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Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by kanddd, Sep 21, 2007.
Pays to be part of a Union if you are not. If you are they can answer your questions.
In my experience whenever I have had a TA with me in the classroom it has been for a specific child with a specific problem, Autism, Deaf, ADHD, SPLD, etc and for Statemented pupils. I have never had a TA who has not been attached to any particular child. Friends that are TAs may rotate pupils but never as purely an assistant in the classroom to be at the teachers beck and call. If that was the case I would vote for every teacher having a TA to work with. Yes if you are lucky to have a TA in the class with you and if they are able they do roam the room to help but generally they are attached to one specific child. I have had friends loosing their post when the child leaves the school and in one case lucky to be transferred to Further Ed with the pupil. This is Secondary perhaps primary is very different.
Of course there are many titles emerging now as support Learning support assistant, Teaching Assistant, Higher Level Teaching Assistant, Teaching support assistant, SEN support assistant, along with study supervisor, cover supervisor, learning supervisor.
Surely if a child has be alotted a certain amount of hours for support/assistance then they are entitled to those hours seems to me it diluted support time.
Hands up any TA who recognises themselves from that description!
In our LA many of these different titles were got rid of in 2004 - I was under the impression that this applied across England so am surprised to hear that they are being used again (although you may not be in England, of course) - although I know many of us, myself included, didn't particularly care for the 'one name for all' change - in my LA there are only TAs and HLTAs and have been for 5 years now.
All this just reinforces the fact that we really do need the consistency that the SSSNB are aiming for regarding pay, job descriptions and conditions of service for all school support staff.
The Tes Community is for anyone in Education, or other I suspect, who seeks help and knowledge to understand the Education System at this moment in time. If that means that Teaching Assistants are being challenged about their jobs, their pay, their qualifications, their evolving role, then so be it.
If you are confident that you know your job description is in line with government recommendations and that you are not.......
<u>being asked to do tasks that is outside that job description, that you are not putting pupils education at risk by being asked to perform tasks that needs a trained and qualified person to do deliver, mark, assess and report to parents, that you are not left in a classroom without sufficient assistance from another TA to take your place to support when you teach, that you are operating under the specifice guidelines that your union membership requires and supports you to do (outside of your registration class you may find yourself not covered for extra teaching tasks-check)</u> <u>that you are getting the correct salary for the task you undertake, that you are happy to accept that you are being asked to do tasks outside your remit at times and continue to do them knowing you are working outside your remit</u>
then before long you will be working doing the same as teachers............................. human nature is what it is ................questionning will continue until there is a resolve to the whole teacher / cover conflict which is apparent on the Tes Forums at the moment
DO ANYONE BLAME THE TAs/Cover Supervisors................LETS GET IT RIGHT .....NO .....you just happen to be the pawns that the Management and Government have chosen to use to PLUG the Education crisis. RIGHTLY OR WRONGLY ...... make your own minds up.
Personally, I am satisfied about all the above, Pennyfor your thoughts, - I am a Shop Steward for our union and not in the business of being exploited or allowing my colleagues to be so.
However, I do have some concerns about your motives in getting involved in this particular thread - why on Earth post a pointer to this in the Scotland supply teachers forum when I am assured by my family and friends back home that the situation of TAs and HLTAs being permitted to carry out specified tasks within a class does not, nor ever will, exist in Scotland?
Unfortunately, your contribution is beginning to remind me of that of 'He Who Must Not Be Named' who also tried to persuade TAs that it was only a concern for them that led to him describing them as 'oiks' and similar very professional terms!
Apologies................ There is no indication that this is a Scottish Thread. However, interesting to know that there are differences between where I am and where you are and the way that you operate within the Education system in Scotland compared to England. I will read up on how it differs and be more astute in future.
This thread is not a Scottish thread but you have posted a thread in the Scottish forum saying 'look at the TAs forum' in a rather 'shock horror' manner.
I have to say that to find out how TAs are being exploited in England (and yes I do think it's exploitation on the government, local authority and headteachers' parts) is rather shocking. I knew it went on outside of Scotland but I had no idea how regularly or to what extent.
If I asked and of my support assistants to teach or do anything outside their remit there would be a huge uproar. Not because they're not capable of taking the whole class or anything, but their qualifications and salaries do not or should not allow them to do so. Just the same as I wouldn't expect to do a headteacher's job on a teacher's salary.
Support assistants don't get paid a whole lot in my local authority, I used to be one, and they are already run of their feet with the amount of things they are asked to do. They are expected to do a whole lot as it is, asking them to cover class would just be plain ridiculous.
Cover supervisors are an unknown concept to me, they don't exist in Scotland so I can't comment, but I personally feel (as a supply teacher) that perhaps they are risking the supply teacher's role. Selfishly, I think it shouldn't be allowed, especially when cover is required for more than a day.
Ah I know where you are coming from now I clicked on the Scottish part to leave the message .
Anyway sounds like Scottish input to this thread could be of some help. I was also interested to know that in Scotland they do not have Cover Supervisors who do the bulk of cover work as employed support staff in schools. The are supposed to cover the 10% PPA time that teachers get free of cover. This role has evolved into a 'position' that has in turn along with TAs teaching cover lessons as well threatened the supply teaching workforce of which there is approximately 53,500
Leesey.....I do not wish to comment more on this on this thread as it would be unfair. If you wish to know more about the problems supply teachers and in particular NQTs are having getting work then please read the threads on Supply Teachers.
Pennyforyourthoughts, as said before, I am a supply teacher, not NQT but fairly new, and I am well aware of the difficulties. There are slight differences between SCotland and England, but the basic problem is the same. Not enough teachers in jobs. Too many unemployed/underemployed teachers kicking about. Our union is having a rally about it on the 6th of March in Glasgow. About time something was done.
This would suggest then that it is not, as so many people seem to think in England, actually totally caused by schools using Cover Supervisors as the role does not exist in Scotland.
I have said before that I believe far too many people are being misled (by the Dfes, for one) into believing that there are teaching jobs just waiting for anyone who completes the training - all those bankers who lost their jobs, for instance - they were given the impression that schools would welcome them with open arms so presumably have applied in droves to do PCGE!
There are a number of worrying postings across the tes forums from people who seem to have a very unrealistic picture of employment prospects for teachers. Hopefully, we should start to see an improvment as many areas are saying they have rising numbers in schools - wish it was true of our school, where teaching and support staff jobs are not at all secure at the moment.
Good luck with your rally, leesey!
I am paid a grade 4 - which is the old scale 3, but my wage doesn't go up the scale as far as it did.
I cover ppa one morning a week ( i don't prepare the lessons) also i cover ( without the support of a TA) whenever the class teacher is absent due to sickness, courses and meetings etc. Quite often it amounts to a couple of days a week or more. I work in a y6 class, and enjoy the time when I am not in charge of the whole class. I look forward to the day when teachers are covered by teachers!!
It's simply ages since I have been on these boards; just thought I would have a peep as I drifted by. Interesting that people are still debating the same stuff from years ago.
I am a CS in a primary school, and sometimes I think things have been stood on their head. My teacher will often go out on courses and to do interventions or practice tests with groups of children. Time was when I used to do the interventions but now I stay and cover and on these occasions it is just me and 25 odd children or the whole class sometimes.
I have a subject I am good at and so when she is going to disappear for a protracted period, I am told to "do something" within my expertise field. This is undoubtably whole class teaching and the teacher does not even know what I am going to do. This has sometimes been at the drop of a hat and I have dragged something together as I gather my resources.
I have to say that the children do wait with expectation for these days because otherwise they get very little in the way of 'my subject'. I suppose I am trusted to keep coming up with something, but I get frustrated because there is no thought or time given to me, so that I can give some proper planning to it. Having said that the results at the end of 'my class' have sometimes been really very good. My gripe would be that given more time it could be better, although you will say that it should not be happening at all.
(And all on a TA's pay!) On such occasions I do have another adult, but it has never been made clear to me whether this is so that I have a witness for anything that might happen, an aid because a TA cannot cope alone or whether she is there for me to direct.. I have covered PPA for other teachers plus short sicknesses. In my view it is the lack of planning, which some HLTAs are allowed/expected to do, that make the CS job a difficult one (more difficult?). If given work at all, it is usually poor thin stuff which makes the children groan with boredom and consequently leads to behaviour problems. Should the set work run out we are supposed to just skim along on the seat of our pants. It is unsatisfactory, but not the most unsatisfactory part of being a TA by any means. I regard it as being one of the periods when it is possibly accepted that I have a brain and can think for myself.
I am however going to stop being a TA soon because of all the other more infuriating aspects of TAing.
Please read 'undoubtedly' for 'undoubtably'. Urggh....Whatever next!!!