PLEASE NOTE: The Training and Development Agency has closed. Its key work and publications have transferred to the Teaching Agency (TA).

Developments in the roles of support staff were highlighted in the National Agreement signed on 15 January 2003 between Government, local Government employers and school workforce unions. A key focus of the National Agreement was the use of higher level teaching assistants (HLTAs).

A set of national standards for HLTA status was developed setting out the expectations of those working at a higher level to support learning. This guidance explains how candidates can gain HLTA status. It sets out an overview of the process involved in gaining HLTA status and each step is then explained in more detail.

Visit the DfE website for more information


  • Introduction
  • Gaining HLTA status – an overview
  • Guidance to the standards
  • Professional attributes
  • Professional knowledge and understanding
  • Professional skills
  • Annexes