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Model Higher Level Teaching Assistant

Andrea Lowe, a former model, UNISON member and working mum, of Northwold Primary School in Clapton, celebrates becoming the 10,000th person to gain higher level teaching assistant (HLTA) status in England.

HLTAs are usually teaching assistants, who have developed their skills against a set of national professional standards set by the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA), and have undergone assessment to attain HLTA status.  They provide invaluable support to teachers and pupils by bringing specialist knowledge and skills to the classroom. Andreas responsibilities are to support on literacy and numeracy, and include working with small groups of children who have English as a second language or learning difficulties to provide them with a greater level of one-to-one support. 

Having studied social care and worked as a fitness instructor in addition to as a model, Andrea began her career as a teaching assistant at Northwold in 2002.  She explains, Gaining HLTA status has given me even more pride in my work and greater confidence in my ability to support the teachers and pupils I work with.  Now I have been trained, I can use my skills to help plan and take certain parts of a lesson, under the direction and supervision of a teacher. This is not something I could have done as a teaching assistant.

Richard Cole, Head of the HLTA Programme at the Training and Development Agency for Schools said, Andrea Lowe is an example of the important work that HLTAs are doing to support teachers and children.  Thousands of HLTAs around the country are making a difference and helping children to achieve their full potential, but we aim for more.  We will continue to ensure that training and assessment is available across the country for those who wish to become HLTAs. 

Jim Knight, Minister for Schools said, This is a fantastic example of the great work HLTAs are doing to support teachers and pupils in the classroom and beyond. We have reached a major milestone with the 10,000th HLTA.  The DfES, working with the TDA, will continue our work to provide training and assessment opportunities so that schools and support staff can take advantage of the benefits that attaining HLTA status provides. We are also working with the TDA on an exciting pilot to see how we can use subject specialist HLTAs, such as maths and science, to add an ever greater degree of support to teachers and pupils." 

If you are a teaching assistant or a member of school support staff and would like to find out more about becoming an HLTA visit


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