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    I'm trying to find out about teaching assistant work starting in September of 2013 in the Birmingham area.

    I've looked around a number of websites (guardian jobs etc.) and they all seem to have adverts from recruiting agencies like EduStaff, or Connaught Resourcing, but nothing posted directly by schools.

    I've also checked out the local authority's website (Birmingham City Council) and they also have a number of jobs listed, but they're different to those on the job websites.

    TES's website also has a job search function, but returns only two jobs available in the West Midlands at the moment, which don't seem to match up with the number on offer from the City Council.

    I'm also not sure what qualifications I'll need. I'll have a degree (hopefully with a 2:1 or 1st) by the time I enter the job, but there's a number of references to Level 2/3 and HLTA Teaching Assistants. Are these required qualifications, qualifications I can get on the job, or do they describe the level of work expected in the job?

    Basically it's a bewildering world of conflicting sources, so here are my questions in bullet point format (because I'm organised like that):

    1. What are the best places to look for TA jobs?
    2. When are TA jobs for September 2013 likely to be listed? (Am I too late/early for most of them?)
    3. What is the role of organisations like EduStaff, and should I apply through them, or apply straight to schools?
    4. What qualifications will I need to become a TA? (Is my degree sufficient?)

    1. I would have thought it would be the local authority website, I know you would have Birmingham City Council but what about the surrounding areas. E.g In Liverpool there is, Liverpool City Council but there is also Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton, Wirral, ect. Check all of them (well those in a commutable distance!) and this will be for state schools. Also Eteach is becoming more popular, have a look at that.

    2. Not yet, I just scoured my council website and there was 12 TA jobs, all of which were ASAP start or the latest was a May start. I guess the best thing to do is just keep checking regularly.

    3. They are recruitment agencies, I have no idea about their success rate with TAs or what percentage of Birmingham schools use them. In my area personally, most tend to just use the council websites/local paper and that is enough, but then that isn't Birmingham so perhaps more digging is needed! Could you ring them up?

    4. Depends on your degree/experience, if you have an irrelevant (to education) degree and no experience you'd perhaps be best applying for level 1 or 2 TA posts to build up your experience. If you have extensive experience in schools then you could perhaps apply for level 3. - Have a look at the job spec and see where you think you match up.
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