Become An Higher Level Teaching Assistant Certified (HLTA)


A Higher Level Teaching Assistant Level 4 HLTA Course does all the things that regular teaching assistants do, but the biggest difference is the increased  responsibility within the classroom. As the HLTA, you are responsible for “filling in” when a teacher is required to be away from the classroom for a specified amount of time and while a qualified teacher is sought to provide cover. Earning HLTA status is a recognized path of advancement for school counsellors.


HLTA’s work closely with teachers to raise the  standards  and help each student reach their full potential. This nationally recognized, OFQUAL recognized Level 4 qualification is for those employed in a teaching assistant role who wish to advance to  higher level teaching assistants and also wish to demonstrate that they are capable of achieving HLTA status.


The purpose is to develop students’ knowledge, understanding and skills to enable them to meet the challenges  they face in their workplace. You will also develop an understanding of the knowledge required to support individuals and small groups, as well as individuals with a range of additional needs. The HLTA Professional Standards detail what is expected of teaching assistants working toward HLTA status. There are 33 standards grouped under three main headings.


Standards 1-7 – Professional attributes

These set out the attitudes, values and commitment expected of HLTA’s


Standards 8-16 – Professional knowledge and understanding

These set out the knowledge and skills needed by HLTA’s to be able to work effectively with teachers as part of the professional team supporting learning


Standards 17-33 – Professional skills

These set out the expectations for planning, monitoring, managing and evaluating learning within the framework of guidance and supervision agreed with the assigned teacher and in accordance with arrangements made by the Head Teacher of the school.


While teaching assistants (TAs) play more of a support role that focuses on preparing & maintaining the classroom, displaying students’ work or working with small groups of pupils, HLTAs are more pro actively involved in the actual delivery of training by:


Providing assistance in planning lessons

Having a role in producing support materials

Leading an entire class under supervision

Specialising in a given subject

Taking responsibility for other support staff


This additional responsibility means that HLTAs need to meet certain requirements that do not apply to lower level teaching and learning support assistants.


Because of this increased  responsibility, HLTAs can expect to earn a slightly higher salary than a regular teaching assistant. However, wage rates are set by employers and salaries can vary quite a bit; £17,000 to £24,000 per year. This salary could increase with additional speciality areas or Special Educational Needs (SEN) responsibilities.


Please note: An internship of at least 50 hours is required to complete this qualification. 


The prerequisite for this Level 4 Certificate for Higher Level Teaching Assistants qualification is that you can complete a paid or voluntary internship at a school or that you are already  working as a teacher. Assistant as the role of an HLTA is to significantly improve teaching and  impact student progress.


School time must be at least 50 hours. This may be in  a  elementary, secondary or  special school, but you MUST ensure that the students you work with are over the age of 5 and  studying at Key Stage 1 or higher.


You will also need the support of a mentor  within the school who will validate your competency and provide and sign a certificate of ability against grading standards. Once you have completed this course, it is the school’s responsibility  to determine if you can be granted HLTA status (some schools may have additional requirements that must be met before status can be granted).


Your knowledge and skills will be tested through a combination of questions and activities that require a variety of answers. This includes descriptive responses and conducting hands-on activities. You will be expected to demonstrate competence and be able to reflect on your practice. As you are currently working with children, the required activities can be used to support  your specific professional role.


Awarding organisation

Training Qualification UK is one of the newest and most dynamic awards organizations in the industry, committed to providing training providers, universities and students with a fresh approach and excellent service. TQUK qualifications are designed by leading practitioners and delivered to schools and students. with integrity and compliance in mind.


TQUK has rigorous quality assurance controls and procedures in place and is committed to maintaining the highest standards of customer service, delivery and assessment of  qualifications. TQUK is fully recognized by OFQUAL as an awarding organization and awards RQF courses in a range of sectors. RQF courses have different credit values that can be applied to the National Credit Transfer System. TQUK accredited courses  are developed by industry experts and work hand-in-hand with organizations that guarantee the level and value of the courses offered.


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