Dear John: Moving from classroom teacher to TA. Is it a wise move?


I know this sounds bizarre, but I have been teaching for three years in Worcestershire and I honestly do not think this is for me, I love working with children and teaching but it is all the teacher bumpf that comes with it. That’s not why I got into teaching. I was just wondering if it is possible to go into the career of a t.a. but what would happen with regards to pay? And would anyone want a qualified teacher specialising in English with three years experience of early years as a TA?

Many thanks for any advice.


Yes, you can seek a post as a TA, but the salary will be much lower. However, you could try to negotiate a dual role as a TA and as a supply teacher when needed by the school and be paid as a teacher for the days working as a teacher. It saves the school having to use an agency and pay their fees and you know the pupils. You would lose access to the teachers’ pension scheme and join what may be the less generous local authority scheme. Are you sure you don’t just need to find another school that handles the bumpf better?


John Howson worked as a secondary school teacher in London for seven years before moving into teacher training and consultancy, including a brief period as a chief government advisor. John is now a recruitment analyst, visiting professor of education at Oxford Brookes University and hosts our Career Clinic where you can post questions to him.

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