Working in Further Education

What Is a Learning Support Assistant and What Does Their Role Entail?

December 22, 2022

Table of Contents

Are you looking to join the further education sector in the UK? Have you considered becoming a learning support assistant? It is an important role that can make a real difference, so it's worth understanding what this job entails. A learning support assistant helps students with disabilities or special educational needs access their curriculum and reach their potential.

In this blog post, we will explore what exactly being a Learning Support Assistant involves - from qualifications needed to typical salaries and hours of work - as well as how to get into such a position. So if you're interested in working within the further education sector, read on!

What is a Learning Support Assistant?

A Learning Support Assistant (LSA) is an educational professional who works with students in the further education sector in the UK to provide additional support and guidance. LSAs help students to develop their skills, knowledge, and understanding of the subject matter they are studying. They may work one-on-one with a student or as part of a team, depending on the needs of the individual student.

Key Skills and Responsibilities of an LSA

These professionals typically have experience in working with children or young adults and are required to possess a range of competencies including strong communication skills, patience, empathy, and problem-solving abilities. Besides academic assistance, LSAs also provide emotional support for students facing academic or social challenges.

Their responsibilities encompass a variety of tasks such as assisting in creating lesson plans, monitoring student progress, providing feedback on assignments, aiding teachers during class activities, and offering advice on tackling difficult topics. LSAs play a vital role in maintaining records of student performance, attending parent/teacher meetings, developing strategies for managing challenging behaviour, and upholding classroom discipline.

The Impact of Learning Support Assistants

LSAs are integral to the success of students in further education. They work in schools, colleges, and universities across the UK, assisting students with special educational needs or disabilities to access education. Collaborating with teachers and other professionals, LSAs ensure that all students have equal opportunities for success.

In addition to their primary duties, LSAs are responsible for a range of activities including monitoring student progress, aiding in classroom management, preparing lesson materials, administering tests, tutoring, liaising with parents, attending development meetings, and maintaining records.

Essential Attributes for Success

To excel as an LSA, one must have excellent communication skills for effective interaction with staff and pupils, strong organisational skills to manage multiple tasks, patience to support learners with varied needs, and empathy to understand and assist students effectively.

In conclusion, Learning Support Assistants are crucial to the functionality and success of educational institutions, providing indispensable support to both students and teachers. Their role is multifaceted, requiring a blend of professional qualifications and personal attributes to positively impact the educational journey of students.

Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) provide support to students with special educational needs or disabilities, helping them access education and reach their potential. Key skills for LSAs include excellent communication, organisation, patience and empathy. They are responsible for monitoring student progress and behaviour in class; preparing materials; tutoring; liaising with parents and carers; developing individualised plans; supporting pupils during exams or assessments and maintaining records of their activities.

Qualifications for Becoming a Learning Support Assistant

To become an LSA, you must have at least a Level 3 qualification in either Education or Health & Social Care or equivalent experience working with young people or adults in an educational setting. You must also be able to demonstrate excellent communication skills and have a good understanding of how different learning styles can affect student progress. It is important that LSAs are patient, supportive and encouraging when dealing with challenging behaviour from students while still maintaining boundaries around appropriate behaviour.

Knowledge Requirements

An understanding of special educational needs (SEN) would be beneficial but not essential; however it is important that LSAs are aware of relevant legislation such as the Equality Act 2010 which protects those who require additional support due to disability or other factors. In addition, knowledge of current teaching methods used within further education settings will enable you to provide effective support for your pupils’ learning journey.

Personal Attributes

Working as an LSA requires patience, empathy and resilience; being able to remain calm under pressure whilst still ensuring all safety regulations are adhered to is key! Additionally having good organisational skills will ensure that you stay on top of any paperwork required by your employer's policies along with making sure all deadlines are met promptly without compromising quality standards set out by Ofsted etc.

Additional qualifications such as First Aid training may be desirable depending on the employer's requirements, so it is worth checking this prior to applying for roles if possible. Furthermore, some colleges and providers may ask applicants who wish to become LSAs to hold valid DBS checks; again, this should always be checked before submitting applications where applicable.

Having the right qualifications is essential for becoming a successful Learning Support Assistant.

Becoming a Learning Support Assistant (LSA) requires qualifications in Education or Health & Social Care, excellent communication skills and an understanding of special educational needs. LSAs must also be patient, supportive and encouraging when dealing with challenging behaviour from students while maintaining boundaries. Additional qualifications such as First Aid training may be desirable depending on the school's requirements and DBS checks may also be necessary.

Typical Salaries for Learning Support Assistants

The salary for LSAs varies depending on experience and qualifications but typically ranges from £17,000 - £25,000 per annum. This can be higher if they have additional qualifications such as a teaching qualification or specialist knowledge in a particular area of learning difficulty or disability. For updated salary stats you can check out our live salary survey page.

In addition to their salary, many employers like FE colleges offer generous benefits packages which may include pension contributions, health insurance and paid holidays. Some employers also offer bonuses based on performance targets being met by the LSA over a certain period of time.

Overall, becoming an LSA can be very rewarding both financially and emotionally as you get the chance to make a real difference in people's lives every day while earning a good wage at the same time.

Learning support assistants play an important role in the further education sector, and understanding typical salaries can help you make informed decisions about your career.

Hours of Work for Learning Support Assistants

Most Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) work part-time hours ranging from 15 to 30 hours per week during term time only. This is usually split into morning and afternoon shifts, with some LSAs working full days when needed. Working hours can vary depending on the needs of the school or college they are employed by, but generally fall between 8am and 4pm Monday to Friday.

In addition to this, LSAs may be required to attend staff meetings outside of their normal working hours in order to discuss any issues that arise throughout the day or plan for upcoming events. Some schools also require LSAs to provide cover for other members of staff who are absent due to illness or holidays; this could involve taking classes as well as providing support in other areas such as lunchtime supervision and playground duty.

Working part-time allows LSAs flexibility when it comes to balancing their job with family life and other commitments, however there may be times where extra hours are required due to an increase in workload or a special event taking place at the school/college. In these cases, overtime payments will usually apply which can be beneficial for those looking for additional income.

For those interested in pursuing a career as an LSA, it is important to understand what your expected working hours will be before accepting a position so that you know exactly what you are signing up for.

By understanding the hours of work for learning support assistants, you can gain insight into how this role fits into the overall further education sector and plan your career accordingly. Next, let's explore what qualifications are needed to become a learning support assistant.

How To Get a Job as a Learning Support Assistant

Getting a job as a learning support assistant can be both rewarding and challenging. Learning support assistants are an integral part of the further education sector in the UK, providing invaluable help to students who need extra assistance with their studies. With the right qualifications and experience, you can make a real difference in someone’s life by becoming a learning support assistant.

If you are interested in becoming a learning support assistant, there are several routes to finding suitable employment opportunities within this field. One option is direct contact with local schools or colleges, who often advertise vacancies on their websites or social media channels. Another popular route is using specialist recruitment sites such as BoltJobs, which allow users access to hundreds of jobs across multiple sectors including further education and skills development roles specifically tailored towards those looking for work within this industry sector. Finally, networking events organised by professional associations such as The Association Of Education Professionals (AEP) provide excellent platforms where prospective applicants can meet face-to-face with potential employers who have current vacancies available.

With the right qualifications and experience, you can become a successful Learning Support Assistant. Next, we'll look at the role of a Learning Support Assistant in more detail.

To find suitable employment opportunities as a learning support assistant you can contact local schools or colleges directly, use specialist recruitment sites such as BoltJobs or attend networking events organised by professional associations like AEP.

Additional Resources for Learning Support Assistants

For those aspiring to become Learning Support Assistants or seeking to enhance their skills in this role, the following resources provide valuable information and guidance:

  1. Interview Preparation: For insights into typical interview questions and how best to answer them, visit Learning Support Assistant Interview Questions and Answers.
  2. CV Writing Guide: To craft an impactful CV tailored for a Learning Support Assistant role, check out Guide to a Learning Support Assistant CV.
  3. Success Stories and Tips: Gain inspiration and practical advice from successful Learning Support Assistants at Successful Learning Support Assistants.
  4. Understanding the Role: For a comprehensive overview of the job description and responsibilities, visit Learning Support Assistant Job Description.


In conclusion, a learning support assistant is an important role in the further education sector in the UK. It requires qualifications and experience to be successful, but it can also be very rewarding. Learning support assistants typically work part-time hours for competitive salaries and have the opportunity to make a real difference in people's lives. If you are looking for a career that allows you to help others while being financially secure, then becoming a learning support assistant may be just what you're looking for!

Are you looking for a rewarding career in further education, skills and learning? Look no further than becoming a Learning Support Assistant! As an LSA, you will be responsible for helping students to access their full potential by providing tailored support based on individual needs. With the right training and qualifications, this role can open up countless opportunities that not only help young people reach their goals but also provide personal satisfaction through making positive contributions to society. Get started today with BoltJobs – your one-stop destination for finding great jobs in Further Education, Skills and Learning!

For additional insights and useful tips, don't hesitate to explore this guide on becoming a successful Learning Support Assistant.

Alex Lockey
Director | Bolt Jobs
Founder Alex Lockey is an expert in further education, learning, and skills sector. He leads cost-effective hiring solutions and is known for successful talent placements. Dynamic and driven, Alex seeks innovative solutions to solve sector hiring challenges.