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G.C.S.E in maths/english

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by tamtams, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Post 9

    "There were 25 Ta's in my last school and only 3 have their GCSE's in literacy and numeracy..."

    That is quite a shocking statistic in an educational workplace.
     
  2. tamtams

    tamtams New commenter

    Post 20
    It probably is but they are still quite capable of teaching it. What about the situations of level 1 Ta's taking classes on a temp short term basis that is not supposed to happen but it does. I think it boils down to what suits certain schools, and what they can get away with. Schools seem to want blood nowadays, but will make allowances for things when it suits them.
     
  3. It is not the fault of TAs that there is no baseline educational requirements, but the system which has evolved.

    It seems to be a closely guarded secret that there is no minimum educational requirement and as a previous poster mentioned a reason why there is poor financial reward. It could aso be the reason why TAs have been willing to accept this poor salary as there are not many "professional" jobs outside schools that don't demand 5 A-Cs.

    Most posters on TES lead us to believe that the TA workforce is composed of graduates, and I think tamtams has shown a more realistic picture.

     
  4. https://www.tes.co.uk/section/staffroom/thread.aspx?story_...

    Anybody been following the above thread- I thought Post 36 by calypso made a very fair point on the subject of minimum basic entry qualifications.

    Perhaps for the time being the minimum qualification could be for new recruits and a " grandfathering" approach could be taken for mature experienced TAs already in post, for whom HTs can verify that they have the knowledge of core subjects without the paperwork.

    I think for the future minimum A-C grades in English and Maths should be the minimum. I would rather like to see 5 A-C GCSEs myself.
     
  5. My god I am shocked that in one school only 3 of 25 had GCSE Maths and English! I am hoping that it means a lot of those have O levels/CSEs, if not its just utterly shocking! All people involved in teaching/supporting children (in an educational setting) should have a level of knowledge above those that they are teaching so for primary to secondary thats GCSEs! I know that I will get lynched for this because experience counts, but I have "good knowledge" blah blah blah but come on guys you need to be one step ahead of the pupils your teaching not learning with them. Being aware of concepts beyond what the kids needs to know will give them a better understanding.
    To answer a question from a previous post: My mum and a lot of her teacher friends have a teaching certificates and shes 56, as far as I'm aware you needed at least O levels to be on the course and she had to do a dissertation which required her to talk in front of a panel to explain her findings,(something which is rarely done at degree level these days) so it required at least half a brain cell to get one!
     
  6. Thsnks for the answer Maz07, actually I was surprised that your Mother was so young, the two teachers (in fact they bothed finished as Heads) I was knew both retired a few years back.
     
  7. *was* sorry, some terrible editing there and the proof reading was not much better!
     
  8. In our school everybody was given the opportunity to take the level 2 numeracy and literacy within work time. They had a tutor who came in to help twice and then they had to take the test. Everyone of our TAs now have the qualification.
     
  9. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    Posts 24 and 25:
    I left school in 1973 and I could have done the Teaching Certificate course then - qualifications of the same level as University were required at that time, certainly in Scotland, if not in England. I have worked with a teacher of a similar age to me who had the certificate - and a very highly-rated teacher she still is! When I did my NNEB training around 15 years ago I seem to remember teachers being put under pressure to 'upgrade' their qualifications to degree level - I think they had to do a year's part-time course to acquire this - and I suspect that it took a very strong-minded individual not to succumb to this pressure from heads!
    I've got to say that I really do feel that TAs should have qualifications, and good ones at that, in English and Maths, and in several other subjects too - it is one of the problems I face in my (seemingly) constant battle to promote Teaching Assistants as a professional group. Those who don't have them should be required to attain them within a certain time frame of starting a job, just as they should be required to achieve a proper TA qualification - age is not an excuse, sorry!
     
  10. I am glad to see that so many posters share my views about the importance of BASIC qualifications in literacy and numeracy for TAs here. I am in a fortunate position in that we have people queing up to workin our school/unit and we can afford to be very choosy. I think that parents such as ours - many well educated professionals-would be very unhappy about TAs with low levels of education working with their children- and we certainly could not get away with TAs taking classes even if we wanted to - they are very aware of who is who on the school staff. As for teacher's qualifications- I trained in the 'bad old days'- the 70s! and had to have at least 5 good O levels including Maths and English and 2 A levels. TAs will never be accepted as a properly profesional body until they are prepared to a)unite in one union and b)accept minimum educational standards- they may then be properly paid.
     
  11. oops teachers' and professional
     
  12. re post 27

    kanddd

    What an enlightened school, this seems to be the way forward.

    re post 28
    "I've got to say that I really do feel that TAs should have qualifications, and good ones at that, in English and Maths, and in several other subjects too - it is one of the problems I face in my (seemingly) constant battle to promote Teaching Assistants as a professional group. Those who don't have them should be required to attain them within a certain time frame of starting a job, just as they should be required to achieve a proper TA qualification - age is not an excuse, sorry!"

    I do agree with you. However, I do have sympathy for those who have been in post for decades without any qualifications and can see that it would seem unreasonable to demand qualifications suddenly, in particular when the salary is so poor.

    nzdoc posts

    "We learned our lesson when we employed a TA who supposedly had an NVQ in learning support but no GCSEs- her standard of literacy was so low that she could not write in home school books or fill in records of progress in foundation stage."

    Colleagues have found this to be the case on quite a few occasion in the primary phase. Any suggestions as how best to approach this with colleagues if you work with somebody in this position? Once they are appointed you just have to work to their strengths but it does mean that there is a large chunk of the job which they cannot approach.

    I have found SMT have taken to appointing TAs who are students pre PGCE year or over qualified applicants, such as teachers from abroad or near retirement, because they feel that it is more likely that basic educational skills will be in place. I don't feel that this helps to promote the job as being a professional role in its own right.
     
  13. "I have found SMT have taken to appointing TAs who are students pre PGCE year or over qualified applicants, such as teachers from abroad or near retirement, because they feel that it is more likely that basic educational skills will be in place. I don't feel that this helps to promote the job as being a professional role in its own right."

    This is a real problem, particularly with PGCE students who are only going to be with the school for a year. Children deserve (and need) some continuity and consistency in their support; constant change does not always benefit them. On the other hand, I think that working as a TA for a year before PGCE gives prospective teachers a unique insight into the problems of some children and the most effective way to help them, insights that they will never get from their PGCE. It seems reasonable that schools may decide to make a strategic decision to to employ one or two pre-PGCERs (depending on the size of their TA team). I can forsee a time when experience in 'support' could carry some considerable weight in selection of PGCE candidates.

    As for employing ex-teachers (or teacher trained but without QTS), it would seem to be a good opportunity to improve the quality of support, but I fear that some schools may well be doing this with an eye to getting 'teachers on the cheap'.

    But surely, it is up to schools to be a bit more selective/professional about who they appoint as TAs. Recruiting 'mums from the playground' CAN result in recruiting some very well educated people who find the work interesting (and bring their intelligence to bear on it) as well as fitting perfectly with the demands of their school age children. I know several good TAs who have been recruited this way.

    In our experience, adverts for TA posts produce a wide field of candidates with a good qualifications. As the role of the TA has developed over the years into that of a skilled para-professional I really think that schools should be taking greater care over their recruitment and selection, and, taking steps to ensure that their existing support staff are given the opportunity update and improve their qualifications.
     
  14. 1920 this was a very difficult situation to deal with especially when we discovered that the person in question had embarked on a foundation degree and was getting a friend to correct and redraft all her written assignments. The class teacher had to (diplomatically) take back responsibility for home school books and ask for notes only for the childrens' records which she herself then wrote up.She eventually left for a higher grade post after the said friend had written her letter of application for her-don't ask about the reference- I didn't write it!
     
  15. There was something in the paper today about employers being bamboozled by NVQ qualifications and more recent qualifications.

    Somebody who has recently done an NVQ4 in early years education showed me her work and it really seemed to be just an evidence chase. Some of the feedback from her assessor showed lack of literacy skills also.


     
  16. Which paper was that, 1930? Have you a link to it?
     
  17. Whoops! *1920*..
     
  18. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

  19. Too true, Ophelia...yes that is the article.
     
  20. My confidence in NVQs disappeared when I discovered that, for the NVQ2 in learning support, literacy, numeracy and behaviour were OPTIONAL elements of the course (chosen at the discretion of the tutors none of whem had any recent teaching experience) - the TAs I was mentoring at the time seemed to spend more time learning about child protection and collecting school policies to add to their file of evidence. They all agreed that they learned more in 5 days when they attended the DfES Induction Course than they had over the months of the NVQ.
     

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