• 1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
  • I work as a classroom TA at a community special needs school, supporting pupils primarily in Computing, Media and ASDAN lessons. I assist the class teacher by helping to create and adapt learning resources, performing various administrative tasks, and support pupils in lessons on an individual and group basis, as well as more generally during the lesson. I supervise and interact with pupils during mornings, break-times and lunchtimes, which helps to get to know them on a more personal level and build a relationship with them. While there are many great opportunities available with a lot of support, I think there could be more opportunities to shadow experienced members of staff performing the different tasks that would be expected of a permanent member of staff, as well as gaining a broader insight into how the school works with external agencies.


  • 2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
  • I have developed behaviour management skills and a more specific awareness of how to support pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. I have also learned many new IT skills from working in the Computing and Media lessons, and developed problem-solving strategies that help me in my day-to-day life and professionally. The assignments set are purposeful and provided me with a thorough understanding of everything I would need to know to be a teaching assistant at a school, including both personal and professional advice. The staff training I have attended has been linked to the assignment work and deepened my knowledge of support strategies and wider school issues.


  • 3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
  • I enjoy the programme immensely; the flexibility and clarity regarding the commitment towards working hours mean that I can plan ahead and organise myself, so that I find time for activities I take pleasure in, as well as for my friends and family. I feel very comfortable at my placement school, as all the staff are supportive and friendly, and have taken a lot of personal effort to explain things to me and ensure I understand what is expected. The pupils are unique and teach me new things all the time, sometimes advising me on how I can improve as a TA! My experience at my placement school has been exceptional, and I would consider myself very lucky to find another school with the same level of dedication and passion for its pupils.


  • 4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
  • The programme is extremely organised and structured, whilst at the same time being incredibly flexible. I have had no concerns about the Covid-19 situation in terms of continuing my apprenticeship, as Inspire ATA have been very reassuring that we would continue to be supported as far as this is possible. Their communication to us has been transparent and grounding. Even though I am 24 years old, which is possibly a little old to be doing an apprenticeship, hearing some of the advice given in their training sessions and calls has helped me greatly. I feel we are treated with a lot of compassion and care, whilst still being respected as responsible adults with valid concerns and opinions.


  • 5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
  • See previous answers. Any concerns or issues are dealt with immediately, and there are rarely concerns and issues that need to be raised. They were very supportive and informative during the on-boarding process and offer a realistic and highly effective level of support during term-time. Support takes the form of well-being support sessions via Zoom, check-up calls from the employer during school holidays (and panic situations such as Covid19!) and around-the-clock support for any question you may have. There are also networking opportunities through planned social events and LinkedIn.


  • 6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
  • Support takes the form of remote training sessions via Zoom, regular meetings with an assigned tutor for support with coursework and placement work and around-the-clock support for any question you may have. The assignment work is explained clearly and the tutors are very down-to-earth and approachable people, who at the same time have high (yet realistic) expectations. I have often heard about SMART targets in other training I have undertaken, but I have never truly understood how to apply these and work towards meeting these goals until I did this apprenticeship.


  • 7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
  • At other schools I have worked at before, much of the knowledge around areas such as safeguarding were often explained in a brief or rushed way, whereas here I was given a lot of space and time to develop an extensive understanding of many relevant topics, and more control over the pace at which I work. As I mentioned before, the assignment work is purposeful and extremely relevant to all areas of working as a TA.


  • 8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
  • As far as Covid-19 has permitted, I have had many opportunities to socialise with other apprentices, and occasionally school staff. As I mentioned before, the clarity over working hours and commitment gives you ample opportunity to pursue interests outside of your job. While this may not necessarily be extra-curricular, it is important for your own sense of self and happiness.


  • 9a. Would you recommend Inspire ATA Ltd. to a friend?
  • Yes

  • 9b. Why?
  • If I knew someone who was interested in following a similar career path to me, I would definitely recommend this apprenticeship to them for all the reasons above.

  • 10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Inspire ATA Ltd.?
  • Be honest about your strengths, weaknesses, and your personal and professional goals, because they are very non-judgmental and ready to offer you as much support as possible in any area where you are struggling. Also have no fear about selling yourself, I'm sure there are a limitless amount of things you can offer when you are given the right opportunity and a chance to succeed.


Apprenticeship - Advanced Level (Level 3)

Education & Childcare

London, UK

February 2021

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