A Learning Support Assistant (LSA) helps children and young people who need support within the classroom. This role assists Teachers to create environments where pupils with extra learning needs can make the most of their education.
What does a Learning Support Assistant do?
A Learning Support Assistant is also known as an Additional Support Needs (ASN) Assistant, Education Support Assistant, Support Worker or Special Educational Needs (SEN) Classroom Assistant and can be based within a Primary or Secondary School, or within a Special Needs and Disabilities (SEND) School.
You could be working one-on-one or in a small group, supporting children with their education, behavioural and social development, helping children who find it difficult to learn because they have dyslexia, a disability, a health issue, or those who don’t speak English as a first language.
Being a Learning Support Assistant requires you to be an empathetic and compassionate person who is passionate about providing a nurturing learning environment.
You could be expected to work Monday to Friday during term-time within a full-time role, although it is possible to work part-time as a Learning Support Assistant. You may also be expected to attend training or meetings outside of school hours.
You can expect to earn between £60 – £80 per day, or on average a Learning Support Assistant would earn £17,300 per annum.
Is a Learning Support Assistant job a good fit for you?
A Learning Support Assistant is the ideal role if you are passionate about supporting pupils with a variety of needs on a one-on-one or small group basis. You will need to be committed to making a difference and have the enthusiasm to raise pupil achievement.
The day-to-day responsibilities for a Learning Support Assistant include:
Motivating your pupils to achieve beyond their potential.
Supporting and encouraging pupils in their schoolwork.
Encouraging children to communicate.
Helping children to understand instructions.
Ensuring pupils feel comfortable and confident in their own abilities.
Listening to children read, reading to them, and telling them stories.
Looking after vulnerable children who require a dedicated person to manage their physical needs, including their hygiene.
Helping children who need extra support to complete tasks.
Supporting children during social activities, outings, and sports events.
Helping children prepare for activities, such as Physical Education (PE).
Helping children during therapy sessions.
Supervising group activities.
Assisting Teachers to plan learning activities, prepare learning materials, complete records, and carry out administrative tasks.
Supporting Teachers in managing class behaviour.
Following a child’s care plan.
Supervising pupils in the playground.
Clearing away materials and equipment after lessons.
Taking part in training.
Are you a good fit for a Learning Support Assistant job?
To be a good fit for a Learning Support Assistant (LSA) role, you will need to be positive, calm, motivational, flexible, creative, and innovative. You must be able to demonstrate that you are trustworthy and ethical, that you have a supportive nature, as well as being assertive, confident, and resourceful.
You will be working closely with the class Teacher to plan lessons and create a learning environment where pupils can expand their knowledge and play a positive role in school life.
To succeed in a job as a Learning Support Assistant you need to be proactive, energetic, and committed to engaging pupils into wanting to learn, inspiring them to be confident and independent. You will also need to be patient and sensitive and able to comfort children when they’re upset.
Ideally you will have:
Experience in supporting pupils in a classroom environment, with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Additional Learning Needs (ALN).
Knowledge of the national Key Stage Curriculum.
A sound understanding of how children develop socially and mentally.
The ability to demonstrate active listening skills and have strong verbal communication skills.
A dedication to establishing positive relationships with pupils and understanding their needs.
The ability to provide varying levels of individual attention, reassurance, and support with learning tasks, as appropriate to each pupils’ needs.
A willingness to adapt to a wide range of duties within changing circumstances.
The ability to monitor each pupil’s responses and to modify or adapt the learning activities to suit their needs.
The confidence to evaluate learning needs and seek new teaching methods.
The ability to provide constructive feedback in a way that reinforces pupils’ self-esteem.
The ability to handle complex and sensitive issues with empathy and understanding.
The ability to demonstrate a commitment to equal opportunities.
A strong desire to inspire and a passion for supporting and nurturing pupils.
The ability to work effectively and supportively as a member of a team.
Qualifications, Licences and Certifications
The following are essential to become a Learning Support Assistant:
5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and Maths.
Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools.
Previous teaching support experience with children.
Fluent levels of spoken and written English.
You must also pass an enhanced background (DBS) check.
It is also desirable for you to have:
Previous experience supporting children with SEND.
A relevant degree.
Where can a Learning Support Assistant job take you?
Becoming a Learning Support Assistant is a good option if you’re thinking about becoming a Teacher, as you will gain hands-on experience within various educational settings, enabling you to find out if teaching is the right career path for you.
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