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Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) Status


HLTA status is awarded by the HLTA National Assessment Partnership to teaching assistants who have been externally assessed against HLTA professional standards.

Carnegie Leaders in Learning at Leeds Beckett University, in partnership with Leeds Trinity University and Northumbria University, comprise HLTA North, one of the five regional providers of HLTA assessment in England. We provide rigorous, high-quality assessment and national moderation of candidates against HLTA standards.

Suitable For

HLTA status is aimed at people currently working in a support staff role in a school or an educational setting who aspire to gain a nationally and professionally recognised status.

Please note that before you start preparation, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be employed in a school or an educational setting.
  • Be working with children or young people between the ages of three and 19.
  • Be fully supported by your school.
  • You must have a Level 2 qualification (equivalent to Grade C GCSE or Level 2 in adult literacy/numeracy) in both English/ Literacy and Maths/ Numeracy. HLTA entry tests in English and Mathematics can be taken if you do not have GCSE Grade C or above. 


The course has rolling start dates. Please contact HLTA North for details of Providers of Preparation in your area.


Typically five to eight months (However, there is no set timescale).


Providers of Preparation are located across the north of England.


£450 per person for HLTA assessment status. There will be an additional cost for the Provider of Preparation element of the programme. 

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Learning Outcomes

Preparation Stage

Before being assessed for HLTA status, you are required to attend sessions, (equivalent to three days) with a Provider of Preparation. Preparation will involve advice and guidance on the assessment process. Therefore, when you attend the preparation sessions you will be expected to be already meeting the standards. The sessions will be delivered by a trained HLTA preparer who will support you throughout the assessment.

HLTA Status Requirements

There are 33 professional standards for HLTAs set out in three sections:

  • Professional attributes (standards 1-7)
    This includes the attitudes, values and commitment expected of HLTAs.
  • Professional knowledge and understanding (standards 8-16)
    Within these standards, the knowledge and skills needed by HLTAs to be able to work effectively with teachers as part of a professional team supporting learning are set out.
  • Professional Skills (standards 17-33)
    These standards set out the expectations for planning, monitoring, managing and evaluating learning within the guidance and supervision framework agreed with the assigned teacher and in accordance with the arrangements made by the headteacher.

Final Assessment

You will register with a Regional Provider of Assessment, e.g. HLTA North, and complete the three assessment strands.

Plus Icon Stage one: Writing eight tasks that each relate to your work  
  • Task 1: Describing a lesson where you advanced the learning of an individual pupil. 
  • Task 2: Describing a lesson where you advanced the learning of a small group of pupils. 
  • Task 3: Describing a lesson where you advanced the learning of a whole class with no qualified teacher present. 
  • Tasks 4-8: Describing five short scenarios related to any aspect of your role. 
  • These tasks are emailed to your assessor for them to study before the school visit, usually within three to four weeks after the last day of preparation. 
Plus Icon Stage Two: Supporting evidence
You will be required to provide a folder of supporting evidence for the tasks in Strand One, gathered during your normal work activities.
This file remains in school for the assessor to study during their visit. 
Plus Icon Stage Three: School-based visit by the assessor 

During the visit, the assessor will seek to verify the evidence presented by you in Strands One and Two and they will meet you, the headteacher and a teacher. Assessors will not be able to give you or your colleagues any indication of the final outcome during the visit. 

Please visit the HLTA North website for details on the current Providers of Preparation in your area and for further information on HLTA standards:

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Case Study - Janet Dearden

HLTA status is something to be very proud of and is a badge of honour which should be worn with pride. What they do makes a difference to children’s lives today and in the future. They enrich and enhance the education and welfare of every child.

Janet Dearden, Retired Headteacher


I was one of the first people to be awarded HLTA status in 2003. This was the stepping stone I needed to help me to study for my degree and then my PGCE. Only eight years later, I was appointed headteacher.


Gaining HLTA status opened many doors. It enabled me to attend courses and helped me to grow in confidence.

During my time as an HLTA, I gained valuable experience covering all 10 classes within the school, teaching children aged from two to 19 years in a special school.


The HLTA status and the experience gained gave me the opportunity to realise my dream of becoming a teacher. Consequently, I went on to gain a degree from the University of Chester and then continued on to study my PGCE.

In 2007, I was appointed class teacher in a mainstream school. In 2010, three years after qualifying as a teacher, I became senior teacher/ deputy and then, four years later, I was asked to be the head. What an honour!

During my career, I have tried to promote the vital role of HLTAs. I have explained that HLTAs provide a vital link between the class teacher and teaching assistants.

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