Higher level teaching assistant status (HLTA) provides assurance to headteachers, teachers and parents that support staff can work to recognised professional standards.
It means that teachers and support staff in school can work together more effectively in professional teams. As your skills improve, you can take a more involved role in the classroom.
Higher level teaching assistants work in various roles and settings, from working across the curriculum to acting as a specialist assistant for a subject or department. This may include working with individuals, small groups or whole classes.
Teachers and headteachers decide which teaching and learning activities HLTAs take part in, and what guidance and support they need.
You must have your headteacher’s support before applying for HLTA status. You also need the support of colleagues before and during your assessment.
To gain HLTA status you need to
• meet all the professional standards
• identify any gaps in your experience, knowledge or skills which might prevent you from gaining HLTA status
• complete the appropriate training or development opportunities
Before your HLTA status assessment, you complete your preparation for assessment. This involves doing assessment tasks, which draw on your experience against the HLTA standards. You must also submit documentary evidence.
We work with Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley local authorities to run preparation and training for HLTA. The South Yorkshire Teaching Assistant Consortium runs the courses, while we are the lead organisation.
There are three ways to achieve HLTA status.
HLTA preparation ensures you understand the professional standards, the evidence you need to submit and how the assessment works.
After you successfully complete HLTA preparation and attain HLTA status, you gain 30 higher education credits towards a qualification – subject to validation.
HLTA preparation takes three days. In some local authorities you can take two extra training days, which covers mentor training and file building.
The HLTA longer route
The HLTA longer route is for those working in foundation stage, primary or secondary schools. It includes the HTLA preparation and also how to use a training needs analysis to develop additional skills, knowledge and reflection.
You may also gain 60 higher education credits by completing some extra academic work. The longer route takes 10 days.
The HLTA specialist longer route
The HLTA specialist longer route is for teaching assistants or support staff who work in secondary schools to support learning in mathematics or science. It provides increased knowledge and experience of teaching strategies in these subjects.
The programme addresses the Key Stage 3/4 subject curriculum and related national strategy requirements. The specialist route is 10 days, with three days preparation for HLTA assessment.
You may also gain 60 higher education credits by completing some extra academic work.
We have been involved in HLTA preparation and assessment since the programme started. All of our HLTA preparers are also experienced HLTA assessors who can guide you through the process.
Teaching assistants with HLTA status can apply for HLTA posts in schools. This enables you to take on more developed roles in the classroom.
HLTA preparation – HLTA assessment module
Includes • an overview of assessment • guidance and support on writing assessment tasks • support on collecting documentary evidence • formative feedback on tasks • guidance on the assessment visit
HLTA longer route
Includes • professional development making a positive contribution • learning and development • HLTA assessment module
HLTA specialist longer route includes
• enjoying and achieving in mathematics 1 or enjoying and achieving in science 1
• enjoying and achieving in mathematics 2 or enjoying and achieving in science 2
• HLTA assessment module