My name is Susan Jones and I completed Level 5 Diploma in Leadership & Management for Children’s Care, Learning and Development (Management) Settings, Wales and Northern Ireland.
I manage 30 TAs and run the Additional Learning Needs (ALN) department, daily. I also provide interventions for pupils. I am currently the Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) Team Leader.
"Abigail John is our contact at TSW and I have personally found her supportive, informative and encouraging. I would have no hesitation in recommending TSW as a provider."
What impact has your apprenticeship had?
It's had a very positive impact.
I changed some of our systems of work, how I manage TAs, and also provide feedback.
It made me feel more confident in my role. I felt that I had a better understanding of the role of a leader and manager, and could implement the changes that I felt would benefit the department and the TAs.
Had I not undertaken the L5, I may not have been confident in my ability and role. The qualification also gave me the chance to apply for the HLTA role.
Has it changed how you do your job?
Before I did the Level 5, I was employed as a Level 2 TA, providing interventions.
I stepped up to a Level 5 temporary position and I began line managing.
I felt that I would not get an opportunity to progress even after completing the Level 3 qualification, as positions are rarely moved within our school. I knew that the Level 5 would open more options for me, if not in my school, then elsewhere.
I was able to apply for the HLTA post. It filled me with more confidence going for the interview as I knew through the course and also gained experience, how to progress through the interview, which was mostly about leadership and management.
My experience of the qualification helped me to gain confidence, which also helped at interview stages
Tell us about your accomplishments so far
I had feedback on my daily management of the department, from our Head Teacher, which was positive.
When I stepped up to a temporary Level 5 role, I was given a small pay rise for this.
I had feedback from the TAs which was positive, as I had managed them under a new system of work, to what they were used to.
I was commended on my management and overhaul of the department from the Senior Leadership Team. I have now applied for and was successful in applying for the HLTA Team Leader role in July 2021. This comes with a pay rise and it is a Level 6 role.
What are your ambitions? Tell us about the next steps in your learning journey
I would now like to progress in my new role in school and use the learning I already have.
I will then look at whatever new qualification I would benefit from, utilising what I have already learned.
My new role sees a new challenge, which involves working with Senior Leadership Team, Directors of Houses (we have four in school) and working under the ALN Co-ordinator.
I am responsible for the TAs in my House plus House Support Officers and pupils/interventions. We have, in effect, four Houses within our school (schools, within a school).
I have ambitions to make this role the best it can be and to potentially progress into overseeing more within my department.
I would eventually like to have a large Nurture based department which offers a bridge between us and the classroom as support, to enable pupils to return to class in a better emotional place and ready to work and progress.
How has TSW supported you?
I have worked with TSW for a few years now - both as a learner and also as a manager of learners. I have always found TSW to be professional, helpful and encouraging for learners.
All of the TAs speak highly of the support they receive when we discuss progress on their NVQs. Abigail John is our contact at TSW and I have personally found her supportive, informative and encouraging. I would have no hesitation in recommending TSW as a provider.