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Cover supervisors and practical work

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by textilesfella, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. Can anybody help me here?
    Both our food and our textiles areas have been hit this year by so much staff absence that students have missed out on far too much practical work.
    Can I let cover supervisors "supervise" practical work - for instance, where students have brought in food ingredients and are fed up seeing them wasted, or in Textiles where work will remain unfinished as practical lessons are unable to continue as the teacher is away?
  2. lapinrose

    lapinrose Star commenter

    You'd need to check with the LEA, I've covered Food and Textiles on supply but I am Home Ec. trined.
  3. You may be on dodgy territory here. Sometimes it depends on the cover supervisor - they may be prepared to take the lesson, as used to be the case in my school. When I was away on courses, she would happily take a practical lesson for me. Don't think she was food trained, just liked teaching the subject with the assistance of my technician.
    The problem may be that cover supervisors don't want the repsonsibility of taking a practical. Should anything go wrong in the lesson, or even an accident happens, then they would be responsible. I think there is a big Health and Safety issue here, and now with the whole 'where there is blame there is a claim' culture in society, would a cover supervisor want the responsibility, or would the school allow the cover supervisor to be put in that position. I think probably not. The cover supervisor who used to take my lesson has now left, and I am no longer allowed to leave practical sessions as cover work.
    Sorry for the negative reply!
  4. I have used Cover Supervisors in practical lessons, but they have always had either my technician overseeing the work, or a support assistant who is keen to help and takes much of the responsibility. Remember, as the OP says, CS's are there to supervise, not teach. Most CS's realise that allowing practical tasks to continue is much easier and less hassle than the cover work we can set.
  5. We have a HLTA who is also a cover supervisor and an ordinary CS who both take practicals when a teacher is absent. They both have their hygiene certificates, have our technician in with them most of the time and have observed and assisted in lessons run by food teachers as part of their training.
    As previously said it is much easy to have this happen and the kids really appreciate it. It was agreed by the SMT.
  6. I thought that only DT teachers (specialists) are covered for health and safety in a practical lessons?
  7. Me too- I would say no way- very risky.
  8. sav5000

    sav5000 New commenter

    simply, no!
    i suggest you contact DATA for further info.
  9. So a chef (ex) who is now head of a dept - no teacher training, in another school another ex chef as the second teacher? - I heard of instance like this - Head teachers actually have the power to appoint whoever they deem suitable for the job - they may be on annual contracts, so renewable each year. It is not a perfect world and I could argue for both sides and having seen one of these working in a classroom the kids had a very good deal.
  10. Thanks to all of you for your input on this.
    I suppose DATA must be my next port of call for clarification.

  11. I wouldn't let anyone cover my practical lessons - I feel that it is a slippery slope for losing our jobs in that anyone then thinks they can teach a bit of sewing or cooking. If there were an accident would the school be covered?
  12. drummerman

    drummerman New commenter

    I went on a 'Managing Risk Assessment in Design and Technology' course last week, and we were told that D+T lessons should not be covered in their respective rooms. So schools need to find other rooms within the building for your groups to be taught in. It doesn't matter if you get an enthusiastic 'trained' teacher who 'makes model boats on the weekend', or even a fully trained person, they do not teach practical lessons.
    If it becomes a long term absence, then the situation is different. If the school is able to find a fully qualified specialist to cover for the duration of the illness/maternity/paternity, PLUS if the supply teacher completes a Risk Assessment form for EACH process before carrying out those processes/using those machines or tools, then I think that's fine.
    We are living in a blame culture. Simply don't take the risk. I appreciate that my response has been quite a negative one but, we have to cover ourselves in this day and age.
    Hope this helps.
  13. A person who supervises pupils/trainees in specialist labs or workshops in any place of work or education must buy LAW (1974 Health and Safety at Work ACT) be suitably qualified and appointed to do.
    A person supervising pupils in specialist workshops must by LAW (DCSF 2004) have achieved Qualified Teacher Status in that specialst subject. That responsibility of supervision cannot be delagated in part or as a whole to any member of staff who has not achieved QTS in that specialism.
    Two items of Civil Law, ratified and passed by parliament, there are no guidelines or recomendations that alter these two principal responsibilties.
    So no you can't have a cover supervisor take your practical lesson unless they have the relavent QTS and they are being paid to teach.
    Likewise your teaching assistant....must have QTS.....must be paid to teach.....likewise your technicians.
    In whole or in part.......no you can't have your technician/teaching assistants supervising one or two pupils doing practical work while the teacher supervises the rest of the class....unless that technician/teaching assistant has the relavent QTS and is being paid to teach.
    The managers at your school should be able to help you further with this as it is in the contract that they sign that they will ensure that all work under their supervision will be done within the law and will comply with regulations. It is their job to know the law and see it upheld. Those who do not leave themselves liable to prosecution.....but this only usually happens after the accident ( that the legeslation is designed to prevent) has happened.
    It is a very clear red light. Don't.
  14. mmm...Milk

    mmm...Milk New commenter

    If your pupils have missed out on so much practical work then you need to take it up with your SLT as to why they are being cheap skates and affecting thier pupils achievement by employing cover supervisors. There is no way that a cover supervisor should be doing practical work, you need to get a D&T teacher in, and if they have missed out on so much then it appears that your SLT have been using CS for long term cover, which shouldn't be happening. I could be understanding this wrong, and I appreciate your concern for the pupils, but for thier sake you MUST insist on qualified supply teachers to cover any sickness. There are plenty about, and it is no excuse to say that they don't know the kids or room - I walked in one monday morning on supply and did 5 successful, food practical lessons in one day.
  15. From 2011 licence to cook is a requirement. Every child has a right to cook !
    Surely there are lots more food teachers being trained. I'm wondering if they'll find jobs though? Supply is the way in to teaching to help some with their CV's if they can't get jobs straight away..
  16. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    I'll come in if you're in the NW [​IMG]
  17. From 2011 the teaching of food technolgy at KS3 is compulsory - licence to cook is not compulsory. This could be subject to change however with the new directives from the coalition government due in the autumn.

  18. Am sure there are more than one or two qualified cover supervisors out there.... not just supply teachers. whether they should be doing a practical or not.
  19. Thanks - that makes sense. Licence to cook makes it possible for any school to deliver food tech. No excuses.
  20. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    Not practical. The same rules apply x

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