Salaries for Teaching Assistants (TAs) in further education vary depending on the specific role but you can expect starting salaries to come in around the £16,000 mark (spine pay point 14: National Joint Council). This is for a full-time, permanent TA position (Level 1). As a rule, salaries rise from £16,000 to £21,000 for Levels 2 and 3 TAs. Higher-level TAs can expect to earn between £21,000 and £25,000. Salaries may be on a pro-rata basis.
A TA salary will vary depending on whether the role is full time or part-time, experience and responsibilities. Most posts will be subject to two acceptable references, a medical health check, an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Disclosure and signing an IT user policy.
A permanent full-time contract will enable you to take advantage of school holidays as paid annual leave. That said, term-time-only contracts are increasingly common. These generally run for around 39 weeks. TAs will not be paid for school holidays on a term-time contract but will get four or five weeks’ holiday a year.
Most FE colleges will offer relatively generous benefits packages for TAs. Employee benefits are nice perks to have and help to create a wider package in addition from the salary alone.
For example, a Learning Support Assistant position at Leeds City College, which is one of the UK’s largest FE establishments with around 1,440 employees and over 22,560 students, offers a wide range of benefits. This includes a generous pension scheme, discounted travel cards and an excellent annual leave entitlement with up to five discretionary closure days at Christmas.
In this role, the TA can also make use of various membership loyalty cards/schemes, such as Costco and The Gourmet Society, and access a cycle to work scheme. This role pays £17,942 per annum pro-rata.
The London weighting may vary across colleges and may have been accounted for within the basic salary. The recommended London weighting for further education employees is £2,725 for inner London, £1,790 for outer and £704 for fringe.
Although it is not compulsory, it is recommended that TAs join a union. The big three local government unions are Unison, GMB and Unite. You may also wish to join the teaching union — National Education Union — as a support staff member.
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