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difference between TAs and LSWs

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by lillylemon, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. Could someone please explain if the there is a difference between a teaching assistant and a learning support worker or is it just the title?
  2. Could someone please explain if the there is a difference between a teaching assistant and a learning support worker or is it just the title?
  3. R13

    R13 Occasional commenter

    I have been working in schools for about 25 years. in my time in the LAs I have worked in they have been called assistants, welfares, LSAs, TAs and classroom assistants.

    in other words I can imagine the 2 titles you speak of referring to exactly the same thing BUT equally they may not - ask whoever is using the title if you want more than an educated guess
  4. At our school (secondary) the TAs were renamed LSAs a couple of years ago, to reflect the fact that they are there primarily to provide 1:1 support to various statemented kids - rather than to assist the teachers.
  5. A learning support worker is attached to a statemented child and does one to one IEP work. A teaching assistant is a more general role and can work with groups of children and do other stuff such as displays etc
    I had an assistant who was a LSW in the morning for Literacy and Numeracy for a statemented child, and was a TA in the afternoon . She was paid a higher hourly rate as an LSW but I don't know the figures and it was 5 years ago!
  6. no difference here. There are various names, teaching assistant, learning support assistant, teachers aide, classroom assistant. All the same here.
  7. picsgirl

    picsgirl New commenter

    I worked as a 1:1 with a statemented child & was called a TA. I've worked as a general TA - in this LEA there is no difference in the hourly pay rate.
  8. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    Following the Workforce Remodelling Agreement our LA (and I know many others) brought in a new Teaching Assistants Agreement which renamed the myriad classroom support staff titles under the banner of Teaching Assistant - prior to this we had been Nursery Nurses, Classroom Assistants, Integration assistants (working with a statemented child), Learning Support Assistants and a number of other job titles, of which TA had only recently been introduced and was perceived in our schools as the 'lowest' level of skill! As you can imagine, many staff were most unhappy about this 'catch-all' name change at the time!

    Before the changes there were only two levels of pay - qualified and unqualifed, both on the same pay scale but unqualified staff had a much lower point as their starting pay and also as the top salary beyond which they couldn't progress. It was this agreement that created the now common levels of TA - our LA said they would not have any employees working at Level 1 and all qualified staff were assimilated across as Level 3 - any long-term unqualified staff were paid as Level 2 and supported to achieve a qualification which then took them up to Level 3. No staff were assimilated as HLTAs but schools were able to start employing some who were then able to be assessed (it was always intended that HLTAs should be long-serving staff who were already working at the level required for the status - contrary to what some people believe, TAs covered classes for teacher absence prior to the implementation of this agreement - they just weren't entitled to any extra pay or any protection against being exploited and used too much!) To be fair, I don't know many who were treated badly regarding this although I did used to have to cover my class teacher who was also Deputy for at least one day every week, often with no notice and with no planning done! I am convinced the parents assumed I was a teacher who job-shared, although I always tell pupils I an a TA not a teacher.

    It would appear that some schools are now changing job titles again to reflect the roles they see support staff taking: I think this may well be a positive move as there remains this too common perception that a TA is a Teacher's Assistant which gives a completely false impression of the role - clearly, from this point of view, a title like LSA is perhaps a clearer definition of the role.
  9. picsgirl

    picsgirl New commenter

    You are very lucky to have a forward thinking LA Ophelia. The vast majority of new jobs here (from the past 5 years onwards) are Level 1. You are encouraged to study to L3/4 ( most already have) but there are very few opportunities to work at Level 3 pay. Both L1 & L3 TA's tend to do the same job.
  10. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    I know that our LA have always been one of the best in many ways regarding the employment of TAs, picsgirl - even though I often make derogatory remarks about them!

    If I recall correctly from the original suggested job descriptions the level one was a very basic support role - some areas already had a job for a 'General Assistant' which involved more of the administrative tasks in the classroom and was paid at a very low rate - it seems that because this role existed it was put into the remodelling package even though very few people were working at that level. I think it is disgraceful that so many LAs took the opportunity to downgrade jobs in this way - it is inevitable that teachers will expect anyone who is employed as a TA to do the same job therefore it was always going to end up with all TAs carrying out very similar duties.

    Having said that, in our LA I am aware that more and more TAs are being employed as Level 2 nowadays, regardless of their qualifications so a similar thing is happening here - the Level 3 TA could be asked to cover a class for a short time (less than 2 hours) in an emergency sitatuation, whilst some were given a responsibility point ( this did not involve a huge extra payment - not sure what it is now but it used around £50 a month) which allowed them to cover for absence other than PPA up to a maximum of 2 sessions per week. We are now being told that changes are being brought in to remove the cover points as this is not in keeping with the terms of Single Status, but there is a worry that all TAs will be expected to cover classes - just not on a regular basis so there is a bit of rule-bending going on here I suspect!

    Within my own school we are also having further changes to TA contracts as regards lunchtimes so things are a bit up in the air at the moment. I think headteachers are coming in from other areas and don't see why we shouldn't be more exploited too! However, I do realise that we are still much luckier than TAs in many other areas especially in relation to our levels of pay. It was a very sad day when the SSSNNB was disbanded before it had even got properly started - maybe when we have a change of government things might change again - or maybe not!
  11. picsgirl

    picsgirl New commenter

    I agree.

    It's frustrating to be on the same hourly rate as a crossing supervisor - but there's a very large queue of well educated people who want a TA job, willing to step into my shoes if any complaint is made.

    (Majority of jobs the past 2 years here are temporary too).
  12. Trekkie

    Trekkie Occasional commenter

    Indeed! Most of our TAs were assimilated at the lowest level - much unhappiness as you can imagine.

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