Professional standards for teaching assistants

Unions representing support staff have issued these teaching assistant standards for all stakeholders to promote and adopt. 



This document defines high standards which are applicable to all teaching assistant roles in a self-improving school system. The main purpose of these standards is to raise the status and professionalism of teaching assistants and to position their role within a community of professionals, including teachers and school leaders, all working together to improve outcomes for children.

 The teaching assistants’ standards review follows analysis of both the teachers’ and headteachers’ standards by independent groups. The publication of these standards recognises that existing standards for higher level teaching assistants (HLTAs) do not apply to all teaching assistants. These standards do not replace the professional standards for HLTAs; they are complimentary to them.’ 

National Occupational Standards for staff supporting teaching and learning provide a detailed framework for the training and development of support staff. They provide more detailed insights and guidance.

The aim of the review was to establish a set of standards for teaching assistants that:

  • are unequivocal, clear and easy to understand and use
  • can be used to inform performance management processes
  • steer the professional development of teaching assistants at all levels
  • inspire confidence in teaching assistants and ensure that schools use their skills and expertise to best effect
  • focus primarily on the key elements of their professional relationship with teachers to ensure that all pupils attain the highest possible standards.
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