Support staff roles

Support staff work in many important and often multiple roles in a school.

Whether you have recently started working in a school or are considering doing so, you will find it useful to know about the range of available support staff roles and their responsibilities.

Types of roles

There are five school support staff categories.

Details on the categories and the relevant roles support staff typically fulfil are available on the Ealing Grid for Learning website

Learning support staff work with teachers in the classroom to help pupils with their learning, ie teaching assistants, higher level teaching assistants, nursery nurses and cover supervisors.

Pupil support staff are responsible for the welfare of pupils during break, lunchtime and outside school hours and staff who assist pupils with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties and careers advice, ie PSA’s learning mentors, SMSA’s.

Specialist and technical staff provide valuable resources that support teaching and learning. Specialist and technical staff include science, CDT and ICT technicians and managers, librarians and music specialists.

Administrative support staff / school business managers provide essential back-up services for the whole school ranging from day to day office support to financial and school business management.

Site staff ensure a clean, safe and tidy school environment and provide meals at lunch time. Site staff include caretakers, cleaners, caterers and site managers.


Qualification frameworks for support staff roles are also available on the Ealing Grid for Learning.

These have been developed, against the current national training and qualifications commonly used by schools to identify role requirements and qualifications relevant to your role.


Volunteering in a school could help you to gain a first-hand understanding of support staff roles.

Schools should be contacted directly to see if they have any volunteer vacancies. Contact details for schools are available on this website.

Ealing schools recruit support staff directly. A list of current vacancies are advertised in the jobs section on this website.

All roles working in schools will require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. More information can be found on the Ealing Grid for Learning.