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Which career path?

Your job and career questions answered

Q: I started working as a volunteer in my daughter's primary school. I have enjoyed the experience, but now need to earn some money. Should I become a classroom assistant or train to be a teacher?

A: Both are worthwhile and responsible jobs that can offer satisfying careers.

If you need to earn money in the short-term, much will depend on your qualifications. If you are a graduate, or over 24 with the equivalent of two years' higher education, you can be trained as a teacher in a school while earning a salary. How much you would earn would depend on the generosity of the school that takes you on.

Without these academic credentials, you would need to do some more studying before you could train to be a teacher. But you could probably be recruited as a classroom assistant - most of them are trained after being employed, but the work is not usually well paid.

Some areas have schemes that allow assistants to train as teachers. The Government has recently created the new grade of higher level teaching assistant for staff who can undertake what is described as "specified work" under the direction of a qualified class teacher.

These are some of the options available to you, but you should also ask the headteacher of your daughter's school for advice.

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