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Home / Blog / Teaching & Learning Assistant / What training is mandatory for working in schools and colleges? 

Working in either a school or a college means that you are going to be dedicated to educating children and young people. You want them to have all the knowledge that they are going to need to be able to get ahead in life. 

Whilst it is great for teachers, teaching assistants and support staff to be so focused on helping their students to achieve, the same isn’t always true for themselves. Many times, development and training can be put on the back burner within this type of setting. 

Here at Learn Q, we believe that training courses in schools and colleges should go much deeper and further than just those mandatory courses that need to be completed. This is why we offer a range of courses that are relevant to the industry and can really help with the development of those who work there.  


The best place to start is by learning which courses you must provide to the colleagues working within your business to comply with UK legal requirements.

We suggest that these courses are made a part of your onboarding process so that you can ensure that all New Starters go through the relevant training.

The main legislation that is applicable to schools and colleges are:

  • Children’s Act 2004
  • The Health and Safety at Work Act (HASAWA) 1974
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2012
  • Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981
  • The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002
  • The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992
  • The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
  • Equality Act 2010

Mandatory courses for those working in schools and colleges are:

Safeguarding Children Level 1  

In order to understand the basics of Safeguarding children, this Safeguarding Children Level 1 course is a must-have. It provides an overview of the importance of safeguarding and how to ensure that the right approach and process is taken should a safeguarding concern be identified. 

Safeguarding Children Level 2 

Working in a school or a college means that you have a responsibility to keep the children that you work with safe. This should come naturally to many people who work within this setting, but it is still a requirement to provide all staff with relevant safeguarding training courses so they are familiar with the Children’s Act 2004 and know what to do if there is a safeguarding issue.

Health and Safety Awareness 

There are plenty of risks and hazards that are associated with working in a school or college. This is why it is important to provide all staff members with Health and Safety Awareness training. This training provides the key aspects of Health and Safety and what needs to happen in order to keep not only the adults in the school or college safe but also the children and students too.  

COSHH Awareness 

Those who have to handle the cleaning of areas within the school or who work in departments or sections that may work with chemicals should be provided with the relevant COSHH training. This will allow them to have an understanding of how these chemicals should be properly handled and what to do should anything happen to them. 


Depending on which role you may have in school or college, you may spend time working on a computer or a laptop. Using both of these means that having Display Screen Equipment training becomes even more important to have. DSE covers some of the main aspects of working on a screen and how to protect yourself from any injury that could be related to working on a screen.  

Fire Safety 

Fires are the last thing that you are going to want to deal with in a school, but they can happen. The greatest way to limit the chance of fire is to offer your colleagues Fire Safety training. This training provides information on all the key aspects of preventing a fire, as well as what should happen in the event of one.  

Strongly Recommended Courses 

Health and Safety Risk Assessment 

If you want to give your colleagues a chance to move one step on from having an awareness of the basics of health and safety, you can provide them with access to the Health and Safety Risk Assessment course. This course dives deeper into health and safety and how to recognise the key risks within any school or college setting.  

RIDDOR Awareness 

You would never want a major incident to occur whilst you are in a school or college, but it can happen. This is why it is recommended to offer at least some of the team the chance to understand more about RIDDOR and how the reporting of injuries and diseases needs to work.  

DBS Certificate 

It is vital that everyone within your school has a DBS Certificate to ensure that they are safe to work with children and young people. Whilst this is mandatory, this course is provided to understand more about the process of DBS checks and why they are important to have.  

GDPR Awareness 

One of the main business compliance courses that you need to offer within your school setting is GDPR Awareness. This course looks at the key aspects of GDPR and why it is important to keep any data that the school might hold on staff or pupils safe.  

Manual Handling 

Moving things that are heavy or awkward is often part and parcel of working in a school. This means that Manual Handling training is an important one to offer. Manual Handling training covers the fundamental basics of being able to move a variety of loads around whilst still ensuring that you are safe and that the risk of injury is reduced.  

Asbestos Awareness 

Asbestos is still a current issue in the construction industry. In fact, it is responsible for as many as 5,000 deaths every single year. This means that it is incredibly important to protect everyone who could be exposed to it whilst they are working. A simple way to do this is to offer this asbestos awareness course which covers all the basics that need to be learnt and how to prevent exposure.  

Infection Control Awareness 

Infections and bugs can quickly move around a school, and it can often feel that there is not much that can be done about it. This Infection Control Awareness course is designed to ensure that all staff members understand what to do in the case of any infections and ensure that the spread is as minimised as possible.  

Equality and Diversity 

It is important that we all understand the importance of both quality and diversity in any setting. This not only counts for how colleagues are treated within the school or college but also how the children and students are treated too. This training course covers the main aspects of both of these things and highlights the steps that everyone should make.  

Workplace Harassment 

We all hope that every person within a school is going to work together and treat one another fairly and with respect. However, this doesn’t always happen and this is why it is important to understand more about workplace harassment. This training course covers what is meant by workplace harassment and also what should be done when it is identified and needs to be reported.  

Disability Awareness 

Being able to give those who are disabled, be those adults or children, the same opportunities as those who are not disabled is incredibly important. This is why we offer the Disability Awareness course. It looks at disability and how we should all be aware of the steps that need to be taken to treat those who are disabled in a fair way.  

Unconscious Bias 

The nature of unconscious bias is that we may not even realise that it is something that we do. However, by offering this training course to those who work within your school or college, you are showing them not only where the idea of unconscious bias comes from but also what can be done to ensure that your own bias doesn’t impact those around you.  

Allergen Awareness 

There has been a lot in the media about how an allergy can go wrong and result in someone becoming very ill and even dying. This is the last thing that we are going to want to happen to those students in our care. This Allergen Awareness course looks at allergies in more detail, what are the main allergens and how they should be properly managed too.  

Food Hygiene Level 2

If you have colleagues who are regularly handling or preparing food for students, such as those who run breakfast clubs, then you may want to offer them the Food Safety Level 2 Awareness course; this will help them to understand more about how to handle and prepare food safely and protect those who will then be eating it.  

Teaching and Learning Assistant 

It makes sense that many of the training courses that are going to be offered in a school or a college are going to fit into this particular section. These courses apply to those who work with children and give them the tools that they need to keep the children safe, as well as give them the best education possible.  

Challenging Behaviour Awareness 

Whilst many children will find it easy to follow the rules and directions within a school, there are those that may not be able to do this as easily. These children will often have additional learning needs, and these needs can lead to a variety of challenging behaviours. Knowing how to manage these is part of the battle won, which means that this is a highly recommended course to provide within your school or college.  

Preventing Radicalisation 

Radicalisation can and does happen in both schools and colleges, which means that many of us need to understand more about how to spot the signs and also what to do if we think that a child, young person or even an adult is at risk of radicalisation.  

Level 2 Award in Supporting Teaching & Learning in Schools  

Having experienced and knowledgeable staff within a school is one great way to ensure that the children there have the best education possible. This Level 2 Award helps teaching assistants learn more about the key skills that are required for them to be the best that they can be at their job and what they need to do in order to progress and develop themselves too.  


One final group of courses are those that are recommended. They can help with the day-to-day running of the school and provide those who work there with the right skills to assist the children or young people with their learning.  

Mental Health Workplace 

It goes without saying that working in a school or college can be stressful; this means that, over time, it can take a toll on the mental well-being of those who are in the setting. This Mental Health Workplace course covers the importance of taking care of not only your own mental health and work but also the mental health of those around you too.   

Cyber Security Awareness 

It is important to understand how to keep yourself protected online, and whilst many of us can do this, it does pay to offer this Cyber Security Awareness course. This course provides the key aspects of cyber security, why it is important and what can happen should it not happen within your school or college.  


Those who work within a school might not have a large team working with them as those who work within an office setting. However, they can still benefit from a range of leadership skills. These courses provide the key leadership skills that can really help a team to come together.  

Managing people 

It can be hard to manage people, especially in a high-pressure environment of working within a school. This means that providing those who manage with this Managing People course is a step in the right direction. This course is designed to help those who manage to understand what it takes to be a good manager and to guide their team the best that they can.  

Conflict Resolution 

Conflicts can happen in any workplace, even in schools where people usually work together. As a manager, you need to be able to help to resolve conflict and to ensure that it is dealt with in a way that is appropriate.  

Concussion Awareness 

Head bumps can so easily happen in a school or college and knowing how to deal with them is key. This training course is designed to help to understand more about concussions and to know what to do should you believe that someone is concussed and needs medical help.  

Slips, Trips and Falls 

There are a number of reasons why people can slip, trip or fall, especially in a school or college. This means that it is a good idea to provide colleagues with this training course that covers the basics of all of these risk factors, from identifying where there is a risk to managing those risks.  

Stress Awareness 

It can be stressful working in a school, and this means that one of the best things that you can do is to provide your team members with this Stress Awareness course, which covers the main stress factors and how you can manage your own stress levels.  

Soft Skills 

Soft skills help people to do their work to the best of their ability. It doesn’t matter what type of work they do; having a soft skill can really improve their productivity and how they approach their working day. It also covers guidance on other aspects of their job.  

Managing Your Digital Profile  

Many of us are on social media and this causes no issue; however, if you work in a school then what you post on social media can have an impact on how you are seen. This training course provides an overview of how to manage your own digital profile and how to ensure that your profile is presented in a way that is going to remain professional at all times.  

How often do colleagues need to take this training?

The answer to the question of how often the courses should be repeated is not always as straightforward as you may hope and there is not necessarily a set answer across all organisations. For many courses it will really depend on the type of course that is being taken and the nature of what you do. Ideally, the refresh regularity should be based on a thorough risk assessment of your business and tailored to the unique needs of your organisation and customers.

That said, if you are looking for a general rule, then we would say every 12 months is good practice for most of the courses that we offer.

There are some exclusions to this that do need to be kept in mind:

They are: 

  • In the case of an internal incident- if there has been an incident within your school or college where a student or a staff member has been injured, then this then means that it is important to refresh all staff members with the relevant training in order to minimise the chance of it happening again.   
  • In the case of an external incident- if there has been an incident outside of your school or college but within your industry, then this could be a time to refresh relevant training. Of course, this will only be applicable if the incident is severe and you think that it poses a risk to your school and those who work within it and those who are students. At the very least, it is going to be worthwhile refreshing their Health and Safety training.   
  • If a process changes- if an internal process has changed, then it is going to be a good time to refresh any training that relates to this process. Particularly if you feel that it might impact what has been previously learnt.  
  • If you bring in new equipment- if you bring in new equipment for your staff members to use, then you should provide them with training that is relevant to this change. Even if the change is slight, after all, prevention is always better than cure.   
  • If there has been a change in the environment- if you move premises or you have some changes made to where you work, then you will need to think about some of the training. This includes COSHH and Health and Safety.

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