Higher level teaching assistants (HLTAs) delivering lessons

Understand the legal requirements for HLTAs delivering lessons and covering absence, and read advice on when and for how long your HLTAs should be used in this way.

Last reviewed on 21 October 2022
See updates
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 3522
  1. HLTAs are legally allowed to deliver lessons
  2. Timetable teachers for every class
  3. Aim to only use HLTAs to cover absence on a short-term basis
  4. HLTAs can deliver lessons alone
  5. HLTAs can run specialist SEN provision

HLTAs are legally allowed to deliver lessons

However, the following conditions need to be met in maintained schools, according to the Education (Specified Work) (England) Regulations 2012: 

  • They are assisting or supporting the work of a qualified teacher or 'nominated' teacher in the school
  • They are receiving supervision from a qualified teacher or nominated teacher in line with arrangements made by the headteacher
  • The headteacher is satisfied they have the skills, experience and expertise required

A 'nominated teacher' in this context can be an instructor with special qualifications or experience, or an overseas trained teacher.

Academies are free to decide how they wish to deploy HLTAs. Check your funding agreement in case it sets out any particular requirements.

TAs without HLTA status

Another article from The Key on the role of teaching assistants explains how these regulations apply to normal TAs.

You should make sure that a teacher