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Classroom Assistants - who's in charge?

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by ladywholunch, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. ladywholunch

    ladywholunch New commenter

    I'm in a bit of a quandary. I know a lot of schools are crying out for any in class support but I'm currently in receipt of two classroom auxiliaries for two of my Maths classes. One is a joy and is admittedly better at dealing with the more challenging boys in the class than I am. The other I'd rather not have in at all and can start a row in the class more than the rowdier kids. My PT has had staff experience similar over the years but says a DHT draws up the auxiliary timetable while their boss is a woman based miles away in the local authority headquarters. The DHT says he isn't the auxiliaries' boss, the distant woman is. Shouldn't they have a line manager in school? Even for their own sake?
  2. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    They should have a line manager in school. I suspect your DHT or whoever else has responsibility for Pupil Support is just avoiding doing unpleasant work.

    You can give the auxiliaries tasks outside the classroom and you can set out your expectations of how they will deal with things in your classroom too. Regardless of line manager it is up to you to best manage the staff in your classroom and your PT to help you do that.
  3. Potatoes005

    Potatoes005 Occasional commenter

    DHT Pupil Support

    Although whoever from education services will be their boss
  4. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    Teacher is always in charge.
    If you don't like what the assistant is doing then you can tell them where to go.
    Diplomatically, of course.
  5. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Lead commenter

    Yip agree with Jimmy

    I've had classroom assistants/auxiliaries who could cause arguments in empty rooms

    It's your class, you're in charge and they are there to support or assist you and certain pupils, not to take over
  6. lescargot

    lescargot Occasional commenter

    What is this magical resource to which you refer??!
  7. morrisseyritual

    morrisseyritual Occasional commenter

    Do not tackle itinerant classroom
    assistants directly.

    Everything PTs want assistants to do should be communicated through their line manager - often the school office manager - who allocate classes/individuals to them.
    No teacher, not even a PT should be engaging a classroom assistant directly as if they outrank them. The office manager outranks them. Speak through them.
  8. TheBigA

    TheBigA Occasional commenter

    Morrisseyritual, you are joking?
  9. davieee

    davieee Occasional commenter

    The teacher controls the classroom and the learning that occurs within it. If there is disagreement between the teacher and the classroom assistant then the teacher takes it up with the CA's line manager while keeping their PT / FH in the loop.
  10. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    Certainly used to be that the teacher was in charge, but there's been lots of bad changes. I know it also used to be the case that nurses were in charge of hospital wards, but I'm told that's changed too.
  11. TheBigA

    TheBigA Occasional commenter

    Some of these arrangements are barmy. Wherever I've worked the PT SFL line manages classroom/pupil support assistants.

    There should be as much collaboration between the assistant and teacher as possible, where that can't happen then there should be a clearly stated purpose of the assistant, but ultimately the teacher must remain in charge of what happens during their classes - regardless of who else is in the room and what their 'rank' is.
  12. morrisseyritual

    morrisseyritual Occasional commenter

    There are plenty of weird setups in schools as to who thinks who is in charge - when it comes to teaching and non teaching staff. Any promoted teacher can be placed in charge of other teachers. At best a DHT can instruct an office manager or, in some cases "head auxiliary" in policy/expectations. However, all it would take is for an industrial tribunal or job sizing exercise to shore up this presumed responsibility.
    Highest ranking non-teaching support staff member in a school (office personnel being support staff and office manager usually being highest promoted position in the school) is in charge of and de facto line manager of classroom assistants. Despite what many ASN PTs think. This is an extra role they usually assume but are not required - or really meant to - undertake.
  13. TheBigA

    TheBigA Occasional commenter

    Morrissey, I'm not sure what kind of fantasy world you live in, but it sounds bonkers. In my school, pupil support assistants report directly to the PT SFL, it's in their job description. Other assistants, office staff, technicians etc. are line managed by the support services manager but are accountable to the SMT. Their job is to support the work of the school, the school is run by the head teacher. Feel free to run some kind of industrial-tribunal revolution to overthrow common sense if you like, but nobody will thank you for it.

    All promoted staff at the same level e.g. principal teachers, have common responsibilities but they are applied in specific contexts i.e. in relation to the English department. Other remits, such as guidance or SFL, extend across the school. It's not necessarily about being in charge per se, it's about doing what you're employed to do.
    Flere-Imsaho likes this.
  14. inthered

    inthered Occasional commenter

    BigA, that's what happens in our place with the Learning Support Assistants, as they're called with us. The PT SfL has all the details of ASN pupils and allocates timetables etc on that basis.

    We do, however, also have a Classroom Assistant who gets a department for two periods per week, and she does photocopying, puts up posters, will do filing and other 'office' type stuff that's very helpful and time-consuming for teachers. She doesn't read/scribe for exams or help out with ASN pupils at all, and is accountable to the office manager, but I think the first post refers to the LSAs who are, in every secondary I've come across, under the auspices of the SfL dept. and in my opinion, this is where you'd go to try and iron out problems with who is in charge in the classroom.
  15. morrisseyritual

    morrisseyritual Occasional commenter

    I know what the presumed setup in most schools is - I absolutely do. I know that. It is the "done thing" in most schools. Most schools still have teachers putting pupils out of class and shutting the door for five mins (or more) even though that is illegal. However, on paper, no teacher is truly in charge of non-teaching permanent staff. These are presumed responsibilities. They can mostly work, yes, but what I'm talking about is the struggle the OP will have on her hands should she try and get the HT to reprimand or mediate the matter with the classroom assistant if the classroom assistant knows his/her rights.
  16. TheBigA

    TheBigA Occasional commenter

    Putting pupils out of class is illegal? Please tell me which law states that, because it's news to me...and to most teachers I'd imagine!

    You're thinking is way off though. Of course assistants have rights, and should be a valued part of the school community, but so do teachers. Teachers, though, have greater responsibility and accountability. Teachers are 'in charge' of their classrooms, on a day to day basis they are responsible, and held accountable, for what happens in their classes. Headteachers have the same duties at whole school level, a headteacher would not find themselves in any difficulty if they 'reprimanded' a classroom assistant, neither would a teacher, a PT or a depute. There is no presumed set-up, there is a set up and the work of assistants is directed by school-based staff, whether that's a support manager, a PT, or a depute is irrelevant, if you work in a school you are accountable to someone in that school.
  17. morrisseyritual

    morrisseyritual Occasional commenter

    The cold light of employment law has - in the small handful of cases that have reached tribunal - shored up a great many presumptions whole school staff have of who is in charge of who.
  18. TheBigA

    TheBigA Occasional commenter

    Care to provide an example?
  19. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I'd quite like to know why it illegal to send a pupil out of class!
  20. TheBigA

    TheBigA Occasional commenter

    I'd like to know that as well!

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