Employer Information: Teaching Assistant – Level 3 Apprenticeship

Guidance for Employers

At Teaching Matters, we are experts in the development of teaching assistants and teachers, providing coaching, mentoring and recognised qualifications.

This Level 3 apprenticeship has been designed by the sector and participants will develop outstanding professional practice under the support and guidance of our expert trainers and coaches.

Benefits for Employers 

  • Invest in staff to develop Teaching Assistants to support improvements within your organisation at little or no cost to you using both levy and non-levy funding
  • An apprentice will make a valuable contribution to your organisation
  • Training can be delivered flexibly
  • There are free on-line tools to help you manage your apprenticeships


If you are a levy paying employer, this apprenticeship standard can be funded through your levy account.  If you are an employer that doesn’t pay the apprenticeship levy, you will contribute just 5% towards the cost of the training and assessment of an apprentice, the government will pay the rest up to the funding band maximum.

If you employ fewer than 50 employees, the government will pay 100% of the apprenticeship training costs for apprentices who are aged 16-18 or 19-24 with an education, health and care plan provided by their local authority.

Commitment Statement

Employers will be asked to attend a short commitment statement meeting.  This is to agree the training an apprentice will receive, how it will be delivered, and which elements will count towards the off-the-job training.  A commitment statement must be in place from the beginning of the apprenticeship.

Review Meetings

Employers are encouraged to take an active part in the review process of apprentices throughout their programme.  This is to ensure the apprentice is fully supported and also to maintain progress of the apprentice in the achievement of their apprenticeship.  It is also the opportunity for you to discuss how the training of your apprentice is impacting on their performance in the workplace and to set targets for subsequent reviews.

Mentor Support

You will also be asked to allocate a work-place mentor to your apprentice.  This is someone who will play a key part in supporting your apprentice on and off their training programme.  They can help apprentices identify the skills and behaviours they need to develop and can help to support them in achieving their goal to achieve their apprenticeship.  

20% Off-the-job Training

Your apprentice will be taught new knowledge and skills to achieve occupational competence.  This will help them to make a noticeable impact within your organisation.  An apprenticeship is a work-based programme and there is a requirement for all apprentices to carry out 20% off-the-job training.  This must take place within the apprentice’s normal working hours (excluding overtime) and where training has to take place outside of normal working hours, apprentices should be given time off in-lieu (TOIL) or remission from their job role.  It’s important that training is delivered away from the apprentice’s working duties, teaching new knowledge, skills and behaviours required for their specific apprenticeship.  Apprentices may choose to spend additional time training outside their paid employment hours, but this must not be a requirement for them to complete their apprenticeship.

Off-the-job training does not include training which is required to achieve Level 2 in English and maths and therefore training to achieve this would be in addition to the 20% off-the-job requirement.

Flexible Delivery

Apprentices will benefit from an interesting and challenging programme, delivered by experts in their field.  Experienced teacher trainers, current Ofsted Inspectors and industry coaches will bring their experience and skills to the programme, delivering a high-quality pathway of learning and study.  Each apprentice will receive individual coaching and mentoring by the team throughout the programme.

Our delivery model is flexible and can be adapted to the needs of your organisation or individual apprentices. 

In order to achieve Teaching Assistant standard apprentices will develop the knowledge and skills to:

  • Understand how students learn and develop and the importance to provide feedback to support and facilitate an appropriate level of independence
  • Develop strategies to support and encourage learners to move towards independent learning
  • Recognise the importance of using appropriate technology to support learning
  • Use employer management information systems to manage the learning experience effectively and accurately
  • Work with teachers/lecturers to understand and support assessment for learning and the need to accurately observe, record and report on learner participation
  • Develop and appropriate knowledge of the curriculum and context you are working in
  • Keep learners safe in education using current statutory guidance and the importance of sharing important information
  • Recognise, adapt and respond to all learners, including those with special educational needs

The Gateway

Once your apprentice has completed the on-programme requirements of the apprenticeship, they will agree with you that they are ready to enter the gateway stage of the apprenticeship.  You will agree with your apprentice that they are ready to undertake EPA and we will work with you to prepare your apprentice to achieve their End-Point Assessment

End Point Assessment (EPA)

The End-Point Assessment takes place when your apprentice has completed all of the on-programme learning and you have agreed with them that they are ready to complete their apprenticeship in the role of Teaching Assistant.  

Over the duration of the apprenticeship your apprentice will have built up a portfolio of evidence to Level 3 standard which will demonstrate their professional competence.

There are two parts to the End-Point Assessment;

  1. A 2-hour practical observation followed by a 15 minute question and answer session
  2. A professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence

The portfolio of evidence, which is gathered over the duration of the apprenticeship, should include 10-15 pieces of evidence including:

  • Feedback from performance management reviews
  • Evidence of learner progression
  • Work produced by them as a Teaching Assistant – e.g. interventions
  • Evidence from practical observations and general observations obtained over the duration of you’re the programme
  • Observations carried out by competent teaching assistants, line managers, class teachers and mentors
  • Assessor reviews
  • Naturally occurring pieces of evidence – e.g. feedback from visitors/parents
  • Details of any training and courses attended
  • Notes from professional discussions

The following Covid-19 temporary discretion has been agreed until further notice.

The observation may be replaced by an alternative assessment consisting of a reflective account written by the apprentice and an expert witness statement. The apprentice will then undertake a question and answer session of up to 30 minutes with the external assessor.

Progression and Career Opportunities

In addition to ensuring full competency as a Teaching Assistant, this standard provided a foundation for potential progression in the Education sector And/or higher education 

Entry Requirements

Whilst some employers may have specific entry requirement for their role, apprentices will be expected to have:

  • 5 GCSEs at Grade C or 4/5 or above.  These should include English and maths or;
  • Other relevant qualifications and experience, including a relevant Level 2 qualification

The EPA is carried out by an independent organisation which has been selected by you, with the help of Teaching Matters,  and is the final assessment which your apprentice must carry out in order to achieve their apprenticeship standard.  The cost of the EPA is included in the overall cost which has been agreed with you at the start of the apprenticeship.  

Do we want to add in a section around re-sit of the EPA?