Teaching Assistant Focus

Make a difference to special needs education

Early Years, Primary and Secondary Schools

EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage)

The Early Years Foundation Stage sets the standards that must be met by providers and practitioners in the UK for children up to age 5. It provides children with the necessary skills and knowledge to see them through their education, promoting teaching and learning within a safe and healthy environment. Since September 2012, the framework has been simplified (eg. fewer goals, a strong emphasis on communication and emotional development and a developmental check for 2 year olds).

Click here to download the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile Handbook 2013/2014

Primary school

The teaching assistant (TA) role within a primary or secondary school setting is very similar in terms of how they support the children, but the main difference is the involvement with specific subjects. The curriculum for primary schools is very basic, so specialist knowledge of subjects is not required (although good English and maths is a must). Although primary schools set their own daily structure, they must incorporate a ‘Literacy Hour’ and ‘Numeracy Hour’.

Secondary school

The secondary school curriculum involves more detail in specific subjects, so TAs with specialist knowledge in subjects can help students immensely. If there is a requirement for TA, the school will appoint a SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator), who deals with daily SEN operations. The needs of each student differs and the TA will spend as little or as much time as required.

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