Once you have been allocated a Language Assistant the hosting school or local authority will need to undertake the following tasks:
- As soon as an offer of employment has been at least verbally accepted by the assistant, you should complete the online Confirmation of Appointment 2016-17 form. This enables us to issue a Certificate of Registration to the assistant.
- Write an offer of appointment and draw up a contract. The British Council can provide templates for these.
- Organise monthly payments at the appropriate rate. Information on taxation for language assistants from EU countries can be found here.
- Coordinate the timetable and arrival arrangements. If the assistant is shared with other schools, identify a host school who will be responsible for these tasks. The timetable should allow reasonable free time and one full day free each week if possible.
You should also appoint a mentor teacher, the language assistant’s main contact both prior to arrival and during their assistantship. They will be responsible for introducing the assistant to the school community and providing advice and support throughout their period of appointment.
Most Language Assistants are from EU countries and are automatically legally eligible to work in the UK.
If you host a language assistant from Latin America, Quebec or China, all you need to do is send a copy of your offer letter and confirmation that the assistant has accepted the post before the summer holidays.
We will prepare a ‘Certificate of Sponsorship’ which your assistant can use to apply for their visa. The British Council acts as sponsor for the assistant and takes responsibility for supporting them throughout the visa application process prior to arrival.
The language assistant is responsible for arranging their accommodation but you should provide guidance where possible, especially to help arrange temporary accommodation for when they first arrive. This will help them to settle into daily life and work.
Chinese Language Assistants
An intensive pre-departure training course, organised by Hanban (Office of Chinese Language Council International), will be provided with sessions from the British Council and UK teacher training experts. The course covers sessions on the role of the Chinese Language Assistant, teaching Mandarin as a Foreign Language, the UK education system and how to adapt to a UK classroom.
They will also be provided with a further three-day induction course on arrival in the UK. The includes sessions on lesson planning, cultural immersion and practical matters. Training, funded by HSBC, also takes place in November and March to provide continuous pastoral and professional support
Language assistants will receive an online booklet with guidance on the role of the language assistant as well as information on administrative matters, such as banking and income tax. Visa sponsorship and advice to Chinese Language Assistants will be available throughout the application process.
Advice on administrative matters and pastoral care provided by an experienced Customer Services team and online information booklet is available for schools. Support for the language assistant in the classroom and guidance on administrative matters in relation to their employment is also provided. Visa sponsorship and advice to Chinese Language Assistants and Host Schools will be available throughout the application process.
Schools can also take a look at our language resources page.