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Any Head willing to comment on the use of cheaper replacements for teachers and supply teachers.

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by Pennyforyourthoughts, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Pennyforyourthoughts

    Pennyforyourthoughts Occasional commenter

    Any Head willing to comment on the use of cheaper replacements for teachers and supply teachers. Any good advice to the young NQTs who are struggling to get positions even supply teaching.
     
  2. Pennyforyourthoughts

    Pennyforyourthoughts Occasional commenter

    Any Head willing to comment on the use of cheaper replacements for teachers and supply teachers. Any good advice to the young NQTs who are struggling to get positions even supply teaching.
     
  3. Most school still use supply teachers to cover absences, although bits and pieces are often covered by HLTAs and Cover Supervisors. If you're struggling to get supply work, sign up with the supply agencies in your town. You'll get slightly less pay than approaching schools directly but you'll get more work.
     
  4. "Most schools still use supply teachers to cover absences, although bits and pieces are often covered by HLTAs and Cover Supervisors"
    I am sorry but I just cannot accept that statement and I can quote facts to support my position.
    For a start the original poster did not query cover for absences but asked about teachers being replaced which is not the same thing. Cover only occurs when a teacher is absent from a timetabled lesson and since teachers are not timetabled to teach during PPA time they cannot be considered as being absent. So cover should not be involved; instead another teacher should be assigned to teach during PPA time but in primary schools this is an exception rather than a rule.
    I can back this up with figures obtained from 420 primary schools that bothered to respond to a survey conducted under the Freedom of Information Act in the last academic year and that figure of 420 was less than half of those schools surveyed - for instance only 10 of the 121 primary schools in Manchester replied.
    In these 420 schools there were 100,620 children in 3,721 classes. To take responsibility for teaching these classes there were 3,363 full time qualified teachers and 50 full time unqualified teachers (and that begs the question as to why so many unqualified teachers were in post when there are so many with QTS available)
    So all these full timers need somebody to teach their classes during PPA time. 169 unqualified teachers, 535 HLTAs and 454 TAs are used to teach during this PPA time. This compares with the use of just 398 qualified teachers.
    So surely this means that teachers are being replaced by unqualified staff during PPA time and the DfE has stated on many occasions that support staff and teachers are not interchangeable or that teachers should not be replaced by support staff.
    Some may argue that 420 schools is just a small sample but I believe that it is representative of the overall situation. I have already said that the majority of schools did not respond to this survey so I wonder if the rest had something to hide (if I am being cynical then I believe that I have full justification for that cynicism) I could also add that some of the 420 schools that responded did not give accurate figures since it seems that some teachers did not get any PPA time.
    So I repeat the assertion that I have made several times that over 60% of children in primary schools do not receive the teaching services of a qualified teacher for all of their time in school which surely they are entitled to.

     
  5. I think you could be drawing too much from the very limited detail you have quoted in responses. What you really needed to ascertain was just what lessons were being covered. Unqualified teachers could include instructors teaching PE and sports activities. There is nothing wrong with this as they often have higher levels of skills than class teachers.
    Secondly, another aspect your results don't seem to include is just how long the PPA sessions were. The minimum limit is 30 minutes. If there were short periods of time like this, cover by support staff would perhaps seem less unreasonable.
    Some schools have support staff who can be just as effective in teaching certain lessons as qualified teachers. Surely, this is the key; that the children are being taught well. In my mind, it doesn't matter what qualifications the "teacher" has as long as they are doing a good job.
    Equally, you infer that schools did not respond to a FOIA request. This sounds surprising. I wonder, how many schools were sent the request. You cannot assume schools who failed to respond had "something to hide" without offering some empirical evidence to support this assertion.
     
  6. R13

    R13 Occasional commenter

    I'll comment. . . . .
    Take a hypothetical school which has a budget which can afford 20 class teachers. PPA gets introduced without additional appropriate budget to provide the 2 new teachers to cover for those colleagues who now teach less.
    So as a Head I either find a cheap way to cover PPA or I lay off teaching staff to provide money in my budget to ensure PPA is always provided by other teachers covering.
    If like many people here i don't believe assistants should cover PPA I put all the kids in slightly bigger classes so that I now have 18 class teachers and 2 cover teachers providing PA. Wow - hasn't that made the chances of unemployed teachers getting a job easier!!
    Back to the OP then . . . the reason why there are not more teaching jobs is that there are not sufficient education budgets for them and perhaps one day when teachers and unions in teaching start doing the maths and stop arguing with each other we can concentrate on fighting the real battles and not fighting each other
     
  7. I am a struggling, ableit matured, NQT.
    Would SouthGlosHead advise NQT's looking for supply work to approach schools directly?
     
  8. bobbycatrules

    bobbycatrules New commenter

    I'd just like to add my opinion. I too am a supply teacher, and I really do see why headteachers would use support staff to cover an odd lesson or day. Supply teachers cost a lost of money, and with budgets so tight I understand the use of internal support staff. However, I do object when they are used for longer term cover for several reasons- the biggest one is that they lack QTS and all the knowledge that goes along with it. Another reason is that they are usually, in my humble experience, not the 'sharpest tools in the boxes.' The last bug- bear is that they (more- so HLTA's than cover- supervisors) often think that they are on a par with teachers.
    And they are not.
     
  9. I feel R13 has echoed what NQT's already know.






    Having QTS with a BA honours degree, a Specialism in SEN, as well as a parent of a key stage 2 child? I would like
    to know if R13 will admit how many of the schools unqualified teaching staff are actually QTS holders and if the ones working as HLTA's (as I once was did before my teacher training) have real GCSE's in maths and English.
    In my experience QTS holders will always begrudge their position when forced to work as an unqualified teacher, which will have a negative effect on what all HT's strive for. As a result , sadly, the kids suffer too and not just academically.
     
  10. I feel R13 has echoed what NQT's already know.


    I have QTS with a BA honours degree, a Specialism in SEN, a parent of a key stage 2 child and 16 months supply experience. I would like to know if R13 will admit how many of the schools unqualified teaching staff are actually QTS holders ( who can't get jobs elsewhere) and if the ones working as HLTA's (as I once was did before my teacher training) have real GCSE's in maths and English.




    In my experience QTS holders will always begrudge their position when forced to work as an unqualified teacher, which will have a negative effect on what all HT's strive for. As a result , sadly, the kids suffer too and not just academically.
    Therefore I strongly feel this should not be the norm in any school unless it is an open school where parents can call in unexpectedly and see for themselves how a school is run. Realistically this wont happen as Gove and his party have to hide what they have created when 'passing the book' onto suffering under funded HT's.
     
  11. R13

    R13 Occasional commenter

    I'd refer you back to the original message I posted. I can take your point perfectly that financial considerations are very important here BUT in my special school quality is key and teaching and learning is Outstanding according to my observations, those of the LA and OFSTED.
    I have 1 Unqualified teacher who only works part time and is brilliant. I do however use assitants to cover PPA and sometimes courses - and these colleagues obviously do not hold QTS as they are assistants. Again I know that teachers should be leading classes but the way I do it honestly gives my children a better deal that getting in supply teachers every time because it retains a far greater teacher pupil and staff pupil ratio and uses staff who really understand our complex pupils
     
  12. Could I ask how Heads manage the planning of lessons that HLTAs and TAs cover?
    My understanding is that teachers should not be planning lessons for their PPA time so who is planning these lessons?
    Nothing like a sweeping generalisation! I have 5 A levels and a degree and have the HLTA qualification but I do not have any illusions that I am on a par with teachers! Teachers work hard for their qualifications and so have a higher status in the school.
    Heads need to be aware that many HLTAs have a substantial workload and are not always given time to plan, prepare and mark. It is actually a really challenging role. Many teachers would be daunted by the thought of covering different classes and subjects throughout the school all week, Many TAs and HLTAs are hard working individuals who are committed to their school but just because they say yes to their Head does not necessarily mean that they are happy with the arrangement.
    Heads may feel that their TAs are perfectly competent but you are not always there to see them managing the inevitable stresses of managing a class alone. There are many excellent TAs and whilst many do an excellent job covering PPA many are simply not trained (or paid enough) to do so.
    I wish I had never done my HLTA, the stresses of the role have increased year on year. After over a decade in school I have sadly decided to call it a day. The training and expertise that I have particularly working with groups of children will be lost.
    I know that Heads need to look to the budget but HLTA role was originally envisioned as a route for very experienced TAs to demonstrate their extra knowledge (a step on from the old STAC course). The bit about whole class teaching was tacked on at the end because of workforce remodelling but sadly many Heads now simply equate HLTA with 'whole class cover' -maybe it would be more honest to call ourselves WCCs!
     
  13. It baffles me that we now have school 'managers' who can't/won't source supply teachers directly. We seemed to have heard a lot about payscales but yet we're ok with schools allowing agencies to fleece supply teachers for each day we work. I'm not getting paid in accordance to what the payscales say I should get.
    Thankyou again R13, I just wish more HTs (especially those who work together with agencies) will enlighten me as to why exactly do we need agencies? From the bottom up I consider agencies as part of the rot plaguing our profession.
     
  14. What was actually wrong with the old system that WORKED?
    Fully registered, fully qualified supply teachers enroled on the LEA's register of fully accredited and ECRB checked and certified teachers PLUS peer assessed and performance managed by the senior teachers at the school?
    All this at <u>minimal cost</u> to the LEA, many admitting to &pound;25,000 approx/annum for admin charges? [Freedom of Information ACT] and actually no cost to the LEA school???!! All teachers on the same payroll...[​IMG] No professional disunity?
    All this replaced by hugely profiteering, corrupt and exploitative agencies...David Miliband, Michael Gove what areyou doing about it? NOTHING!
     
  15. PLUS the current ridiculous and extremely costly situation of all manner of unqualified staff in schools with all kinds of ridiculous job roles/titles: "learning mentors", HLSA, LSA, TA, HLTA, CS, SCS ("specialist cover supervisor", LS ("learning supervisor"), EI (exam invigilator) etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc..........when most of this was actually done by qualified TEACHERS and SLT members????? Do we need that many unqualified staff in schools, all salaried??
     
  16. Perhaps a stuffed gorilla seated at the former teacher's desk and an ongoing MS Powerpont presentation of lesson objectives, questions and answers given with a synthetic pretimed explanatory voice...??? OR all pupils seated at computer screens dooooodling/amending digital images of Michael Gove for the art class? Very cheap?
    ARE OFSTED turning a blind eye to what is clearly UNACCEPTABLE practice??? Can they be that abusive to the educational rights of every pupil to be TAUGHT PROPERLY IN EVERY Lesson in all classes?
     

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