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HLTA cover hours and pay

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by Nitashapall, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Hi guys
    I am a HLTA and my school gets me to cover ppa whole afternoon on two days plus I also teach ICT for half an hour five days a week, in between according to my timetable I am a TA but most off the time they have me to cover people's absences ....

    They pay me scale 6 and no ppa time has been allocated to me.

    I heard from some people that according to law as a HLTA you should only cover a total off 15 hours per year? ??????
    Is it true?

    Am I getting paid enough for doing all these plus should I not get ppa time?

  2. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    In my LA an HLTA can take full classes for 6 sessions (that means half-days, not lessons) per week - this would work out at a maximum of <u>19 hours</u> <u>per week</u> if we are covering the five (longer) morning session plus one afternoon one - it's possible your figure has come from an agreement similar to this and someone has got a little confused! We used to have a maximum of only 3 sessions per week but it was raised as part of an agreement to allow the removal of a bar across our grade, beyond which we could not pass. Mind you, we now have to achieve an outstanding grade on all our Performance Management targets to go any further anyway, so it hasn't been that great a deal overall!
    The HLTAs in our school get 1 hour's PPA per week but this is either before or after school, so it's very rare for the full hour to be available. I have, in the past, had an hour per week but within the actual school day and this is a much better arrangement if it's at all possible.
    If you have to plan and assess the lessons you cover you should be entitled to some PPA time, based on 10% of the hours you actually teach classes. Other posts on here have indicated that some HLTAs are not required to do this, and if you do not plan or mark the work then I can see why your head would not give you PPA time - TAs in our school do not get given time to plan or prepare the kind of interventions which they have traditionally carried out - though, goodness knows they should be given some time for what is often very time-consuming and complicated preparation! But that's a whole other issue!
  3. JC3


    Hi I am paid as HLTA for 35 hours a week at scale 6. I plan for and teach ICT yr 3 - 6 for 12 hours a week. I have 1 3/4 hours a week PPA for ICT. If you are planning for your lessons or using a scheme of work then you should be getting PPA as you need to organise what you are doing. I have only recently been given this amount of PPA, before I only had 3/4 hour.
    Hope you manage to sort it out, speak to your Senco and see if he/ she can help. [​IMG]
  4. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    I am not convinced that this is accurate. What is the legal basis for this entitlement?
  5. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    There is very little legal entitlement about anything to do with TA jobs, Crowbob! Basically, heads are free to try and make up the rules as they go along as regards all support staff in school but, as you will see on various threads here, most HLTAs who cover PPA (and there are so few who still don't do it these days although it was, contrary to popular belief, never intended to be part of the role) do get some PPA - it varies between 30 minutes and a couple of afternoons a week as far as I can see so there is a possible 'custom and practice' entitlement, not to mention the fact that it's actually the right thing to do! How can heads justify giving all teaching staff PPA but expect an HLTA to do all the planning, preparation and assessment for their lessons with none at all - of course, the time given is nowhere near the amount spent on doing these things but we all accept, as teachers do, that it is a token gesture.
    I am currently involved in discussions with our Head to ensure that teachers understand that any TAs ( rather than HLTAs) who cover for them cannot be expected to mark work since they are not allowed any time to do so. This Head is not the most open to such arguments but actually agrees that, as they are not given time within their role for this, it is not something which can be expected. I stand by my comment that 'you should be entitled' to such time - that doesn't mean the poster will necessarily get it.
  6. Why would TAs be marking pupil work? That's the job of a qualified, well paid teacher.
  7. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Sorry, I was just trying to make sure there was no confusion in people thinking it was a legal entitlement and going off half-cocked.
  8. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    It is "specified work" and can, therefore, be done by people other than qualified teachers.
  9. I'm a Teaching Assistant! Personally, I would never mark any work - just on principal, not for any nefarious reasons. I suspect your role, grade and pay are a lot different to mine, so forgive my ignorance.
  10. snugglepot

    snugglepot Occasional commenter

    I'm a Nursery Nurse, HLTA, Nurture Practioner and Learning Mentor. I am paid at HLTA rate for all my hours.My principle is to do the best I can for the children in our school and to work as a team in order to achieve this.
  11. My principle is exactly the same, but my pay isn't.
  12. snugglepot

    snugglepot Occasional commenter

    How long have you been a TA?
    I have worked in childcare for over 20 years and therefore my pay is reflected by CPD and promotion. I too started at the bottom of the ladder I was paid £3.30 an hour at a private nursery. I had been a childminder before this. You seem disgruntled with the job.
  13. Not disgruntled with the actual job - I enjoy working with difficult kids and seeing them (well, some of them!) progress and mature. The pay is really low, but I knew that going in. Don't know how to answer your question, snugglepot, without sounding negative... The school I work in seems totally uninterested in developing its TA staff. I know that's not the story everywhere.
  14. But it is the case in quite a lot of schools now I'm afraid.
    I haven't moved schools but the head changed a few years ago and there have been massive changes in that time - old head really valued support staff and recognised that expertise does not necessarily equate with pay levels - if the cleaners or LTS had more knowledge of something than she did then she would ask their advice on that matter! She was keen for us all to have training that would benefit us and was prepared for us to be allowed to do any available training in normal work time.
    Our current head definitely sees TAs a second-class citizens and couldn't comprehend why someone would be employed as an HLTA for any reason other than covering PPA! He brought in changes which have left many staff (including teachers) demoralised and demotivated - but he keeps insisting we must all be positive and give even more to support the school - this to a fantastic staff who work flat out to provide the very best education for all of our pupils.
    Teaching staff are getting out as fast as they can get other jobs, even taking pay cuts to do so, and many, if not most, of the TAs feel the same. Sadly, as others posters have discovered, this type of leadership is becoming more common these days, with heads wanting TAs to be cheap cover for the absence of teachers who have become ill with the strain, rather than as a valuable support to the pupils and, to a lesser degree, to a class teacher.
    I used to think I had the best job in the world - if you still feel that way be grateful and hope it doesn't change!
  15. My current work situation is very similar, although the head's been in place for a long time (over 20 years) - it's a kind of fiefdom! I've worked outside education, so have experience of how people in other industries interact with management and colleagues. Many staff have gone from school to uni to school and still see the head as a deity.
  16. snugglepot

    snugglepot Occasional commenter

    The question was easy ..." How long have you worked as a TA ? " I was merely explaining that I didn't get the pay easily I have spent a long time working in Education to get it. I too had a boss who thought TAs (I actually started as a SAWA) should just stay in their niche and he refused several times to let me go on courses.I just kept asking ...every year! The present Head is willing to let people go on courses but it still sometimes takes a year or two.Some have been expensive and therefore I have had to wait..even waited for one that was FREE and had to go back and persuade him that they could do without me for four days(spread out.) Just felt reading your other posts that you felt disgruntled and I wondered if you had come into the job recently and realised the pay isn't that good. A lot of people start not realising that the pay advertised is pro rata. I took a pay cut last year when Single Status came in.I wasn't happy about that as it had taken years to get there and then had quite a bit clawed back. :(
  17. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    One of the few good things I can say for our LA is that they do now tend to advertise jobs showing the actual salary as well as (or sometimes instead of) the full-time pay - a neighbouring LA don't do this and a friend who works there says they have lost lots of TAs who have started without realising how low their actual pay will be.
  18. There is still a lot of misunderstanding about "PPA cover"
    Cover is needed when a teacher who is timetabled to teach at any particular time is absent for any reason such as illness.
    Teachers are not timetabled to teach during their allocated PPA time and so cannot be classified as being absent and therefore cover should not be involved. In such cases another person should be allocated to take responsibility for such classes at those times. Michael Gove has stated that all children deserve to have every moment in class with a teacher so logically another teacher should be appointed to teach those classes at such times instead of timetabling support staff to take on such responsibilities.

  19. hubcap

    hubcap New commenter

    Unfortunatley lots of schools cannot afford to pay another teacher.
  20. Other than illness or emergencies, I can't see why a TA would be covering for a teacher. It's like a waiter stepping in for the Head Chef every couple of hours.

    Cue terse, Matronly-style rebuff...

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