Education is a dynamic landscape, and every student deserves the opportunity to thrive. Some however require extra support due to certain challenges they face. This is where a Learning Support Assistant (LSA) steps in.
Learning Support Assistants, or LSAs, are fundamental figures in education. They work closely with students who need additional support due to learning difficulties or other special needs. They provide personalised support, creating an inclusive learning environment.
What does a Learning Support Assistant do?
If you are passionate about supporting students with a range of needs on a group or one-to-one basis, then the role of an LSA is perfect for you!
Some of the day-to-day responsibilities you may undertake include:
· Assisting children who require additional support in completing tasks.
· Supporting pupils with their literacy and numeracy activities.
· Supervising small groups in activities set by teachers.
· Encouraging children to communicate and interact with others.
· Personalising your approach to the learning of each individual.
· Assisting teachers in planning activities, preparing learning materials and carrying out other tasks.
· Following a child’s individual care plan.
· Reassuring students and ensuring they are confident in their abilities.
· Providing pupils with feedback about their progress.
· Partaking in training.
What qualifications do I need to become a Learning Support Assistant?
To become an LSA, you must have the following:
· 5 or more passing GCSE grades, including English and Maths.
· Fluent level of both written and spoken English.
· A valid DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check.
Other than this you do not need any other formal qualifications. However, having previous experience supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities can be extremely useful and often is what will set you apart from other applicants.
Certain schools will also require you to have a Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools, so this might be something to consider.
The average salary of a Learning Support Assistant
Now to the important stuff. How much do you get paid as an LSA?
On average, you can earn anywhere between £17,000 and £21,500 as a Learning Support Assistant in the UK. In terms of your hourly rate, you could expect to earn between £8 and £12.
One thing that is important to note is that these figures will vary due to several factors, including your location, the hours you work and the school that’s hiring.
We would advise you to take a look at LSA vacancies in your area to get a better idea of what your rate would look like.
Where does a career as a Learning Support Assistant take me?
With experience and further training as an LSA, you could progress to become a SEN Coordinator. This is a leadership role where you oversee the provision of support for all students with special educational needs within the school.
To go into more detail, here are the main roles and responsibilities of a SEN Coordinator:
· Overseeing the day-to-day operation of the SEND policy within the school.
· Coordinating provision for SEND children.
· Liaising with teachers.
· Manage SEN teachers, TAs and support staff
LSAs with a strong background in education (educated to a degree level or higher) often go on to become teachers. If you don’t have a degree but still want to pursue a career in teaching, apply for an undergraduate degree that includes initial teacher training (ITT) that leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
If this has convinced you to pursue a path as a Learning Support Assistant, then click this link to browse our current LSA vacancies.
And if you’re looking for more information about us, visit our website, where you’ll find out what we do, how we can help you and how we’ve helped other educators!