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Am I being taken advantage of?

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by flipdiddyflip, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. Hi All,

    This is a bit of a complicated one so I'll try to explain the situation as best as I can!

    I'm currently employed by a secondary school with academy status as a TA Level 3 for 30 hours a week. However I have QTS and have completed a KS2/3 Education degree with MFL and still need to complete my NQT year.

    When I got the Level 3 TA position my main duties were; 50% of the time was in class support supporting children with statements. The other 50% was to co-ordinate and deliver interventions (mainly literacy as this is a big issue within the school). I was responsible for assessing the reading and spelling ability across the school (Year 7 - Year 11) and then putting in appropriate interventions for those who weren't reading at a functional reading/spelling age.

    After a year in the position a staff 'restructure' occurred and all TAs hours were reduced to 27.5 per week, including myself, without any reduction in workload.

    Earlier this year the SENCo went on maternity leave and I was asked to take up some additional responsibilities. This involved taking on her teaching hours (10 hours per week), organising cover when TAs are absent and assessments for application for exam access. I was happy to do this as the school were willing to pay me extra and pay for me to do some of my NQT year.

    In the last couple of months another staff restructure has occurred and my Level 3 position has been re-written as an 'Advanced Level Teaching Assistant.' The classroom support part of the original job has now been dropped however I'm still expected to co-ordinate and deliver the interventions, timetable and cover the TAs, complete exam access assessments plus oversee and plan schemes of work for the TAs delivering an alternative provision qualification at KS4! All for the same Level 3 pay but now working 36 hours per week.

    One half of me thinks that this is all good experience, and I've really learned a lot since I've been in the position, but the other half of me thinks that I'm being completely taken advantage of because of my teaching qualification.

    I know were all in a climate at the minute where everybody has an increasing workload, but it would be nice to have some recognition for the amount of work I'm being asked to do!

    Any advice would be much appreciated!

  2. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Agree - great experience and CPD. I think you need to ask yourself what it is you expect to see for the additional workload / responsibility ie will this enhance a prospective career move re SEND ? On paper you are certainly covering many aspects of a SENCos job . I suspect schools can pretty much demand anything of its employees these days and effort and skill often go unappreciated . There is a lot to be said for enjoying a job and taking the opportunity to learn though so that the children benefit from your enthusiasm and professionalism. There is no guarantee that if you engineered a move things would be different elsewhere and I think as you have experienced with the restructuring agenda job security is fragile.
  3. Underachiever

    Underachiever New commenter

    Short answer - yes.

    It seems to me you have 3 options:

    1) Put up with it until you've got what you want from the school

    2) Leave

    3) Take your case to your SLT and see what happens

    The cynical part of my is inclined to think if you try option 3, it will only delay the choice between options 1 and 2.

    Good luck.
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I agree with UA and the school is only to happy to take advantage. Look around for somewhere that will look after you better. It is disgraceful the way you have been treated.
  5. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Tough one. It is great experience - but you are definitely working at a higher level than ANY level 3 JD ...... but I'm sure there are many others out there who are doing the same. If you are generally happy with working at the school and would like to complete your NQT year there, I would definitely consider Underachiever's option 3 - talk to the SLT. Do they know you want to do your NQT year? You may not get what you want (but they won't get rid of you, you're obviously a massive asset to the school) - but if you don't let them know about it, you have no chance. Best of luck!
  6. Thanks for the advice everyone it's really appreciated.

    I think a conversation with SLT might be a good idea. A lot of the time I don't think they really realise how much I'm actually doing, and since I'm not the type of person to make a big song and dance of things I do, it often goes under the radar.

    I really enjoy the job and probably see myself always involved with SEND in one way or another because of it.

    I'm reasonably sure that there is some security to the job; when I first got the job it was on a rolling 12 month contract externally funded. The 'Advanced Level TA' job is permanent (although no job now is really permanent I suppose!) and funded internally.

    Thanks again for all of the advice!

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