Professional & support career advice
Lunch

Professional & support

Alongside teachers and curriculum leaders, there are a huge number of other professional and support staff working in an educational setting to ensure the best outcomes and experiences for our children and young people.

With many roles in school administration, finance, HR, premises and IT offered on a flexible or part time basis, and most offering the chance to take advantage of extensive school holidays, this can be an attractive as well as a rewarding sector to work in. Hertfordshire schools consistently attract professional people seeking a career change for a better work-life balance and the chance to 'give something back'.

Whether you are an experienced professional looking to transition into the education sector, or are just starting out in your career and keen to work in an environment where you can help make a difference to the lives of children and young people, our platform offers valuable resources and support to navigate the application process and secure a rewarding position. Here are some of the opportunities available:

Governors & trustees

School governors, academy trustees and directors are the largest volunteer force in the UK with over 5000 governors volunteering their time in Hertfordshire alone. You do not have to be a parent of a child at a school or academy to become a governor, and you do not need any specific qualifications – you just have to be over 18 to be eligible.

What do school governors do?

School governors make up the “governing board” and work in partnership with the headteacher and senior leaders ensure the outcomes of children in their school are as good as they can be. Governors are not expected to make day to day decisions about how the school is run, that is the job of the headteacher, but as a collaborative group the governing board has 3 core functions:

Ensuring clarity and vision, ethos and strategic direction. Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and it pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff. Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent. 

Do I need to have any specific qualifications or skills?

Governing boards are effective because they bring together people from different walks of life with different skills and experiences. You will need to have an interest in education, good communication skills, and enjoy working as part of a team. Enthusiasm, time to give and a willingness to learn are just as important as any professional skills that you might have!

What’s in it for me?

Being a school governor is an opportunity use any experience you have and develop new transferrable skills. You will meet new people, and be able to see the impact of your work in the school and the local community. Volunteering as a governor is an extremely valuable and rewarding use of your time. Your support really can improve outcomes for children and young people.

How much time will I need to give?

The term of office for a governor is usually for 4 years. Governing boards will meet at least 3 times a year, and you may also be asked to join a committee or working group which will have separate meetings each term. As part of their role of holding the school to account, governors are often required to carry out pre-planned visits to the school during the school day, and also attend school events like assemblies and parents evenings etc. Some employers offer their staff paid governor leave to attend these events during work time, but most governors meetings are held in the evenings.

What help will I receive?

Governors are encouraged to undergo training both face-to-face and online to develop their knowledge and skills – your school will make arrangements to provide you with this. The Governance Team at Herts for Learning offers a Helpdesk service for the governors of maintained schools (traded for academies and MATs), and there is a Governor Support section on the HfL website including frequently asked questions. Your governing board should provide you with an induction pack, and will support you as you develop your role.
 

 

School Business Managers

School business managers (SBMs) are the leading business professionals within schools and form part of the senior leadership team (SLT). SBMs provide strategic leadership for all non-curriculum aspects of the school and work alongside headteachers in their duties to ensure that schools meet their educational aims. SBMs are accountable for the delivery of schools’ business management functions, including financial planning; financial resource management; administration management; management information and ICT; human resource management; facility and property management; health and safety; and business development and marketing.

School administrators

School administrators play an important role in supporting the teaching and learning within schools. They are the first point of contact for parents and visitors, and contribute to effective communication with stakeholders. School administrators perform a wide range of office support duties, including dealing with admissions, attendance, cash handling, data entry, reception duties, diary management and correspondence. There are a variety of roles within the administration function of different schools, depending on the staffing structure of each setting. Job titles for administrators could be office administrator, administration assistant, receptionist, secretary, office manager, or personal assistant.

Teaching Assistants

Teaching assistants support children with their learning and act as additional adults in the classroom to enable pupils to be independent learners. They work closely with teachers to support lesson plans, through marking and feedback of pupils’ work and assessing the children within the lesson.

This role involves working with children and helping them with their education and wellbeing. It requires good literacy and numeracy skills, and usually some experience of working with children. These roles are critical to support our county's learners.

Whilst specialist qualifications are not always required, it can help to consolidate your skills and build your classroom confidence if you undertake a Teaching Assistant qualification.

Learning Support Assistants

A Learning Support Assistant (LSA) helps pupils who need support within the classroom. This role assists teaching staff to create an environment where pupils with extra learning needs can make the most of their education.

An LSA can be based within a Primary or Secondary School, or within a Special Needs and Disabilities (SEND) School.

You could be working one-on-one or in a small group, supporting children with their education, behavioural and social development, helping children who find it difficult to learn because they have additional needs or who don’t speak English as a first language.

Being a Learning Support Assistant requires you to be an empathetic and compassionate person who is passionate about providing a nurturing learning environment.

Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTA)

For those with more experience who wish to seek a higher level qualification, Strictly Education 4S, as part of the HLTA national assessment partnership are the regional provider of HLTA status in Hertfordshire. 

A suite of online HLTA preparation courses are available and delivered as 6 x 2hour sessions. Leading to a half day (3 hour) assessment.

For further details please contact the HLTA team at Strictly Education 4S on HLTA@strictlyeducation4s.co.uk or see HLTA National Assessment Partnership | HLTA National Assessment Partnership

Early Years Teachers (EYTs) and Early Years Practitioners (EYPs), including EY Teaching Assistants 

EYT/EYPs may work in schools or in private, voluntary or independent (PVI) settings, including preschools and day care. They work alongside teachers and leaders to support childcare and the learning and development of children aged 0–5. An NVQ Level 3 qualification in early years is mandatory in some posts.

Graduate, qualified EYPs, and those holding the EYT qualification may work as early years specialist teaching assistants in Nursery and Reception classes in maintained schools alongside class teachers and other teaching assistants. The EYT/EYP qualification is not yet recognised as fully qualified teacher status (QTS).

For more on roles in Early Years please see our dedicated page here.

Lunchtime and before & after school provision staff

Midday Supervisory Assistants (MSAs) look after children at lunchtimes, both in the dinner hall and the playground. This is a vital role, assisting children in gaining the skills of independent and co-operative play as well as supporting their emotional wellbeing.

Many settings also have before and after school clubs, providing much needed wraparound care for families.

Premises & cleaning staff

Premises staff ensure that school environments are safe and secure, and provide a positive learning environment for students.

Premises managers and caretakers are responsible for the maintenance of school sites, ensuring health and safety compliance and asset management planning. Some schools also emply lettings managers and grounds staff.

Cleaning staff work either on their own or in a team, ensuring that the school premises are kept clean and hygienic.

Apprenticeships

One route into working as a Teaching Assistant or as an Early Years Practitioner is to utilise the government-funded Apprenticeships programme. 

Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study.

As an apprentice you’ll:

  • be an employee earning a wage and getting holiday pay
  • work alongside experienced staff
  • gain job-specific skills
  • get time for training and study related to your role (at least 20% of your normal working hours)

Apprenticeships take 1 to 5 years to complete depending on their level.

Many local schools recruit for apprentices here on Teach in Herts, working with local training providers, including:

Educational & Sporting Futures 

Apprenticeships for teaching assistants, early years and PE/sports, including a dedicated level 3 apprenticeship in Early Years, in collaboration with HFL Education.

TES Institute

Level 3 Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship

Level 6 Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship

 

There is a great deal of useful information on the Hertfordshire website here:

Apprenticeship & Traineeships

or you can search a national database of apprenticeships by interest and post code here:

Browse apprenticeships before you apply

Browse training providers here: Register of apprenticeship training providers - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Featured resources

  • Apply for a role that looks interesting, even if it is not exactly what you were looking for - once you work in a school, there are always new opportunties being created and chances to use your existing skills to develop a role further.

    Caroline's story

  • I love seeing staff develop their skills and become more confident.

    Meet SENCO Claire

  • I get to work with different people and children every day… every day is different

    Meet Teaching Assistant Ekhnaam

  • Being shortlisted for ‘Apprentice of the Year’ was a huge milestone.

    Jacob's story

  • Be flexible and expect the unexpected!

    Meet Caretaker Lucy