These pages will help you become more familiar with the various roles and responsibilities of support staff, including learning mentors, higher level teaching assistants (HLTAs), school business managers and information technology technicians.

What qualifications do I need for a support staff role?

There are no mandatory qualifications for working in a school unless you want to be a teacher or school nurse. However, schools and local authorities are increasingly setting their own requirements, which are set locally so may vary according to the area. Before starting any course, check with your local authority that the qualification is one they are likely to look for.

Where to find jobs

If you have decided to find a role in a school, look for jobs advertised locally. It is the employers (schools themselves or local authorities) who recruit to specific posts and decide what skills, qualifications and experience they need.

Where to find vacancies

Posts are usually advertised in the local press or on your local authority’s website. Sometimes they are advertised in local job centres or job bulletins which are sent out to schools.

Contact details for local authorities are available on the Directgov website.

Different routes into employment

If you are finding it difficult to gain employment in a school, you may wish to consider volunteering or an apprenticeship.


To find out about volunteering opportunities in your area, contact local schools or your local authority directly. Voluntary placements are sometimes advertised in the local press or library. Websites such as TimeBank and vInspired may also have relevant volunteering options.


Some support staff training opportunities are available through apprenticeships. You can apply for an apprenticeship in your area through the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) website.