How to increase your TA salary

How to increase your Teaching Assistant salary

Let’s face it- salary can be one of the most important factors for doing a job and it’s no different for teaching assistants. There are a few different ways however to increase your responsibilities and, ultimately, pay. This guide will help you to consider your various options as a TA.

How much are teaching assistants paid?

The salary for a teaching assistant can vary per school and region and unlike with teachers, there are no national pay scales. The variety of different contracts can also make it difficult to calculate the take home pay, with most contracts paying just a term time salary and others covering the holidays too. It is for this reason that it is difficult to definitively state an appropriate pay but as a guideline the national careers service suggests that a teaching assistant salary will range from:

  • Starter: £11,500 to £14,000
  • Experienced: £15,000 to £17,000
  • Highly experienced (HLTA): £17,000 to £23,000

For advice on pay conditions, you can connect here with other teaching assistants in the Tes community forums.

How can teaching assistants progress in their role?

There are four levels of teaching assistant, with the most advanced being a High Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA). Various training providers offer qualifications for school support staff - TQUK being one such company - but it is always worth discussing your options with your school CPD coordinator, as they may be able to offer funding options or recommend other appropriate courses in your area.

Most teaching assistants start at level one and at this level it is likely that you will not have previously worked as a TA. There are three further TA levels: 2, 3 and 4 and each subsequent level requires an increased amount of autonomy but of course, as with any job, the expectations in the role will be different dependent upon your school or Local Education Authority (LEA).

Upon successful completion of the level 4 award, you will be able to work as a HLTA and possible duties include: teaching classes on your own, covering planned absences and allowing teachers time to plan and mark. These increased responsibilities are reflected in the pay, which can range from  £17,000 to £23,000. To find out more about becoming a HLTA, read this article from Tes News

How can teaching assistants become teachers?

If you have been working as a teaching assistant and are looking to upskill to become a fully qualified teacher (with QTS status) this is certainly possible with Tes Institute’s unique Straight to Teaching programme– and depending upon your experience can be done in as little as one term, which would cost only £3,600*. The standard requirements for this programme are a little more stringent than teaching assistant qualifications and are as follows:

  • To hold an undergraduate degree (or equivalent) by the time you are assessed for QTS.
  • To be working in a school that expressly commits to support you through the programme and give you increasing teaching responsibilities.
  • To have achieved at least a grade C or 4 (under the new grading system) at GCSE level in English and Mathematics (or equivalent) by the time you go for assessment- GCSE Science is also required for primary teaching.

With the minimum salary for qualified teachers being £22,467, this is probably the best option for teaching assistants looking to increase their earning potential. For more information you can find out about Straight to Teaching here

Once you become a teacher you can take on additional responsibilities like SEN to further increase your pay, to find out more- read this article from Tes.

*based on the Assessment Only route