links

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Local government jobs

Search for careers in local schools

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