Teaching Assistant

Toucan Hubs (Newcastle & Blaydon), Forest School & In the Community
Working Hours
Full time (Monday to Friday, 08:30 to 16:30 – reduced hours may be possible)
£23,000 to £28,000 (including paid holidays)


Start Date: ASAP
Closing Date: 24th June 2024

Toucan Education is a rapidly growing multi-faceted alternative provision in the North East, with two hubs and forest school base in Newcastle and Gateshead. Founded in 2016 by Philippa Vince, Toucan Education has a bespoke approach to students with SEN needs.

This is an exciting opportunity to work within our team in a full-time post. We are looking for a teaching assistant to support our alternative provisions. Primarily (but not limited to) you would be based at either our brand-new hub in Blaydon or our forest school, as well as community-based learning, you will be supporting vulnerable students sometimes with high SEN needs. Many of our students do not attend school and need a highly bespoke and unique package to support them to learn and engage with others.

Some students can be challenging however the role is extremely rewarding. Our current staff love their jobs and Toucan is a company highly focussed on wellbeing and work life balance. We pay above national expectations for a teaching assistant including the equivalent of an SEN point. We really value what our TAs bring to the whole offering for our students, so also pay for the holidays, not pro-rata. We offer lots of training and many opportunities to grow professionally and shape your role into your dream job.

Our Aims and Values

  • To improve outcomes for the most disadvantaged children and their families in education communities, based on a holistic approach – person centred, empathy, compassion and care

  • To develop social skills and engage in children in education

  • To take a holistic and bespoke approach to supporting students with SEN needs

  • In collaboration with mainstream schools and the full range of children’s services to improve outcomes for children with SEN, behaviour that communicates challenges

Job Context

Your role, should you be successful is primarily to work with disengaged students ranging from 5 to 16. You may work as part of a group, supporting another member of staff or directed one to one with one child. The job can be intense and requires a flexible approach to the working day.

We require someone who is active, enjoys being outdoors, enthusiastic, a good understanding of SEMH, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD, adaptable and able to learn quickly. The way we work with students can seem different to new staff. The ‘Toucan way’ is a very non challenging approach and this is how we thrive with extremely anxious students. We expect staff to adapt to this approach as it is key to our success. Having a full valid driving licence is preferred, and willingness to work across all our sites.

Job Description

  • Support in the planning of learning/behaviour activities for individuals or groups

  • Using agreed structured observation, feedback on learning, behaviour, participation and achievement, to support the planning and evaluation of the learning process in respect of groups and individual students

  • Interact with pupils in ways that support the development of their ability to think and learn, including the use of careful questioning

  • Assist in the implementation of appropriate behaviour management and teaching & learning strategies in-line with Toucan’s values

  • Support pupils in their social and emotional wellbeing, in implementing related programmes, including social, health and physical needs

  • Assist in escorting and supervising pupils on educational visits

  • Ensure the safety of pupils and staff in managing behaviour through use of appropriate techniques

  • Be responsible for promoting and safeguarding the welfare of pupils in line with policy and legislation, raising concerns as appropriate

Job Specification

  • Educational Background: A relevant educational background, qualifications i.e.: teaching assistant, support staff, teaching, degree in education, psychology, or a related field, is preferred. However, we may consider candidates with experience in teaching or working with students even if they don’t have formal qualifications.

  • Experience: Prior experience working with students with SEN, in a school or in non-traditional or alternative education settings, is valuable. This could include tutoring or in a mentoring role.

  • Understanding of Alternative Education: Familiarity with alternative education philosophies and approaches is essential. This includes knowledge of student-centred learning, project-based learning, and personalised instruction.

  • Communication Skills: Strong communication skills are crucial. Support staff members need to effectively communicate with students, parents, and other team members.

  • Patience and Empathy: Working with students who may have diverse learning needs requires patience, empathy, and a positive attitude.

  • Organisational Skills: Support staff members often assist in planning and organising sessions. Being well-organised helps ensure smooth operations.

  • Having a current valid driving licence is preferred.

Training Opportunities

  • Team Teach

  • Safeguarding

  • First Aid

  • Other opportunities identified in the performance management targets

How to apply

If you think you are the right fit for our lovely team we welcome you to apply by completing application form linked to below and emailing with an accompanying cover letter to recruitment@toucaneducation.com 

Your appointment is subject to an enhanced DBS check and other safeguarding checks.

More Information

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