1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

HLTA- do you have a life?

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by Nyeza, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. Hi
    Wondering if you can answer these questions . I am a qualified teacher who has not taught for 5 yeras but my circumstances are difficult. Am a single parent and need to find a job that allows me to have some time with my daughter. I have not been able to find a secondary Art job teaaching part time and am unlikely to find one in the current climate . Thinking of applying for HLTA jobs but wondering what the reality is like in terms of do you take work home -? When they say employed for 32.5 hours ... is that the reality or are you working longer.
    Would appreciate honest replies as what my priority is is being around for my daughter until she goes to school. WAS working 4 days which was perfect but cant seem to find to any hours other than 32.5 .Maybe TA3 is the way to go as less responsibility and you can havea life.?? Please help. etc
  2. Our HLTA seems to manage the workload within her contracted hours.
    But I guess how the school sees the role of the HLTA will heavily impact on the demands of the role. Ours is non teaching so doesn't have to prepare/assess lessons so this is obviously less demanding of one that would be class based.
  3. Just to clarify, when I say 'non teaching', I mean she does not cover PPA/staff absence in the role of the teacher. She does teach in class following the teacher's planning for much of her week.
  4. hi I am a hlta and have to agree with the previous post, in that it all depends on the school and the role you, do as hlta since everywhere seems slightly different. I cover ppa but only some of the time, but would imagine that as a qualified teacher doin hlta you will get used to do ppa quite a bit. Some teachers give me all the planning and resources needed to deliver a lesson and others simply an outline of the subject and leave fine detail to me.I nearly always mark the work delivered. however while i do get some marking time in school some planning at home seems inevitable but it has varied how much. I think all you can do is ask at which ever interviews you go to what they would expect from you and then decide if you can manage.
    hope you find something which suits you.
  5. Hi. Not sure if it is the same in your area, but all funding for HLTA training and status has been stopped when this new Government came in. The only way is to probably fund it yourself through private training organisation. You need to check with your school also as some of them will accept your status but will not pay you any extra.
  6. Hi.

    I gave up being a teacher for the exact reason. I found I was helping and going out of my way with the children in school, but due to the workload my own children were not getting my time and help. I decided to take a hefty drop in salary£15,000+ and became a level 2 TA. Surprisingly, some schools did not accept my teaching qualification as it was a different type of job supporting children! Since becoming an HLTA in a secondary school I have a marked increase in responsibility and salary. I now have a form group, I am responsible for several projects and prorgammes in school, I am HLTA English specialist which means I take English lessons, but only as cover, not permanently. I do plan differentiated work for in class support and I do have small groups which I do have to plan and mark work. I also teach GCSE intervention group and this does involve planning, marking and assessing work. It is still not as much as when I was teaching full time. The other HLTA's in our school do far less and do not take ANY work home. It really depends on the school and especially if they are paying you a level 4 or 5 salary, they expect more from you. I still prefer what I am doing and would not go back to teaching. Hope this helps.
  7. Hi Nyeza
    I have been an HLTA or four years (one of the early takers for the status). It does depend on how the schools se the role. Im my primary school, we use HLTAs to cover PPA and managment time for the SLT. Very occasionally we are asked to cover sick teachers or teacher on courses (short term cover only) if a supply teacher can't be found at short notice. We also only get paid the HLTA rate for lessons we cover and TA rate the rest of the time we have a supporting role in school. So make sure you are aware of the school's pay structure for their HLTA role.
    Your work load will depend on the responsibilities you have. Originally we were not supposed to plan our cover lessons but as we cover most foundation subjects, it was easier to do our own planning for which we have to do at home as we are not given any time in school to do it.
    One of the local primary schools nearby use HLTAs as classroom administrators / teachers PAs and they don't get involved in teaching classes at all. Another local primary has a music specilaist HLTA and all PPA cover lessons are timetable as music in all year groups so she teaches Foundation to Yr 6 doing one subject. I have heard of another using sports coaches or Art specialists in the same way.
    I prefer to be in the class with the children as that is one of the reasons I started working in school, to be with my own children but still working with children andhelping them, without the extra stress being a full time teacher carries when you are trying to run a family and juggle work etc.
    Good luck I hope you find somthing suitable. It is as rewarding as teaching - if not better as you get the fun part without all the admin perf man target stress! Although be aware that some schools do expect their HLTAs to attend parents evenings - I do know of this happening to a friend of mine, who runs a booster english / maths group in her school.
  8. I've been an HLTA for over 3 years in the maths dept of a high school. I did O, AO and A level maths and am part way through a maths degree so have no issues with subject matter.
    I have a form, which I adore. I have several small group intervention groups (year 11s) and 3 year 10 funcational maths groups which I plan and prepare for using the SoW. I share a year 10 maths class with my HoD, he does the planning for that.
    I can be taken for cover anywhere in the school, but it's usually within our dept. They leave cover work, but to be honest as they know me they know I'm quite happy (and prefer) just a book and page number ... I'll come up with the rest [​IMG]
    I'm usually in early (but that's brew time [​IMG]
    I have no issues in the classroom, in fact I have far fewer that lots of other staff, and am the one that gets phoned or fetched to deal with classroom problems.
    I love what I do, but when I see how much more my teacher colleagues have to do I know that I don't want to become a teacher when I finish my degree.
  9. Hi, In my area (Primary) HLTAs are not recognised and Level 3 are hard to find. Most TAs are level 2 and work no more than 15.5 hrs per week (Literacy and Numeracy). As a qualified teacher asking for TA pay you would probably have no problems getting a job but in my opinion this is unfair. As a Qualified TA with 20 years experience I struggle to get work because teachers not being able to find work are doing just what you are. A TAs' job involves knowledge and support strategies in different ways to teachers, often the teachers have not studied the strategies I teach but only know enough to chose the children who need the extra help. I do not know if it is the same in Secondary.
  10. Hi
    I took an HLTA job that requested specific skills. It has been hard but has helped to clarify what I do and dont do to be honest. | was the primary teacher who gave up a social life to do a good job. There is a distinct clarity and different approach with most secondary teachers these days. Check the contract and expectations and accept if its ok. The school will always push the boundaries when budgets are tight - you have to decide what you are prepared to do or not do. Its actually easier than being a teacher to be honest. I had specific training the school requested and have fulfilled 2 other unknown areas of expertise as I'd taught in inner london for 20 years. I have been able to perform beyond what they asked for and try to be flexible about situations. It works to my advantage. I never claim to know everything and enjoy learning.
    |The school now dont wanna lose me as I do so much extra and give them value for money. I dont get hol pay but with my experience was given top of HLTA scale. I work hard but dont take much work home and can manage, I do however have skills that allow me to test and feed back to the educational psycholgist directly because of my level of knowledge. Just be careful of the management taking advantage once you're in. Its all about added value these days. The extra skills I offered were EAL and SEN testing especially dyslexis and literacy. If you dont have these they are good ones to get. Hope that helps.
  11. I have read all the other replies to your enquiery and realise I am being taken for a mug. I work for 35 hours as an HLTA in a nursery class. I have responsibility for 34 part timechildren at the moment and do all the planning, preparation and assessment myself. I am currently writing reports and have two Level 1 LSA's and one long term student to manage. I can not possibly do all this in 35 hours as despite one afternoon for PPA I work at home every day and am often one of the last members of staff to go home. In nursery there is hardly any non contact time during a normal day as children do not go to assembly and at playtime I go out as well. Moral would seem to be - go into the secondary sector and stay there!
    Supplylady likes this.
  12. NQT1986

    NQT1986 Occasional commenter

    Is there a teacher in the nursery class??
  13. Sounds like you are being taken advantage of Puffins. Writing reports and planning for all lessons? Is this in the role of the HLTA? Sounds like they are employing a cheap alternative to a teacher.
    As NQT1986 asks, is there a teacher also? (And if so, what the hell are they doing?!)
  14. Ophelia 9

    Ophelia 9 New commenter

    It actually sounds as though Puffins is doing the old Nursery Nurse job which existed in Nursery schools and units for many years. In my experience in a Nursery the teacher would have responsibility for a full class am and pm (most children only attending for one or the other, not both, sessions) whilst two Nursery Nurses would work separately from the teacher, each taking responsibility for half the number, but, again, two different groups in morning and afternoon sessions making the total number up to the 34 she/he quotes. In this situation the Nursery Nurses would carry out exactly the same duties as the teacher, who might have further management responsibilities to justify the difference in pay.
    The big difference from the time I am thinking of and the present is that all the ridiculous targets have now filtered down to this age group and, therefore, the HLTAs working in this environment are now doing masses more paperwork instead of actually helping to provide the social and emotional learning which children need before they can successfully access the cognitive. A very detrimental change in my opinion!
  15. Ipoolannie. Does the school pay for your GTC registration?
  16. Supplylady

    Supplylady New commenter

    I currently work as a HLTA. I do interventions in the morning, I teach 4 different year groups in the afternoons and plan and write the lessons. I do not have a TA in the classroom in the afternoon as they have been earmarked for other tasks outside of the class. I write brief reports at the end of the academic year for the four lessons/classes I teach which might not sound much but is actually time-consuming ploughing through 120 children's names. I can't get my work done in the hours which are 35 hours a week and usually end up staying an hour longer and/or working an afternoon at the weekend to try and catch up with the endless paper work that the interventions offer. It is a very rewarding job but sometimes I feel like I am burning myself out for meagre pay. On paper the HLTA's pay looks brilliant, but the truth is, because it is pro rata it soon whittles the salary down to next to nothing as well as needing to work extra hours.
    If you are considering being a HLTA it is rewarding and has moments of fun, as well as being exhausting.
  17. snugglepot

    snugglepot Occasional commenter

    Yes, I agree Ophelia.
    I work as a HLTA. I do intervention work, nurture and PPA cover. I get 1 1/4 hrs PPA and no it is not enough to cover all I do. I always feel like I am chasing my tail. So you will have to do extra hours unpaid at home/ school. I usually stay back one evening a week and do the rest at home.
  18. jsandever82

    jsandever82 New commenter

    I'm so glad I found this, It's interesting to read about what you lovely HLTAs are doing. I feel stupidly over used as pretty much 80% of my timetable is PPA cover from Reception-year 6. We have 2 hours PPA time for planning which at times is not enough as some year groups don't provide adequate planning with resources, there are times when we are making presentations and finding resources, which can be lengthy. The rest of the time is spent on an intervention and spending 25mins every other day in a yr6 class, there have been times when I've not had a break and have gone light headed as needed to eat.
    Sadly today I've made a big mistake with an activity I have given to year 6 as I gave them some pictures of smoking that were from cigarette packets, this has therefore freaked some out. Due to limited planning time I will admit I was haste in printing off an activity. My union advised that planning should be under the direction of a teacher, so please ensure that you are given all planning and resources. I'm seeking further guidance from my union on this.

    I'm pretty much kept in an office and feel extremely deskilled as not in a classroom, we are not allowed to go on field trips because we are relied on so much to cover the PPA. I am at the point where I hate my job and just want to jack it in, there are further concerns that I have.

    I know some HLTA roles are very different among schools Please check what the requirements of the job will be before applying as I know I will check as in process of looking for new jobs.
  19. Gsr25

    Gsr25 Occasional commenter

    Thing is that as a HLTA you are basically used as a cheap teacher. They will squeeze out their moneys worth from you.
    I’m a TA but I plan, lead and assess as I run outdoorlearning. I cannot be classed as a HLTA because I don’t take full classes!
    Supplylady likes this.

Share This Page