1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Confused by varying responsibilties and terms for TA's.

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by totally disheartened, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. TAs teach. We can discuss the legality of this until we're blue in the face but at the end of the day we are <u>expected</u> to cover PPA, I've never offered to do it, it's one of the many jobs the role of a TA covers. We can't refuse to do it, it's become our job.
  2. TAs do teach but it seems up to particular schools whether they choose this option.
    Our school uses supply teachers for teacher illness.
    Qualified teachers and 1 HLTA for PPA cover.
    All TAs are level 3 but rarely cover absent teachers and that is for short periods until supply arrives. They do not teach or plan lessons but they will supervise.
    TAs are effective supporting small groups and assisting teachers but are not qualified or paid to teach.
    We are not financially well off but the Head believes that using qualified staff is in the best interests of the children in school.
  3. Do you mean you have recently completed the TA NVQ level 3? If so, this does not automatically qualify you as a level 3 TA, the two are not linked.
    In our area (Notts) You are not a qualified TA until you have done NVQ3, at which point you will be considered for level 1 TA positions. I have just finished a level 4 TA course (with the OU, endorsed by the TDA, but I still have to start at the bottom and work up.
    BTW There are fairly clear guidelines about what is expected at each TA level for our LEA. I would post the attachment, but I don;t think with forum allows them as I can't see how.
    PS if I was paid at level 3 pay - in our area that is &pound;19126 plus, then I would not mind doing PPA cover!
  4. Just checked that salary and it is &pound;20,858.
    Oh and it was tongue in cheek - I am a TA, not a teacher. I trained to support children in their learning, not to teach them.
  5. I wish that was the case in the school I work in. I asked about NVQs at my last two performance management meetings but my line managers seem to think that it is a waste of time/ money training TAs. I explained the benefits of having trained staff (!) but it's still no go :(
  6. snugglepot

    snugglepot Occasional commenter

    We have guidelines - it is called a job description.Although there are lots of jobs that are not on it.
    HLTA is a status.You have to complete a portfolio and have an assessment from an outside assessor.You can plan and teach - individuals, groups and whole classes.You must show that you do the latter in your HLTA Tasks.
    A Cover Supervisor is supposed to supervise but not teach.
  7. Debbie15

    Debbie15 New commenter

    What a shame staff are not encouraged in accessing further training. Why wouldn't they want the best from their staff? I understand alot comes with experience within the setting but surely some training shows commitment from both sides.
    At our local school, PPA time is only covered by supply teachers or HLTA's which is how it should be. They get paid more for this and schools should not be penny pinching by using TA's. TA's fulfil a very hard job within schools and go above and beyond their job descriptions but a teaching assistant is there to assist...end of!
  8. PPA time is not cover and should be taken by qualified teachers since support staff should not replace teachers.

  9. and actually I think TAs are shooting themselves in the foot by providing PPA and long term teacher cover. Several reports have recently questioned whether TAs are actually improving standards and the attainment of children in schools.
    There are lots of reasons suggested for this, one reason is that TAs are not being used effectively within the classroom and I would consider using TAs for teaching whole classes as an ineffective way to use their skills. TAs are best used to support groups of children providing teacher planned intervention.
    I know it is impossible to resist the instructions of your Head but if we are not careful we will find the TA role becomes surplus to requirements in cash strapped schools.
  10. I was a TA for years and loved the role of supporting. Under a new Head, I agreed to cover the classes I worked with (Year 1) in emergencies (it is common that children are better behaved for familar adults in school who know the class routines than having a supply teacher that run rings round).
    From this I guess I was pushed to cover PPA across school including Year 6. I was also pushed to go into teaching myself. The school supported me by allowing me time out of school to attend Uni sessions.
    I've just completed my first year as a teacher (in a new school) and love it. However, I was beginning to hate my role covering PPA before I left.
    It seems there are no hard and fast rules for TAs these days and schools use them as and when they want depending on the experience of the TA.
    IMO Cover Supervisors are a secondary school thing. Teacher sets work, cover supervisor just comes in and supervises (crowd control). After lesson, work is collected and returned to teacher.
    Doesn't work in primary, even when left planning, it has to be taught first with some imput and a lot of schools would expect you to mark work as well.
  11. I agree with you Bronco. TAs should not be used to teach on a regular basis. We have HLTAs in my school who cover some PPA but most is covered by qualified teachers. I think it is very unfair on the children to be taught by someone who is not qualified for the job. I am not saying TAs do a bad job, our are great but if TAs are going to be used to teach why should people bother going to uni to train??! We need to be giving the children the best we possibly can in order to improve their learning and understanding and that means a qualified teacher for at least 90% of their lessons!
  12. The majority of children in primary schools do not even get a qualified teacher for 90% of their subject time.
    Teachers are entitled to 10% PPA time which is where I think you get the figure of 90% But in most cases that PPA time comes in either morning or afternoon sessions; many schools have their numeracy and literacy lessons in the mornings so if the teacher has PPA in the mornings the children can be without a teacher for one numeracy lesson and one literacy lesson or 20% of those subject times.
    If the PPA time is in the afternoon when the children may have just one or two of their other foundation subjects then the loss of subject teaching time with a qualified teacher will be even greater, maybe even as high as 100%.

Share This Page