Urgent call for Portsmouth to support their schools at special event

A rallying cry to encourage more people to become classroom assistants in primary, secondary and special schools in the city has been launched by Portsmouth City Council, who are holding an information event at Portsmouth Central Library on Tuesday 1 November from 10 am – 1 pm.

Teach Portsmouth, a Portsmouth City Council initiative to train and recruit the best professionals for the city’s schools, is organising an event for people to learn more about careers in the classroom at a time when many vacancies remain unfilled.

Many of the vacancies are a result of people retiring from the profession or a lack of awareness about the type of roles available.

Cllr Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council said:

“Despite a successful trial event in July, the demand for classroom assistants continues to increase. This is the perfect opportunity to discover how you can progress a career in the classroom.

“Whether that’s wanting a role that’s flexible around the school day or you want to progress into teaching, this event gives those in attendance a realistic picture of the careers available and how they can shape a child’s life.”

A trial event held in July saw over 50 people attend with many saying conversations with classroom assistants were a source of inspiration. Those in attendance were able to speak to training providers and browse job vacancies.

Mike Stoneman, deputy director for children’s services and education at Portsmouth City Council, said:

“The need to recruit and retain classroom teaching assistants to support children and young people has not gone away. It’s important we hire the right person for the role. While it is incredibly rewarding, working with pupils can be challenging.

“The role needs someone who is compassionate but also resilient. No day is ever the same and you will get a sense of the impact you are having straight away. Teachers will work alongside you to best identify the support pupils need to fulfil their potential.”

While not always a requirement to start a career supporting pupils, many schools in Portsmouth will require individuals to have a level 2 qualification in English and maths. Adult education providers, The Learning Place and City of Portsmouth College, will be on hand to talk about training and apprenticeships.

The information event is open to anyone interested in finding out more about becoming a teaching assistant. People are encouraged to choose one of two sessions held on Tuesday 1 November. The first (10am – 11.30am) and the second (11:30am to 1pm) are located on the third floor of Portsmouth Central Library.

To find out more about the event and to register for free tickets, visit www.teachportsmouth.co.uk/TA or search Teach Portsmouth.