City’s teaching assistants ‘worth their weight in gold’ at event

Over 50 people attended an event to become teaching assistants in Portsmouth at Paulsgrove Community Centre on Wednesday 15 November 2023.

Adult education providers, schools and academies were in attendance in the hope of inspiring people to support students in primary, secondary and post-16 classrooms.

Held twice a year, each event encourages people to discover the types of teaching assistant roles available alongside training and apprenticeship opportunities.

Councillor Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council said:

“Teaching assistants are worth their weight in gold, providing essential support for pupils in schools. Despite the rewards of supporting students, its popularity has declined in recent times.

“Teach Portsmouth’s information events reconnect schools and their communities, to encourage more people into the classroom. Families may have children who attend a specific school and want to offer their time to help or an individual may want to positively impact a child’s life. There are many reasons why people choose to become teaching assistants. I would encourage anyone interested to attend an event soon.”

Employability experts, The National Careers Service and Get Set Portsmouth supported attendees with advice and information on completing a job application.

A series of presentations gave delegates an overview of what to expect from training and working in a school, alongside an apprentice who shared her experience.

Bethanie Davies, a teaching assistant at Mayfield School reflected on her journey from working in a pub to supporting pupils in a classroom.

Bethanie said:

“For years, I have worked in retail stacking shelves and serving pints in pubs. While those jobs were fine, I wanted something with set hours, that provided me with more opportunities to progress. I saw an apprenticeship vacancy for a teaching assistant and snapped it up. I applied, invited to attend an interview and the rest is history.

“I am near the end of my apprenticeship and I can’t wait to qualify. I have aspirations to become an inclusion support worker, helping pupils with special educational needs and or disabilities. My job is challenging but it is super rewarding. You won’t find this feeling anywhere else.”

Teach Portsmouth is a Portsmouth City Council initiative that supports the recruitment of education professionals for schools and academies.

Their next event will be the Teach Portsmouth Jobs and Opportunities Fair at Portsmouth Guildhall on Monday 26 February 2024 from 10am – 2pm.

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