Hours and Environment
Most support staff roles require you to work during school hours, typically from 8:30 until 15:00 Monday to Friday. Certain roles may require you to be in school earlier or later than the start and end times. Other roles may require you to work for a few hours during school time. There is no national pay scale for support staff and wage rates are set by each Local Authority. Salary depends on the role and the responsibilities undertaken and some support staff roles are paid term-time only.
Most support staff roles require no formal entry qualification; however, this is at the discretion of the school. It is worth contacting schools to find out what qualities and experience are desired of a candidate. In some cases previous experience of working with children may be required. For those working with food, new legislation requires the candidate to hold a food hygiene certificate.
The School Workforce Development Board has created a three-year strategy for support staff development and training. In line with this agreement a number of courses have been designed to meet the SWDB’s aims. These courses may be undertaken through the school with which you are working and may be attended during term time.
If you are not affiliated with a school a number of courses are available at local Adult Community Colleges. From teaching assistant to catering, finance to school governor, training courses are available to help you gain the entry requirements or to develop your career. See www.essex.gov.uk/Education-Schools/Adult-Learning/Pages/Adult-Learning.aspx for details of courses.