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Childhood Practice & SVQ Provision

Education Support Assistance PDA (for Classroom Assistants) (SCQF 6)

Campus Sighthill Campus

Qualification SCQF Level 6

Study mode Full time

Duration 41 weeks

Start date Aug 2024

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Course overview

This SCQF Level 6 course is designed for people who would like to work as a classroom assistant/education support assistant.

Education support assistants are generally employed in schools to support the work of class teachers in learning activities. Education support assistants are often involved in supporting and supervising tasks set by teachers to individuals and groups of pupils including learners with a range of additional support needs. This can be in primary schools, secondary schools, special schools, and sometimes in the early learning and childcare sector.

Placements can be in a Primary or Secondary school. We work closely with applicants to identify their preferences to find the most suitable match.

We work in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council to arrange placements in special schools in Edinburgh, working with children with a wide range of additional support needs.

This course is also designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge required to progress onto higher level courses, for example, the HNC Childhood Practice (Primary School Teaching Focus). 

The classes will normally be delivered one day on-campus and one day online with two days on placement.

Students studying childcare courses will need to apply for a PVG The Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme - mygov.scot, which will be arranged through Edinburgh College, once your place on the course is confirmed. 

The PDA Education Support Assistance Group Award allows registration with the Scottish Social Services Council at the Support Worker Level.

On meeting the entry requirements, we will arrange an individual induction meeting (online or in campus) to discuss the course, placement requirements and answer any questions you may have. We look forward to meeting you.

To help prepare you for your course and share further information we have created an online notice board. This will be regularly updated until the course starts in August.

PDA ESA Pre-course Padlet

What you will learn

Students will achieve the nationally recognised SQA Professional Development Award (PDA) Education Support Assistance at SCQF Level 6.

You will learn:

  • How to work effectively with a class teacher
  • How to support children with additional support needs, classroom organisation and administrative tasks
  • You will take part in a work placement that will enable you to put these skills and learning into practice

Subjects include:

  • Child development
  • Supporting behaviour in an educational setting.
  • Supporting children and young people who require additional support for learning
  • Supporting children with autism
  • Developing professional practice in an educational setting
  • Children's rights.

The course will also include the following essential Core Skills which are necessary for this role:

  • Communication
  • Numeracy (SCQF 5)

Placement information

  • This course includes a mandatory assessed placement in an educational setting
  • This gives you the opportunity to apply your learning in practice while developing essential skills, knowledge and experience
  • Placement days and hours are to be confirmed but this is likely to be over 1 1/2 to 2 days

How the course is assessed

  • This course is assessed using a variety of methods throughout the course including tasks completed on placement

Number of days per week

  • 16 hours of class contact per week
  • The classes will normally be delivered one full day on-campus and one full day online using Microsoft Teams (subject to change)
  • One to two days on placement
  • We recommend a minimum of 6 additional hours per week of self-study
  • Days and hours are to be confirmed (see Padlet)

Entry requirements

  • You are required to hold certification in English or Communications and two other subjects at SCQF level 5 or above (or equivalent)
  • You are required to hold certification in Maths or Numeracy at SCQF level 4 or above (or equivalent)
  • You should hold qualifications or have experience that demonstrates your ability in basic report writing and research skills
  • Experience working with children is preferred but not a requirement, please detail any experience in your personal statement
  • For mature applicants who may not have formal academic qualifications, you may still be considered if you can demonstrate significant experience working with children
  • Please detail this experience in your personal statement

Information on Tests / Auditions / Interview Requirements

  • Spaces are limited with selection based on your Personal Statement
  • On meeting the entry requirements, we will arrange an individual induction meeting (online or in campus) to discuss the course and placement requirements and answer any questions you may have. We look forward to meeting you

Writing a personal statement

Your personal statement is an important part of your application and it can help us to decide if you are suitable for the course.

To make sure that you are giving us all the information we need to consider your application fully, please include the following:

  • Your reasons for applying for this course. Why does it interest you? Why are you suitable for this course?
  • Details of any relevant qualifications that you have to meet the course entry requirements
  • Information about any courses or training you have done that are relevant – this can include certificated training such as First Aid or CPD courses
  • Details of any work experience (paid or voluntary) that is relevant to the course
  • Your future career plans – how will this course help you to reach your goals?

You should check that the statement is written clearly, and using appropriate language. It is a good idea to ask someone to proofread the statement before sending it.

English Proficiency Requirements

The English proficiency requirement for this course is IELTS 5.5

Progression and Articulation Routes

  • HNC Childhood Practice (SCQF Level 7) (Primary School Teacher Focus)
  • If you have Higher English and National 5 maths, you may consider applying for primary school teacher training at university
  • Suitability for progression will be determined by achievement including the workplace element, attendance record, conduct and a successful progression discussion

Career options

  • Classroom Assistant role in primary, secondary, or special schools
  • Eligible for registration with the SSSC as a Support Worker
  • Registered SSSC Support Workers can also be employed in playgroups, private nurseries, out-of-school care, and play schemes

Study Options

Campus Study mode Start date Duration
Sighthill Campus Full time 26/08/24 41 Weeks

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