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HLTA, Foundation Degree or ..?

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by y6ta, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. I need some advice.
    I am an experienced TA in Primary that needs a change. Is HLTA worth achieving or is it widely abused? What options do I have with a Foundation Degree?
    I have no desire to teach (unless all the paperwork is drastically reduced!!), but I am frustrated only being paid for term time. Do full time positions exist?
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. [​IMG]

  2. Hello y6ta

    I am also a TA and unfortunately as far as I know there I now no longer full time TA positions!

    I am currently following the path of the foundation degree but to become a teacher in the long term and throughly enjoying it, although it's no walk in the park.

    Path I am taking is the foundation for two years, then a top up BA Honours for a further year (all one day release) and then finally a Graduate Teaching Programme (GTP) fingers crossed.

    I was also in need of a change but felt that HLTAs are widely abused and take on the workload of teachers at a greatly reduced pay!!

    Maybe a part time teaching role in the long run after the degree could be an option for you?

    Hope that helps somewhat...?
  3. pooped

    pooped New commenter

    I am a teacher although finding it very difficult to find jobs to apply for!! At my previous school we had 3 HLTAs who were greatly valued but who also worked unbelievably hard. It is not a job I would relish for the pay! However it is fast becoming an option!
  4. This all sounds very similar to the dilemma I am in. I am an HLTA and have a 27.5 hour contract in a rural primary school. I run intervention groups in numeracy & literacy all morning. In between I teach french and german from reception to year 6 to cover for teachers who have been out on break duty. In the afternoon I cover whole school PPA by teaching PE (I have completed the Norfolk LEA PE Teaching Competency Scheme) and I am the PLT.
    I completed my HLTA over three years ago. Every year I look at the Foundation Degree but know I could not put in the number of hours needed to do it. I have to plan, prepare, assess etc for all the above so I am pretty busy never mind all the school sports clubs, letters etc. I have no degree just good A levels but most days I see the teachers sliding under plies of marking, APP etc and although I know I could do it I am not sure I want to. Where will all the jobs be in the next few years? I am good at teaching PE and the pupils really value it. No one forgets their kit!!! Trouble is it is a dilemma I face every day - not a teacher just a TA. My Head is about to move on too and I am concerned a new Head might not let me continue in this role...then what!
    I know there are no answers but it was good to get it off my chest!!!!
  5. Hi, i really think it depends on the city/county you work for as to which you need-if any. in notts the hlta does not automatically mean you will get a senior position or in fact cover classes etc. then again neither does the foundation degree. however if you apply for a senior position both are on the job description as working towards.
    in derbys for example to be a hlta and do the hlta style job of covering classes etc for money you do need to be hlta and the foundation degree doesn't count.
    maybe you could ask for a development review/performance management style meetinmg and ask these questions?
    as for the full time positions yes they do where i work but not all, we arecurrently working term time but are paid for the full year-this is likely to change however with single status.
  6. Hi I'm a senior TA in a reception class and also paid full time 52 weeks of year. I'm also in my 3rd and final year of the foundation degree in learning support and have done my CACHE qualifications etc etc. I have thoroughly enjoyed the FD and the extra knowledge it has given me + the extra confidence has been fantastic but, a word of warning, my school doesn't acknowledge the FD as they have never had a TA do it before. It is absolutely ridiculous and my Lecturers in Uni are amazed and said its obvious that the senior management team in my school are very stuck in the dark ages. If anyone is interested in doing the FD then be prepared to commit to some very serious hard work, everything you do has to relate back to your professional practice and your job role (which is the same as the HLTA status), all of the assignments are 6,000 words each and the standard the Uni's expect is obviously very high because it is HE level. I'm using my FD to complete the 3rd year of a social work degree as I am interested in working in social services or a family centre etc, so good luck to anyone who decides to go for it.
  7. Hi, I am doing a foundation degree in supporting teaching and learning, regarding HLTA and foundation degree, the former is only a status not a qualification as such whereas the foundation degree is a level 4 first year and level 5 second year. School staff tend to look at you in a league almost to theirs.The Foundation degree is not really difficult, this also depends on what resources you have available to access in order to complete assignments. cheers
  8. sorry I forgot to add , as stated in previous message, the assignments do not have to be 6,000 words the average 2,500 words is the norm, I am in my second year of a foundation degree in supporting teaching and learning and as I said it is not that difficult. cheers
  9. rosyjan

    rosyjan New commenter

    Y6TA, I completed the FDTA six years ago then topped it up to BA(HONs) in education two years ago, then did the HLTA status. Never wanted to become a teacher, I was sold the rheoric by the advisors whom I now consder being employed by colleges and universities stating that more opportunities would apear. To some extent the role of HLTA has appeared and you have more autonomy but the pay does not, he spit contracts, the term time only, no perparation time, having to plan, mark, writing reports etc does not match £7.50 an hour I think the pay will never will match the responsibilities you are given unless you are really lucky.
    The FD and BA were fantastic, but the jobs to use your qualifications and knowledge are not out there. Yes HTs love to use your experience but in my experience give you the most trickiest children, support for the weaker teachers but ask for advancement no way. After this has happened to me too many times and after much sole searching I have now left the role.

    I would throughly recommend the FD, and you might be lucky in getting a role that matches your experiences.
    I now work for Barnardos' which on the whole gives you more opportunities for advancement if you so desire.
    Good luck.
  10. Appreciate that this is an old post but was just reading through differet topics etc. Sorry assumpta but have to disagree with you very strongly about the level of work required for the Foundation Degree, my Uni is strict on the word count and each assignment is a definite 6,000 word count. The other point is that with the amount of research that is needed for each assignment then I can't see how you can complete each assignment in under 6,000 words. 2,500 words is quite laughable.
  11. I agree, I'm at the end of my FD in learning support and the minimum
    word count is 4000+ words.
  12. I think it must vary depending on which uni you go to_Our assignments were 2500 words for the 1st year and 4000 for the 2nd year (and 6000 for the 3rd year if you did the BA Ed Hons option).
    I found that I learnt an incredible amount of stuff and it really supported my working practice. Also I found myself wanting to be a teacher more as a result (was undecided at the beginning) and felt more prepared/ willing to face the challenges of that role.
    We were told that we were at HLTA level half way through the first year. I imagine it would be quite easy after doing the FD.

  13. In my experience gaining HLTA status does not mean that your LEA or school will employ you to work at that level. If they don't or won't beware, as you might have extra work foisted on you at no extra pay.
  14. I am HLTA and theres no difference. It is a status, makes no difference unles you get a HLTA job. I would not reccoment doing it, I have also done a middle management course, which I would recommend.
  15. Do a Leading from the middle course' much more worth while, you cant get on a management scale without it!
  16. I am an abused HLTA!!!! If you do the foundation degree, HLTA is part of it; if you do HLTA first, you can miss that module in your foundation degree. I think it depends on the school, but in mine HLTAs are cheap labour with little thanks x

  17. totally agree...i have been working in a school for almost nine years now as a teaching assistant and in that time i have completed CACHE course Foundation Degree and recently a BA hons Degree in Working with Children, Young People and Families....even though i have done all this my school fail to recognise my worth or my achievements and say that this is due to the school having no money, which means no chance of a promotion within the school, however other staff seem to get many promotions and i feel that TA's are majorly under valued by the senior team!...
  18. I am an HLTA and, like one of the other respondants, I did a Foundation Degree and I am now doing my BA Top Up and start my GTP in September. I spent 20 years working in PR before that. I have mixed views. Being an HLTA has given me lots of experience which will help me when I start training. I do however think schools get a lot for their money! I am often called upon last minute to cover for sick teachers and they save a lot on supply staff. On the positive side, having HLTA's means consistency for the children. Another negative is that when I'm doing the teacher's job no one does mine! I am expected to work without a TA and my group of children who need additional support simply don't get any. All this said, I love my job and look forward to being a teacher.


  19. I did my HLTA last year, I found it quite intense, collecting all the evidence and matching the standards. But having said that I am really glad I did it, it was more for my own careeer development to start with. My headtacher was really supportive and backed me completely so much so that she employs me has a full time HLTA but don't get too excited I only get paid term time as do all the other HLTA's I know, you would have to check. This can also lead to further qualififcations, all I would say is don'rt dismiss it keep your options open.
    julie15mcgann likes this.
  20. Im relatively new to the whole profession! Im doing the Foundation degree and have got so involved with my school that I dont want to move but guess what? Im not paid! Just working hours to complete my degree. I want to be a teacher in the long run but just feel my school runs on students and parent helpers along with a good but stressed staff team. The HLTAs are so overworked for the pay its ridiculous so I dont want to go there! There are obvious areas where another (or several) TAs need to be employed, including statemented pupils that require more one to one, but alls I hear is 'budget' and 'reshuffling of staff'. I care about the school and its pupils and enjoy their whole ethos but do they care about me? MAD!

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