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With the country virtually on lockdown, many are realising the value of e-learning courses to continue their professional development during the coronavirus outbreak.

Experienced Teaching Assistants - whether continuing their role as a key worker or having been furloughed under the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - might consider now is the time to start the Level 4 Certificate for the Advanced Practitioner in Schools and Colleges.

The qualification, regulated by Ofqual, provides professional development opportunities for practitioners working in the school and college workforce who already hold additional responsibilities, such as coaching and mentoring team members.

On qualification, learners will be equipped as an Advanced Practitioner, having the crucial leadership skills to mentor others across all roles and responsibilities.

Riverside Training has been successfully delivering the Level 4 Certificate since it was launched two years ago.

Studying can start at any time via a quality e-learning platform featuring lessons and resources and the course is fully-accredited by awarding body Cache. 

The qualification is aimed at learners employed in suitable roles within schools or colleges, with knowledge and understanding that comes from working in such educational establishments.

Students will acquire and use skills of leadership, mentoring, coaching and reflection as they complete the qualification.
To start the course, learners must be at least 18 years old and employed in a suitable role - or on a practical placement - within a school or college as they need to prove skills and knowledge.

Previous Level 3 study is a clear advantage, but wealth of experience, knowledge and understanding working in schools or colleges is a requirement.
The qualification can usually be completed in 12 months and has five mandatory units:


Enabling individuals to learn

The learner considers diverse approaches to pedagogy that influence holistic learning in children and young people and explores statutory planning and monitoring requirements.


Understand how to support children and young people to improve their mental health and well-being

The learner considers the factors that could influence mental health and well-being in children and young people and how to provide help and support. They also explore current national strategies for promoting mental health and well-being.


Working with others to support individuals with additional needs and disability in a school or college setting

The learner looks at effective inclusion of children, young people and/or adults and, through examination of national requirements and guidance, considers the responsibilities of the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) to promote learning and development.


Working with families and other professionals in a school or college setting

The learner examines statutory requirements for working in partnership with families and learns how effective partnership working with other professionals can improve the education of children, young people and/or adults. They also explore the diverse needs of families and reflect on how best to overcome barriers to partnership working.


Implementing change in school or college setting

The learner is required to plan, implement and evaluate change in relation to an identified theme, achieved through a small scale research project. The theme selected allows the learner to reflect on practice, use current research to produce recommendations for improvements to their own setting, implement these and summarise their findings.


Qualifying can open the door to a number of job roles and responsibilities including:
• Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) 
• Higher Level Practitioner/Teaching Assistant
• internal progression at a higher level, including those with management responsibilities
• leadership, mentoring, supervision and management opportunities


In line with Government guidelines, Riverside Training staff are now working from home, but continue to be available to discuss qualifications and learning opportunities by telephone on 01775 710945.