Teaching Assistant | EPA Standards | NCFE | NCFE

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EPA Standard

Teaching Assistant

Level 3     £5,000      18 months

1. What the role entails

Teaching Assistants work in Primary, Special and Secondary education across all age ranges, encompassing special educational needs and emotional vulnerabilities. The primary role of the Teaching Assistant is to support the class teacher to enhance pupils’ learning in groups or individually, making sure pupils understand the work set, know their learning objectives and stay on task in order to make progress. Promoting self-belief, social inclusion and a high selfesteem play an integral part in learners’ wellbeing, making sure pupils thrive in a positive, nurturing, safe environment.

Entry: apprentices may be expected to have already achieved 5 GCSEs, including maths and English, Grade C or above or 4/5 (new grading). Some employers will accept other relevant qualifications and experience, including a relevant Level 2 qualification.

2. On-programme assessment

Before entering Gateway, the apprentice must complete the following on-programme assessment requirements:

  • Level 2 in English and maths.

3. Gateway requirements

The employer, independent training provider (ITP) and apprentice make the decision to take the apprentice through Gateway. The apprentice must achieve all the required on-programme elements before they enter Gateway, including completing a Portfolio of Evidence to support the Professional Discussion.

4. End-point assessment

The EPA for Teaching Assistant contains two methods of assessment:

Practical Observation with Questions & Answers (Q&As)

The Practical Observation will happen over 2 hours (+/-10%) and will take place in the apprentice’s workplace. During the Practical Observation, the apprentice will have the opportunity to demonstrate how they’ve applied the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) identified in the assessment plan in a work environment. A Q&A session will take place after the final observation and will last for 15 minutes (+/- 10%).

Grading: the Independent End-Point Assessor (IEPA) grades the Practical Observation as Pass or Distinction.

Professional Discussion supported by a Portfolio of Evidence

The Professional Discussion is a structured discussion of 90 minutes (+/- 10%) following the Practical Observation, which will establish the apprentice’s understanding and application of the KSBs identified in the assessment plan.

The Portfolio of Evidence will be completed during the on-programme learning and will enable the IEPA to prepare for the Professional Discussion. It should cover the KSBs to be assessed by the Professional Discussion.

Grading: the IEPA grades the Professional Discussion is graded as Pass or Distinction.

5. Grade aggregation table

Professional Discussion Teaching Observations  Overall Grade
Fail Fail Fail
Pass Fail Fail
Fail Pass Fail
Distinction Fail Fail
Fail Distinction Fail
Pass Pass Pass
Distinction Pass Pass
Pass Distinction Pass
Distinction Distinction Distinction

6. Completion and certification

We’ll activate certification once the apprentice has successfully completed all EPAs, and the IEPA has verified this. Working with the apprenticeship certificate issuing authority, we’ll ensure the apprentice receives their certificate.

7. What next?

As well as ensuring full competency as a Teaching Assistant, this standard provides a foundation for potential progression into a number of career paths in the education sector, including Higher Level Teaching Assistant, Assistant Teacher and Teacher. There are also other apprenticeship standards to progress onto such as Level 4 Assessor Coach or Level 5 Learning and Skills Teacher.


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