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This qualification provides learners with an in-depth understanding of the knowledge and skills needed when working directly with children and young people in school and college environments.

It covers all aspects of specialist support including planning, delivering and reviewing assessment strategies to support learning alongside the teacher, bilingual support, special needs support and personal development and reflective practice.

  • Sector Overview

    Working in education can be incredibly rewarding. You'll use your knowledge and skills to inspire and educate the next generation and the variety of your job means that you'll gain plenty of transferrable skills in return. Job satisfaction is guaranteed as you get to watch young people learn and develop. What's more, you'll have ample opportunities to progress your career. Teachers also enjoy great job security and other benefits such as a competitive salary, generous holiday allowance and a pension. 

    Future employment for teaching professionals is set to increase by 4.7% nationally in 2026.

  • Entry Requirements

    The entry requirements for this course are:

    • Functional skills English L1 or higher
    • Functional Skills Maths L1 or higher
    • Assessment and interview


    • Level 2 Supporting Teaching and Learning ( although this is not essential)
    • Assessment and interview
  • What will I study?

    To achieve this qualification learners are required to successfully complete 16 mandatory units: 

    • Schools and colleges as organisations
    • Support health and safety in a learning environment
    • Understand how to safeguard children and young people
    • Develop professional relationships with children, young people and adults
    • Understand how children and young people develop
    • Support positive behaviour in children and young people 
    • Support children and young people during learning activities
    • Support English and maths skills
    • Support the use of ICT in the learning environment
    • Support assessment for learning
    • Engage in personal and professional development
    • Support children and young people's speech, language and communication
    • Understand how to support bilingual learners
    • Understand how to support learning of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities
    • Support children and young people during transitions
    • Support the role of play, leisure and extra-curricular activities for children and young people

    This qualification aims to:

    • Focus on the study of supporting teaching and learning
    • Offer breadth and depth of study, incorporating a key core of knowledge 

    The objectives of this qualification are to:

    • Provide learners with the knowledge and understanding needed to work in a school or college environment
    • Provide a stepping stone into further learning within the sector
  • How will I be assessed?

    You will be assessed via:

    • Written tasks
    • Presentations 
    • Practical activity
    • Observations
  • Enrichment

    To further enhance your progression, you will actively participate in short qualifications such as managing your own money and employability skills.

  • Work Experience

    As learners need to show competence in both skills and knowledge, they will need to be working or be on a practical placement during the taught programme of study in a learning environment (school or college).

    At diploma level, we recommend that the learner undertakes an additional 100 hours of placement to that taken at the certificate level in a real work environment, to total 200 hours.

  • Progression opportunities

    This qualification provides you with the knowledge, understanding and skills to work in a variety of unsupervised job roles that support children and young people's learning in schools or colleges.

    Roles this qualification will prepare you for include: 

    • Teaching Assistant
    • Learning Support Assistant
    • Special Needs Assistant
  • Alumni

    Waltham Forest College is a vibrant and aspirational college and will support you to reach your career aspirations. Last year 96% of learners progressed onto a positive destination either to higher levels of study, employment, or an Apprenticeship.

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