This course is designed for those who wish to work, or are presently working, as an education support assistant (sometimes known as a classroom assistant, pupil support assistant (PSA) or support for learning assistant – this covers all of these roles).

Education support assistants are generally employed in schools to support the work of class teachers in learning activities, support Assistants are often involved in supporting and supervising tasks set by teachers to individuals and groups of pupils. This can be in primary schools, secondary schools, and sometimes in the private childcare sector.

This group award combines theory and practical work experience in a school, to support you to work effectively with a class teacher. Support children with additional support needs, classroom organisation and administrative tasks

Assessments are scheduled across the year and include National Assessment Bank materials and project work.

  • Teamwork
  • Leadership skills
  • Good communicator
  • Confident, adaptable
  • Self-aware
  • Organisational skills
  • Reflective and resilient
  • One year part-time
  • PDA Educational Support Assistance course is perfect for young people and or adults who are looking to get back into education or those who are currently volunteering in school or progressing on from our Level 5 Introduction to Early Education and Childcare 
  • On successful completion the award will allow you to work as an Educational Support Assistant.
  • This course combines theory and practical work experience in a school setting. You will gain an understanding of the key responsibilities required to assist children with additional support needs, classroom organisation and administrative tasks

Some of the units you will study include:

  • Supporting the development of children and young people from birth to eighteen years
  • Professional practice in an educational setting
  • Supporting the behaviour of children and young people
  • Supporting children and young people who require additional support for learning

You will undertake a work placement in a primary school one day per week plus four one-week blocks. This will enable you to gain direct experience of working with children, linking theory to practice.

You must be 16 years of age at the start of the course of study and possess one of the following:

  • Five National 5s at Grade C or above, including English at Grade A or B
  • Alternative equivalent qualifications may be considered on an individual basis


  • You will also require a PVG check through Disclosure Scotland in order to go out on the placement(s) as part of this course
  • HNC: Childhood Practice SCQF Level 7
  • HNC: Social Services SCQF Level 7
  • HNC: Additional Support Needs: Supporting the Individual SCQF Level 7
  • HND Childhood Practice SCQF Level 8
  • HND: Additional Support Needs: Managing and Supporting the services SCQF Level 8
  • BA Childhood Practice
  • BA Learning Difficulties/Disabilities SCQF Level 9
  • On completion you can apply for registration as an SSSC professional and go into employment at Support Worker level
  • Students are required to purchase stationery and textbooks at an approximate value of £30. You should also ensure that you have appropriate clothing and outdoor footwear as you will be expected to participate in outdoor learning activities on work placement
  • Please complete an online application form
  • You may be required to take part in an informal conversation as part of the application process. This group/individual conversation may be an information session, a portfolio discussion, or a skills based exercise
  • Must be 16 years of age at start of study
  • Eligibility for membership of the PVG scheme to attend the mandatory workplace experience