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ATL highlights misuse of support staff

Discussion in 'Personal' started by magic surf bus, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    "Teacher shortages mean classroom support staff are doing work normally done by qualified teachers, suggests a survey of union members.

    Some two-thirds of almost 700 classroom supervisors who responded felt they did the work of supply teachers, says the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.

    Overall, of the 1,763 support staff who responded to the survey, the overwhelming majority were in England, with 67 in Wales and smaller numbers from other parts of the UK.

    Of these, some 78% said they regularly worked overtime, with 44% saying they put in up to three hours, and 12% seven hours or more extra time per week.

    Only 11% said they always got paid for additional hours.

    Of almost 700 who answered questions on supervising classes for absent teachers, 72% said it was impossible to supervise without teaching some form of lesson.

    And 64% felt their work as cover supervisors was indistinguishable from supply teaching.

    Some reported being asked to undertake lesson planning and marking as well."

  2. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    My only problem with this is ... and this is maybe the way the story is being reported... is this is people who've chosen to respond to the survey... so maybe they felt they had a complaint about workload and this was a way of addressing it. Least that's how it can be dismissed.

    Isn't that the point of cover supervisors?
  3. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    No. They were never intended to be used as long term replacements for qualified staff (ie maternity cover), although it is well understood that some CS are recently qualified teachers 'between jobs'. Also with academies able to make it up as they go along there will be all manner of variations in CS use. However any CS taking on long term cover is being paid at an hourly rate about a third of what an experienced full time teacher would get. Why should they be exploited for peanuts? Unqualified CS shouldn't be doing long term cover at all, and qualified CS should be paid properly for long term work..
  4. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    Weren't HLTAs supposed to be in a position to take classes? That's what I recall was the case when they first came in and part of the requirement for passing the course was to plan and teach lessons.

    They had an enhanced rate of pay certainly, although still not much. Probably on par with cover supervisors, which were definitely intended to cover very short term absences.
  5. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    When the HLTA first came out I was involved in assessing a TA from my school. This involved going on some of her course meetings. The course didn't appear to me to teach her anything new except some IT skills (it was mainly about how to fill in the forms using a computer) and the assessment form I had to fill in was only about what she had achieved in her current post in Nursery. I could honestly say that she had succeeded in this area but had no option to voice any doubts that she was able to cover classes from Reception to Year 6 which she then went on to do without any further training. The system may have changed since then.
  6. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Might have been the guff we were sold when they first appeared... not been the reality in any school I've worked in. Sadly for supply teachers.
  7. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Up to a point, but I've often quoted the case of my TA sister who won't train as HLTA because the school would use her for 6 month maternity covers. She'd be on much lower pay that the absent teacher would be getting, but would be doing the same work.
  8. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    I would agree with her too @magic surf bus! As usual, what could have seemed to be an opportunity for support staff to develop a career, has turned into a way of getting cheap classroom cover.
    lanokia likes this.
  9. keyboard2

    keyboard2 Established commenter

    A really important point.
    We have two HTLAs, both teach full timetables. They're working life is chaotic. Covering lots of different classes across a range of different subjects without basic things like a classroom or PPA time.
    Teaching on the cheap. Not good for supply teachers or colleagues who are looking for a post.
  10. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I've no doubt that in some places support staff are being misused; however, my own experience when involved a few years ago with interviews conducted by the LA with a range of support staff - to determine whether or not they were on the 'correct' pay scale - is that the majority thought (or at least claimed) they were doing 'things a teacher should be doing'. In most cases, they weren't, but it was difficult to persuade them otherwise, even when we got out their job descriptions and pointed it out to them.
    minnie me and wanet like this.

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