The department is committed to supporting teaching assistants to become qualified teachers, including through providing accessible routes into the teaching profession.
Teaching assistants that have a degree can choose from various routes, including the School Direct (tuition fees) placement or School Direct (salaried places). Both routes carry the award of qualified teacher status (QTS) and some may lead to the award of a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE).
An alternative route into teaching is through an apprenticeship.
Currently, schools have access to a range of apprenticeship standards, including the level three teaching assistant apprenticeship and level six postgraduate teacher apprenticeship (PGTA). The level six PGTA is only available to those with a degree. The department is working with all interested parties to improve the PGTA for providers, employers, and candidates as part of its scheduled review.
There are a range of other routes into teaching, including PGCE or postgraduate diploma in education (PGDE) for those with an undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification. Additionally, qualified teacher learning and skills status (QTLS) allows those without degrees to teach in schools, providing they meet the eligibility criteria. Those without a degree can also train to teach through an undergraduate degree. Unlike the apprenticeships and School Direct routes, these routes do not allow teaching assistants to train within a school they may already be employed in.
While teaching is a graduate profession, the department is working with interested parties to consider how teaching assistants and others working in schools can attain the relevant qualifications to become teachers.