Our next application deadline across all three regions is 17th July for courses starting Autumn 2020.   We encourage early applications across the secondary, primary and special school sectors.

Best Practice are a founding member of the HLTA National Assessment Partnership (HNAP) which awards Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) Status across all regions of the country. We are the HNAP Regional Provider of Assessment for the South West, West Midlands and the East regions.

As part of a 2019 survey, 94% of our HLTA graduates answered that they had found the course useful for their professional development and would recommend it to a colleague. 

"The confidence boost and professional development I have gained as an HLTA has enabled me to be able to take on more important roles within the school"
HLTA Graduate, 2019
West Midlands South-west England East of England
Birmingham Bournemouth* Bedfordshire
Coventry Bristol Cambridgeshire
Dudley Cornwall Essex
Herefordshire Devon* Hertfordshire
Sandwell Dorset* Norfolk
Shropshire Gloucestershire Peterborough
Solihull North Somerset Suffolk
Staffordshire Poole*
Stoke Somerset
Telford Swindon
Walsall Wiltshire

*Groups run by HLTA Community South West and assessed by Best Practice Network. Please visit http://hltacommunitysw.co.uk/ for more information.

Who is this for?

Gaining HLTA status is a recognised progression route for school support staff. HLTAs work closely with teachers to raise standards and help each learner reach their potential.

All applicants must have:

  • Some experience of leading whole-class learning with no teacher present
  • Level 2 in Maths and English

Application Process

In order to be accepted onto HLTA, prospective candidates must secure support from their Headteacher to:

  • confirm they consider you to be suitable to undertake the HLTA status
  • confirm that you, the applicant, have undertaken whole class teaching with no teacher present on at least 2 occasions
  • confirms they have seen documentary evidence that you, the applicant, hold a level 2 qualification in English/literacy
  • confirms they have seen documentary evidence that you, the applicant, hold a level 2 qualification in Maths/numeracy

Only applicants with a completed corresponding Headteacher declaration form will be accepted onto the qualification & offered a place in one of our delivery groups.

You can download the HLTA Headteacher declaration form from the link below:
HLTA Headteacher Declaration Form

What are the benefits?

In a 2019 survey of our HLTA graduates, 91% answered that gaining the status had increased their confidence in their own abilities. 

Research by NFER in 2007 reported many benefits, including the rise in confidence and self-esteem of those gaining the status. Headlines from the report were that 91% of senior leaders and 80% of HLTAs identified positive impacts on pupil performance resulting from the HLTA role. 73% of senior leaders said that HLTA had reduced teacher workload. Visit the HLTA National Partnership website to find out more.


    • Fit for purpose, nationally recognised professional status - over 52,000 HLTAs since 2003
    • Highly positive impact on schools and outcomes for children and young people
    • HLTAs report greatly improved confidence, self-esteem and aspirations
  • An effective performance management framework
  • Assures quality through rigorous national standards
  • Cost-effective, homegrown cover for PPA and other needs
  • Enhances knowledge, expertise and skills in supporting learning
  • Career progression for HLTAa and mentors
  • Can support progression to QTS


How is it delivered?

  • The two day face-to-face preparation course explains the HLTA standards and the HLTA assessment process and fully explains how to put together the required portfolio of evidence. Guidance is provided on completing the required written tasks and explains the purpose and the set-up of the 3-hour school visit.
  • Between days 1 and 2, you will engage in online activities to check understanding.
  • The group returns for day 2 approximately 5-6 working weeks later to review progress and receive formative feedback on the tasks written so far. Further guidance and support is provided for the school assessment visit.
  • Approximately 4-7 weeks after day 2, you will email your final written tasks to the assessor who then comes to your school about two weeks after this to carry out the interviews and view the portfolio of evidence.


The status is gained through a portfolio of tasks and a 3-hour school visit where an assessor interviews you, a teacher on your behalf and a member of the senior management team. You are not observed in class.

The assessment takes place with your Regional Provider of Assessment (RPA). All RPAs are partners of the HLTA National Assessment Partnership (HNAP) a body that ensures the continuity and quality of HLTA assessment across the country.


We are delivering HLTA in the following regions:

  • East of England
  • South West (visit our partner PoP HLTA Community South West for preparation in Bournemouth, Devon, Dorset, Plymouth and Poole)
  • West Midlands
  • Yorkshire and Humber

You can select your preferred group location and dates in the application form. We aim to allocate each candidate their chosen group if your choice is no longer available we will offer you the most easily accessible alternative. Groups will be amended subject to interest and demand.

School networks or alliances with several support staff wishing to complete the qualification should contact us about bespoke training that can be arranged at a local level and delivered within their schools.

What does it cost?

The cost of the 2-day HLTA preparation programme is £290 + VAT, inclusive of lunch and refreshments. Significant discounts are available to clusters of schools and local authorities interested in hosting bespoke programmes to meet individual need. Contact us for more details.

The cost of preparation does not include the assessment element which is fixed by HNAP at £450 per person. Further details on assessment can be found on the HNAP website.