Supporting your classroom
in Portsmouth

Options for becoming a teaching assistant

What does a teaching assistant do?

Teaching assistants help support children and young people in a classroom alongside a teacher. This may also include supporting children with special educational needs and or disabilities.

The role is varied and may change over time as you progress in your career. This could include working on a 1:1 basis with pupils or becoming a higher-level teaching assistant. If you would like to start an exciting career in the classroom supporting children and young people, Teach Portsmouth will help you understand your options.

Starting out as a classroom assistant

Becoming a classroom assistant isn't just a steppingstone into teaching. Many people enjoy long careers and later specialise in the role. If you are thinking about becoming a classroom assistant, many schools will require people to meet a set of minimum requirements.

  • Level 2 qualification in English and maths
  • Some classroom experience (not always necessary)

If you need to complete a level 2 qualification in English or maths, The Learning Place can help you achieve these qualifications. To view their courses, click the link below.

Benefits of the role

Becoming a teaching assistant is a rewarding experience as you play your part in shaping future generations. Not only will you be making a difference, but you'll also enjoy the benefits of the role.

  • Work around your commitments - the role offers flexibility to meet your needs
  • Specialise in your role - become a higher-grade assistant or provide 1:1 support
  • A job like no other - see the impact you make on the lives of pupils daily
  • Training opportunities - develop your skills through courses and progress in your career

This list is far from exhaustive as many schools will offer bespoke benefits that are unique to them.

Meet our award-winning teaching assistants

Debbie, Sally and Alice won awards for their work supporting children and young people at this year's Teach Portsmouth Awards. Learn more about their careers as teaching assistants in primary and secondary schools in the city.

Winner: Deborah de Caen - Admiral Lord Nelson School

Debbie has dedicated over 20 years of her career to supporting young people with special educational needs. She is 100% focused on securing the best outcomes for young people, be it academic qualifications or helping them handle themselves in social situations. In the last 4 years, Debbie has worked tirelessly with young down syndrome students - ensuring that they can access a full curriculum and become part of school life. This includes trips and extracurricular activities.

Shortlisted: Sally May - Priory School

Sally’s calm and caring support creates safety for some of Priory School's most vulnerable students. The atmosphere Sally effortlessly creates enables students to complete work and achieve success beyond expectation. Whenever we have reviews for students, Sally is always named as a member of staff with whom students have a positive relationship with.

Shortlisted: Alice Robinson - Trafalgar School

Alice is an exceptional inclusion support assistant who possesses a real drive and passion for supporting children at school and within the wider community. Alice never draws attention to the support she provides but the impact she makes is significant. Alice championed the introduction of the Lexia programme that has led to an 8% - 27% increase in students receiving a standardised score of above 100 for reading comprehension. Her modest, conscientious, non-judgmental and compassionate nature always shines through.

Upcoming information events

If you want to become a teaching assistant, visit one of our in-person information events where you can learn more about the role, hear from other assistants and find out about job vacancies in Portsmouth.

How to become a classroom assistant?

Tuesday 5 July (10am - 12pm)
Location: Portsmouth Central Library

Want to inspire the next generation of thinkers and doers? Start a rewarding career as a teaching assistant in a Portsmouth school.

Hear from those in the role as they share their experiences of working in the classroom. Head teachers will also provide some insight into what they are looking for to ensure you are application ready.

The Learning Place will be on hand to help those who need a level 2 qualification in English or maths as well as offering advice on apprenticeships.

Those in attendance can also browse current vacancies from the Portsmouth City Council website.

Event schedule

Join us for inspiring talks and a question and answer session from 10am - 12pm on Tuesday 5 July at Portsmouth Central Library. There are two sessions with short and snappy presentations where you can learn more about becoming a teaching assistant.

Session one

  • 10 am - Event opens
  • 10:15 am - Welcome from Teach Portsmouth
  • 10:20 am - Learning support assistants share their experiences
  • 10:25 am - Head teacher talks about support roles in their school
  • 10:30 am - The Learning Place - Qualifications and apprenticeships
  • 10:35 am - Ask the experts - Q&A with presenters

Session two

  • 11 am - Session two begins
  • 11:15 am - Welcome from Teach Portsmouth
  • 11:20 am - Learning support assistants share their experiences
  • 11:25 am - Head teacher talks about support roles in their school
  • 11:30 am - The Learning Place - Qualifications and apprenticeships
  • 11:35 am - Ask the experts - Q&A with presenters

What's next?

If you are interested in attending this event, there is no need to register. Just turn up!

Any questions about the event?

If you'd like more information about the event, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and one of the team will help.

Apply for classroom assistant vacancies

If you're classroom ready and meet the minimum requirements, schools and colleges are looking for qualified people just like you.

Teach Portsmouth, Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council, Civic Offices, Portsmouth, PO1 2EA
   023 9268 8088 (9.30am - 2.30pm)
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