Appointing a language assistant is similar to appointing a member of staff, there are various HR and administrative tasks that need to be completed to ensure they transition well into your school and local community.

Before the language assistant arrives

To help prepare for the arrival of your language assistant, the below tasks need to be completed between the months of June and August.

Read application dossiers

Host schools or the local authority will receive (via email) the application dossiers of their language assistant(s).

The documents will be used throughout the academic year. Please save these documents.

Appoint a contact and mentor

Schools must appoint a main contact for the language assistant to help coordinate any administrative tasks and answer questions.

Host schools must also appoint a 'mentor teacher' to each assistant. The mentor will be responsible for welcoming the language assistant and helping with their integration into the school. We recommend that the mentor is a member of staff who will be working closely with the language assistant and is willing to take responsibility for supporting the assistant and completing any necessary paperwork. 

Offer the role

The role should be offered to the language assistant at the school/local authority for the upcoming academic year.

Send assistants an offer letter by email (we will provide a template for this). If your language assistant is from a Latin American country, China or Canada, please copy the address below into your email as we require this for visa purposes - languageassistants.UK@britishcouncil.org

If you are sharing a language assistant, please plan thoroughly to ensure the sharing arrangements are suitable for all schools. It is also important to ensure timetables and travel arrangements for language assistants are reasonable and agreed with the language assistant.

Please keep in touch with your language assistant(s) to help them plan any accommodation, travel etc.

After the language assistant arrives

Language assistants will begin arriving and working in September, there are HR and administrative tasks that need to be completed to ensure language assistants are able to complete their tenure.

HR tasks

The following tasks should be completed within the language assistant's first week of appointment.

Please ensure your language assistant does the following:

  • complete the HMRC starter checklist.
  • complete DBS clearance immediately.
  • apply for a National Insurance number.
  • complete the confirmation of appointment survey (sent by the British Council)

If you are hosting a non-EU assistant, please send us the reporting requirements information which the British Council will request and send to you. 

Induction day

Assistants will be invited to an induction day and are strongly encouraged to attend. We provide comprehensive information regarding the programme as well as classroom activity suggestions and useful teaching methods.  It is also a chance for assistants to meet other language assistants in their local area to create support networks.

Chinese language assistants will attend a specific induction meeting in London on arrival.

Observation period

Schools are encouraged to observe language assistants and offer advice where necessary. After initial observation classes which usually last 1-2 weeks, assistants will take on their full role as a language assistant. 

Please make sure a Statement of Employment (contract) is provided to your assistant - we will provide a template for this.

Before the language assistant leaves

In May, communications on how to properly end your language assistant's appointment will be sent out.

Tasks include:

  • closing UK bank accounts
  • claiming overpaid tax
  • requesting reference letters
  • completing end of year evaluation.